|A guide (Basru) brings meaning to the visual treats|
Due to a strike all the craft shops were closed. They were protesting local zoning rules against locating stalls in the park. A similar one day work stoppage in other parts of Tamil Nahu was to protest Kerala's opposition to the enlargement of a dam, which delivers significant water supplies to Tamil Nadu. Over the next few days we read stories of "black flag" protests and strikes - shopkeepers close their shops and deny the government a day's worth of tax revenues.
Unrelated to the strikes were the banners and graffiti with the hammer and sickle, which we saw from Puduicherry (our next stop) and onward. We asked our driver about the popularity of the Communist Party. He said that the communists were active in Kerala. He didn't have anything more to say on the subject of communists, but he had a lot to say about corruption. He believed that the large number (142 more or less) of Indian political parties was at the heart of corruption. In contested districts the parties have been known to give potential voters can get color television, money, or other inducements. The driver believed that Indian needs a two-party system and cited Singapore as a political model. Actually Singapore has more than two political parties, but everyone we have met in our travels admires its lack of corruption and aggressive anti-corruption strategies (a public official caught taking a bribe can lose his job and pension). BTW in Malaysians advocates two political parties see it as a way to create multi-ethnic parties instead of its current racial based parties.
Anandha Inn. It is located in a central area, so we could wander the streets and enjoy the city's "French feel."
|The room included this line up of adult beverages|
|Street in Puducherry - quieter & cleaner than Chennai|
|Puducherry - window grate|
|Faded sign reads "green point" - no question what is more important|
|Tree in Auroville|
|Auroville Path to the Matrimandir|
Auroville near Visitors Centre toward cafe and gift shop