Sir Stafford Cripps

All human knowledge is like a jigsaw puzzle. At first you know only a few things and by and by you add other bits of information because they connect with what you already know. It is a moment of great joy when you accidentally discover something which is a missing piece of the puzzle, and which connects two parts of knowledge you already have.

As I was looking at the books on the shelves of our local library in London my eyes fell on a biography of Sir Stafford Cripps. Was this the same Cripps to whom Sri Aurobindo had sent that famous telegram? Was this the same man who had replied with such dignity to him? Strange that we know next to nothing about
Cripps although we can not stop repeating how the tragedy of the partition of India would never have happened if this man’s proposal had been accepted by the leaders of the country in 1942.

I did not lose a minute and borrowed the book that day. The first thing I did was to look at the index in the hope of finding what his biographer might have said about his exchange of telegrams with Sri Aurobindo. No, he wasn’t under ‘S’ and he wasn’t under ‘A’. Maybe he was classified under ‘Ghose’? But he wasn’t under that either. How could it be that a piece of information that was so important to us, the followers of Sri Aurobindo, was not even mentioned once in this exhaustive biography of Sir Stafford Cripps? Perhaps this is the sad truth, that no one actually registered how important that communication was.


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