Home > serious posts > A Matter of Grave Concern

A Matter of Grave Concern

The inconsistency between the Sri Aurobindo Society’s legal status and a recent declaration by its Executive Committee is a matter of grave concern. An

Important note for all the Members, Branches & Centres of the Society on the book “The Lives of Sri Aurobindo” by Peter Heehs

makes known that

the Executive Committee of Sri Aurobindo Society has come to the conclusion that the book, at many places, presents facts and information based on unreliable sources and contains misrepresentations and distortions of the life, work and yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The book also puts down other biographies written by scholars and devotees, which are certainly not hagiographies and have inspired a large number of devotees, seekers and scholars.

We are still waiting for proof that the book actually “presents facts and information based on unreliable sources and contains misrepresentations and distortions of the life, work and yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother” and that it “puts down other biographies written by scholars and devotees,” which are indeed hagiographies in the proper, dictionary sense of the word.

But we are not here concerned with the more than questionable veracity of this note.

We are concerned about the manifest misconduct of a Society whose legal status is as follows.

“Sri Aurobindo Society is registered at Calcutta under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 (Now West Bengal Act XXVI of 1961).”

It ” is a non-profit organisation and enjoys tax exemption under section 80G of the Indian Income Tax Act.”

It “has also been recognised by the Government of India as an Institution of National importance, under section 10(23)C(iv) and a research Institution under section 35(i)(iii) of the Income Tax Act.”

Can a tax-exempt non-profit organisation, recognised by the Government of India as an Institution of National Importance and a Research Institution, issue declarations ending with the words “Sri Aurobindo Society strongly disapproves of the book”?

Is it legal?

Should not the Government of India be informed of the Society’s misconduct?

Should it not be asked to revoke its recognition of the Society as such an organisation?

Related links:

Update: The Important Note has been taken down. See this post.

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  1. Pradeep Kumar
    August 17, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Ashram should de-recognise society and detach all its relations with it. No dining room, no PED. In short NO CONNECTION AT ALL.

  2. Jeev
    August 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Pradeep Kumar :
    Ashram should de-recognise society and detach all its relations with it. No dining room, no PED. In short NO CONNECTION AT ALL.

    Even the almighty Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya said:
    P.4 Para 10: Society… or such organisation ─ [should be] strictly separate.
    (http://www.thelivesofsriaurobindo.com/2012/08/pranab-kumar-bhattacharyas-scheme-for.html).
    It’s time for the Sri Aurobindo Ashram to keep more than an arm’s length from the S.A.S.

  3. Pradeep Kumar
    August 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Recently Ashram permitted the members of the society to play ground as a gesture of good will. Society reciprocated the gesture by organising a dharna to malign the Mothers Ashram. Dear Manoj Da Please revoke that goodwill gesture and shut the PED doors behind them eternally.

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