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Visit of Human Resource Development Minister

- from an article in The Hindu daily, January 2nd, 2003

Download: Minister's speech

'Auroville, an achievement and promise'

The Union Human Resource Development Minister, Murli Manohar Joshi, said he was happy the Government of India had recognised the Institute of Educational Research in Auroville as an institution of higher learning of all-India importance.

Addressing a meeting of Auroville residents at Bharat Nivas near here on Tuesday, Dr. Joshi said the government could extend both moral and financial support to the educational research in the project. The programme of educational research was centered on education for human unity, integral development of personality and for value orientation. All these three objectives were central to the education policy of the Centre. He was happy that Sanskrit was being specially encouraged and the Language Laboratory was designed in such a manner that it could provide rapid training to students in Sanskrit as also in Tamil, French and English.

The Minister also witnessed a short film on the 'Genius of India'. He said the film contained the quintessence of Indian spirituality and vitality.

Visit to Matrimandir

Dr. Joshi, who had earlier visited Matrimandir, referred to it as one that had intense and compact vibrations of the living presence of the Divine. The mandir was majestic and intensively beautiful in its conception, design and surroundings.

The VIPs communicating with Aurovilians under the Banyan Tree in the Peace area and at the foot of the Matrimandir


He said that, to his mind, Auroville was an achievement and yet a promise that was still to be fulfilled. It was a great effort that aimed at fulfilling a tremendous dream - a divine dream.

It was a dream where human relationships were to be built on the principle of universal fraternity and work was to be done in a spirit of service to the divine consciousness. Life was to be lived as process of constant research, embodying the highest values both in individual and collective life.

Alternative models

He said there were several alternatives to solve problems of the contemporary society. One model advocated unlimited production and unrestricted consumption. That implied large-scale exploitation and ruination of earth resources and ecological balance. Unfortunately, in the wake of recent movement towards globalisation, this model has come to the forefront. Instead of promoting universal brotherhood, it has been providing universal expansion of markets. It was a movement towards inequalities and subtle or explicit oppression.

There was another model that aimed at unlimited production. But realizing that restraint in consumption was necessary, it aimed at fashioning mechanical devises of restraint. This was also not likely to solve the problem. No restraint could be effective if it was sought to be achieved through external and social and legal devices. That was now proved by the collapse of the communist framework in the erstwhile USSR.

Multi-sided, multi-disciplinary and integral research

"We have therefore to look to another alternative in which production and consumption were regulated by self-control." He referred to the ideal law of social development formulated by Aurobindo in his great work, 'The Human Cycle'. He said he was happy the directive and guidelines given by the Mother on the organisation of the economic life of Auroville had been implemented. The charter the Mother had given for Auroville was also uplifting and inspiring one, fulfilling the highest ideals that the country had conceived through the ages for social harmony and solidarity. Auroville had been turned into a field of multi-sided, multi-disciplinary and integral research, opening the gates of future realization. It had been designed to fulfill the statement of Aurobindo that "we do not belong to the dawns of the past but to the noons of the future".

The Minister listening to Dr. Kireet Joshi, Chair of the AV Foundation's Governing Board, during the visit to Savitri Bhavan

Dr. Kireet Joshi addressing the Seminar on the History of Indian Culture in Auroville's Centre for Indian Culture (CIC), Bharat Nivas

Copies of the Minister's speech were distributed to media persons by Auroville authorities at Bharat Nivas. (available for download in zip.)

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