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ARG feedback

Via Auroville's Intranet and AVNews, Aurovilians were asked to give feedback on the newly proposed ARG. Here is one of the comments received:

ARG: an independent body with no powers

I am listing here some of the reasons for which the Auroville Resource Group (ARG) must be - and remain! - an utterly independent body with no powers:

  1. This is not a body constituted via a rigorous system of elections, and cannot have decision making powers. Its function is purely to collect/synthesize/harmonize opinions, as numerous and varied as possible, so as to represent the whole gamut. Once the job is done, one issue at the time, the outcome must be submitted to the Residents Assembly.

  2. It is mandatory to give to the community at large, and in particular to this specific body, information as wide and complete as possible, on all issues with no exception. This applies to controversial, delicate issues too. However, it requires time to assimilate an avalanche of information; this is even truer about beginners, who cannot be rushed to take decisions on grounds for them so unfamiliar. People unwilling, or unable, to submit themselves to this rigorous process of information should not sit in this body.

  3. To express opinions, viewpoints, principles etc. is the task of this body; but all of these must be grounded, well-documented and stream from a deep knowledge and understanding of our collective functioning, our collective history and previous attempts. These conditions are still not widely developed, in Auroville.

  4. On the other side, there are quite a few Aurovilians who possess this kind of information, but for various reasons don't want to be part of this or other major bodies. Their experienced opinion cannot be discarded, to privilege (eventually) opinions at random by still immature citizens.

  5. Though exclusively constituted by members of the Residents Assembly, quite a few of them will be new to Auroville's civic life. Some may have strong opinions that don't correspond to our reality, pass trenchant judgments on people and/or facts they don't know etc., and can easily get out of touch.

  6. The opposite danger is also there: people who either because only recently have become Aurovilians, either because they never got involved before in collective debates, can be easily used to support other's people positions.

  7. The Auroville Resource Group must function in a totally independent way. It must have its own meetings, secretariat, public relations apparatus etc. Its members should not sit, i.e., in the WC, the Conflict Resolution (Harmonizing) Group or other major groups. This to preserve the freedom of this self-constituted body of Auroville citizens, to be kept immune from interferences and regimentations from empowered individuals and groups that would reduce this body to a mere appendage.

  8. At no time the Auroville Resource Group and/or the Task-oriented Residents Assembly should be permitted to hijack the decision-making process. The same applies to the WC. Whenever a true solution, expressing a real maturity of the ongoing debate proves impossible, the Residents Assembly should take over and sort out the problem by voting or referendum.

For all the above reasons I agree with the one-year time framing mandate, underlying the experimental character of this new body. Needless to say, all provisions should be taken to allow it to play an effective and meaningful role in the building of our civic consciousness.




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