22 Mar 2013

Trustees Provoke Attack on the Ashram

For the last few days all schools and businesses in Pondicherry have been closed on account of the State-wide bandh called by political parties in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. Pranab-da, in his capacity as head of the Department of Physical Education, used to ensure that in such situations the security of the Ashram was foremost and its Inmates and its school students protected. Now that he is no more, and the present corrupt Trustees are in full charge, the priorities have changed.

Recovering from a double hernia operation, Manoj Das Gupta (Managing Trustee) announced from the comfort of the Nursing Home that the Bandh did not concern the Ashram and the school and other non-commercial activities would go on normally. While the entire territory of Pondicherry remained shut down for the last two days, the Ashram school and other departments continued to function without concern. The Police security around Government buildings was tight, but entirely absent around the Ashram premises.

This dangerous decision of the Trustees invited a vicious attack yesterday on the Ashram main building. A group of political activists barged into the Ashram at about 12.10 pm, broke flower pots, furniture, windows and went up to the notice board shouting slogans and breaking things. Fortunately they stopped short of the Samadhi.

The police were called and eventually the miscreants were taken away. Only after this incident, Manoj Das Gupta awoke and announced through his deputy Trustee Dilip Datta that the school and departments of the Ashram would remain closed “until further notice”. Too little, too late!

The damage done to the Ashram main building is extensive, serious, but repairable. But the damage to the Ashram community and its security is irrecoverable. The entire community is in shock. This is the first time in 50 years that the Ashram main building has been physically attacked, and the first time in the history of the Ashram that miscreants have entered the main building of the Ashram and caused damage.

When the Trustees openly promote abuse of Sri Aurobindo in his own Ashram, is it any surprise that hostile elements outside join in and add to the abuse? By attacking the spiritual foundations of the Ashram, the Trustees have also weakened the physical security of the entire Ashram.

The situation is grave and needs all our best efforts to stand in defence of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and their Ashram.

A detailed report of the incident from The Hindu is attached below.

The Hindu
 Puducherry, March 22, 2013 

Periyar DK workers attack Sri Aurobindo Ashram

The Aurobindo Ashram, which attracts many followers from various countries, bore the brunt of an attack by a group of miscreants here on Thursday.

Police said a group of around 50 persons owing allegiance to Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam and other like-minded organisations barged into the ashram all of a sudden around noon raising slogans against the Central Government.

They pushed down and hit the ashram watchman, M. Kannan, when he tried to stop them from forcefully entering the ashram which was established by Sri Aurobindo in 1926 and is revered by his followers. They vandalised flower pots, emblem, notice board and other objects inside the ashram.

As most of the inmates and administrators were inside, the attackers spared them. On information, the police rushed to the ashram and managed to prevent further damage by pleading with the protesters not to disrupt peace in the ashram.

The exact reasons for the attack are not known but preliminary investigation has revealed that the protesters chose to attack the ashram established by Sri Aurobindo of West Bengal as they thought that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was also opposing the resolution against Sri Lanka in Parliament.

According to the police, the miscreants could be part of the same group which attacked Union Minister V. Narayanasamy’s camp office here on Wednesday.

Inspector-General of Police (Union Territory of Puducherry) R.S. Krishnia told The Hindu that the miscreants involved in the incident had already been identified and some of them were detained for questioning their motive and role in the attack. A case will be registered based on a complaint. Action will be taken against them as per the law.

Security has been beefed up in the city following a spate of protests by students and Tamil forums. Policemen have been given specific instructions to be on the streets round-the-clock to prevent untoward incidents.


1 comment:

  1. sampdas has left a comment on your post:

    The Media has reported that on 21 march 2013, a group of local activists protested against remarks of a politico on the Sri Lankan tamils issue, and entered the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry and damaged the flower pots, some property and the Symbols at the entrance to the Ashram.One feels sad for this unfortunate occurence.

    In this context, one cannot but recall that "Togo" -TOGO MUKERJI had in 1965, warded off an attack on the Ashram in the wake of the then raging Anti-Hindi agitation and the mob did not and could not enter the Ashram.

    But then, the very same "Togo" being denied even the basics of dining room access by the present Ashram management in the recent past,( more so during his last days)- is perhaps reason enough that there are not any more "Togos" to prevent the agitators actually entering the Ashram premises and damaging valubles.

    My sympathies are also with the present agitators, and One could say- O Lord, pardon them, for, they know not-- that what they as outsiders attempted to do, is already possibly being done by insiders-people who control the affairs of the Ashram-- by acting contrary to the Ideals of the Masters, vested private interest in property, by harsh treatment to sincere disciples, by tampering and disfiguring the writings of Sri Aurobindo and by siding with author whose sole motive appears to be to denigrate The Mother and Sri Aurobindo by presenting Sri Aurobindo and The Mother in as bad a light as their imagination permits.

    On a deeper level, we need also to introspect whether we are not ourselves inviting the blows,since the outer attack is only a reflection and manifestation of the symptoms of illwill, egos and other evils inside the Ashram community, which invite such shocks!

    For the ashram commune,it is never too late to cry a halt to the evils manifesting from inside and instead to turn to The Mother! Better late than never, for let us not forget that the Hour of God is often terrible!