The spiritual gift of India to the world has already begun. India's spirituality is entering Europe and America in an ever increasing measure. That movement will grow; amid the disasters of the time more and more eyes are turning towards her with hope and there is even an increasing resort not only to her teachings, but to her psychic and spiritual practice. -- Sri Aurobindo (from the message broadcast on the eve of August 15, 1947)

Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dalits are ever ready to demolish the Puranic Hinduism

The actual problem is, the present day educated, urban innocent Hindus don’t know about their own religion. To them Hinduism is a Noble religion. This Noble impression they got because of Swami Vivekananda (SV) and Sri Aurobindo (SA). These 2 saints, very good at heart had actually what they propagated was Upanishad part of Hinduism, which was discarded by Brahmins Long ago. Carefully Notice all the saints who popularized Upanishadic philosophy are Non-Brahmin upper caste like SV. [...]

The principal problem of India is not education; it is the culture of Puranic Hindusim which is responsible for all the problems in India. Now, the question is the Enlightened, Learned, Good, and Secular Brahmins are they ready to demolish the Puranic Hindusim and Glorify the Upanishadic Hindusim? Are they ready to develop a common public psychology, culture and ethics around Upanishads? The future of India depends upon the answer-action to this question. Dalits are the only people in India, who are ever ready to demolish the Puranic Hinduism, are there any Good Brahmins left who want to join their camp? Do you have any answer?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Religion is the bedrock of Netaji’s outlook

Netaji cites the Marxist attitude towards religion as his third reason for the unacceptability of Marxism. Now what is the Marxist attitude towards religion? Religion has been an important component of human history since the primitive ages, and even today religion is inseparable from human life. History has progressed through numerous crises and social revolutions, but religion has emerged from each crisis with new vigour and has influenced society in new ways. As it has been an integral aspect of history, Marxism explains it too from the economic and materialist perspectives. An economic interpretation of religion implies that it is only an expression of economic self-interest: an expression of the class interests of the capitalists. With the emergence of private property, the propertied class discovered religion to protect their property. The direct implication of this interpretation is that religion will disappear with the abolition of private property in the future society. Religion is nothing but a capitalist conspiracy to fool people. Thus, atheism and anti-religious stance are core components of Marxist sociology. 
One might say that religion has been recognised in the Soviet Union, and that abolishing religion is not a routine activity of the State – therefore, being anti-religion and pro-abolition of religion are not essential aspects of Marxism. This argument is erroneous. If a State or an individual temporarily suspends its atheist programme or allows religious activities under certain circumstances, that does not change the fundamental tenets of Marxism. As long as materialism and materialist interpretation of history remain a part of Marxist theory, abolition of religion and atheistic outlook will remain integral to it. In Marxist discourse, religion is as harmful as opium – explanations offered by Engels and Lenin are clear on this. 
Religion, on the other hand, is the bedrock of Netaji’s outlook. Connecting with the all-pervading consciousness through Yoga Sadhana has been the driving force of his work and political struggle. The role of religion in the life of a common Indian is also beyond any doubt. Those who recognise the power of spiritual force and consciousness cannot accept the materialist interpretation of history and atheism. The role of consciousness in Netaji’s philosophy of life is well known. That is why, according to him, even though many people in India may accept many tenets of Marxist economics, they will find its atheism unacceptable. It can be argued that atheism and anti-religious sentiments can develop in India too, under the influence of external factors. But, according to Netaji, any anti-religious sentiment can never grow strong in India even under external influence. There are social and political reasons for anti-religious feelings being so strong in Russia. The Church there has oppressed people through its rigid command and control system, as well as its mechanical functioning. The Church being the institution and instrument for propagating religion, the negative reaction to its misdeeds naturally affected religion as a whole. The State has therefore taken it upon itself to demolish religion, forgetting religion’s beneficial influence. This too, is an extreme measure, and a distortion. India’s social setting was never the same as Russia’s. There has never been an oppressive machinery such as the Church in Europe. Therefore, no anti-religious sentiment has gained ground here due to any external influence. In short, the Marxist theory and outlook toward religion is inapplicable to India

Monday, September 20, 2010

Reticence in theorizing the nature of democracy vis-à-vis one-party rule

The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Opinion | Dial M for modernity - What is right with the CPI(M)? Prabhat Patnaik Front Page > Opinion Thursday , September 16 , 2010 [...] CPI(M) still continues to attract some of the finest young minds of the country? The answer is three-fold, and everything I say about the CPI(M) holds generally for the organized Left as a whole. 
  • First, it is the only modern force in Indian politics; 
  • second, it is the only consistently democratic force in Indian politics; and 
  • third, it is the only consistently anti-imperialist force in Indian politics.

Of the two main non-Left political formations in the country, one appeals to Hindutva, and the other appeals to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Both thrive on the essentially feudal features of our society. The CPI(M), in contrast, does not owe its being to the identity of Prakash Karat’s grandfather, or of Sitaram Yechury’s father-in-law. It represents, in that sense, the only residual link to the modernity of the anti-colonial struggle. The Congress, which retained the leadership of the anti-colonial struggle throughout its decisive phase, was largely a modern force during that struggle and, for a while, even after Independence. The leaders were more or less equal, debate was free, and sycophancy, let alone dynastic politics, conspicuous by its absence. Dynastic politics entered the Congress at a later date.
The Hindutva group, in contrast, never had anything to do with the anti-colonial struggle; its political formation always was, and still remains, a front for an organization that is fundamentally pre-modern in its orientation and appeal. But while modernity was absent from the one and abandoned by the other, it still characterizes the CPI(M) as a political force.
Both the non-Left formations have also, at different times, sought to abrogate the democratic nature of our polity. The Congress imposed upon this country the infamous Emergency, which ended only because of a miscalculation on its part and not because of any change of heart — indeed, to this day, it has not expressed any contrition on this score. And the Hindutva formation toyed for long with the idea of altering the Constitution of the country and even set up a commission to suggest recommendations for doing so, until K.R. Narayanan, then the president, stepped in to end that effort. The CPI(M) was in the forefront of opposition on both these occasions. Although the CPI transgressed on the earlier occasion, for which it was later critical of itself.
The CPI(M)’s systematic defence of the democratic rights of the people has paradoxically been somewhat belied by its own reticence in theorizing the nature of democracy in societies like ours, and by the pervasive association — derived from historical experience but lacking any theoretical justification — of communism with one-party rule. But this defence has been as steadfast as it has been forceful. In contrast, on the issue of secularism, where the party, free of any historical baggage, has been more forthright in theorizing its praxis, its role in defending secularism has been more widely acknowledged.
Critics often point to this or that misdemeanour on the part of the CPI(M) cadre, this or that action on the part of the CPI(M) ‘hoodlums’ to contest the CPI(M)’s commitment to democracy. But even if each of the alleged misdemeanours happens to be true, it would be crass empiricism — or, what comes to the same thing, crass moralism — to deny the CPI(M)’s historical commitment to democracy from a set of individual incidents of the sort that all political formations at the ground level can be accused of.
But even more significant than the two features mentioned above is the CPI(M)’s consistent commitment to anti-imperialism, which indeed constitutes its real differentia specifica. […]
The central question of the last hundred years has been the nature of the modernity brought by imperialism to the periphery. The national movement was fought on this issue. The progressive elements of the national movement, who split off to form the Communist Party, believed that authentic modernity could come only by an alternative route, socialism. While the promise of socialism has been belied for the moment, and many (perhaps including even Amartya Sen) have seen in neo- liberalism the promise of a progressive modernity, the CPI(M) has never given up its perspective on imperialism. It has seen in neo- liberalism the form that imperialism takes in the current epoch, and has continued to hold up a vision of an alternative anti-imperialist modernity. (This, notwithstanding a passing phase of naïve ‘developmentalism’ in West Bengal, for which it has been self-critical.) Anti-imperialism, it believes, is not a ‘fundamentalist’ but a modernist position. And that, in my view, is what is right about the CPI(M). The author is professor, Centre for Economic Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Plight of Bengali Hindus

It is a great opportunity for people to work and stay as volunteers in Auroville and to get to know a very different way of sharing life with others. ...
The reply Sri Aurobindo gave on September 16, 1935 - nearly 75 years ago to the date - was itself portentous, 'That (India's independence) is all settled. ...
Unless this cry for succour and vindication is answered today in a sustained and concerted manner the Bengali Hindu’s retreat, decay and extinction shall perhaps be a process - irreversible, inevitable, inescapable.
Saffron is not just the first colour in our tricolour, it’s the colour of Mother India. Hindu nationalism was always identified with Bharat’s aspirations and her soul. Sri Aurobindo said that Sanatan Dharma, the eternal values denoted by Indian civilisation, is our nationalism.
BJP dyed saffron in Hindutva - D. Raja
We should remember that Swami Vivekananda wore saffron robes, but this did not make him give Hindutva speeches around the world or become a part of the Hindutva bandwagon. It is a fallacy and distortion to suggest that the Hindutva forces represent Hindus. If Hinduism was a way of life, then the Hindutva ideology proposes to be an extremist way of life.
The BJP is far from being representative of Hindu sentiments, leave alone its sole representative. When it makes semantic noises about colours, shades and their relation to culture and valour, it is only seeking to survive politically. — D. Raja, MP and national secretary, CPI

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Anilbaran Roy was well known as a firebrand

Mother India: monthly review of culture: Volume 59 - Sri Aurobindo Ashram - 2006
Anilbaran Roy, who lived in the Ashram Main Building just above the present Reading Room, was well known as a firebrand ... Professor of English and Economics, Anilbaran Roy had joined the Revolutionary movement inspired by Deshbandhu ...
Mother India: monthly review of culture Sri Aurobindo Ashram - 2004
For Anilbaran Roy, there was no period of transition at all. After coming back from Bengal on 10 December 1926, he wrote in his diary, "Sri Aurobindo has retired and Mirra Devi has taken charge of creating a new world. ...
Roy, Anil Baran, The World Crisis (Sri Aurobindo's vision of the future). George Allen and Unwin Ltd., London, 1947.
Anilbaran Roy (3 July 1890 - 3 November 1974), a professor of Philosophy. At the call of Deshbandhu CR Das he joined politics and became one of the leaders of the Freedom Struggle as waged by Mahatma Gandhi, and went to jail. ...
Anil Baran Roy, who had already established himself as a scholar of Hinduism, raised his concerns about swadeshi in newspapers in the mid- 1920s and later published two booklets that challenged the dogma surrounding the spinning wheel....
members of the Bengal Legislative Council, Anil Baran Roy and Satyen Mitra, were included among those arrested. The arrests; made partly under Regulation 111 of 1 8 1 8 and partly under the Bengal Ordinance promulgated by the ...
Netaji Subhas confronted the Indian ethos, 1900-1921: Yogi Sri ... - Page 139 - Adwaita P. Ganguly - 2003 - 224 pages
Prophets of New India, English Translation by EF Malcolm-Smith (1930) Roy, Anilbaran. Sri Aurobindo and the New Age (1940) Roy, Dilip Kumar. Among the Great (1940) Sri Aurobindo Came to Me (Reminiscences), with a Foreword by KR...
he remarked that Swaraj would not come without Hindu-Muslim unity. He was supported in his stance by a considerable number of Congressmen in Bengal. JM Sengupta, Subhas Chandra bose, Kiran Shankar Roy, Anil Baran Roy, Pratap Chandra Guha Roy ...
Proceedings of the Indian History Congress: Volume 62 - Indian History Congress - 2002
of the party like Subhas Bose, Chief Executive Officer of the Calcutta Corporation, Satyen Mitra, MLC and the Secretary of Bengal Swaraj Party, Anil Baran Roy, MLC and the Secretary of ...
patronized by CR Das, PC Roy, Anil Baran Roy of the Bankura District Congress Committee, Bijoy Krishna Chatterjee, lawyer and member of the Swarajya Party, Ramananda Chatterjee and Swami ...
Subhas, a political biography - Sitanshu Das - 2001 - 634 pages - Snippet view
the secretary of state for India, were wholly groundless and trumped up to hold leaders like Subhas Bose, Anil Baran Roy, general secretary of the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee, and Satyendranath Mitra, ...
Gleanings of the past and the science movement: in the diaries of ...  - Arun Kumar Biswas - 2000 - 441 pages
Dr. Meghnad Saha was engaged in a debate with Anil Baran Roy and Mohini Mohan Dutta on the nature of the ancient Indian civilization and the belief of the orthodox faithful that all the knowledge is to be found in the Vedas. ...
Vivekananda: his gospel of man-making with a garland of tributes ...  - Jyotirmayananda (Swami.) - 2000 - 960 pages
What spiritual import this going forth of Vivekananda had for Sri Aurobindo's personal yoga has been narrated by Sri Anil Baran Roy, a faithful disciple: "....I asked Sri Aurobindo wherefrom he got this idea. ...
Sri Aurobindo Ashram: its role, responsibility, and future ... - Jugal Kishore Mukherjee - 1997 - 91 pages
A French army engineer Phillipe Barbier Saint-Hillaire (Pavitra) came and settled down in. And the following year saw the arrival of Anil Baran Roy. ...
members of the Bengal Legislative Council, Mr. Anil Baran Roy and Mr. SC Mitra were arrested under the Regulation III of 1818. One of the main purposes of the Government for arresting Subhas Chandra Bose was to paralyse the ...
Gandhi and the Congress - Page 184 - Shiri Ram Bakshi - 1996 - 349 pages
Anil Baran Roy, last year's and this year's General Secretary of the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee. This action of Government was strongly condemned all over the country, it being stated that, under the pretext of crushing ...
Political thinkers of modern India: Chittaranjan Das - Verinder Grover - 1993 - 506 pages
Satyendra Chandra Mitra, Anil Baran Roy, Surendra Mohan Ghose, and many others, who by their dynamism and devoted work proved a tower of strength to Deshbandhu. On hearing the news, in spite of his extreme ill-health, ...
Political thinkers of modern India: Chittaranjan Das - Verinder Grover - 1993 - 506 pages
Mr. Anil Baran Roy has since retired from politics and joined the Ashrama of Sri Aurobindo Ghosh at Pondicherry . Mr. SC Mitra has since joined the Assembly and been a prominent member of the opposition between 1928 and 1934. ...
History of Bangladesh, 1704-1971 Sirajul Islam, Harun-or-RashidAsiatic Society of Bangladesh - 1992
Anil Baran Roy of Bankura who was imprisoned for his political activity in 1924, left politics after his release in 1926 and joined Aurobindo in Pondicherry for his 'spiritual uplift'. So among Das's recruits, the only leader left with ...
Gandhi: pan-Islamism, imperialism, and nationalism in India - Bal Ram Nanda - 1989 - 438 pages
It did not, however, go down very well with the Muslim community; it smacked of cowardice or unmanliness. Anil Baran Roy, a Bengali politician, recalled how, when a hartal was being organized in Calcutta on the occasion of the Prince of ...
antibritish Surendra Mohan (Madhu) Ghosh (1893 b): 
A prominent leader of Dhaka Anushilan party, Surendra also led the Mymensingh revolutionary group and later joined the Jugantar party with his group. Joining the Congress during the Non-cooperaion movement, Surendra became the president of Mymensingh District Congress in 1928 and that of Bengal Congress in 1938. Elected to the Indian Constituent Assembly in 1946 and to the Lok Sobha in 1962 to become the deputy leader of Bengal Congress parliamentary party.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gandhi's Spinning Wheel & Barefoot Husain

Gandhi’s use of the spinning wheel was one of the most significant unifying elements of the nationalist movement in India. Spinning was seen as an economic and political activity that could bring together the diverse population of South Asia, and allow the formerly elite nationalist movement to connect to the broader Indian population.
This book looks at the politics of spinning both as a visual symbol and as a symbolic practice. It traces the genealogy of spinning from its early colonial manifestations in Company painting to its appropriation by the anti-colonial movement. This complex of visual imagery and performative ritual had the potential to overcome labour, gender, and religious divisions and thereby produce an accessible and effective symbol for the Gandhian anti-colonial movement. By thoroughly examining all aspects of this symbol’s deployment, this book unpacks the politics of the spinning wheel and provides a model for the analysis of political symbols elsewhere. It also probes the successes of India’s particular anti-colonial movement, making an invaluable contribution to studies in social and cultural history, as well as South Asian Studies. About the Author
Rebecca M. Brown is visiting Associate Professor in Political Science and the History of Art at Johns Hopkins University, US, researching colonial and post-independence in South Asia. Her publications include Art for a Modern India, 1947–1980 (2009) and Asian Art (co-edited with Deborah S. Hutton, 2006).
A History of State and Religion in India (Routledge Studies in South Asian History)by Ian Copland, Ian Mabbett, Asim Roy, and Adam Bowles (May 2011)
Insurgent Sepoys: Europe Views the Revolt of 1857 by Shaswati Mazumdar (Jan 25, 2011)
Traversing Tradition: Celebrating Dance in India (Celebrating Dance in Asia and the Pacific) by Urmimala Sarkar Munsi and Stephanie Burridge (Jan 11, 2011)
History and the Making of a Modern Hindu Self by Aparna Devare (Nov 25, 2010)
The Indian Postcolonial: A Critical Reader by Elleke Boehmer and Rosinka Chaudhuri(Nov 22, 2010)
This book is the first inter-disciplinary engagement with the work of Maqbool Fida Husain, arguably India’s most iconic contemporary artist today, whose life and work are intimately entangled with the career of independent India as a democratic, secular and multi-ethnic nation. For more than half a century, and across thousands of canvases, Husain has painted individuals and objects, events and incidents that offer an astonishing visual chronicle of India through the ages.
The 13 articles in this volume – written by distinguished artists, curators, anthropologists, historians, art historians and critics, sociologists and scholars of post-colonial literature and religion – critically examine the artistic statement that Husain has presented on the self, community and nation through his oeuvre. It engages with the controversies that have erupted around and about Husain’s work, and situates them in debates around the freedom of the artist versus the sentiments of the community, between ‘virtue’ and ‘obscenity’, between an ‘elite’ of intellectuals and the ‘common man’, and between a ‘work of art’ and a ‘religious icon’. Correspondingly it considers how India has responded to Husain: with affection, admiration and adulation on the one hand, and hostility and rejection on the other.
This book is more relevant than ever before in light of the debates that have arisen over Husain’s self-imposed exile for the last few years following a spate of violent attacks on his home and exhibitions in India, and his recent decision to forfeit his Indian citizenship.
It will be of interest to those studying art history, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, and politics, as well as to a wide spectrum of readers interested in contemporary issues of identity and nationhood. About the Author: Sumathi Ramaswamy is Professor of History at Duke University. 
Performers and Their Arts: Folk, Popular and Classical Genres in a Changing Indiaby Simon Charsley and Laxmi N. Kadekar (Jun 18, 2007)
Dance Matters: Performing India on Local and Global Stages by Pallabi Chakravorty and Nilanjana Gupta (Feb 3, 2010)
Motherhood in India: Glorification without Empowerment? by Maithreyi Krishnaraj(Nov 3, 2009)
Of the five major sociologists whose views on Indian society are assessed in this work, originally published in 1979, Marx and Weber made a special study of the subject and had something definite to say about the future of Indian society. Herbert Spencer was primarily concerned with the effects of colonial rule on India's progress, while Durkheim and Pareto tended to observe Indian society from a comparative point of view. However, as this study shows, all five sociologists touched on two special aspects of Indian society -- Indian religion and the caste system. The other features of Indian society which they discussed in their various writings range widely from marriage and family structure, through village communities and the social structure of cities, to political organization, the educational system, economic conditions, and the future progress of Indian society. Dr Madan demonstrates the correctness of Marx's contention that the political subordination of India was the one great hindrance to the future progress of Indian Society. He points out, though, that Marx failed to see clearly the effects of the caste system on economic development, and shows that this aspect was more correctly assessed by Max Weber. On the other hand, in Dr Madan's view, Weber's observation that Indian religion was 'other-worldly' and therefore a great obstacle to progress in Indian society lacked incisiveness. By focusing on a neglected aspect of the writings of five of the great figures in sociology, the book gives a new insight into their work, and at the same time highlights many hitherto unrecognized facets of India's complex social structure.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Devotees can manage their Mother’s Temple with dedication

HAND OVER MATRIMANDAR TO AUROBINDO ASHRAM
CONSTITUTE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE TO AMEND AUROVILLE FOUNDATION ACT
We have seen many temples vested with Archeological Department of India had not been maintained properly. Usually a Government organization should function effectively and that is the order of the day in all countries except in India. That is Indian people had lost faith in Indian bureaucracy. Similarly the dream project Auroville taken over from the hands of a Society had failed miserably in the matter of accountability. The mismanagement by Sri Aurobindo Society only led to the take over of the Auroville project by an Act of Indian Parliament called as The Auroville Foundation Act 1988. The same circumstances with regard to mismanagement prevail now, as would be known from the highlights of the Internal Audit Report of Institute of Public Auditors of India, Chennai chapter.
Hence we urge the Ministry of Human Resources Development of Government of India to constitute a joint enquiry by a team comprising Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Central Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement Directorate. Based on the findings of such a team A Joint Parliamentary Committee should be constituted to bring in suitable amendments in The Auroville Foundation Act 1988. We feel Matrimandir must handed over to Aurobindo Ashram, and as devotees they can manage their Mother’s Temple with dedication. This demand by Dravida Peravai which is fighting for the removal of the Aurobindo Ashram Trustees might surprise everyone. We want removal of Trustees, but most of the Ashramites are real devotees unlike the foreigners who use the mask of a Government Foundation to further their vested interests. The International Town which remains hidden amidst villages undeveloped to international standards must be made a Town where Tamils are in majority. 
N. Nandhivarman, General Secretary Dravida Peravai

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Markets are opposed to centralization and totalization

Some thoughts on Polemics  James K. Stanescu 
I also can't help but share impatience at many Marxists hatred of markets. While there is no singular entity called The Market, much less The Free Market, markets exist. And markets are powerful tools for decentralized organization. Many on the left oppose cap and trade because it creates a market, and many on the left opposed health care exchanges because it again functioned as a market. I'm not sure how much Marx is to blame for the anti-markets bias, but for DeLanda (following Braudel), markets are powerful and useful tools, and at their heart are opposed to centralization and totalization. Posted by Scu at 2:47 PM WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Plurality, Morality, & Technology

Put together to honour one of the most influential philosophers in recent times, Mrinal Miri, this book brings together articles on philosophy, politics, literature and society, and updates the status of enquiry in each of these fields. In his philosophical writings, Miri has broken the stranglehold that early training has on academics and written on a range of themes and areas, including analytical philosophy, political philosophy, tribal identity, ethics and, more recently, an abiding engagement with the ideas of Gandhi.
The articles in this volume mirror some of Miri’s concerns and philosophical interests, but go beyond the format of a festschrift, as they seek to enhance and restate themes in moral philosophy, ethics, questions of identity, Gandhi’s philosophy, and offer a fresh perspective on themes such as secularism, religion and politics.
About the Editors
Jyotirmaya Sharma is Professor of Political Science, University of Hyderabad.
A. Raghuramaraju is Professor of Philosophy, University of Hyderabad.

Alien Technology: Coping with Modern Mysteries Ananda MitraWake Forest University, USA
This book explores the consequences of technological alienation on individuals and communities in the modern times. The world is already witnessing situations in which those who are alienated from technologies are at the mercy of those who are "in the know". This may even lead to the creation of a new kind of class system based on technology literacy.
This book explores complex technologies, presents ways of identifying the levels of alienation and suggests remedies for overcoming the alienation and becoming better and empowered users of technology. Replete with examples and written in lucid language, its humourous, tongue-in-cheek style will engage the reader. 2010 / 224 pages / Paper: Rs 295.00 (978-81-321-0466-7)