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When the politics of division is taken to its extremes

June 29, 2013

Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade, R.Y. Deshpande and their associates have taken their politics of division to every possible extreme. At first they sought to divide the Ashram over the issue of Peter Heehs’ book “The Lives of Sri Aurobindo.” Having failed, they attempted to divide the larger Aurobindonian collective over the issue of those who are for or against the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust. Having failed this too, they filed a scheme suit which it turns out is an attempt to divide Sri Aurobindo from his very own ashram!

The “General Editor” of Raman Reddy’s, Sraddhalu Ranade’s, R.Y. Deshpande’s CHOLA-TLOSA website has put forth the following question to the devotees of Sri Aurobindo on behalf of these anti-Ashram elements:

“If you have to make a choice, what would you choose to stand for, Sri Aurobindo or Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust (as represented now by the administration of the present Trustees)?

At first glance this question appears to be fair, reasonable and harmless. The vast majority of devotees would stand for Sri Aurobindo rather than for an institution. But the issue is, does this question really represent the choices that these anti-Ashram elements have actually made? Is this the real choice that they are urging other devotees to make? Or is there something else that is concealed and insidious in such a question that is meant to surreptitiously plant an unstated, divisive intention in the minds of devotees to get them to revolt against the Ashram?

The truth is that Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade, R.Y. Deshpande and their associates are not merely and innocuously “standing for” Sri Aurobindo. Instead, their real intent and determined action is to attack the very Ashram that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have created for their disciples – their children, as the Mother would call them.

The question that these anti-Ashram elements should therefore be asking instead is “If you have to make a choice, what would you choose, to attack the Ashram of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother or not to attack it at all?”

This is the real and only question that these anti-Ashram elements are entitled to ask, because their attack on the Ashram is the only, verifiable reality that exists and is the only issue at hand.

Because when these anti-Ashram elements claim that they are “standing for” Sri Aurobindo, are they really doing so? Is it really possible to stand for Sri Aurobindo and attack his Ashram at the same time? Can one separate Sri Aurobindo from his Ashram and vice versa, given that the Ashram houses and enshrines Sri Aurobindo’s human form, is the only legitimate repository of his written work and the only physical framework provided by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother to make it possible for their disciples to voluntarily follow their yoga in the most suitable environment?

Is it therefore really possible to “stand for” Sri Aurobindo and yet, at the same time attack and try to destroy his Ashram in the most malicious, petty and vindictive manner? We, who are also are devotees of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, certainly do not think so.

With their legal and anti-Ashram actions Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade, R.Y. Deshpande and their associates are trying to drive a wedge between Sri Aurobindo and his Ashram, pushing their politics of division to one of its sordid extremes. By attacking the Ashram of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, their are simultaneously striking both, the institution as well as its founders. They just cannot claim that by attacking the Ashram they are at the same time “standing for” Sri Aurobindo.

Even if the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust (as represented now by the administration of the present Trustees) was as rotten as is alleged by these anti-Ashram elements, there is absolutely no way that launching hostile attacks towards the Ashram and playing the politics of division could have ever “stood for” Sri Aurobindo and all that he represent to the World. There certainly are other non-destructive, constructive and harmonious means to get the Ashram rid of any of its ills.

Former students of the Sri Aurobindo International Center of Education (S.A.I.C.E.) have questioned Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade and their associates on whether there is any rationale in their argument that someone can “stand for” Sri Aurobindo while attacking his own Ashram. Sridharan, one of their mouthpieces, quotes a former student on their CHOLA-TLOSA website. But being unable to answer the former student’s simple question “that if Sri Aurobindo is to be separated from his Ashram and kept hostage by SR & Co while the S.A.A. Trust is handed over by them to the Government and politicians, then what happens to the Samadhi???” Sridharan is only capable of playing one of his remaining cards of extreme, divisive politics.

In response to the former student’s question, Sridharan who evidently speaks on behalf of Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade, R.Y. Deshpande and their associates, introduces for the first time in the Ashram’s and the Aurobindonian collective’s history the notion of the “Tamil devotee.” The politics of division as practiced by these anti-Ashram elements is now being pushed to another extreme where Sri Aurobindo’s devotees are now being fragmented and broken up according to regional or racial lines!

How long more do the devotees of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and well-wishers of their Ashram have to wait for Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade, R.Y. Deshpande and their associates to realize the complete folly of their petty, politics of division?
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– Well-wishers of Sri Aurobindo Ashram –

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One Comment
  1. An "enemy" of the Truth permalink

    “The defenders of the truth are often worse than the enemies of the truth.” — The Mother’s Agenda, March 22, 1967

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