26 Dec 2014

Raj TV programme in Tamil on Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust on 23 December, 2014


Summary in English of Koppium Raj TV programme on Sri Aurobindo Ashram on 23 December, 2014:
  ...full text...

25 Dec 2014

Political parties’ stage demonstration in Puducherry

PUDUCHERRY, December 25, 2014

Left parties and VCK stage a joint stir in front of the Head Post Office in Puducherry on Wednesday. Photo: T. Singaravelou

Protestors want Union government to pass legislation and take over administration of Ashram.
  ...full text...

24 Dec 2014

Ashram Showroom, Guest House come under Attack

The New Indian Express
Chennai, Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Oriya Nilayam Guest House

No one was injured in the attacks on Splendour Auroservice and Oriya Nilayam
  ...full text...

23 Dec 2014

Tribute to the departed mother and two sisters

Tribute to mother Shanthi Devi and sisters Arunashri and Rajyashri for fighting against the misdeeds of the Ashram Trust (at the Gandhi Statue on the Beach Road, Pondicherry, on 22 December, 2014)
  ...full text...

22 Dec 2014

BJP, Congress Seek Probe into Ashram Affairs

The New Indian Express Service
Published: 22nd December 2014 06:02 AM

PUDUCHERRY: The local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has sought a judicial probe into the allegations of sexual harassment and other irregularities in Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

BJP President M Visweswaran said violence and damage to property of Sri Aurobindo Ashram was not the reply to the charges levelled against  Ashram management by the sisters who were evicted. It is the duty of the Ashram, which is of international repute, to safeguard itself against irregularities.
  ...full text...

21 Dec 2014

Photographs of the Bandh on 20 December, 2014

Youth Congress Protesting in front of the Pondicherry Assembly

Pondicherry Railway Station

Pondicherry Bus Stand

Market Area
  ...full text...

Bandh affects normal life in Puducherry

The Hindu

PUDUCHERRY, December 20, 2014
Updated: December 20, 2014 13:35 IST

Normal life was affected in the city on Saturday due to the dawn-to-dusk bandh called by various outfits and political parties demanding that the Union and Puducherry governments take over the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in the wake of two evicted sisters and their mother killing themselves.

The normally bustling Puducherry bus stand wore a deserted look as all private and government buses kept off the roads.
  ...full text...

20 Dec 2014

Left Parties to launch separate agitation

The Hindu 20 December, 2014

Special Correspondent

Left parties on Friday announced that they would observe bandh separately on Saturday here demanding that the government bring a special enactment for keeping Aurobindo Ashram Trust and its Society under control.

Leaders of Communist Party of India (CPI), the Communist Party of India (Marxist), CPI(Marxist-Leninist) Revolutionary Socialist Party, and All India Forward Bloc discussed various issues including the death of three women who were expelled from Ashram.
  ...full text...

Congress to extend support to today’s bandh

The Hindu

20 December, 2014
R. Sivaraman

The main opposition Congress party on Friday extended its support to the bandh call given by political outfits and social organisations. They have called for the dawn-to-dusk bandh on December 20 demanding that the Union and Puducherry governments take over Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

Talking to reporters, Leader of Opposition and senior Congress Leader V.Vaithilingam said his party would extend full support to the bandh.

He said, “The death of three women has shocked the people. Even illegal encroachers would be evicted only after providing alternative accommodation to them. The sisters were evicted without providing any alternative accommodation.”
  ...full text...

Agitation still rocks Puducherry on Ashram issue

The Hindu   20 December, 2014

Residents of Vazhaikulam protesting before Ambabhikshu Apartments
Photo: T. Singaravelou

Trustees held responsible for death of 3 women
  ...full text...

19 Dec 2014

Bandh tomorrow for govt. takeover of ashram

The Hindu
December 19, 2014

Puducherry sisters’ death

A host of outfits and civil society organisations have called for a dawn-to-dusk bandh on December 20 demanding that the Union and Puducherry governments should intervene and take over Sri Aurobindo Ashram. A decision to this effect was taken at a joint meeting here on Thursday.

G. Sugumaran, secretary, Federation for Peoples Rights (FPR), said the Central government should intervene and appoint a senior IAS official to look after the administration of the Ashram.
  ...full text...

Aurobindo Ashram Turns Inhuman, Evicts Family from Earth

MF Monitor
December 18, 2014

Established in Pondicherry by Sri Aurobindo on 24 November 1926, the Aurobindo Ashram turned into a villain to a family of seven in less than a century.

A 2002 case involving the Ashram and the five sisters in a long-drawn legal battle ended on Dec. 9 with a Supreme Court direction to get the sisters thrown out within 7 days from the Ambabhikshu House.

The five hapless sisters had submitted a joint letter to the Trustees of Sri Aurobindo Ashram on December 15 that they would end their lives if forced to leave.
  ...full text...

18 Dec 2014

Tension prevails in Pondy

The Times of India

Tension prevails in Pondy after three of a family commit suicide; protesters attack Aurobindo Ashram

Bosco Dominique,TNN | Dec 18, 2014, 03.39 PM IST

  ...full text...

Sisters evicted from Aurobindo Ashram: Three including mother commit suicide

ABP Live


Thursday, 18 December 2014 02:47 PM

Puducherry:  An entire family - five sisters and their parents - jumped into the sea here this morning, a day after they were evicted from the famous Aurobindo Ashram.

Two of the young women and their mother have died, the police said, while the father and three other daughters were rescued by fishermen and have been hospitalized.

The family is from Bihar. The five sisters had been staying in the residential part of the Aurobindo Ashram for several years; their parents lived near-by.

The trust that runs the ashram had 10 years ago accused one of the sisters of misconduct.  Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the trust and said the sisters should vacate their rooms within a week; if they refused, the court said, the police should evict them.

Yesterday, they warned to kill themselves if they were moved out, but later were escorted out by the police after extensive talks.

  ...full text...

15 Dec 2014

Quo Vadis? by Sampdas – Response to Ritwik Banerjee

Apropos “An Earnest Appeal” by Shri Ritwik Banerjee, let it be noted that there are disciples and devotees of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother – both within the Pondicherry outfit and outside – who are very much perturbed by the manner in which the Masters are denigrated by a handful of influential persons, possibly encouraged and egged on to such vicious efforts by those who are close to the Trustees of the Ashram. On the other hand, the silent majority are perhaps hapless witnesses to it – counting their day to day rations – since they have no other go if they are thrown out of the Ashram. The junta that rules now has the leverage to muzzle dissent into submission by denying food and medical facilities to those who owe allegiance to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, and who dare to protest against atrocities not only against human beings but against the Divine as well. The protestors on the other hand appear to have been carrying on their crusade as a sacred duty to ensure that the Masters are not denigrated in the very Ashram which bears the name of the Pioneers of the New Age.

There are many like me who share the concern for the need to cure this festering wound in time so that it does not become a gangrene threatening the very fundamentals of the spiritual endeavour of sincere disciples and devotees.
  ...full text...

12 Dec 2014

An Earnest Appeal – by Ritwik Banerjee

Dear Sir & Madam,

I don't know who or who has not has read the last mail/forwards on the subject. Even a single response on any point can ensure some peace of mind to its sender. Kindly let all Aurobindonians know your response thereby on the following counts:

1) Are The Golden Chain Fraternity & its work maintained by Ashram in any manner?

2) What are its goal & agenda?

3) Do you agree with a biography of the Master published in 2008 by the Columbia University Press? Was it warranted?

4) Don't you think its author has spent four decades in the Ashram with you in some way betraying the Ashram?
  ...full text...

6 Dec 2014

On Manoj Das’s Clarification with Regard to the Seashore Chit Fund Scam – by an Inmate of the Ashram

We, the devotees of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo in Odisha, read on 28.10.2014 in the Odiya dailies about Shri Manoj Das’s clarification “Kinchit hatachakita jane lekhakara prashna o pratibedana” [a befuddled writer’s question and submission] regarding his involvement with the scam-tainted Seashore Chit Fund. Since we feel sorry for such a famous writer like him getting involved in such dubious money matters, and as we found some discrepancies in the submission of his position to the dailies, we request him to provide further clarifications. Besides, since we are associated with Sri Aurobindo Ashram for a long time, the magical word craft of Shri Manoj Das cannot sway us enough to lose sight of the reality staring at us.

Here are the following discrepancies: -
  ...full text...

1 Dec 2014

More Facts on the Domestic Bills of Ashram Aristocrats — by An Irrational Ashramite

Fact 1: The Trust provided a measly allowance for engaging domestic workers only to Ashramites permitted by the Mother or by any Managing Trustee. Not to each inmate as Bireshwar unwittingly put it (see this post); e.g. among those deserving it but who were denied, is a 60+ year old whose arthritic hands don’t let him to wash his clothes.

The term ‘inmate’ craftily legitimised by the present Trust Board is another can of worms – it covers the full, half, quarter, and occasional ‘inmate’!

Fact 2: First, the Trust blamed its sudden “dire need of funds” on the Government for forcing it to decriminalize its allowance partly built on the pretext: “Most domestics are fat and irregular, hence well-off”. Sly as ever, it sweet-talked the unworldly inmates to “voluntarily reduce” their allowances, then capriciously hacked it – “often despite the inmate’s old age infirmities” as Bireshwar says.
  ...full text...

27 Nov 2014

Review of “An Atrocious Biography” – Aron Aronite

From the grammatically inaccurate term ‘Lives’ gets unleashed this narrative style of insinuations about Sri Aurobindo – as if the Mystic led double lives, one imagined for him by himself which his followers and the world began believing as well, while the other ‘human aspect’ to be exclusively discovered through this self-appointed and ambidextrous style of writing pseudo history. Deshpande shows how each left handed compliment accompanies a dismissive, negativist, suggestive insinuation about Sri Aurobindo.

In fact only when we read R.Y. Deshpande’s Atrocious Biography, it gets clear how academia and intellectuals get honey trapped by this irreverence towards a Spiritual Stalwart, forgetting the fact that the gems they hurry to attest as scintillating insights are from someone who has no academic grounding, no formal education in history writing and doesn’t even have a post graduation, least of all a PhD in historiography or any mentionable qualifications in any other discipline. If we are to go by R.Y. Deshpande, we are hearing the "brilliant" (!) take of an American ‘taxi cab driver and a high school dropout’ on one of twentieth century’s most profound Mystic, and a Cambridge alumni who was proposed the Noble prize for Literature. 
  ...full text...

20 Nov 2014

The Domestic Bills of the Ashram Aristocrats – by Bireshwar Choudhury

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust pays each inmate of the Ashram a monthly allowance for engaging domestic workers to help them in their daily chores. Recently the minimum wages of domestic workers has been hiked up by the Government to around Rs 150 rupees a day, which comes to around Rs 4500 a month. As the Ashram Trust could not afford to pay the higher wages, it drastically reduced the number of hours of domestic help for the inmates. For example, those inmates who had been sanctioned eight hours of domestic help have now been re-sanctioned only four hours to match their existing allowance. Those who had only four hours have now got only two hours despite, in a few cases, their old age infirmities. But what is really shocking is that the allowances of Jhumur Bhattacharya and Gauri Pinto, two elderly highfalutin ladies of the Ashram, have not been touched at all! Why? Because they enjoy the favour of the present administration and were once upon a time in the early days of the Ashram School “very close to the Mother”, which now seems to be the standard excuse for being thoroughly spoilt.

Guess how much they receive as allowance for their domestic helpers – more than Rs 20.000/ each!
  ...full text...

14 Nov 2014

Forgotten Values and Upholding the Ideal – by the Speaking Tree

These days some of the inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, seem to be living in a fool’s paradise. They think of themselves as sadhaks and sadhikas of Integral Yoga without even knowing what it means. They are buried under the weight of their own ego without letting any opening for the entry of Light. They boast with great pride that our Ashram is a laboratory, the cradle of the new race and think that one fine morning we will get transformed without any personal effort. Yes, no doubt, the Divine Mother with Her infinite compassion has given us a golden chance to participate in this great advent and be in the Ashram in the “Hour of God”. But have we ever introspected to find out whether we are using or misusing this unprecedented privilege?
  ...full text...

9 Nov 2014

Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya on Peter Heehs

Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya: I don’t trust this Peter you know, if he goes out of the archives, then I will be happy. Then I know all our boys will do good work.

He did not give much importance to Sri Aurobindo [in his history of the Freedom Movement in India]. Only twice or thrice he mentioned his name, and the way he is changing the writings of Sri Aurobindo, even the line that could not be read, he has put. I saw afterwards, the line that was not possible to read in Sri Aurobindo’s handwriting, he put his own line. Have you seen that? noticed? It is there that I protested and I don’t trust this man. You have asked a question as to whether I have antipathy towards the foreigners. It is not so. I have many foreign friends. But I want to meet them on the same footing. I don’t want to show my superiority nor would I allow them to show their superiority. If they are arrogant and if they want to show their superiority, I will act. That’s what I have done.
  ...full text...

2 Nov 2014

Strange are the Ways of the Divine! – by Sampdas

Apropos the news about Shri Manoj Das and the Seashore Chit Fund scam reported in this site on the 28th and 29th of October 2014, I felt that by Divine Providence the Orissa Seashore Chit Bounty got channelled back to the flood victims near the Seashore in Orissa. Prompted by my inner voice, I went through the self assessment given by Shri Manoj Das in his reply dated 17 September 2014 to the column titled The Enemy Within in the journal Organiser (dt 21 Sep 2014).

What he wrote angrily there perhaps can be utilised with minor modifications to reflect on the current theme about Sri Manoj Das (MD in short).

While Shri MD in his rejoinder to the Organiser has claimed to be living in Sri Aurobindo Ashram for a little over fifty years, the tail piece in the site wellwishersofsriaurobindoashram which republished the same rejoinder, mentions that he has been an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry since 1973. It is not clear how 1973 to 2014 adds up to 50 years! But possibly Sri Aurobindo’s line in Savitri,  “Which less than zero grew and more than one” has been used in the computation.
  ...full text...

29 Oct 2014

Why did Manoj Das keep mum in June 2013 with regard to the Seashore Chit Fund scam?

[It is not that Manoj Das did not know earlier about the chit fund scam of the Seashore group, the literary wing of which he was the adviser and for which he received one lakh rupees a month. Now he throws up his hands imploring the Heavens for justice and donates all that he has received to the Odisha Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, but what did he do when the Seashore group was publicly exposed as early as June 2013, one and a half year ago? Why did he keep mum at that time? And why did he continue to receive his honorarium? And why does he now create such a big scene as if he never knew anything about it? The following post, written by Subhas Chandra Pattanayak on 17 June, 2013, shows the nexus between writers like Manoj Das and corrupt business tycoons, who use the services of the former to establish their own credentials in the general public in order to draw unsuspecting investors to their fraudulent companies. – Bireshwar]

Posted on June 17, 2013 by Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Eminent journalist Prasanta Patnaik has, in his column in Sanchar, exposed such a thread in the matter of economic offenses committed by Prasant Das and his Seashore group of companies that every Oriya who prides in his/her language, writers and scribes, feels ashamed.
  ...full text...

28 Oct 2014

Manoj Das and the Seashore Chit Fund Scam

[Manoj Das is in the news again for the wrong reasons. This time it is for his association with the scam tainted chit fund company run by the Seashore group in Odisha. As usual he has pretended ignorance and donated the money that he received from the Seashore group (10 lakhs) to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. But is not that simply an eyewash to exonerate himself? Who will not “offer” or “donate” the money when the law finally catches up on him? We reproduce below some of the news items that have been posted on the web. – Bireshwar] 

  ...full text...