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Excerpts from the speech of Dr. Karan Singh with the Aurovilians
on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Auroville

 

(30th March 2008, evening)

 

 

 

Friends,
Let me at the outset warmly congratulate the entire community for the 40th anniversary celebrations of the founding of Auroville. The most significant event was the completion of the Matrimandir. in my first tenure as chairman I was able to get the inner chamber completed, now before the end of this term we are able to see the completion of MM. I saw MM coming up literally from the ground, and this magnificent structure has been built entirely by the Aurovilians, by your work, dedication and idealism.
All the money has been raised by the Aurovilians, not a single rupee has come from the government.
On this occasion I would like to remember all the donors who donated generously to the MM, all the workers and executives, all those who have been involved with this great structure. I look upon the MM as Auroville’s gift to the world.
It is really unique and will become a great centre of attraction.
Some people are concerned about the inflow of tourist, but this structure cannot be hidden – you can expect 100,000 people a month top visit MM. I am glad to see that a lot of effort has gone into the preparation of these access documents.
Roger, the chief architect, has passed away but this was his life work.
The Foundation’s gift to Auroville is the statue of Sri Aurobindo – I really think that this was something that was needed – and I am happy that its location is in front of the new wing of Savitri Bhavan – a very lovely place and the statue completes the celebrations of the 40th anniversary.
Swagatham Guest House: we did not have a Guest House which could receive visiting dignitaries. The AV Foundation also has now its own habitation.
I was also delighted to see the rejuvenated and renovated Sri Aurobindo Auditorium. All of these are important achievements.
Other points:
The future has to be planned and the city has to be built. It is up to the community and to L’Avenir to work out the micro planning of the new city. A lot of work has to be done, the Master Plan is there but each segment has now to be worked out and that is a major task. The sooner we get the detailed plans ready, the better it will be.
In this connection I would like to stress the importance of land acquisition. Unless we have the land we cannot hope to build the city. The acquisition of land whether by purchase or exchange has to be expedited. There are several outlying communities located outside the city area – maybe they can be encouraged to come back into the city by some exchange of land and some incentive, that is up to the community to decide. But it is in the interest of the community that the land is acquired as soon as possible. With the new railway line and Kootroad bypass, the entire area will come under large pressure and it will become increasingly difficult to acquire land. We will reconstitute the LCC. The community should get fully involved in this process of land acquisition.
There are certain other pending matters: the visa matter has been sorted out; some financial management problems. They have to be sorted out in the next 4 months.
The 40th anniversary of Auroville marks a new phase in the outer development of Auroville as well as in the inner development of the consciousness of the Aurovilians, for all of you are here to pursue the yoga of the higher consciousness, that is why so many beautiful things have been made in Auroville, a commitment to beauty and excellence and I would urge that the general body functions better.
The prime necessity is for the Aurovilians to work harmoniously together.

 

 

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