Tuesday, April 24, 2012

August 15, 1947: The saddest day in Pondicherry

The recent controversy around Peter Heehs' book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" prompted me to write this paper on the 'saddest day' of Pondicherry.
It was very unfortunate indeed!
From Day 1, goodaism was part of the Indian political life...

...The British Consul General reported that he had heard “rumours of a clash between the Socialists and some passers-by and that some of the Ashram buildings were stoned.”
He informed Delhi that one unconfirmed report mentioned that one member of the Ashram had died as a result of injury inflicted by a stone.
This incident is the most tragic of a day otherwise marked by joy and patriotic fervor. The death of Mulshankar, Sri Aurobindo’s attendant deeply blurred the Independence Day celebrations.
Mulshankar, a young Gujarati had come to the Ashram in the thirties and soon started serving Sri Aurobindo as an attendant and a masseur.
On the fateful day, Mulshankar was stabbed in the neck by local goondas; when he reached the Ashram main door, he was profusely bleeding, and ultimately, he could not be saved.
The press reported: “In the evening of 15 August 1947, the day of India’s independence, armed rioters attacked the Ashram, killing one member and injuring several others.”

Click here to read the paper...

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