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Jan 2002

Last I.A.C. meeting

- by Carel


On December 10th the present International Advisory Council (IAC) had its fourth and last meeting in Auroville.


The IAC meeting was attended by Dr. Mary King, Dr. Ariyaratne, Mr. Bernard de Montferrand and the chairman, Dr. Kireet Joshi. Dr. Norman Myers could not be present due to health problems. Mr. Bernard de Montferrand, the Ambassador of France in India, was appointed member of the IAC on March 23rd, 2001 in place of Prof. Amartya Sen who had resigned.

"Of all the IAC meetings I attended this one was the most enriching," said Dr. Mary King to an audience of Aurovilians on the roof of the Solar Kitchen that evening. "Someone visiting Auroville once a year, as I have done since 1999, is in a position to see the changes that have occurred. And Auroville has made much progress." The IAC members welcomed the drive towards obtaining a substantial grant from the Government of India towards education projects, the development of the International Zone, the fact that the Government of India had approved the Auroville Master Plan, and the attempts made by the community to manifest an internal organizational structure known as 'the Divine Anarchy' document. "But I question being too absolutistic in operating by consensus for all issues, as it is extremely difficult. One must be selective because of the time involved in seeking consensus," warned Mary King. "I have lots of experience working in the U.S. Civil Rights movement trying to get consensus. Our meetings used to last three days and sometimes also nights, and consensus was declared by the last person awake or who had not yet left." She also commended the members of the Auroville Working Committee for their work and called upon the community to find a way of valuing people who do this type of service as, as she observed, former members suffer a 'burn-out syndrome' and do not wish to come back, which is a loss to the community. Dr. Ariyaratne suggested that the Auroville youth should be motivated to form its own councils and have a place in the organizational structure, in the way this is being done by the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movemement in Sri Lanka. He also advised that Auroville pool resources to form an internal banking system, which would greatly benefit the growth of the community and help to create its own economy. "The standard of living is often confused with the quality of life," he said, and Auroville has no choice but to aim at the latter, which requires a strong spiritual basis.

Dr. Kireet Joshi thanked the IAC members for their willingness to help Auroville with its development. He pointed out that this was the last meeting of the IAC in its present constitution, as the term of office of its members ends on December 16th. The Minister of Human Resource Development is expected to announce the appointment of the new members of the next IAC soon.

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