16 Dec 2012

Togo Mukherji Passes Away – Baikunth

Togo Mukherji passed away on 14 December, 2012 at Puducherry. An excellent article covering the notable aspects of his life has been written by Anurag Bannerji on his site, which I would recommend for reading to all those who are interested to know the details of  his life. 

I will limit myself here to the most prominent aspect of Togo, his bravery and audacity to challenge the powers that rule, which he obviously inherited from his grandfather, the legendary Bagha Jatin (Jatin Mukherji, one of the two Jatins who were contemporaries of Sri Aurobindo and fought in the first freedom struggle of India). His grandfather challenged the British, the grandson challenged the present Trustees of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Togo flouted the authorities by openly discussing with pusillanimous Ashramites the issue of Peter Heehs in the Ashram Dining Room and circulated articles exposing the distortions and misrepresentations in the Lives of Sri Aurobindo. Manoj Das Gupta, Managing Trustee of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the present counterpart of the British Viceroy during his grandfather’s times, deprived him of his food as a punishment. Togo could have apologised and got back his Dining Room facility, but he did not give in. Not only he participated in the two dharnas that were held in protest against the support of the Trustees for Peter Heehs, but he even deposed in the Puducherry Collector’s enquiry on the Ashram Trustees. This enquiry has been temporarily stayed by the High Court of Chennai, but once the stay is lifted, Togo’s signed statement along with thirty other depositions will be of great use to dethrone the present Trustees and bring a new era of peace and justice in Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Thus Togo Mukherji would continue to fight injustice even after his demise. 

We salute to this noble soul for setting an example of indomitable courage and unshakeable faith in Sri Aurobindo and the Mother despite his advanced age and failing health. I remind the readers that the Mother herself spoke in high terms regarding Togo’s role in defending the Ashram property in the 1965 anti-Hindi riots in Pondicherry. She said that Togo had the “makings of a hero”! (Mother’s Agenda 1965, Vol. 6, pp. 30-32)


Other references to Togo Mukherji:


Togo Mukherji during the Dharna






Togo during an Outing

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