eROUGHSPEAK- WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE, WHO NEEDS ENEMIES?
Rewind about eight years. Three Auroville youth got expelled from India. A while later, the courts found them not guilty of the thing they were accused of, and in 2009 they were allowed to return.
In the meantime, one of them had a very close friend, also an AV youth. He asked this boy to house sit, until he could get back. He also gave him a workshop, with a set of very expensive tools, to look after. The guesthouse went to his mother, who handed its care to another good friend..
These arrangements were known to the Auroville groups involved, and when it became clear that this man would return, the housesitter was asked to move. He undertook to do so by February 2010, to the Auroville Council.
To cut a very long story short, he still hasn’t. In spite of resolutions by the Council, the Working Committee, by Housing, and by the FAMC. In spite of having been offered at least five other alternatives, and large amounts of money to relocate. In the intervening period he’s employed threats of violence, and actually brought in people from the nearby village to rough up the current manager of the guesthouse.
The workshop is shut, and what happened to the tools loaned to him is anybody’s guess.
A Little bird tells me that the reason for all this drama is that the ‘youth’ nurses a grudge for not having been put in charge of the guesthouse as well…another asset that could have plundered.
In the last 16 months, various groups have offered upto five different options, large sums of money, and building permissions, all to be rejected. The FAMC has ordered twice that the house be demolished, since it was badly damaged in the Dec 2011 cyclone. When last week the FAMC told him that he had to go, he and other lumpen elements ( aka the Big Bird) in the community broke into and occupied a then empty newcomers house in the community. This house had been vacant for a week, and was undergoing repairs! His moving to this house had already been ruled out, since with the history of unpleasantness he created, nobody wanted him as a neighbour.
Anywhere else in the world the police would have been called in, but no, we’re not supposed to do that here. Our anti-socials have license to express themselves, and get a bonus to boot. And now, I guess we will soon see a Residents Assembly where all the troublemakers will gather, to try and regularise this latest squatting. Aurovilians, we are at a time when you do not dare leave your house for a few days with your best friend: not only will you not get it back, but the community will paint you the evil one for wanting it back!
The only justification I’ve heard from anybody on any of these so-called groups that administer AV is, he’s an Auroville kid, we have to take care of him. I wish I was an Auroville kid. I could lie, cheat and threaten my way into getting anything I wanted!
More to the point, if our groups cannot enforce a simple decision such as asking a house sitter to leave, what is the chance that they will take the more important decisions that need to be taken every day, for the well being of Auroville?
Yes, I’m talking about Reve Guest House.
Our groups need to be empowered to enforce their decisions- or there will be no alternative to calling the police on a regular basis.