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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.