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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
to reporters, Leader of Opposition and senior Congress Leader V.Vaithilingam
said his party would extend full support to the bandh.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
warned to kill themselves if they were moved out, but later were escorted out
by the police after extensive talks.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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