Clarification on Working Committee and RoR
In the light of the confusion surrounding the Working Committee of the Residents Assembly and the updating of the Register of Residents (RoR) by the office of the Secretary of the Auroville Foundation we feel the need to make this statement.
Firstly, there is only 1 Working Committee of the Residents’ Assembly as per the recent RAD outcome. The confusion has arisen based on 3 unfortunate developments listed here.
1. The four ex-Working Committee members (removed by the RAD) had incorrectly used a clause in the PWG document (as confirmed by the Council) attempting to remove their fellow Working Committee members. The details of this error are 2-fold and can be shared at a later time if necessary.
For the above point, it must be understood that the Council mandate states that the Council will “oversee the observance of policies and decisions approved by the RA in collaboration with the Working Committee and will address non-compliance with established Auroville policies”. As this clause is part of the Council mandate it clearly gives the presiding role of being the mandated group to oversee the observance of policies and decisions of the RA to the Council (above that of the Working Committee). But regardless of this, as the non-compliance in this case concerns the Working Committee itself, and with the obvious conflict of
interest, this role falls upon Council solely.
2. Not only have the four ex-Working Committee members disregarded our internal policies but they have rejected the authority of the Residents Assembly to choose the term of Working Committee members as stipulated in the Foundation Act. While the RA was in the process (RAD) of a potential “vote of no confidence in and new selection of the current Working Committee”, these four members disregarded the authority of the RA by attempting to remove the other three members of the Working Committee.
This power, as per the Foundation Act, to determine the term of Working Committee members is clearly bestowed, which means that the RA can at any time select new members at its discretion including their terms. This infers the removal of Working Committee members as well.
3. Lastly, the letter received from Mr. Seetharaman, Officer on Special Duty (OSD), asking the RA to pause all RADs and intending to annul all RADs until the RoR is updated, was an apparent overreach of the function of the OSD.
In order for the RA to function as an authority of the Auroville Foundation, it must be able to make decisions and give its recommendations when necessary. In its function the GB amongst other things may accord approval to the programs of
Auroville drawn up by the RA, it cannot pause them arbitrarily. Nor can the GB infringe on the right of the RA to select the Working Committee. So far the Office of the Secretary has unfortunately not recognised the recent RAD result nor the appointment of the legitimate interim Working Committee of the Resident’ Assembly.
For all of the above reasons, the selected Working Committee members (Chali, Hemant, Sauro) who were recently confirmed by the RA on the 10th May 2022, including the appointed interim members (Elisa, Gilles and Jurgen), are the members of the only and official Working Committee of the Residents Assembly of the Auroville Foundation.
We hope this clarifies, please feel free to write if you have any doubts.
We pray for the spirit of respect and collaboration to emerge between all the bodies of the Auroville Foundation and between all the individuals connected to this wondrous dream of the Mother’s.
Sincerely and warm regards,
Auroville Council and Working Committee