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Well-wishers’ Press Statement

January 7, 2015

There is a large number of devotees of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as well as other people all over the world who sincerely wish the Sri Aurobindo Ashram well. These people make up the large, silent majority of well-wishers of Sri Aurobindo Ashram who do not wish to see any harm come to the Ashram. The group of Well-wishers of Sri Aurobindo Ashram based in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, has once again come forth to issue a much appreciated press statement in response to the recent spate of motivated attacks against the Ashram.  We reproduce the press statement here. The original statement in Tamil follows its english translation.

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STATEMENT BY WELL WISHERS OF SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM

The Well-Wishers of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, consisting of long-standing devotees in Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, India and abroad, would like to offer its sincere condolences for the two departed ex-inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and their mother. At the same time, the Well-Wishers condemn the mindless attacks by miscreants on the Ashram over the past weeks. Certain vested interest groups, who were earlier hurling baseless allegations against the Ashram without a shred of evidence, are still resorting to spreading deliberate misinformation and mislead the public at large. These vested interest groups are using the incident of the sisters to achieve their hidden agenda of destabilizing the Ashram and creating disturbance in Puducherry.

In order to clear the air, we would like to reiterate the following:

  1. One of the five Prasad sisters was expelled from the Ashram in 2002 on account of gross misconduct. In order to confuse the issue, all the five sisters falsely alleged that they were facing sexual harassment in the Ashram.
  2. Several independent enquiries, including enquiries by the National Commission for Women and the Human Rights Commission found the allegations of sexual harassment by the five sisters to be false and motivated. Based on these findings, the Ashram expelled the other four sisters.
  3. The sisters filed various criminal cases against the Ashram and its inmates. All these allegations were found to be false by the Courts in Puducherry. It may be noted that on many occasions the Ashram offered a separate house exclusively for the use of the sisters. However, they refused to leave the housing complex, even though they alleged they were facing harassment there.
  4. The five sisters then started litigating against the Ashram. This despite their claim that they were helpless and didn’t have the means to fight legal cases. In 2008, the High Court of Madras ordered the five sisters to vacate the Ashram premises and ordered the Ashram to pay Rs. 29,000/- per month to the sisters for their maintenance. Even though the parents of the five sisters had their own apartment nearby Ashram in Puducherry, and even though some of the sisters were working outside the Ashram, the Ashram agreed to pay this amount readily. However, the sisters refused to receive this money and continued to stay in the Ashram defying the order of the High Court.
  5. The five sisters then filed an appeal before the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court of India confirmed the judgements of the courts below and ordered the sisters to leave the Ashram within 3 months, by 31.07.2014. When the sisters defied the Order once again, the Supreme Court of India on 09.12.2014 ordered the 5 sisters to leave by 16.12.2014, or else face police eviction.
  6. It is clear from the above that the five sisters were creating trouble within the Ashram and were causing great discomfort to other inmates due to which all enquires and courts found them guilty. Therefore, the attempt to portray the sisters as the victims and the Ashram as an aggressor is a deliberate endeavour to distort facts. The five sisters have used every possible means to tarnish the Ashram and in that sense it is the Ashram which is the victim. Today the Ashram continues to be the victim of deliberate misinformation, distortion of facts and physical attacks perpetrated by vested interest groups.
  7. The Well Wishers of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, consisting of devotees of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother from all over India and the world, extends its full support to the management of the Ashram in these difficult times. We condemn and disapprove any attempt by the vested interest groups to promote anybody who is guilty of disobeying the Supreme Court order.  It is defiance and holding to ransom the Supreme Court itself and it amounts to an illegal and anti-national activity. The Ashram is fully capable of solving its internal problems within the ambits of the rules of the Ashram, the laws of the land and the spiritual guidance of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
  8. Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry has made Pondicherry a “Peaceful Pondicherry” with its spiritual ambience. Pondicherry has become a well-known tourist destination in the world because of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and it has generated a lot of local employment. We appeal to the peace-loving people of Pondicherry to maintain calm and request them to know the real facts and extend their support to this world renowned spiritual institution.

Signed

Asok Adhithyan, Advocate, High Court

For WELL-WISHERS OF SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM,

 

Dinamalar

Dinamalar E-paper dated 07 01 2015-1 Dinamalar E-paper dated 07 01 2015-2

Source: Dinamalar ePaper (http://epaper.dinamalar.com/) page 31. Printed edition, Page 7.

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