Open questions to the WC, TDC and L’Avenir

Dec 25, 2021 | Planning & development

past and present members

 

Dear Friends,

In the last few months a strong narrative has started to circulate in Auroville about the urgent need to collectively surrender to the Mother’s Vision, an idea which, at first sight, may seem to makes sense in regard to the various threats we are facing today but which becomes a risky exercise when it comes to define what the Mother’s vision really is, especially about the city and the Galaxy.

As it seems impossible to truthfully answer to this call for a surrender before we clearly know what this vision is, not the interpretations or preferences of a few, but the actual vision based on evidences, I would like to ask a few questions for the sake of truth and clarity.

Being born in the country of Descartes and Voltaire, of reason and mental clarity, I’m sorry to say that I can’t help it, this is in my blood, and I need to makes sense of what is happening, beyond all my personal preferences.

To give you a simple example to illustrate my doubts (there could be many others), in the last few months it has been frequently stated that the Auroville Master Plan having been unanimously approved by the Residents Assembly in 1999 and gazetted by the central Government, it has become a legal and binding document and that we cannot do anything to prevent the development of the city according to the MP. Consequently, we all need to surrender to this as if it was part of a bundle of the Mother’s vision for the development of the City.

I wonder how this statement could be made when we know that there is not one Master Plan but TWO, that the one approved by the Residents Assembly unanimously in 1999 is not the one which has been gazetted by the Government of India and that there are significant differences between the two.

Moreover, The authorities to recognize a Master Plan in India are the Town & Country Planning and the Urban development Ministry. Each state of India has a TCPO in his state capital and recognition of a master plan is a state subject under the 9th schedule of the Constitution. The Auroville Master Plan has never been recognized by the national TCPO in Delhi or by the Tamil Nadu government. Therefore it seems that the Auroville Master Plan is not actually approved under the law (correct me if I am wrong).

Sorry to say that but all this seems very fishy and knowing the crystal clarity of the Mother’s visions and statements, I wonder how such a confusion could reflect what She truly wished for Auroville.

That being said, I’m not saying I am against the City, the Galaxy or the Master Plan, but I just would like to understand what we are talking about.

Now, to come back to the actual ratification of the 1999 Master plan, it is interesting to read the following extracts from the minutes of the Residents Assembly meetings related to the Master Plan and published in the Auroville News of that time :

“On July 28th 1999, the Land Coordination and Land Use Plan Groups presented to the Residents Assembly the result of several months of work aimed at exploring ways to obtain for Auroville the protection it needed to continue to grow HARMONIOUSLY (sic !).”

“During the meeting it was clarified that the document actually is aimed more at protection of the Green Belt and, apart from the zoning, does not give detailed proposals for the development of the City Area. The more detailed planning will be an ongoing process, with all interested wholeheartedly encouraged to participate.”

“It was also asked “what is the mandate of this group?” The answer was: simply to continue the work. Formal approval of the Residents Assembly is requested because it is sometimes asked when one is presenting a proposal to Government officials “Who are you representing?”, and the obvious desirable answer is “the residents of Auroville”. It is NOT a proposal for “carte blanche”. Nothing will be agreed to by members of this group that has not been agreed to by the Residents Assembly.”

“Finally, in the minutes of the Residents Assembly meeting on the Master Plan held on 7th December 1999, when the question “How rigid is the Plan” the answer given was: “On the one hand, once accepted, it becomes a legal document. We can’t do something completely different than what’s included in it. On the other hand, it’s still pretty vague in most areas. It is understood that the details will be worked out as the underlying truth of the township emerges”

After reading all this, one could wonder why the 2001 Master Plan was not ratified by the community before being submitted to the HRD ministry?

Doesn’t it sound like a breach of trust between the then Land Coordination, Land Use Plan Groups and the Community ?

And why is it imposed now so rigidly against all clear logic and good sense while the MP was initially aiming “at exploring ways to obtain for Auroville the protection it needed to continue to grow harmoniously”?

While looking at the recent events we can only wonder how is it that what was supposed to foster an harmonious growth as become the unfortunate instrument of confusion, chaos, lies and violent behaviors?

Sorry to raise these embarrassing questions but I guess you are now understanding why I am hesitating to surrender to the so called “Mother’s vision” before this vision is clearly, impartially and sincerely defined without personal preferences, interpretations or approximations.

In other words, to surrender, yes, and wholeheartedly, but to the true vision of the Mother and to this one only.

Now, to conclude simply and in a positive note, maybe the question is not so much to surrender to the Mother’s vision than to simply surrender to the Mother HERSELF.

Of course this would mean that we just need to stop our hazardous mental juggleries (ouf!), and ask her with an imperative need in our heart to take us all in her arms and awaken our souls, so that we can directly receive her LIVING answers as true children of visions and hope.

Wouldn’t that be worth trying ?

Olivier