By Madhava Smullen
The South African National Council (SANC), which has served as the overarching management structure for ISKCON in South Africa since the late 1980s, is undergoing sweeping changes in its structure and approach. The aim of the transformation is to “more fully realize Srila Prabhupada’s vision for Krishna Consciousness in South Africa and to present Krishna Consciousness in a very dynamic and relevant way to all people of our country.”
The effort began about a year ago when the GBC National Secretaries for South Africa put together the “transformation committee,” a group of six devotees from different backgrounds, and asked them to help make SANC more inclusive and representative of the demographics of the country across both race and gender.
With the support of the GBCs, the transformation committee expanded the scope to consider other possible improvements as well. After a careful, comprehensive and deliberate consultation process that took over a year, the team proposed a new management system for ISKCON South Africa, with a clear set of principles for structure and organization. Within it there’s a deliberate focus on cultivating a positive culture and value system based on Vaishnava etiquette, that engenders inclusion and belonging. It also proposes an exceptional ISKCON experience for anyone coming into contact with the society.
SANC also wants to ensure that the priorities of ISKCON South Africa take into account the needs of all constituent groups. And the Council hopes to train and develop as many devotees as possible to take up leadership.
“We have so many amazing, talented devotees from diverse backgrounds, who are so skilled, experienced, and spiritually mature,” says Anuradha Dasi, who is a member of the transformation committee and co-chair of SANC along with Radhe Shyam Das. “We felt strongly the need to create opportunity for a new, younger generation of leaders to come to the fore.”
In addition, women, who are the majority of the South African congregation, make up over 50% of the new SANC leadership. And there is significant representation – over 40% -- of local African devotees.
Read more: https://iskconnews.org/iskcon-south-african-national-council-makes-sweeping-changes,8097/