the new autonomy of centres
The Brahma Kumaris has never been a democracy. Considering its ancient social and cultural roots, this is no surprise. Rather it operates as a top-down hierarchy or some would say akin to a family, where elders are naturally obeyed and respected. In keeping with this cultural ideal, the current structure operates so that seniors appoint juniors. This is a logical progression from its earliest years. It is believed that Brahma was appointed by the Divine to establish the Brahma Kumaris. Brahma Baba appointed others, and these ranks were respected and understood as divine appointments. The senior Dadis were appointed by Baba and they remain in position. The Dadis have appointed those beneath them, and so on and so forth through to regional, national, local and centre level.
The relationship between Madhuban (Brahma Kumaris Headquarters in India) and overseas centres has changed considerably over the past few years, bringing legal and financial change to the organisation throughout the world. To the best of my knowledge this is what happened...
Within the last 10 years ago, the taxation laws in India changed. Every centre in the world connected to Madhuban would have to pay tax to the Indian government, which would be a financial burden for many centres. Subsequent to this law change, Madhuban cut fiscal ties to international centres creating a new kind of independence. The relationship between Madhuban and overseas is still social, cultural and devotional. These deep and lasting ties are based on shared understanding, a relationship of mutual care, and a common vision for global change. However, with financial and legal autonomy comes the possibility for social change. The Brahma Kumaris in France was the first one to realise this change in a politically significant way.
Brahma Kumaris in France have recently structured a new kind of leadership, that is novel within the organisation. This is quite a radical change for the Brahma Kumaris organisation, but one that is welcome as many BKs are seeking a more integrated and less cloistered life which also reflects a true living spirituality.
Before you read it, please take note of the following which was shared by Brother Francois from France.
- France has many who are spiritually very mature, which means a new governance was required.
- This has been a three year work involving many.
- The idea was to be open and not restricted, to make it friendly and inclusive.
- This has been created from the ideal of respect-ocracy rather than demo-cracy.
- It is a sample to learn from, not THE reference.
- It is a French document adapted to the political situation of France.
- This is not the new shrimat (prescriptive directions) of the western yagya (Brahma Kumaris)