Home > serious posts > Heehs is even eligible to apply for his visa extension again next year

Heehs is even eligible to apply for his visa extension again next year

“No doubt, God will provide, but He has contracted a bad habit of waiting till the last moment.” — Sri Aurobindo, Autobiographical Notes and Other Writings of Historical Interest, p. 176

The Indian Express: Home Minister P Chidambaram approved the one-year extension to Heehs’ visa Thursday evening and an order in this regard was issued Friday morning, Home Ministry sources said. The Home Ministry’s decision overrules the decision of the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) of Puducherry which had turned down Heehs’s request for an extension of his visa.

The Times of India: “There is no restriction on him nor on his stay till his visa expires on April 15, 2013. Heehs is even eligible to apply for his visa extension again next year,” said an official…. Chidambaram… took the view in favour of the US author in consultation with officers concerned and the existing law. “There was nothing against the author which could deny him visa extension as per the existing law in India”, said the official.

From a statement issued today by Peter Heehs: “I am grateful to the home ministry for reviewing my case, and for arriving at a decision that shows that the government values freedom of expression and diversity of opinion within the framework of Indian law. I still plan to leave India on April fifteenth, using the ticket I bought in compliance with the ministry’s earlier order. I am looking forward to fulfilling a long-postponed speaking engagement in Europe and to visiting family and friends in the United States. I will return to India sometime in July.”

Will the Sraddhalunatics learn form this? Even they must realize the setbacks that they have suffered:

  1. They are isolated within the Ashram
  2. They are isolated among the Golden Chain Fraternity (of Alumni of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education)
  3. They are isolated in Auroville
  4. Their scheme suit against the ashram is not reaching anywhere
  5. They are isolated within the country in the national media and among the academia
  6. They have now failed twice with deportation attempts — once with the courts in Chennai and again with the Government of India

What will Jayant Bhattacharya, Geetanjali Jain Bhattacharya, and the hilarious Gen (retd) G D Bakshi tell the film crews when they come today to take bites from them?

  1. Nicolas Flamel
    April 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    In Auroville, far from being ready “to learn from this”, the “Sraddhalunatics” are agitating. One of the zealots of this born-again sect is currently circulating a petition to be submitted to the Working Committee and Auroville Council. We put it below as a superb instance of intellectual legerdemain, hoping to be soon in a position to reveal the signatories’ names.


    To the Working Committee of Auroville

    To the Auroville Council

    On 29.02.2012 the Auroville Working Committee requested the management of Savitri Bhavan to suspend the ongoing lectures of Sraddhalu in view of an ongoing conflict in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

    The Savitri Bhavan management agreed to temporarily suspend the talks, even though a large group of Aurovilians have been frequenting these lectures since almost a decade, gaining valuable insights through Sraddhalu’s explanation of Sri Aurobindo’s writings.

    For several weeks now this group of Aurovilians has been obliged to go in taxis and vans to Pondicherry if they wish to continue to benefit from Sraddhalu’s series. They are eager to re-establish Sraddhalu’s lectures here in Auroville at Savitri Bhavan as before.

    A statement on a similar issue has recently been made by the Ashram Trustees, as follows :

    The considered view of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust is that it does not project itself in the role of dictating to readers and followers of Sri Aurobindo, as to what they should read and what they should not read. Each person is at complete liberty to decide for himself whether he finds any book to be meaningful and useful, or whether he does not find it to be so, and Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust respects and has full faith in the intellectual and spiritual discernment of the readers. No one should or needs to force his personal opinions on any other reader in general, and more particularly on the followers of Sri Aurobindo.

    In view of the fact that this statement has been commended and endorsed by the International Advisory Council of the Auroville Foundation, we wonder whether the Working Committee and Council would be willing to make a similar one, along the following lines:

    The Auroville Working Committee and Auroville Council do not want to dictate to Aurovilians or interested visitors to Auroville what talks or guest lectures they should or should not listen to. Each person is at complete liberty to decide for him or herself whether or not he finds any particular talk or lecture to be meaningful or helpful to him. The Working Committee and Council respect and have full faith in the intellectual and spiritual discernment of individual Aurovilians. No Aurovilian should or needs to force his personal opinions on any other Aurovilian or interested visitor in this respect. We would therefore have no objection to the resumption of classes by Sraddhalu at Savitri Bhavan if wished, and feel that if the classes are resumed, those who attend them should not be subjected to interference of any kind by any individual or group in the community.


  2. auroleaks
    April 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    What a beautiful symmetry!

    The Ashram Trust does not dictate to followers of Sri Aurobindo what they should or should not read. Ergo The Auroville WC should not dictate to Aurovilians what talks they should or should not listen to.

    Has it occurred to Helmut that Peter’s “crime” is freedom of expression while Sraddhalu’s crime is freedom of oppression?

    “There is no excellent beauty, that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.”

  3. Auro Freaks
    April 16, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Regarding those talks: “It is always better not to listen to talks especially on so-called spiritual matters. Each one must follow his own way and the others have nothing to do with it.” (Words of the Mother II, 2004, p. 204)

  4. Parvati
    April 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    This Helmut’s candid confession is highly embarrassing: he publicly admits his own incapacity of understanding Sri Aurobindo’s writings without Sraddhalu’s help. Wonder how will Auroville do with 50,000 Helmuts?

  5. Baji Prabhou
    April 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Sri Aurobindo sacrified his eyesight to explain things to his readers, disciples and well wishers. He did it in perfect classical English, crystal clear, using all styles of writings: poetry, drama, essays, epigrams, maxims, correspondence, translations and commentaries. All in all, 35 thick volumes of dense, exhaustive and precise explanations on every possible spiritual or mundane subject.

    The Mother left writings and commentaries of Her own in beautiful and classical French perfectly translated into good and clear English: all in all 30 thick volumes, Agenda included.

    The above is available for everyone to read free of cost in various Ashram and Auroville libraries.

    Where is the necessity to explain further?

    Was Sri Aurobindo a modern Nostradamus whose writings need deciphering?

    Only Sri Aurobindo can explain Sri Aurobindo.

    A Ranade can only explain Ranade. Ranade’s disciples are at liberty to found a Sraddhalu Ranade Ashram somewhere in Orissa.

    Auroville and the Ashram belong to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

  6. auroleaks
    April 18, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Baji Prabhou :

    A Ranade can only explain Ranade.

    How true. And those who have read Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and listened to Ranade will know the difference.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:19 am

    If there are serious readers of the Mother in this forum, there is a small question to them:
    “Would the Mother have accepted/approved this book by Peter, if She was now in Her physical body?”
    Please probe your inner heart, and try to answer sincerely, to yourself at least.

  8. auroleaks
    April 18, 2012 at 11:57 am

    H. ACHARYA :

    “Would the Mother have accepted/approved this book by Peter, if She was now in Her physical body?”

    Is there anything more foolish than these attempts to second-guess The Mother?

  9. Nicolas Flamel
    April 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm


    Are you sure that it was not THE MOTHER Herself who dictated this very book to Peter… encouraging him to go till the end of the difficult process, guiding his footstep till he found a renowned publisher?

    Are you sure that Peter is not HER OWN CHOOSEN INSTRUMENT to prevent Her disciples – sincere people like yourself – from making a religion out of Her & Sri Aurobindo’s message?

    We all know that She was very keen about this problem.

    Probe your inner heart, Sir, and answer the following question: are the Mother & Sri Aurobindo dead or alive?

    We all agree that They are very much alive. Therefore what They are saying to US TODAY should take precedence over that They were saying to OTHERS THE DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY.

    It does not mean that what They said and did in the past is obsolete. Far from it.


  10. Auro Freaks
    April 19, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Is there anything more foolish than these attempts to second-guess The Mother?

    Well, my foolish second-guess is (i) that The Mother would welcome Peter’s biography because it introduces a significant section of humanity to Sri Aurobindo and (ii) that She would advise a significant section of the Ashram not to read it, since it would disturb their precarious mental equilibrium (as, in fact, it did).

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