History of Kidney trouble-page 406

On page 406, Peter incorrectly claims that Sri Aurobindo had a history of kidney trouble.

As the gland became enlarged, it would exert pressure on the urethra. Frequent, incomplete emptying of the bladder was a first result. If the condition was left untreated, urine would back up into the system, eventually causing infection. The danger may have been greater for Sri Aurobindo because he had a history of kidney-related problems. In England, after he failed his first ICS medical examination, his classmates heard it was because of some “trouble with his urinary organs.” Eighteen years later, it was rumored around Pondicherry that he was ill as a result of “kidney trouble.”170 There is no evidence that either of the episodes lasted long, and in 1949, too, the symptoms quickly subsided.

(Lives, 406)

Two remarks, one noted in England in 1880s and another noted in Pondicherry in 1910, are being used to establish a “history” of kidney trouble:

In England, there was no consensus on the issue.  It was just one classmate who had made a passing remark about kidney trouble, as we read from page 28.  There is no medical evidence to prove that he suffered from kidney trouble.  He did not see a doctor and was never admitted to a hospital for checkup:

According to a classmate, Aurobindo failed to pass his medical examination the first time around on account of “something found wrong with his urinary organs. He was “given a year’s grace to improve,” and when he was reexamined his health was judged acceptable

(Lives, 28)

In Pondicherry, it was one of the British spies who used to sit outside the house who noted down some rumor which got recorded in the official government books.  Again, there is no medical evidence to demonstrate any kidney trouble.  See page 220:

Despite these precautions, detectives identified them not long after their arrival. Thereafter there were always a group of plainclothesmen sitting across the street.10 One of them reported around this time that Aurobindo seemed “to be in very poor health” and was “greatly reduced.” It was rumoured that he was “suffering from some kidney trouble”.

(Lives 220)

A rumor noted by some British spy and a passing remark made by a British classmate cannot be used to claim a “history” of kidney trouble.  No medical evidence has been used to establish any of these so-called episodes.

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