Long-time Aurovilian C has written a letter to the International Advisory Council reminding them of their duties as defined in the Auroville Foundation Act:
Dear members of the International Advisory Council,
I have been told that you will visit Auroville shortly and that on this occasion you will at last meet with the community. This is a positive piece of news.
I am sure you are not without remembering the duty of the IAC as defined in the Auroville Foundation Act: to give advice to the Governing Board, and to see to it that “the ideals for which Auroville has been established are encouraged”; and also that “the residents of Auroville are allowed freedom to grow and develop activities and institutions for the fulfillment and programmes envisaged in the said Charter of Auroville”.
I would like to point out to you that presently the ideals for which Auroville has been created are not encouraged and that they are even being constantly violated by the same people who should encourage them. I would like to point out to you that the residents of Auroville are not allowed freedom to grow and develop activities in accordance to the Charter. What we are witnessing today is in complete contradiction with the directions given in the law.
Point 1 of the Charter: “Auroville does not belong to anybody.” At the moment a reckless, arrogant and incompetent bureaucracy is acting as the owner of Auroville. Deciding on everything without any consultation with the residents. All this has been documented times and again by the residents’ Working Committee, so I don’t need to go in detail into it as all the information is already with you.
The residents of Auroville are not allowed to develop activities for Auroville. In effect for the past one and a half year of this dictatorial administration, we have only seen destruction of several kinds.
Everything that Auroville has created and nurtured over several decades is being slowly and systematically eaten away. Our representatives are being silenced, the managers of our units are dismissed from one day to the next without any explanation, our means of communications are being taken-over, our organization is being dismantled piece by piece, our beautiful environment is being devastated, our lands are being encroached upon without the administration batting an eyelid, and our reputation is being publicly sullied with all kinds of lies and distortions.
Instead of being called upon to be willing servitors of the Divine, we are being threatened and ordered to be docile servants of a megalomaniac administration which has stooped to lying to achieve its ends.
We are inundated with “office orders” and directives of all kinds, each one more absurd that the other one, the height of ridicule being an order not to plant any tree without permission. Many orders are accompanied with a threat of “criminal offence”.
The present administration has not only defamed the Auroville residents but ignored and bypassed the Resident’s Assembly, seeking to throw confusion between the Auroville Foundation (an autonomous body) and the Indian Government. The residents of Auroville are being treated as if they were employees of the Government.
I am sure you must have heard of visas recommendations being used as a weapon in order to coerce Aurovilians into submission. Does that seem alright to you? Is it conducive to the ideals of Auroville being encouraged?
To summarize, it seems to me that you have the statutory obligation to advise the Governing Board to rectify the situation, and to work towards re-establishing a healthy functioning of Auroville.
- Decisions by the administration should be taken in consultation with the residents.
- Aurovilians should be given back their official representatives, their units and services, their means of communication.
- Individuals who have been falsely accused of criminal activities should be cleared of the accusations with which they were charged.
- People who have been waiting for a visa recommendation for a long time just because they opened their mouth, should get it.
You are an international advisory council. I need not tell you that the present clamp-down on Auroville is reflecting very badly on the image of India at the international level. And it is not by trying to impose an almost entire lockdown of Aurovilians during the visit of about fifteen foreign G20 delegates that it is likely to improve.
The ball is in your court. You have the opportunity to render a great service to the unique experiment started by the Mother. Please inform yourselves, please see through the lies, please listen.
Thank you very much for reading this letter,
(I have been in Auroville continuously since 1974, working successively in food distribution, education and printing. I was grateful to the Government of India for granting me a 5-year visa for many years. I have been given now a 1 year visa only. I don’t know the reason for this but I suspect it is because I have been an outspoken critic of the current administration and its decisions.)