Colonialism is a basic human right of colonials.
Being colonised is the basic human right of colonised people.
About four years ago, all Belgian Aurovilians were invited to a dinner with the newly appointed Consul General of Belgium, stationed in Chennai.
There were many tables, mainly of 4 people, and it so happened that the Consul joined the table I was sitting at. He was new to India, and new to Auroville. But he had heard some things about Auroville that weren't too rosy.
First of all, Auroville was considered a cult by many. At that time, I hadn't understood that side of Auroville so clearly yet, and I told him I did not take this criticism very seriously – that would go very differently if it were today.
Secondly, he had heard that Auroville was neo-colonial.
That completely struck a cord. The fact that the western Aurovilians consider this place their colony, and have very openly colonial and racist attitudes towards India and Indians is really hard to miss if you stay here for some time. As it is a very nasty trait of western people to be, unconsciously, enormously convinced of western superiority. I had already tried to denounce this fact, as it was clear that in a changing India, such behaviour was past its sell-by date, and serious repercussions were in stall for Auroville and its western inhabitants if they were not quickly going to wake up and understand this reality. All that apart even from the fact that we are in Auroville to grow in consciousness and see the darkness in our own behavioural patterns.
So I told the Consul that yes, colonialism is one of the biggest issues that Auroville has to deal with, and that if we didn't quickly address this huge problem, it would completely blow up in our faces.
You should have seen the faces of my two compatriots who were also at that table. They were as dumb-struck as if they had been transported into a parallel universe.
Both of them loudly denied that anything of what I said had any base in reality, that nothing of the sort was ever experienced by them (my point exactly: the colonial racists BENEFIT from racism and colonialism, they never ENDURE it.), and hinted at me apparently being rather mentally unstable to make such insane remarks. The Consul was told openly not to listen to me, and to fully discard what I had said as negative fantasy.
I will probably never know what the Consul thought of it all, but boy, HAS the issue blown up in our faces here..!
You would think that people who are being called out for nasty behaviour that has been displayed and practised for decades, would feel ashamed, quickly change their ways, and pretend it didn't really happen and is a thing of the past.
You would think that they would fall over each other to display the opposite and humane behaviour in an attempt to simply prove the accusers wrong as soon as possible.
You would think that, and you would be wrong. Me too. I thought this, and oh my, am I proven wrong in this silly thought.
No, the Aurovillagers are not scrambling to become humane and nice people.
They are scrambling, in complete colonial style, to simply abuse a few seriously deluded and corrupted local people to create the most superficial, ridiculously blatant window-dressing attempt to show that well, there are two or three Indian people on their side, so all these people denouncing Aurovillage as a colonial settlement are somehow “proven” wrong.
And they are doubling down like hell, simply not even CONSIDERING the idea that maybe there is something in their behaviour and their hijacking of Mother's project of Auroville that is objectionable and needs changing.
Friends of friends, a young Indian couple with a child, had visited Auroville before and are now here to stay for four months, to check if they fit into Auroville and Auroville is what they expect it to be.
They are only one month in, and they have already decided they will run away very soon: Aurovillage is about the opposite of what it is propagandised to be.
Already within these few weeks, they had at least two extremely denigrating experiences that show clearly what the reality of Aurovillage is: standing on the road, searching their way on the map, they were told by a western person that they were on private property and had no place here. And at the place where they are lodged, they were told, very casually and as if the most simple and blatant truth in the world, that Indians have lost all connection to spirituality and yoga and need to be explained these concepts by the westerners, who know and understand.
This is Aurovillage. This is the group of people that now scream in every available ear that they are being done immense injustice, that they are victims of serious crimes by the Indian Government.
The level of arrogance and entitlement of these people is beyond describable. They are so desperate to keep their power and self-rule in their colony, they are so convinced of their divine right to own Auroville, that there is literally no limit to what they will do in order to keep their self-given authority and possessions.
No matter how blatant the lies they pump out are, they have no shame, no decency, no honesty, in fact, no human quality left to lose.
On April 6th 1968, only a mere few months into the Auroville experiment, the Mother said this to Satprem:
I didn’t want to make rules for Auroville, but I am going to be forced to start formulating certain things, because... there happens to be difficulties. I don’t know what to do.
What I wanted to say came; it’s very simple (Mother takes a written note),
simply like this (it’s about very small things):
"One must choose between getting drunk and living in Auroville, the two are incompatible."
It’s not an innocent drunkenness, I mean it results in acts of violence, it verges on madness.
So of course, if we start along this road, we may also say this (Mother takes another note):
"One must choose between living in falsehood and living in Auroville, the two are incompatible."
May it be true!