News & Notes 864:From Forest Group & YC – 27th March GM Follow-Up

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864 icon.jpg   News & Notes 864
3 April 2021


From Forest Group & YC – 27th March GM Follow-Up


The Forest Group and the Youth Centre would like to thank the community and those who came to GM for their attendance and cooperation for following Covid 19 protocols. As was mentioned in the meeting, this meeting represented a first step towards a community-wide discussion and decision. We hope that TDC will publicly share their viewpoint so that the whole community can be informed about this issue from all perspectives.

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we were not able to have a Q and A session at the end of the meeting. In order to remedy this, on Saturday 3rd of April, all the presenters and organizers of the GM will be at the Youth Centre from 3 - 6 PM to interact with interested community members who would like to further understand the presentations and see the ground realities first hand. Also, please visit the GM+ website: https://www.ras-auroville.org/general-meetings/ht-line-through-bliss-area-and-the-youth-center/ to watch the video recording of the GM, access all presentations of the GM as pdfs, watch various interviews with different town planners and architects of our community on this topic and share your views or questions in the comments section.

We are looking forward to continuing a collaborative process!

~ Thank you, The Forest Group and the Youth Centre


~ ~ ~ ~


Some topics which need a more detailed response:

  • Compliance with existing operating procedures:
The GM followed current guidelines as much as possible. An earlier meeting was postponed on very short notice. The meeting on Saturday had approximately filled 50% of the normal capacity and there were two venues on the outside which is in line with the SOPs in place at the moment.
  • General organisation of the GM:
The meeting was organized by the Forest Group and the Youth Centre and not directly by the RAS as the RAS presently is not organising GMs until the happenings during the selection process have been cleared and the RAS has come to a resolution on how to function in this regard in the future. This is something beyond the control of the Forest Group and Youth Centre.
Because it was felt that the GM deals with an important topic concerning the entire community of Auroville and that there is no clarity on when the normal process of the RAS preparing GMs will resume, we decided to organize the meeting being in constant exchange with the RAS, the community at large and other groups. Furthermore, General and Information meetings can be called by working groups and individual Aurovilians without the need to involve the RAS.
  • The GM being one-sided / not allowing for a Q&A session:
As was expressed several times before and during the meeting (or presentation if one would like to call it that), this event is meant clearly as a first step to bring the various perspectives (again) on the same table and work collaboratively together.
The Forest Group had since long planned to present itself to the community to inform about its composition, its work and also its stand on the particular issue of the HT ring through Bliss /Youth Centre. So did the Youth Centre. The one-sided collapse of the agreed-on process (please see the notes of the meeting at the Youth Centre on November 2nd 2020 published earlier) made the need to present the case and the background more pressing and the two groups tried their best to compress a complicated topic and their perspective as much as possible.
We all hope very much that the ATDC, individuals and groups who preferred so far to stay more in the background, will create their space to present their view of how to plan Auroville, the aspect of collaboration and Human Unity and with that allow for an open and constructive exchange. The Forest Group and the Youth Centre cannot do this job for them.
Some of us recently attended a presentation by the ATDC in which collaboration and the need to involve every voice was emphasized and we are hopeful that this can be seriously practiced. This is all that the various presentations of the GM on Saturday wanted to aim at.
  • The meeting too much focused on a single topic:
Views expressed that the meeting only focused on a singular topic without considering the larger context and dimension of Auroville. We would like to respond that our intention was clearly aimed at bringing the larger perspective while looking at one important topic which could open the opportunity to bring city and nature, young and not-so-young... together and thereby establish new models of truly collaborative planning. Please refer to the presentation (link above).
  • Forest Group / Youth Center being anti-development:
Some responses on various platforms again made the point that the two groups are only pushing their obstructionist agenda and are against development and the lying of important infrastructure. To this we can only say that we are sorry as we have then not managed to bring the core content of the meeting – the call for collaboration, participation and unity – across to those Aurovilians. Please have a look at the presentation available online (if you haven't yet done so): both groups are NOT anti-development but for a more contextual and pragmatic approach to development instead of a top-down approach discarding context and reasonable considerations while ignoring available options to solve an apparent deadlock.
  • Follow up:
As mentioned, both groups – and we believe indeed many Aurovilians – look forward to hear from the ATDC etc. and continue on this path of exchange and hopefully collaboration: for the case of the HT ring in Bliss / Youth Centre and for a more inclusive way of working and aligning our interpretations of how to build Auroville. Meanwhile there are several platforms in place to get information: the RAS GM+ platform, the AuroNet in general, emails to the Forest Group and the Youth Centre…
Next Saturday at the Youth Centre one can experience the situation live and find people able to inform and clarify. If you have the need to ask questions more in private or person to person, talk to us, the presenters of the various topics are happy to be approached. We implore you to be curious, open-minded and informed.