The next contribution was published on 29-9-07; I had sent it earlier, but the editors postponed its appearance as they wanted me to rephrase one sentence, and also due to lack of space; in the meantime, the decisions taken at the last Governing Board meeting were published and I was prompted to contribute a specific query regarding one of these “decisions”. This query therefore appeared also on 29-9-07.
On the Practical Nobility of Civic Sense (29-09-2007)
There is a view that, as long as a cow, any cow, is fully and absolutely entitled to cross the road however and whenever she feels like it, no matter what, there remains hope that this, our humanity, will yet give birth to the golden child: a humanity that does not seek to subjugate the rest of creation holds more promise than one whose greed is so insatiable that it will suck its mother dry and poison Her waters with its noxious excrements.
The problem is, that both humanities coexist within each of us; and it is the fact of this unresolved coexistence which legitimizes our fragmented planning capacities in their professed struggle against obscurantism and their attempts at implementing their narrow vision of a better world.
But no better world is likely to rise without the decisive and victorious strengthening of a healthy civic sense, whereby each of us needs to care for the larger self, needs to ensure that none of one’s actions and choices is detrimental to the larger whole, needs to verify in one’s experience that no part and no element of the living whole is denied respect and reverence.
When that noble and most practical sense becomes incarnate, the very necessity of planning becomes irrelevant, as we unite again with a diviner progress.
Take for instance a daily occurrence on the roads of Auroville: you are driving at a moderate speed, not because you are a dim-witted coward, but because you know that, thus sedate, you do not raise a cloud of dust; past you zips forward another driver, no doubt an intelligent, cultured, responsible person, wearing protective eye-glasses and cloth mask, leaving a trail that blinds you, stings you and suffocates you… Do you pray, politely, for stringent planning and drastic measures, or… for the practical nobility of civic sense?
The report ‘Decisions of the Governing Board’ published in the last issue of ‘News and Notes’ (22-9-07) includes a particularly confusing statement, under the heading ‘Sale or exchange of outlying lands:
The Board has approved that outlying lands can be exchanged or sold after having heard the opinion of R.A. that ‘to the best of my knowledge the Mother has never stated that land outside the green belt/master plan area cannot be sold or exchanged’.
What does this statement actually mean?
There is in it a distinction between the green belt and the master plan area; does not the master plan contain the green belt, and not only the green belt but also Auromodel, Aspiration, Repos, Utility, all the Farms, and many other areas such as Aranya, Hermitage, Promesse, Eternity, that are integral part to the life and physical organism of Auroville?
Or are all these outlying areas which the Mother, according to this authoritative pronouncement, would have considered as unnecessary for the future of Auroville?
Must expeditious decision-making be applauded even at the cost of common sense?