An open letter to Auroville and Others

We, the Aurovillians, who belong to the land, who’ve joined Auroville and given our ancestral land, labour, goodwill and infrastructure to realize the Mother’s dream of a universal township, condemn ‘the call to STOP all developments of Auroville’ by some Auroville residents with vested interests. We voiced our opposition even during the last Residents’ Assembly Meeting and were sidelined and shunned by mob-like behaviour. We know that the majority of Auroville is silent and actually wants the work to proceed. Many Aurovillians from diverse backgrounds and nationalities also support our call for stopping this ‘Call to Stop’.

We’re tired of the manipulation and distraction by a select few with a bourgeois mentality in the last few decades, who try to hold large and lavish properties and protect theirs in the name of Eco-Activism and Community Processes. It was stated during the previous Residents’ Assembly Meeting that 52-something meetings were held, we wish to see the minutes of the meeting from the protester’s side. We want to know what was asked of them, by the Auroville Town Development Council(ATDC) and Auroville Foundation, and why opposing parties did not publish their opinions/reservations in the N&N or Auronet. We wish to know the reasons why they won’t collaborate and help clear the place as per the plan. We as stewards are supposed to facilitate the collective process, not merely STOP it.

We also want to condemn the action of Navroz Mody and Sandeep, who on their own dragged Auroville to court, without the consent of the larger community, and most importantly, against the directives under the Auroville Foundation Act. We believe this was a serious breach of trust and brought Auroville to a stand-still. We urge the petitioners to withdraw the illegal, immoral and unethical case filed in National Green Tribunal, immediately. We know that eventually more than 80% of Auroville will be green with beautiful flora and fauna and we also know that no area under Auroville was ever meant to be a ‘forest’ or ‘deemed forest’. This was again an arbitrary and unilateral decision by individual stewards, and no forest has any community or government approval.

In regard to ‘crown’, it was always part of the galaxy plan and has evolved over time after various studies. The circular road of 6.7m width, with the Matrimandir Banyan as a centre and 690m radius, has long been part of the plan. The main infrastructure of the township runs on both sides alongside the crown road. Put together, it is called Crown Right of Way (RoW) and is 16.7m in width. As a community, we all know about this and are using many amenities which was placed along the Crown RoW, like Solar Kitchen, Library, Arka, Mahalakshmi, Unity Pavilion, Savitri Bhavan, Language Lab, etc. for a long time.

The Crown has been made into a controversy. And it is not new for us. The same people created a ruckus in the past over other issues. Some of the Aurovillians thrive in social anarchy and the recent actions are another manifestation of the same thrill. We’ve experienced over the years that some trouble-makers create trouble purposefully and run away from India when things go out of hand. This time, we don’t want history to repeat. We want the Crown to go as per plan and we know that the first work order to make the crown was given in 2009. So, ATDC is finishing the 12year old pending work and we fully support it. We demand the reasons for 12 years of stagnation – if the Master plan was created in 2001 – why the protesting residents did not do anything till the work starts on the ground now.

The topic of community process is being used loosely to put forth their skewed point of view, for the consumption of external audiences. We must understand, we are not the citizens of the ‘Republic of Auroville’. We are not stakeholders and merely willing servitors to the cause envisaged by the Mother. Residents are welcome to take responsibility, but asserting ‘rights’ and ‘claims’ are misplaced. We all have come to participate voluntarily in building the city the earth needs, not to engage in community politics. It is to be noted that 53 years have passed and we’re still talking about the main arterial road. The same people want to stop the work and talk more. We sternly say enough is enough, let’s act now.

Moreover, the lavish use of local, national and international media to spread their propaganda is another matter of concern. The matter of internal concerns is being ‘leaked’ out to the media to build a false narrative. Many residents, newcomers, volunteers and even guests are giving interviews based on rumours and misinformation. At times, blatant lies are spread unhindered and it is creating havoc in our local community and bio-region. Many Aurovillians belonging to the local areas have family connections in the bioregion. Repeatedly calling our young brothers from nearby villages are GOONS and GOONDAS is painful and disrespectful. We want this to be stopped at once.

Finally, we want to declare that we disown and denounce the tactic of conspiracy theory used by some Aurovillians to divide & rule our community. We don’t see any particular political party’s conspiracy in the recent works. Auroville is not a place for playing dirty politics. The Galaxy Plan has been in existence since the 1968 inauguration. Following the Auroville Foundation Act of 1988, successive central governments have appointed Governing Board members on their own. Previously, Dr Karan Singh was Auroville Foundation’s Chairman for most of the time. We never cried about any political interference then. We’ve read the GB meeting minutes (which is a collection of minutes from 2001, and nothing new has been added by this governing board) and we appreciate their understanding of Auroville and thank them for bringing the most important issues of Auroville as their focal point.

We want to take this opportunity to thank the Government of India for taking notice of Auroville and bringing Sri Aurobindo to the forefront of our countrymen’s attention. We want to also congratulate and support Madam Secretary Dr. Jayanti Ravi for the courageous and righteous steps, she has taken towards manifesting the Mother’s dream. We request the Government of India to kindly continue the support to facilitate many more willing servitors to join Auroville and study the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

With this, we wish the best to ATDC, Road Service, Electrical Services, Aurinoco and Water Services, and want the Crown, Radials and outer Ring to be finished as soon as possible.

On the occasion of Sri Aurobindo’s 150th anniversary year, we wish a very happy new year to everyone, and may your long term dreams come true.

Auroville Residents

‘It is certain that the Tamil people will do all they can to realise human unity.’

The Mother

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