On 16th June, the ex-Working Committe & self-appointed ‘interim members’ (ex-WCom)announced to the community that a ‘Grievance Cell’ was being created in order to respond to “several unofficial complaints from the silent majority of Auroville residents [that] indicate that they are unable to speak up in favour of the current movement to build the City as per the Master plan.” The creation of this Grievance Cell brings up a number of important questions and concerns. Ten pertinent questions regarding the motives, functioning and concerns can be read in further detail here below:
The creation of a Grievance Cell by the ex-Working Committee and their self appointed interim members (Anu, Arun, Joseba, Partha, Selvaraj, Srimoyi, and Tine): 10 key questions
On 16th June 2022, Anu, Arun, Joseba, Partha, Selvaraj, Srimoyi, and Tine (the ex-WCom
professing to speak for the ‘silent majority’ despite being overwhelmingly voted out) wrote to
the community. They stated that a Grievance Cell would be created. The reason for this
Grievance Cell was the existence of “Several unofficial complaints from the silent majority of
Auroville residents indicate that they are unable to speak up in favour of the current movement to
build the City as per the Master Plan.”
Fundamental questions arise from this radical step:
1. “Several unofficial complaints” : How many “unofficial complaints” have been made and to whom? The term ‘unofficial’ implies that the complaints are unrecorded and unverifiable to people other than the ex-Wcom and yet merit the extraordinary creation of a Grievance Cell.
2. What are the:
· scope of work:
· terms of reference:
· methodology for working: and
· enforcement of decision protocols
for the Grievance Cell?
3. Has the creation of a Grievance Cell that ostensibly bypasses Community processes been
discussed with the Ministry of Education? If it has, are there official communications that
confirm their support? Would there, for example, be any written Orders from the
Ministry? If there are, where are they?
4. Is reporting to the Grievance Cell restricted only to those deemed “unable to speak up in
favour of the current movement to build the City as per the Master Plan”?
5. Who shall sit on the Grievance Cell? In particular, are any of the following intending to
sit on the Grievance Cell as adjudicators or in any other capacity: Anu, Arun, Joseba,
Partha, Selvaraj, Srimoyi, and Tine.
6. On 30 March 2022, Anu posted on Auronet, along with Arun, Partha, Srimoyi.
Collectively, they stated, “We are not against the RA but for honouring the aims of
Auroville as stated in the Foundation Act, which is to uphold the Charter of Auroville and
the Mother’s City via the realization of the master plan. All efforts to help move towards
this is our absolute duty…”( About the RAD | Auronet (auroville.org.in)). Are there not
obvious and irremediable issues of bias if these Aurovilians, and others who have
expressed such beliefs, are appointed to oversee or otherwise participate in the work of a
Grievance Cell whose sole remit is to listen to alleged grievances from those who have
similar views (i.e. those who Anu et al say are “unable to speak up in favour of the
current movement to build the City as per the Master Plan”)?
7. Would Anu et al support the creation of a similar Grievance Cell for those who feel
unable to speak up in favour of an RA led approach to building the city for fear of
inherent and sometimes explicit threats (for examples to visas) from people who have
different perspectives to their own? Surely they must be aware that the creation of
ideologically led Grievance Cells is fundamentally unfair and against the spirit of
8. What happens if the Grievance Cell makes findings against certain Aurovilians? To
whom can they appeal? Are they allowed to appeal:
· To the Auroville Council?
· Only to others who share Anu et al’s perspectives on developing the City i.e. the
Secretary or the Governing Board? or
· Is there no appeal process?
9. Why are the current dispute resolution methods in Auroville deemed so unsatisfactory by the ex-Wcom and apparently the Governing Board that a mere “several unofficial complaints” were deemed sufficient to take such an extraordinary measure as creating a Grievance Cell running parallel to what other Aurovilians (who do not share the views of
the ex-Wcom) have to follow?
10. For unelected ex-WCom members who now sign their emails as the “Working Committee” please explain how the creation of this Grievance Cell honours the Working Committee mandate to “Represent the Residents’Assembly in interactions with [the] Governing Board…” ? Is this mandate now irrelevant to the ex-Wcom acting as the