After the police intervention on May 18th 2022 at the Town Hall called by the Secretary of the Auroville Foundation and the shut down of the same by the police more than 350 Aurovilians came peacefully at the Town Hall to show their support to the Working Committee of the Resident assembly. A letter has been addressed to the Secretary.
Dear Madam Secretary,
We deeply regret that you have chosen once more to interfere in the internal governance of Au- roville by taking the unprecedented step in the history of Auroville of calling on the police on 18/05/2022 to prevent the Working Committee (WC) from accessing its office and discharging its duties as required of it by the Residents’ Assembly.
After several months of Residents’ Assembly meetings discussing the proposal to reconstitute the Working Committee as per processes defined by the Residents’ Assembly, which are within the scope of the Auroville Foundation Act. Under the Rules governing such a reconstitution, on 10/05/2022 the RAS announced the results of the decision arrived at by the Residents of Auroville, from a vote by 864 residents of the community. This was amongst the largest ever participation by the community in a decision-making event.
The reconstitution of the WC was called for by a significant number of Aurovilians who felt that the WC had ceased to represent their interests or the interests of Auroville. The selection process for members to a new Working Committee required the community to first vote its preference for ac- cepting or rejecting the existing 7 members of the WC as members of a reconstituted WC. If the community chose to remove some WC members, the remaining members would select replace- ments for them as interim members until the community underwent a process to confirm the interim members or preferred to select others to replace them.
The result of the process by 864 Aurovilians is unambiguous and emphatic.
782 votes – Anu to be removed;
82 votes – Anu to continue.
762 votes – Arun to be removed;
102 votes – Arun to continue.
52 votes – Chali to be removed;
812 votes – Chali to continue.
55 votes – Hemant to be removed;
809 votes – Hemant to continue. Parthasarathy:
710 votes – Parthasarathy to be removed; 154 votes – Parthasarathy to continue. Sauro:
37 votes – Sauro to be removed;
827 votes – Sauro to continue.
779 votes – Srimoyi to be removed;
85 votes – Srimoyi to continue.
The above overwhelming rejection of 4 members of the Working Committee (Anu, Arun, Parthasarathy, Srimoyi) is also a reaction by the community to the submission and acquiescence of these 4 Working Committee members to illegal attempts by the Foundation office and the Secretary to the Governing Board to undermine its status as an autonomous body so carefully and deliberately crafted by the wisdom of this country’s Parliament. It is also a reaction to the intimidation of Au- rovilians by the threats to their visas and their duration or the articulated threats of the import of workers from other states to replace local Aurovilians. Equally serious are violations of human rights and freedom of speech of the community by the forcible occupation of their media center, appointment by the Foundation of spokespersons to media for the community, and extraction under intimidation of internet access and passwords. Also not the least offensive is the illegal appointment by the Foundation office of members to the Town Development Council, which is the statutory right of the Residents’ Assembly.
We outline these obstacles in a spirit of honest and frank exchange in anticipation of the evolution of a harmonious relationship with the office of the Secretary of the Auroville Foundation. Particu- larly in the hope that in this year of Sri Aurobindo’s 150th Anniversary we can share Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of what Auroville can achieve for its own development and as a worthy contribution from the Mother and Sri Aurobindo to Mother India.
Members of the Residents’ Assembly of the Auroville Foundation