Updated: Mar 30, 2022
Take a look at this picture. Now tell me where on the planet it is taken.
Out of context, almost nobody would ever guess this is in South India. Nothing reveals anything specifically tropical, and we see almost only white people.
That is a fact. It's simply what IS: this picture shows a gathering of almost all white people. There are a few Indian people scattered about, and a few non-Indians who would not be considered white, but the overwhelming majority is, clear for all to see, white.
This picture is from the landing page of the Stand for Auroville Unity website. The caption of the picture reads as follows: «Our mission was born in the Kalabhumi meeting (5 December), where at least 500 people signed a statement calling for peaceful, collective solutions to the conflict, and has since snowballed to become a campaign with wide community and global support. We aim to provide information in the most factual possible way.»
Apart from the fact that the title of that website is grammatically incoherent, their pictures show that the Aurovillagers are overwhelmingly white: foreigners in India.
Why is this important? For so many reasons.
Half of Auroville's population is Indian. Of that half, the vast majority is local. If this picture was representing Auroville's population, less than half of the people in it would be caucasian. And not, as in this picture, nearly all of them. (The fact that the break-up of Auroville's residents is consciously maintained at around 50% foreigners, and that the Aurovillagers consider this absolutely necessary in order to have an “international township”, is another extremely important issue, but one that will be dealt with in another post.)
This picture was taken at one of the most important meetings Aurovillage had since they started a battle with the Sri Aurobindo Society (see episode 6 and others). They claim that 500 persons were present. The fact that almost all of these people come out of the less than 50% of Auroville's population that is caucasian, is indicative of the fact that Aurovillage is dominated by white people: they are the ones that take decisions and constitute Aurovillage.
That fact is completely accepted and normal in Auroville's daily life, however absurd it sounds when pointed out. To give another example: I live in Creativity. This compound has 22 flats. If there was no racial division in Aurovillage, half of the flats would house Indian/Tamizh people. In reality, only THREE flats have Indians in them, all the others are filled with Westerners. This is totally normal in Auroville, and as a consequence, there are “ghetto” communities that have an almost purely Tamizh population. It is also interesting to know that one of these three flats in Creativity that have Tamizh people in them, was in fact built to be “Tamizh housing”, designated purposefully to accommodate only Tamizh people, as an act of positive discrimination. One person who was at least a little bit aware of the fact that a high percentage of the Auroville population is Tamizh, noticed that they are, due to the obvious social and material inequality, almost never able to buy into new housing blocks. Thus she very kindly started to fundraise in order to be able to subsidise one flat with five rooms and shared bathrooms/kitchen, to be allocated to Tamizh Aurovilians who did not have the means to finance their housing needs. These five rooms are not permanent housing though.
So the reality in Creativity is that out of 21 “stewarded” flats, only 2 are occupied by Indians. Less than 10%. While they make up 50% of the population. You can look at other pictures of Aurovillage's societal life and meetings. They will show the same pattern: always a vast majority of white people. (Sometimes pictures portray a lot of Tamizh people, which are almost always hired labour and not Aurovilians.) And still, the Aurovillagers in all their texts constantly pretend, insinuate and openly claim to be “the Auroville community” and “the Aurovilians”.
The facts, there for all to see, show the falsehood of those statements.
So we have a situation in which a township in South India is dominated and “ruled” by white people. In the context of centuries of colonisation by white people, this is already very uncomfortable. But that's not all, by far. This is a spiritual township, where the population is supposed to be spending their days with growing in consciousness. All situations and daily life is supposed to be used for an expansion of one's understanding of reality, to become conscious of the deeper and higher realities, of human psychology and sociology, of one's own unresolved emotional issues, of the deeper motives of one's actions, and of the not so visible drives of societies and collective actions. So how would a population of conscious beings end up having the white less-than-half dominate the non-white more-than-half? It's hard to see how people who are in an expanded consciousness, who are aware of history and of the delicate topic of colonisation, could end up creating such a societal imbalance: why would that become a reality? Why would a society of spiritual, conscious beings recreate an old and very negative pattern of governance?
Now even if there would be some unique reason, some strange but still honest, conscious need to have the white people dominate the non-whites, it would be evident that a population of conscious and good-willing beings would acknowledge this fact. Clearly, it is there for all to see, it completely clashes with the concept of spirituality and a growth in consciousness, it is historically extremely uncomfortable – so this strange fact will be openly addressed all the time to make sure everybody understand why it is this way and not another. Right?
Let's go a step further still. What if this township was boasting of being a place for Human Unity, a peaceful, harmonious, united little... little... little ecovillage (as the dominant population doesn't like to use the word “city”), where people of so many nationalities live together in harmony and unity, having no division issues whatsoever?
What excuse could there exist for a township that claims to be well on its way to be a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity to have the white minority of its population dominate the others? How could that ever make sense?
We can cut this thought-experiment short: it doesn't. There is NO good reason to be found for the fact that in the 21st century, in a township in South India, even an “international township”, founded as a spiritual project where people are expected to grow in consciousness, and meant to give a living body to an actual Human Unity, that in such a place, the white minority dominates the rest of the population.
It is a contradiction. It is a fact that proves that the reality of Aurovillage is in complete opposition to its goals, its raison-d'être, and its claims. Because what is being put out by these people not only does not give any explanation for this blatantly factual reality, they simply IGNORE it. They pretend it somehow isn't real or doesn't matter. Ignorance and denial are irreconcilable with consciousness and awareness. They are mutually exclusive. And actions are more real than words.
So here we are: the Aurovillagers, a predominantly white minority, dominates the whole of Auroville, a tiny township in South India with a 50% Indian population. The Aurovillagers do not acknowledge this fact, which shows that their claim of being spiritual and conscious beings is not the reality. The Aurovillagers claim to be living in harmony and unity, while they do not even acknowledge that they dominate the non-white population without ever addressing this fact.
So we have white superiority, ignorance, and hypocrisy. Can it get any worse? You bet it can!
How do they react when called out for this inconvenient fact? They attack the messenger.
Believe it or not, when you call out all of this very simple logic, based on very blatant facts, they scream indignantly that THEY are the victim, that YOU are lying, and that YOU are creating division! Yes, you read that right: if you point out the fact that the situation in Auroville is racially divided, YOU get blamed for creating division. Accusations of racism against westerners are never considered legitimate and worthy of investigation. They are almost always dismissed as "utter nonsense" and "inciting racial divisions and resentment". However in recent months westerners have not shied away from accusing the Indian government and AFO of racism against them, because their utter entitlement is finally getting checked.
Here's a little example of such a reaction to being confronted with the neo-colonial FACTS of Aurovillage's reality:
«This is one of the most misleading, untrue and racist bits from that outrageous site 'manifestingauroville.com'. Those not familiar with Auroville might fall for this skewed portrayal of the facts. And to make the kind of divisions between Tamil and Western farmers and foresters is so far from the truth. Such utter nonsense based on the cheap and nasty tactic of inciting racial division and resentment. Not to tell lies, is one of the very few 'rules' Mother gave to Aurovilians...» When confronted with the correctness of the figures that they called “utter nonsense” and “lies”, they not only did not apologise for her slander, but – as always – doubled down and replied:
«What I did was to denounce the concrete untruths. Having direct experience and insight into the realities of Forest group and Farm group and the work happening in these areas, I felt compelled to denounce the misrepresentations and manipulations. And am prepared to continue to do to the best of my abilities so, if needed.» “Never tell a lie” is indeed one of the main rules the Mother HAD to give the Aurovilians (among a long list of others, as stuff was not really happening on the spiritual level she had hoped for), as lying was and is the habit of Aurovillagers and it was and is one of the biggest problems here. Calling the facts “lies” when confronted with them, is of course how Aurovillagers deal with reality. How else could they continue to dominate the majority of the Aurovilians? It's the first rule of Aurovillage: turn stuff totally upside down. Because in Aurovillage, delusion is rationality, and black is white. You see, as long as nobody TALKS about Western dominance and racial division, there is none! Isn't that brilliant? As long as we SAY we live in harmony, we actually live in harmony! The reality of division does not matter here, as long as nobody SPEAKS about it. If ever someone is brazen enough to actually point out the racist facts, then THEY are suddenly the problem. THEY are the ones who are creating division by seeing things from a divisive point of view – in fact, THEY are looking through a racist lens! Gosh, doesn't that remind us of some story about an emperor and the absence of some pieces of fabric? However, when in Auroville the child cries out “but the emperor has no clothes!”, the Aurovillage crowd turns to the child in blind rage and screams that it has stolen the emperor's clothes and needs to give them back. And they start an international media campaign to get emotional support for their poor emperor who needs new clothes because he has been the victim of a heinous crime...
That's a pretty nasty situation, wouldn't you say? Now did you think it could not get any worse? Hey, this is Aurovillage, so think again. There's no bottom to the pit here, we're desperate, we dig ourselves deeper every day!
Now that the Aurovillagers are being called out for the neo-colonial, racist society they have created, and their hypocrisy of lying about the fact that it is actually a reality, what is their way out? You would never guess it (unless you have read episode 24B and it struck a cord), but yes: now that the Aurovillagers are in a pickle and the reality of what is going on here coming to the light, the Indian Aurovilians need to bail them out. The Tamizh population, who are here to do the dirty work while the Westerners dominate them, now need to stand in “solidarity” with their colonial overlords. Because up is down in Aurovillage, and suddenly we are all united in harmony and unity, and the Tamizhs now need to quickly make that a reality. The Aurovillagers have gone to every office (because almost all of the actual administrative work is done by Tamizhs) to get the Tamizhs to sign a declaration that they stand in solidarity with their poor Western dominators who had so far no problems in openly declaring them a low culture and lesser beings with no honesty or societal standards.
I can tell you very honestly: I joke about it all, but very regularly, the toxicity of the hypocrisy that reigns here is literally sickening. It is very hard to live in such a place, and that is why most people who see the reality refuse to address it or discuss it or acknowledge it: they shut up and look away, as it is too harsh to be confronted with.
Luckily, it is all coming to an end now. That is the one thing that is really clear; the genie is out of the bottle, and there's no way to ever put it back in. Whatever happens here in the coming years: Aurovillage is done for. It is impossible to go back to a state of ignorance when you have been made aware of something: reality cannot be unseen.
Stupidly enough, it is the Aurovillagers' desperate efforts to keep stuff under wraps that is doing the most damage: they have no option anymore but to reveal their true colours, and it is a nasty spectacle. By shoving a declaration of solidarity under the noses of all Tamizh Aurovilians, they suddenly make the white dominance a clearly visible reality: why does this minority suddenly need support from the people they have so discarded in all decisions? Why did they not even take the trouble to learn the language of this people in whose land they live? Why are they suddenly talking about being “united”? It looks a lot like political canvassing, no?
Let's get back to the caption of the picture we started with. It says “We aim to provide information in the most factual possible way.” Do you still trust that this is an honest statement? Do you trust people who ignore one of the most blatant facts of their own organisation, and violently attack the people who point that out? What are these people doing? What are their aims? What is the REAL truth of what happens in this place?