Open letter to the so-called ‘Working Committee, ATDC, and FAMC’ re the statement about “unfortunate obstructions”

Mar 14, 2023 | Destruction, Planning & development, Statements by the RA and the Working groups

What we find unfortunate indeed is that an ‘ATDC’ not recognized by the community, which has been playing havoc with the existing roads of Auroville for months now in the most incompetent way, instead of concentrating on trying to clear up their mess, has suddenly decided to extend destruction elsewhere. In the most improvised way, without any work order/contract/subcontract to show, using paid labour, they have started to attack what they had in their sights for a very long time: Darkali.

Contrary to what you say, the people who “obstructed” the work are not people who “have been holding up” development for decades. The people who stood there, scandalized by the destruction, were just people of common sense. What does common sense say? It says that today more than ever the earth needs water bodies and forests. Common sense says that heaven will not fall if, by moving the alignment of a road by just 6 meters, one can avoid the destruction of water bodies and many precious trees. We trust that one day everyone, including Indian authorities and Indian courts, will recognize this fact.

As for the violence, you knew perfectly well that sending in hired untrained workers, some of whom were drunk and equipped with chain saws (and petrol cans), without safety protocols and carrying out violence towards women, while being accompanied by the most aggressive supporters of the present administration, was an act of provocation. It was bound to meet with resistance as the vast majority of Aurovilians think that the Crown Road should pass through Darkali with a minimum of damage to what they consider as a jewel of Auroville and a highly environmentally sensitive area.

Your concluding remarks, mentioning the need to move towards “a constructive, harmonious and imaginative realization of the city” is extraordinary, as it takes a lot of nerve for you to issue such a statement. That was exactly what the Dream Weaving effort of several months tried to do — and which was summarily set aside by you for the sake of your rigid and unimaginative vision of the Crown Road. We too hope for a non-destructive, non-divisive and non-dogmatic realization of the city, but the conception of cooperation you have manifested so far is just submission to outdated plans and to the fixed idea of a perfect circularity of the Crown Road, submission to bureaucratic authorities and submission to a narrow interpretation of the Mother’s vast vision.

Finally, if you really wanted to break away from the “fear mongering” atmosphere, you would have spoken up against Mael’s Leave India Notice. The fact that you refused to do so, thus virtually supporting/approving that unfair decision, was a great dishonor to Auroville as well as to the ideal of fraternity. We affirm that in spite of his expulsion, Mael is and will remain part of the Aurovilian family. Wherever he is, he will remain part of the Working Committee of the Residents’ Assembly.

We don’t lie.
We cannot afford to lie.
We have nothing except truth.
You have the money, you have the administrative power, you have the JCBs, you have the weapon of visa recommendation, you have the office orders and you have the ear of the official media.
We have nothing except truth. It is our only protection.


The Working Committee selected by the Residents’ Assembly

Aravinda, Bharathy, Chali, Hemant, Mael, Sauro, Valli