September 19, 2007

Carlson often quotes Sri Aurobindo selectively to make his point and never completely or in a balanced way

Re: Rather Acrimonious by Srikanth
on Tue 18 Sep 2007 08:01 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link Reply
Ron (and RYD), did you mean me? You couldn’t possibly be talking of Carlson, your co-editor/co-founder. Do allow me to post the following points before you proceed to ban (!) me:
1) If you honestly and courageously looked at all of Carlson's posts and responses you will find that the distinctions he professes to make between Hindus as a group and the so-called Hindutva groups often blur and both groups merge in his writing (Except for reiterating the same old tired phrases about Hindutva and how he doesnt want Sri Aurobindo to be hijacked by them, due to lack of consistency or unwittingly he reveals his bias). In one of his posts, I do remember him also expressing one more of his ‘things’ against the Hindus who live here in the US and calling them “traditional” and temple-going (euphemism for those ghastly beings known as conservatives!) while conferring on himself and others like him the title of “liberal”. No wonder he goes on to post something negative (even if several months later) that Noam Chomsky said about the Hindu diaspora (amongst other groups). Perhaps he convinces you two but for me his denials here are hardly credible.
2) Anyone who genuinely wants to look will find many of his responses to Rakesh, Sane, and even RYD as bossy, condescending, and hectoring but hardly as examples of the genuine intellectual (seeing the other side of the argument, accommodating, thoughtful) debates that you appear to want on your site. And yet none of the other co-editors appears to have checked him. Moreover, until recently, this site was largely monopolized by Carlson either to vent his rancor against some Hindus or Hindu groups or to post articles several of which had little to do with Sri Aurobindo (this continues unabated albeit diluted now by greater participation and more Sri Aurobindo-relevant posts from the other editors. I dont care to drive a wedge – just suggesting that you may want to clean house before you look outside.
3) Carlson's "reviews" of Jyothirmaya Sharma's and Kittu Reddy's books were poorly done and ideology-driven and he keeps jibing at them even now whenever he gets a chance. And his responses to me and Sharma at the time were anything but civil or pleasant and were outright hostile or "acrimonious". Acrimony has bred more acrimony on this site but dont ignore the fact that Carlson has almost always been the one to initiate it - if he and your site cant take the reaction restrain yourselves. I found his responses to Sharma pitiable and was astounded that he did not or could not make a point-by-point rebuttal. His 'defense' of Sri Aurobindo was tragically just some diffused, unconvincing rhetoric with a lot of words. No wonder Sharma was able to have the last say and must have even left feeling convinced of his position. But then, how can anyone so egoistic, egotistic and arrogant ever hope to present Sri Aurobindo’s views convincingly to anyone?
4) Carlson often quotes Sri Aurobindo selectively to make his point and never completely or in a balanced way. But he often turns around and complains that some Hindus use Sri Aurobindo selectively for their own purposes. I am hardly a Hindu but I find his attitudes offensive and denigrating. Not to mention libelous (for eg. calling persons in “high places” in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram as Hindutva followers or right-wingers which he appeared to do).
5) Anyone who knows anything about what Sri Aurobindo has said about the Mother knows the supreme value that he placed on her words and on her actions. And yet, Carlson’s visceral (and disparaging) reaction in response to someone’s (I don’t remember who) recent post about what Mother said about Buddhism and Jainism and their effects on Hinduism revealed that Carlson accepts Sri Aurobindo only on his own terms. But, of course, he would like us to think that he just wants to protect Sri Aurobindo (and of course Islam and muslims and everyone else) from the vile fundamentalist Hindus!
May I suggest that you first have a code for yourselves (editors) before you decide to force one on your readers. Best personal regards and Goodbye. Srikant

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