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“Charges against Aurobindo Ashram false” : 2005 – 2014

June 7, 2014

Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade, R.Y. Dehpande, Bireshwar Choudhury (if he really exists) and their presently shrinking band of anti-Ashram elements have, in the last few years, been taking the lead in making charges against the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and some of its members on their website ‘www.thelivesofsriaurobindo.com’. As it was always glaringly obvious that their website had little to do with critiquing Peter Heehs’ book ‘The Lives of Sri Aurobindo,’ they recently decided to rename the title of their website to “A critique of ‘The Lives of Sri Aurobindo’ by Peter Heehs and its consequences in the Ashram life.” The novel element in the new title lies in the second part “…and its consequences in the Ashram life.

That their hostile website and initiative had little to do with Peter Heehs’ book was evident from the first day that their website was launched. Because from the very beginning, they have been unable to present convincing, cogent arguments or facts that could serve as a critique to Peter Heehs’ work. All that they were capable of doing was to pile a heap of personal, ad hominem attacks, criticism and insults on the author and anyone else who found no reasons to go against him. While they excelled in presenting twisted, exaggerated and ‘zombified‘ opinions that were based on years of prejudice, gossip, rumor-mongering and blatant lies, all they could achieve was bringing disrepute to the sacred Ashram of Sri Aurobindo by launching barrages of false charges against it.

It is evident that what really interested this band of anti-Ashram elements all along were the “consequences in the Ashram life” of their agitation that was borne out of their spite, unfulfilled personal preferences and egocentric agendas. For this they were prepared to trample over anything that came in their path. Because these people could not have it their way, the rest of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the larger collective were being made to pay the price for these “consequences.”

It is not a coincidence therefore that their reprisal is in tune with and sympathetic towards the charges made by the  five Prasad sisters against the Ashram even before the year 2005 and much before Peter Heehs’ penned his book. Because much before Peter Heehs’ book ‘The Lives of Sri Aurobindo’ was written and published in the year 2008, the five Prasad sisters, were already busy making false charges against the Ashram in the year 2005 and even before.

For the five Prasad sisters and those anti-Ashram elements who are keenly interested in actions that have “consequences in the Ashram life” nothing has really changed much since the year 2005 and now. The five Prasad sisters and other anti-Ashram elements have kept on making false charges and allegations against the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and having lost all sense of self-respect and honour it is unlikely that they will be inclined to stop doing so. The Commissions, Courts and concerned authorities will be called upon to keep on pointing out that the five Prasad sisters as well as their anti-Ashram supporters are making false allegations, even serious ones of sexual harassment, as a part of their malicious plans to try to damage the Ashram’s reputation as well as that of its members. From our side too we will do our bit by placing the facts in front of our readers so that they may make informed opinions.

We therefore reproduce here a news article from The Hindu dated January 2005 showing exactly what the five Prasad sisters were up to in 2005 just as they are in 2014.

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Source: http://www.hindu.com/2005/01/19/stories/2005011902791300.htm

 The Hindu:

By Our Staff Correspondent

NEW DELHI, JAN. 18. 2005.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has described as “false” the allegations of sexual harassment made by five women inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. The allegations were made by five sisters against some men in the Ashram.

“There appears to be malicious planning behind the complaints since the allegations could not be substantiated,” the NCW chairperson, Poornima Advani, told reporters here today after receiving the report of the Pondicherry Women’s Commission on the incident. She said she had received numerous mails and letters from women inmates of the Ashram saying they were “hurt” that the Commission had even taken up the case.

This was the first case taken up by the Pondicherry Women’s Commission headed by an advocate, Kamalini, who said that the complainants had filed several cases, including a defamation suit, against the Ashram but most of these had been dismissed by the courts.

Ms. Kamalini said she had sent an elaborate questionnaire to 111 inmates of the Ambabhikshu Building where the complainants as well as the accused resided, and to 101 women from other buildings. The women were asked whether they had faced any harassment. “Not a single respondent complained of any harassment and most of them described the Ashram as heaven on earth,” Ms. Kamalini said.

Ms. Kamalini said that enquiries showed that the Ashram took steps to expel the five women in 2001 due to their behaviour but they had moved the court and since then there have been a number of case by them. They had even lodged a police complaint complaining of sexual harassment before approaching the NCW Chairperson in October. Ms. Kamalini met the complainants but they were unable to substantiate their allegations.

The State Women’s Commission has now recommended to the Ashram to keep the complainants away from the people against whom they had made the allegations and looking into the possibility of segregating the men and women to avoid similar complaints in the future.

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– Well-wishers of Sri Aurobindo Ashram – 

 

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