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Unofficial Report on the 2001 GBC Meetings
By Kalakantha Dasa

February 23, 2001

Dear Maharaja/Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The minutes from this year's GBC meeting have been compiled and, as usual, are being reviewed by an attorney before public release. They should be out within a week. However, several inaccurate reports have already been circulating, so here for your information is a short, unofficial summary of some key points from the meeting secretary.

Every year the GBC agenda includes 50 to 100 proposals, suggestions, philosophical issues and unresolved conflicts. This year one of the major topics involved restructuring the GBC. A sub-committee of twelve senior devotees representing different regions, ashrams and viewpoints considered several related proposals. Among their conclusions that were accepted by the GBC body:

1. Membership on the GBC body should not be limited by ashram or external consideration but should be open to any qualified devotee.

2. The GBC body needs to give more attention to issues of global relevance and also to the training and assessment of its own members.

3. To that end the GBC requires more responsible help from the GBC Deputies, including assigned administrative regions of ISKCON in which the Deputies can assist the GBC.

In demonstrating its commitment to conclusion #1, the GBC confirmed the full voting membership of Malati devi dasi. The GBC also added to the body one grhastha man (Pragosh dasa of Ireland, candidate for co-GBC in France), one grhastha couple (Srutikirti and Kusa, GBC Grhastha Ministers) as well as a additional sannyasi (Devamrta Swami, candidate for GBC in South America).

Regarding conclusion #2, the GBC assigned a committee to research various assessment models, Vedic and Western, as well as other relevant training opportunities. The committee met in Mayapur and has already generated a number of interesting possibilities.

In addressing conclusion #3 the GBC sharpened the Deputies' mandate to help develop ISKCON legislation and asked them to help round out their membership geographically for better administration. The Deputies met in Mayapur and enthusiastically agreed to work with the GBC to fulfill these duties.

In 1995, while preparing for the Srila Prabhupada Centennial, the GBC for the first time brought a significant number of new devotees to the annual GBC meeting. The next year the GBC created the GBC Deputies body, and since then a core group of these non-GBC members has participated in the GBC meetings. The GBC now feels comfortable with this group and wants to expand their membership and responsibilities.

In addition, the GBC body favorably considered the concept of an independent "Brahminical Advisory Council" that could help the GBC in various ways. They assigned a committee of senior brahmanas to study the concept and make a concrete proposal for next year's meetings. They also assigned Braja Bihari Prabhu to research methods of Conflict Resolution and make such information available to the devotees in our Society.

This summarizes some of the meeting's significant resolutions involving the operation of the GBC. More details about these resolutions, as well as the many other issues addressed, will be forthcoming in the GBC minutes.

Thank you.

Your servant, Kalakantha dasa, GBC Secretariat

© CHAKRA 25 February 2001

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