Misleading media reports on idols seizure

Dec 14, 2022

On 8th November, 3 bronze statues were taken from the house of Poppo & Mona (Auroville residents) by the Tamil Nadu police Idol Wing. This is the latest in a series of four ‘idol’ seizures from residents that have taken place in recent months. Each of the raids has been followed by misleading media reports which name the concerned residents and claim that the statues seized were ‘antiques’ (i.e. over 100 years old).
In reality, all of the statues were purchased legitimately. In the case of Poppo & Mona, they were able to produce an original receipt which showed that one of the statues was purchased in Pondicherry in the 1970s. Despite this, and despite not identifying themselves, not producing a warrant, and not writing a receipt for the items that were seized, the Idol Wing Police removed the statues from Poppo & Mona’s home. The media report that appeared the following day* incorrectly claimed that the statues were “concealed in an attic” when in fact they were on display in a bedroom. The same report also claimed that the statues were “Chola-Era”, however according to an expertization made 10 years ago the ‘idols’ were about 80 years old. A correction to the misleading media report was published*** through the same newspaper (the Hindu) on 10th November.
The Working Committee duly appointed by the Residents’ Assembly released a statement (below) listing the four incidents that have taken place, announcing that no evidence has been produced to prove that any of the seized statues are antiques. It is concerning that Auroville residents are being misrepresented in wide-spread media reports implying that they have been engaging in illegal activities, when in reality they are not.

Working Committee report:


Articles published in the Hindu:

*link  to Misleading article, The Hindu Sept. 12th 2022

[Pdf  of Hindu article Sept. 12th 2022]

**link to Misleading article 2, The Hindu Nov. 8th 2022

[Pdf of Hindu article Nov. 8th 2022]

***link to Correction article, The Hindu Nov, 10th 2022

[Pdf of Hindu correction article Nov. 10th 2022]