On 27 August 1958, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, had written a letter to Lakshmi Menon, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of External Affairs, in which he had made certain observations about the Sri Aurobindo Ashram of Pondicherry. In this letter, which was declassified sometime in 2011, we find Jawaharlal Nehru stating that the Sri Aurobindo Ashram have been ‘very anti-Indian in the past’.
The entire text of Nehru’s letter has been published in the website of Overman Foundation.
With warm regards,
27 August 1958
My dear Lakshmi,
Your note about your visit to Pondicherry.
I do not think it is desirable for us to issue an ultimatum to the French Government about the date for de jure transfer. That kind of thing will do us little good and may do us much harm. It will not, in fact, make much difference to Pondicherry. It is true that there is some uncertainty about the future and this comes in the way of certain political aspects of the question. But nobody is at all certain about Pondicherry continuing in India. We made it quite clear that Pondicherry will not be absorbed in Madras State or interfered with in any other way unless the people themselves so wish.
The Aurobindo Ashram there has certainly done some good work. They have very large resources to which they are continuously adding. Nevertheless, I do not consider the atmosphere generated in that Ashram as very desirable. No doubt they are pro-Indian now but they have been very anti-Indian in the past. However, there is no reason why we should take advantage of what they have done.
About the other matters you have written to me, I am sending your note to the Foreign Secretary.