Published letters In the Print Magazine 4 May, 2009 01:34:23PM (IST) Just Icons Francois Gautier’s piece A Fatherhood More Equal (Apr 13) tells us who really contributed in the making of an independent India. Sri Aurobindo is definitely the role model for every politician, whatever his or her party. Sathis P.R., Chitradurga
Published Letters 27 Apr, 2009 01:16:31PM (IST) Tales Of Our Fathers Apropos Francois Gautier’s piece, A Fatherhood More Equal? (Apr 13), it was Aurobindo who stood for complete independence, for which India was "entitled to attain its freedom by violence, if it can do so, or if there is no other way". It is wrong to say that many disciples of Aurobindo and the Mother today have swept under the carpet their conviction that ‘dharma’ should be protected, if necessary, by force.
Like Gandhiji, he felt a strong spiritual dimension in the quest for freedom. Sri Aurobindo shared his birthday with our Independence day, and explained that it was "not as a coincidence or fortuitous accident, but as a sanction and seal of the Divine Power which guides my steps on the work with which I began life". Shall we say Sri Aurobindo is the spiritual father of the nation? Col C.V. Venugopalan (retd), Palakkad, Kerala
As Peter Heehs writes in his excellent The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, one should never lose sight of the fact that similarities between the freedom movement-era religious nationalism and contemporary Hindu right-wing nationalism "are superficial while the points of difference are deep".
Heehs writes further, "Aurobindo favoured an eclectic, Vedantic Hinduism, which he believed to be universal. But this ‘wider Hinduism’ was something that embraced ‘science and faith, Theism, Christianity, Mohammedanism and Buddhism and yet is none of these’."
"The Hindu nation-builder," Aurobindo wrote, "shall not seek to superimpose his own ideals and methods on his Mohammedan brother, nor shall the Mohammedan, the Buddhist or the Christian seek to obliterate the essential characteristics of the Hindu culture and Hindu race". Ulrich M., Pondicherry