Clarification on the leave India notice

Mar 4, 2023 | Visa threats

A Sharing from the Heart

Dear friends and family,

I am writing today with my open heart, to share a bit about what I’ve been going through lately. I don’t know if I’ll find the words that rightly capture how I feel deep within, but I’d like to try to give a voice to what’s happening inside.

As most of you know, I received a “Leave India Notice” on 15th February 2023, directing that I “shall leave India on or before 1st March 2023”. No reasons were explicitly given for the issuing of this Notice, and the news came as a shock to me.

For the following two weeks, the RA Working Committee, several residents and I have been doing all we could to have this “Leave India Notice” reconsidered. We explored many options, and I had the chance to obtain legal counsel and the support of the French Consulate and Embassy. Other knowledgeable individuals, within Auroville and without, also offered their advice to me. I would like to extend immense gratitude to all those who closely helped on such short notice and with such dedication.

On 1st March, seeing that we hadn’t managed to have my stay in India extended and taking all advice and my intuition into account, I decided to physically leave India. My heart, however, is still in Auroville.

I wholeheartedly thank all those who sent messages and prayers of support in these challenging times. I felt surrounded and held with softness, care and compassion. It was also beautiful for me to participate, on 28th February for Auroville’s birthday, in singing “One Day” – a song that carries our collective aspiration for Unity in Auroville.

The days we are living through are sometimes difficult and hurtful. The anger and the pain are justified; but let’s make sure they do not undermine our hopes, our aspirations, and our unshakeable faith. The fear needs to be acknowledged; but let’s ensure it does not prevent us from speaking what is true to our hearts, with sincerity.

I like to believe that every single step on the way is needed for us to walk towards our Collective Truth. It is in this spirit that I am trying my best to navigate the struggles, the sadness and the fears provoked by this “Leave India Notice”. Mother’s Grace is always at play, within every action: all is an opportunity to grow, to evolve. All is an invitation to see the Miracle of life everywhere present, its Oneness everywhere reflected.

I trust that I will be able to return to Auroville very soon. And in the meantime, I remain connected with all of us. I will continue to serve the Community and the Charter as a resident, as a member of the RA Working Committee, as an aspiring Aurovilian.

The Dream is still unfolding everyday. Everything else is only noise.
Faith is what sings the clearest.
Auroville will always remain my home.


“All’s miracle here and can by miracle change.”
– Book I, Canto III


Additional Note: Getting the Facts Right

Over the past two weeks, I’ve read and heard a lot of things about the “Leave India Notice” that was issued to me. Some are true, others seem to be misinformed. Here is a little recap of what is known so far:

1. The “Leave India Notice” was sent to me via email by the FRRO Chennai on 15th February 2023. It mentioned that I had to leave “on or before” the 1st March 2023.

2. No reasons were disclosed in the Leave India Notice. No reasons were mentioned either when I met with the FRRO in Chennai. It was said that instructions came from “higher authorities”.

3. I am not aware of any visa violations I could have been involved in. I have always respected the Constitution of India and will continue doing so.

4. Expiry of my previous visa:

  • a. My Entry visa and Stay visa expired on 9th November 2022. Even though I started my application process in September 2022, after returning from France (I had left shortly in summer for personal and family issues), no Letter of Recommendation was given to me by the Office of the Secretary.
  • b. I submitted an incomplete application for the extension of my visa with the FRRO on 9th November 2022. The only document missing was the Letter of Recommendation. In spite of visiting the Foundation Office a number of times, this letter was never given to me. To date, I also sent 4 emails to the Secretary in this regard, which all remain unreplied.
  • c. However, it is not considered illegal to stay in India while an application is still pending on the FRRO website. This is considered as illegal overstay only when there is no valid visa application with the FRRO. To the best of my knowledge, I was therefore legally staying.

5. My last visit to the Foundation Office revealed that apparently, my Letter of Recommendation had been signed at the end of December and sent directly to the FRRO in January 2023. When I asked to see the said letter, my request was denied.

6. Staff of the Foundation Office informed me that the Residents’ Service had a copy of my Letter of Recommendation. This turned out to be untrue.

7. I suspect that this “Letter of Recommendation” includes an adverse notice on me, due to my role in the community as a selected member of the RA Working Committee. Satprem and two others had already received such adverse notices in the past, falsely mentioning they were involved in “anti-government” works.

8. I received a very dedicated and committed support from my colleagues of the RA Working Committee, and from several Aurovilians who have knowledge in visa matters. On the other hand, the seven Aurovilians recognised by the Secretary as ‘the Working Committee’ have never reached out, not even to check-in.

9. I left the county on 1st March 2023, to comply with the Leave India Notice. I took this decision after receiving the advice of many, including lawyers and diplomats. I am hopeful that I will be able to return soon.

10. I am not leaving the RA Working Committee, nor stopping to participate in Auroville’s collective life. I will continue to express my inner truth, sincerely and respectfully. And I will keep on standing for the values and ideals of Auroville