Landmark event at Auroville Serena M. Josephine The Hindu Front Page Friday, Feb 29, 2008
Focus on the future at 40th anniversary celebrations
— Photo: T. Singaravelou Sir Mark Tully speaks at Auroville on Thursday. To his right are Aster Patel, member of the governing board, and Amadou Mahtar M’bow, former Director-General of UNESCO. PUDUCHERRY:
Aiming for a true state of unity in diversity, speakers at the 40th anniversary celebrations of Auroville have stressed the need to come together and stay united, while overcoming differences and working towards building the township.
As part of the landmark celebrations here on Thursday, a symposium on “Auroville… and the Ideal of Human Unity” was held. In his message, chairman of the Auroville Foundation Karan Singh called upon Aurovilians to re-dedicate themselves to the future and focus on the next task of building the township.
“The shape of Auroville has to develop and we should see it fulfilled within the next decade or so. We should overcome our differences and should not allow the progress of Auroville to be slowed down,” he added.
The completion of Matrimandir marked the conversion of the Mother’s vision into a reality, he said. He highlighted the need to look at providing more facilities such as houses, roads, sewers and public lights at Auroville.
— Photo: T. Singaravelou Matrimandir moment: The 40th anniversary celebrations of Auroville commence with a bonfire and kolam offerings on Thursday near Puducherry. Hundreds of Aurovilians participated.
With human unity being the focal point of the celebrations, member of the International Advisory Council of Auroville Sir Mark Tully referred to two forms of balance — between individual and society, and between change and tradition.
“Indian society pays too much attention on the individual. Why we are getting it wrong at the moment is because we live in a world where individuality is over-valued,” he added.
Governing board member Aster Patel said: “We have savoured that unity in diversity and know its depth and value. But to create structures of life, we have made a headway but have not reached that point which we need.”
Taking the gathering on a journey into the future, Ameeta Mehra talked of the changes that Auroville is expected to undergo. “As the years go by, we seem to sense a kind of goodwill, and people want to come together. We see the structure of Auroville changing organically.”