On the 30th September, an event is planned at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, organised in collaboration with the Auroville Foundation. Residents have not been made aware of this event via any official communication platforms. A tentative program of the event was shared with Aurovilians and well-wishers currently in France. The programme includes a panel focusing on “Building the city according to the master plan, presented before the world already in 1968.” Speakers on this panel include Anu Majumdar, Anupama Kundoo, and Jaya Berggreen-Clausen. The Secretary, Dr. Jayanti Ravi, is also listed as a speaker who will provide the closing remarks of the event.
The RA WCom has shared its concerns about this event, making a special note of the events of the last 10 months at the behest of the Secretary and stating that the programme for the day may “not reflect the reality nor the aspirations of the community, but may instead be used to promote a dubious interpretation of Auroville’s aims.” They also note that they have shared these concerns with the relevant officials of the Government of India and UNESCO representatives.
Message from the RA Working Committee to the community about the upcoming event at Unesco Paris
We recently got the confirmation that an event is being planned at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 30th of September 2022, organised in collaboration with the Auroville Foundation. The Working Committee and the residents of Auroville were not informed about such an event, nor invited to participate.
We are grateful to the Government of India and UNESCO for organising an event to honour Sri Aurobindo’s 150th anniversary, and India’s 75th Independence Day.
Nevertheless, we are concerned for the half-day event about Auroville organised by the Secretary. The residents have been kept totally in the dark, and not included in any participation. We are afraid that this programme will not reflect the reality nor the aspirations of the community, but may instead be used to promote a dubious interpretation of Auroville’s aims.
Moreover, the struggle, the oppression and the violence that the community has experienced over the past year, especially in its interaction with the Secretary and the Governing Board of the Auroville Foundation, are unprecedented and do not leave much scope for celebration.
We have requested at several levels that the Government of India and UNESCO take this fact into account, and do not welcome individuals who are destroying the fabric and essence of Auroville. We have also highlighted our concern that this could reflect badly on UNESCO given the values it upholds.
The Working Committee selected by the Residents’ Assembly
Aravinda, Bharathy, Chali, Hemant, Maël, Sauro, Valli