Monday, March 29, 2010

Sri Aurobindo's life in the form of a novel by Arup Mitra

New Delhi, Mar 28 : Away from the cliched domain of bibliography and history, Arup Mitra's historical novel 'Uttara Yogi' delicately blends the intricacies of adventure, love, patriotism and betrayal to depict pre-Independent India and the true identity of one of India's most beloved sons - Aurobindo Ghose.
The novel travels through the maze of numerous episodes, umpteen experiences and multitude of characters to tell a tale of Uttara Yogi whose arrival presages the liberation of India from the yoke of foreign rule - as predicted by a spiritual leader in 1870.

Based on the life of Sri Aurobindo, the book extracts richly from books, letters, reports, records, biographies, archival photographs and unpublished manuscripts while maintaining the independence and fictionary taut element of a novel to recreate the mood of the nationalist movement then.

Bringing alive the momentous period in
India's history ''in which the first sparks of national awakening were born'' the author had tried to inspire his readers towards ''devotion for Sri Aurobindo'' with aplomb and panache while depicting the guile and deceit of the English imperial empire.

To use the author's own words - ''I have recounted the story of Sri Aurobindo's life in the form of a novel''... ''Uttara Yogi is a work of fiction where creations and potrayal of characters, the plot and narrative thread are products of the author's imagination''.

''But this does not mean that everything in the novel is fictitious,'' he adds while emphasising that during his ''artistic liberty'' there has been no attempt to belittle any historical personality or to cast aspersions on anyone.

Pointing that the first freedom struggle - the Mutiny of 1857, failed because rebel leaders were disorganised and disunited, the book notifies how reawakening and renaissance stirred India's educated class during the second half of the 19th century - a period marked by 24 famines.

While dishing out the criticism of the Indian National Congress, founded in 1885, by Aurobindo for its ''ineffective imitation of western models'', 'Uttara Yogi' lays bare the tortuous journey that brought India its hard earned freedom after passing through the labyrinth alleys of plunder by the East India Company, inhuman treatment at the hands of the British, discrimination by imperilist rulers, and the launch of 'swadeshi movement' and the message of 'swaraj' propounded by extremist leaders - ignited by the tenets of extremist philosophy of Bipin Chandra Pal-Aurobindo Ghose.

A well-knit prose, which is neither prosaic nor poetic, 'Uttara Yogi' arguably needs a read to its final page to get what its takes a historical novel to be -- historically apt but fictionally thrilling -- exactly what Aurobindo had himself said in his 'Savitri' - ''For man shall not know the coming till the hour, And belief shall be not till the work is done.'' –UNI Home > News > india-news

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