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Anti-Ashram campaigns… from the courts to the gutters

July 16, 2013

Some time around the 13th and 14th July 2013, some desperate, anonymous people, calling themselves ‘Ashramites’ have got made and put out posters that carry some of the wildest, unsubstantiated allegations against the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust.

Photo of poster showing portraits of trustees and administrators:

Anti-Ashram poster

It should be noted that these ‘Hero Warriors’ – as they like calling themselves – who got these posters made not only remained anonymous but also ensured that the printer’s name is not indicated anywhere on the poster – something that is required by law for any poster that is to be displayed publicly.

Is it just a mere coincidence that Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade, R.Y. Deshpande and their colleagues who call them ‘Ashramites’ have been making the same charges against the Ashram Trust?

Is it also a mere coincidence that Ashok Anand, a politician and MLA with whom Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade & Co. have been rubbing shoulders and who has also been serving the interest of these anti-Ashram elements adressed the media on the same day, highlighting the same points?

Photos of Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade & Co. with Ashok Anand, politician & MLA, at the Collectors office in August last year:

Ashok Anand filing complaint to Collector

Ashok Anand with some anti-Ashram ashramites

Ashok Anand with some anti-Ashram ashramites-2

The posters have been placed in several parts of the town, including at the following places: near Chief Secretariat, Ashram Sports-ground, General Hospital, Post Office, Gingee Salai .

Anti-Ashram posters1

Anti-Ashram posters2

The posters are written in the Tamil language. A translation is provided here:

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

1) Icon of Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram has now become the shelter for terrorism and scandal by the Trustees.

2) The properties of the Ashram are robbed and they misuse the funds.

3) Sexual torture on women is openly encouraged.

4) Ashram school teachers sexually torture the girl students.

5) Valuable places/properties of the Ashram are being registered and made their own by the trustees  and their relatives and close aids.

6) Ashramites are not getting proper food, medical care. Human rights overlooked and not observed.

7) People of Pondicherry and the government of Pondicherry should not remain mere spectators.

8) So the government of Pondicherry should intervene to save and take care of the Ashramites and its properties from the indisciplined trustees.

– Ashramites, Sri Aurobindo Ashram

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade, R.Y. Deshpande and their colleagues are running out of ideas to attack the Ashram Trust. A few years ago they began their assault in the courts. They have now reached the gutters. How long more do we have to wait for them to reach their final destination, the cesspool of their egos, conceit and ignorance?

=================================================================================

– Well-wishers of Sri Aurobindo Ashram – 

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10 Comments
  1. Sandeep permalink

    Just when the controversy around Peter’s book ‘The Lives…’ was beginning to wane and the tides were turning against Sradhalu and his cohorts, the great Vijay Poddar of the Puducherry based Sri Aurobindo Society office thought it necessary to issue a ‘fatwa’ against the book by publishing announcements against the book on the SAS website and magazine, to rouse the sleeping rabble.

    Since then, right on cue Sradhalu has toured some of the SAS ‘study’ centers (more appropriately described as sleeper cells of fundamentalism) in the country, delivering his affirmative lies meant to tarnish the image of the ashram, individual trustees and certain ashramites. During these tours Sradhalu got carried away and it is presumed that he inadvertently also insulted the high and mighty officers of the SAS like Pradip Narang, describing him as someone who has been corrupted by the ashram trustees.

    For Vijay Poddar these minor slips are the price one has to pay to achieve the larger objective of destabilizing the Sri Aurobindo Ashram to then, some day, be able to take it over.

    Sradhalu and his cohorts have now tried to paint the town red with their shamefully distasteful posters designed to hit straight below the belt.

    It is not surprising then that Vijay Poddar is choosing to look the other way while his henchmen do the dirty business.

  2. Sudir permalink

    Sraddhalu & Co and the MLA that for some mysterious reason has a great sympathy for Sraddhalu’s cause would like the SA Ashram to come under the purview of the Right To Information (RTI). If there is a good reason to seek information on the running of private trusts such as the SA Ashram Trust or Sraddhalu’s Dipti Trust, there are then many better reasons to seek information on the running of a society such as the Sri Aurobindo Society. As soon as the SA Society will come under the purview of RTI, we will be able to file an RTI seeking a copy of the correspondence and also the phone records of Vijay Poddar during the years 2008 to the present. Long live transparency!

  3. Selva permalink

    The RTI might also be a good solution for PASIC as run by MLA Ashok Kumar. Why was the share capital going down to such an extend that 500 employees had to wait over 9 months for their salaries? See here http://www.pasicpondy.com/topmanage.html and here
    http://newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/article385676.ece

  4. please get everything clear to the ashramites.

  5. Sandeep permalink

    Vijay Poddar had suggested to the trustees that to test if Peter’s book was good or bad, they could read out some of the passages in his presence in front of a photo of the Mother.

    We request Vijay Poddar to take a copy of the posters that Sraddhalu and his cohorts have pasted all over town to the same photo of the Mother and ask her if he has done well to provide moral support and encouragement to these unethical, lewd characters.

  6. daksha permalink

    Regarding RTI feel it is very much possible to invoke it in case of ashram. Since RTI came into being, I always felt this can create a problem, now and in the future.
    Firstly the facts about the actual legal status of ashram and society and what the law says are not known to majority. Has anyone studied this aspect. Doubt it.
    Ashram is not a private trust, this no one understands. It is being run very privately due to govt. benevolence and overlooking certain aspects. Once you claim certain mission and tax status, you have to go public and for public good. So the public has every right to know the facts and figures. This is what law says. Most are not aware of it. ( dipti trust has more of a private status than ashram, as per tax laws, try and get the facts)
    I am not a law expert , but have studied this aspect for a long time quite in depth.
    Best is to go fully private, so RTI, govt. takeover etc. problems are over forever.
    But going private means lots of short term pain for ashram, inmates, donors, devotees. Doubt anyone wants to do it. The admn. and finance part and some working has to be readjusted at ashram. With the domination of art, culture, intellectual and sports, brigade at ashram, going private and self sufficient will never get through.
    Comfort levels with status quo is too high.
    Now with this crisis people will talk about RTI and how to avert it etc. till it blows over, then everyone will forget it, till another crisis comes. It will be jumping from one scandal and crisis to another.
    The solution is difficult and cannot be solved overnight.
    Do not know how many read the posts on this site, want to know if anyone has full facts on RTI etc. Takes lots of time to understand the law.
    One of the main drivers of RTI act is Aruna Roy. Am not sure if she studied at saice for sometime.

    Daksha

    • >> Regarding RTI [I] feel it is very much possible to invoke it in case of ashram.

      THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005

      No. 22 of 2005

      [15th June, 2005]

      An Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

      CHAPTER I

      Preliminary

      (h) “public authority” means any authority or body or institution of self- government established or constituted—
      (a) by or under the Constitution;
      (b) by any other law made by Parliament;
      (c) by any other law made by State Legislature;
      (d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any—
      (i) body owned, controlled or substantially financed;
      (ii) non-Government organization substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government;

      http://rti.gov.in/webactrti.htm

  7. daksha permalink

    Good this was immediately put up for my viewing. Went to the site, preliminary reading does not indicate anything about public trusts. But definitions can always be stretched and mischief makers can land up at door steps of public trusts too, sooner than later. Tax exemption beyond 100% can be construed as govt. funding as govt. is foregoing revenue for public good, do not know, anything can be possible, one has to be cautious. People have invoked it for getting some semi organisations and individuals tax returns and lots more, most of which is not stated in the act. Lawyers can always find a loophole.Also Roy and others are talking about including lots more in RTI. Future if such clauses are added what does one do.
    Like for trusts itself the law are becoming more difficult. So now anonymous donations can be accepted only by paying taxes on them. So you have people handing over envelopes near the samadhi to donors. To avoid paying taxes by SAAT. Donor wants to follow the age old tradition of being anonymous and does not want any tax exemption receipt, but donee does not want him to do so. Strange situation. This was done as many trusts were laundering black into white money.
    Similarly RTI tomorrow may land where one does not know.
    Also going private can avoid not only RTI, govt takeover, but many other problems. If SAAT was private will all this drama have been possible. Some of it yes, but most of it no.

    Daksha

  8. nani permalink

    Does any one know who provides daily food smuggled from the dining to PETER HEEHS ?
    None other than another so called ashramite ..err… hypocrite !!!
    Its Madhumita Patnaik the famous Odissi dancer of the Ashram …
    who also imbibes great (?) values to the boys in the boarding of the Ashram school.

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