I believe, we as Aurovilians should, on all sides, refrain from using broad brushstrokes of blanket statements.
I know many ‘foresters’ who are concerned right now, but they’re not exactly against the galaxy. (Atleast the ones who are not in the city circle) their appreciations are related to their life, living and livelihoods. They’re affected by the misinformation related to bulldozing of their houses (red marked), stewardship rotation, VISA, etc. Given the lack of full and correct information, the insecurities are growing and gulf widening. And, I understand that.
Unfortunately, thus far, the attempts at coming together and discussing openly, heart to heart, has been hijacked by egotistic personalities and political organisers. We enter the realms of physical and vital play, not allowing the mind to the fore, on all sides. The escalated atmosphere does not allow for an healthy debate. The moderate Voices are marginalised, shunned and ridiculed. This doesn’t help our collective cause and impedes our way forward.
Recently, we’ve found comfort in remaining as camps and addressing the echo chambers. Recent meetings at UP and RAM 2 are a glaring sample of that thought process. Each side think that the majority is by theirs and do not bother listening to the opposing and difficult views.
I stand and strive for the city to be built in the city area (not the green belt) and I love that Auroville is full of green corridors and I cycle, walk, run on it. I believe that eventually the city will have more than 50% green areas. And I find the plan incredible for us and for the world to learn from.
Now, because I stand for the city, the people on the other side 🤔, think I’m against the trees. This kind of reductionist approach is also detrimental. I know many on this side who’s far more dedicated and diligent towards the trees and other life in general.
I often hear the expression (which made me write this long piece) inflexible and dogmatic. I find one being very dogmatic in not being dogmatic also. I find this accusation utterly insulting and infuriating.
First, about being inflexible. In the last one year of my working in ATDC, I’ve reached out to many, begging for collaboration and participation. Mostly, I’ve found shut doors, as there was no ‘crisis’. Suddenly now that we’re in a crisis situation, the same people asking for collaboration, and that too after the work has begun, seems a form of armtwisting than anything else. All the cry for collaboration shall be considered, by many, as pressure tactic or time buying maneuver till things come back to good old grudging, grinding times. Please, genuinely address this.
The masterplan is an evolving one. Even the crown has gone through various deliberations. The radius of the Crown evolved from 700m to 690m. The width of the row from 22m to 16.7m. i do not think it’s inflexible but amendments to it cannot be brought forth by making the children sit on the JCB in protest.
We’ve to be part of the system to change the system which has been created as an internal system.
By creating parallel systems like dreamweaving process and citizens assembly, we’re adding to the chaos, and possible heading towards further conflict.
The ATDC has a provision for 15 members. Only 5 are there. Why not select 10 more members and send them to ATDC to effectuate real change? Oh, where’s the drama in it.
Second, about being Dogmatic. I for one, am not. I seldom use ‘Mother said’ argument to make my point. In my public addressing, I’ve always given practical and grounded reasons for the works that need to be done. And there’re enough of it.
Having said that, i also know that the City was setup by the Mother with certain vision. Ive voluntarily made Auroville my home and thus abide by her words, as much as possible. If, whenever, i do not concur, I’ll move out myself. I did not come to Auroville for political freedom, I’m not afraid to exercise it outside.
In my view, the Mother envisaged the city as an instrument for substantial number of individuals (50k) to practice the principles. The correlation ends there. The making of Matrimandir did not automatically uplift us, evidently. Thus the city may not automatically bring about Human Unity. However, the physical city need to be built for the remaining seekers to make Auroville their home. And add more to our chaos. Perhaps, a necessary factor in our evolutionary process.
We need to come together and go beyond accusations and name calling. We need to address the core insecurities and understand the method behind the (what we consider as) madness. We need to look at micro difficulties on one side vs macro challenges on the other.
I straddle all sides, i find goodness, goodwill and good intention everywhere. Someone recently shared a phrase, we’re individually clear and collectively confused. It’s so apt and it is so changeable.
If not us, then who? If not in Auroville, then where? If not now, then when?