Auroville, 28th February 1968, The Mother (Mirra Alfasa) called youth from all countries of the World and States of India with a handful of soil to kindle a new vision, with a spirit of freedom to choose a new way of life, ‘a Youth that never ages’.
Days and nights from 4th December 2021 to 9th December 2021 have been intense with a severe attack by the forces which are against the new spirit of Auroville, using unlikely mediums as channels, unleashing dominance doing a vulgar dance wearing black robe of unconscious physical violence, all in name of the Divine. A trick which has been successfully practiced over millennia to suppress new light of free spirit in our human journey.
Beginning on morning of 4th December 2021, with an unsuccessful move of demolition by sending a JCB which then moved to 1 am on 5th December, day of Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo, with siege of 200 policemen arresting youth and thrashing women, leading to a final destructive move on Mahasamadhi day of Sri Aurobindo, a merciless destruction using brutal force of strong men shamefully hired to harass, aggress along with manhandling women on way to destroy the Youth Centre.
The soil of hope and youth with which Auroville was born was trampled to dust.
On the way of this destructive drive was opening of a 16 m clearing of Bliss forest to make way for a Crown Road, involving merciless crushing of trees tended like children over years.
All this has shaken me to the core and everyone around me in Auroville and in larger family in India and worldwide. Utter distraught, utter dismay, disheartened sadness or any other word are hard to express my feelings. Trampling of the Youth under the tyres of a JCB is like running chainsaws on our future.
Auroville town plan design is a unique and beautiful form of a galaxy, a mandala releasing energy of a future humanity, a cradle of a new man. In the galaxy plan is a 75 m crown which is a circular backbone connecting different zones of the circular town plan. Over past months intense discussions have happened on how to manifest the Crown.
Auroville has its diversity and has multiplicity of views which need to be harmonized to come to an acceptable solution. The synthesis was near when a group of people with green fingers proposed a meandering road around the trees instead of following a perfect rigid circular road as planned in a master plan in 1999, very much a possibility with a 75 m wide space in circle of the Crown.
However, the Auroville Town Development Council (ATDC) remained rigid and insisted on a perfect circularity of the road which needs destruction of few buildings and many old trees. Instead of choosing to sit and discuss the matter within the community forums of the Resident Assembly, ATDC choose to approach Office of the Secretary of Auroville Foundation to deliver a fixed rigid circle.
In any collaborative engagement openness, flexibility, suppleness and ingenuity is needed to arrive at an acceptable solution. This process needs to be given time and space instead of stiff targets of hours and days to achieve implementation. In a place like Auroville, which works like a giant family, one cannot build with corporate or governmental style systems. A circular participatory process is needed which is supple, organic, natural, experimental and evolves with time and grows.
Insensitivity and rigidity of the authorities resulted in an impasse which has now grown like a monster of horrendous proportions. Heated discussions gave way to brute state might leading to intimidation and strong arm tactics. Are next steps going towards more violence, arrests, visa cancellations or deportations, which bring weight of a very heavy karma? I hope not. I pray for a peaceful path towards collaboration which opens up space for harmony to descend.
Many well wishers and friends are worried about my wellbeing or being exposed to unforeseen risks on the way. I would like to thank all the protection, love and support I am getting from my worldwide family of elders, brothers, sisters, friends, mentors, mentees in an overwhelming generosity. My answer to everyone is to keep praying for peace, harmony and protection.
Salute to the spirit of Youth of Auroville, who have made destruction into an event of celebration, by coming together to rebuild the Youth Centre. You are my heroes.
I urge everyone to pause to retreat and reflect for working towards a harmonious solution. We will come out stronger and be closely together.
Member, Working Committee of the Resident Assembly