History: AV Today article : JRD TATA

MR J.R.D.TAT A,eminentIndian industria list, pioneer aviator
and long-term friend of
Au ov ille, was a member of the first
Auroville International Advisory Council.
ACROVILLETODAYinterviewed him
on 26th February and, later the same
day, he gave an informal speech to a
small group of Aurovilians at a tea party.
Here are some extracts from the interview
and the impromptu talk:
“I first heard about Auroville in 1969 when
I allen an exhibition of Auroville handicr
Its in Bombay. There I met some
Auro -ilians, including Frederick, and
I ~ about this concept of a city that
belong to nobody. It sounded a bit strange,
impractical, but sentimentally I was very attracted
by the idea.
In 1971, I visited for the first time. It was
all rather barren. I wanted to see trees here,
and I wanted to help the rural population of
the area. So wh n ‘Auromitra’ (a funding
el f A ville projccts-eds.) was set
. I gave some support. But you took very
liu from me-obviously you people don’t
‘Don’t Lose the
Pioneering
Spirit!’
need money! When I came back years later,
I was amazed to find that Auroville has become
a forest. But even as I drove in yesterday,
I felt that there’s still room for another
mi11iontrees …
Another reason I became interested in
Auroville in the 1970’s was that a battle was
going on here, and I was afraid that both the
spirit and the substance of Auroville would
be destroyed. I wanted to help prevent this.
Now I understand that this matter is settled.
But I see that Auroville is still not free. Dr.
Karan Singh explained to me that the
Aurovilians want to be completely free, but
that any large organisation has to have some
rules and regulations, and this is why the
Foundation was created. I approve of the
Foundation. But if I’m asked for my opinion
Mr. J.R.D. Tata
as a member of the International Advisory
Council-I won’t be, of coursel-s-I’Il say
that I would like the Aurovilians to keep their
freedom. I don’t mean a legal freedom, but a
soul freedom. There is always a chance with
governments and politicians that your
freedom of thought and right to pioneer will
be interfered with. You should resist this, you
should fight against institutionalization. The
Aurovilians should decide what regulations
and controls should be exercised in their own
interests.
Above all, the Aurovilians should not lose
the pioneering spirit and your sense of adventure
which comes from the strength and
creativity of The Mother. I have always
believed in living a little dangerously and
taking risks. Don’t be afraid of danger-s-but
keep the power to dream.
In this rampaging world, Auroville could
be a sort of model, a hope, as you are pioneering
a new way of organization, a new way of
life. But Auroville still has much more to
achieve in this, and Auroville remains unknown
by many people. Perhaps in the future,
other Aurovilles could be created in
India …
Auroville is not just an idea. It is the future,
the future of the world. It is the only model
that I know of that has survived, and I believe
in it more today than ever before. I’ve come
here today to breathe the Auroville spirit. I’m
not an Aurovilian, but I have the Auroville
spirit!”

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