Tamil Nadu

HC disheartened over infighting among people involved in Auroville Foundation

 If all the four statutory authorities under the Auroville Foundation Act work together having The Mother’s Charter in mind, the noble and lofty ideals of Sir Aurobindo and The Mother will certainly be achieved and there will be peace and prosperity for the Residents of Auroville, said the judge.

 If all the four statutory authorities under the Auroville Foundation Act work together having The Mother’s Charter in mind, the noble and lofty ideals of Sir Aurobindo and The Mother will certainly be achieved and there will be peace and prosperity for the Residents of Auroville, said the judge. | Photo Credit: S.S. KUMAR

“The world knows that Auroville [Foundation] is an haven of unity and peace. However, of late, it is disheartening to know that the sweat, blood and tears of its founders Sri Aurobindo and The Mother (Mirra Alfassa) are getting shattered due to the infighting between some of the groups in Auroville,” the Madras High Court lamented on Friday.

Dealing with a batch of writ petitions writ petitions arising out of a dispute between some of the residents of Auroville and the Governing Board under the Auroville Foundation Act, Justice Abdul Quddhose reminded those involved in infighting that the philosophy of an Aurovillian was based on peace of humanity and unity in diversity.

Listing out the issues that had arisen in the batch of cases, the judge said, the first issue was whether the Governing Board could restrict the functioning of the Residents’ Assembly on account of the alleged non updation of the register of residents and on account of certain alleged ongoing activities of the Residents’ Assembly.

The second issue was whether an order issued by the Governing Board on February 9, 2022 appointing official spokespersons as executives of Auroville Outreach Media, with immediate effect, replacing the then executive Fabienne Marechal, without the consent of the Residents’ Assembly, was valid or not.

The third issue was whether an order issued on July 15, 2021 reconstituting the Auroville Town Development Council by inducting new members was an excess by the Governing Board. Since all the writ petitions in the batch were connected to each other, the judge took them up for adjudication together.

He dismissed the writ petition filed against the appointment of new executives in the place of Ms. Marechal on the ground that the writ petitioner Anita Gaur had no locus standi to challenge such appointment. He however, allowed the other writ petitions challenging the Governing Board’s July 15, 2021 order.

Since the register of residents had not been updated for a long time and the Act requires consultation of the Residents’ Assembly for any policy decision, the judge ordered that no policy decision could be taken by the Governing Board, Residents Assembly or International Advisory Council till it gets updated.

He ordered that the secretary of the foundation must update the register after giving wide publicity. After the register gets updated, the Governing Board, Residents’ Assembly, Working Group of Residents Assembly and the International Advisory Council must act strictly in accordance with the provisions of the Act, he added.

In his epilogue to the verdict, the judge wrote: “Before parting with this case, this court reminds all the parties to this dispute about the motto ‘united we stand, divided we fall.’ If all the four statutory authorities under the Auroville Foundation Act work together having The Mother’s Charter in mind, the noble and lofty ideals of Sir Aurobindo and The Mother will certainly be achieved and there will be peace and prosperity for the Residents of Auroville.

“This Court is confident that all the parties to the dispute will forget the recent unpleasant incidents and work together in terms of The Mother’s Charter in future.”


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 11:00:13 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-disheartened-over-infighting-among-people-involved-in-auroville-foundation/article65762654.ece