The Peoples' Institute for Re-thinking Education and Development

Swaraj (self-rule, rule over oneself, or rather, harmony of the self) is inspired by Gandhiji's Hind Swaraj, a call for people to lead and create their own models of development that are holistic, pluralistic, ecologically regenerative, liberating, collaborative, socially just, and anticipatory. By highlighting and connecting the following three vectors into a framework of Lifelong Societal Learning, we seek to create generative environments that empower communities in building their own visions of Swaraj-development.

Innovative Learning

recognizing the infinite potential of each human being; and enabling people to continuously 'learn, unlearn, and relearn' by developing their capacities for deep thinking, reflecting, feeling, understanding, sharing, creating, and taking personal responsibility.

Cultural Articulation

stimulating cultural confidence and cross-cultural sharing; and nurturing the imagination, knowledge, symbols, languages, relationships, values and tools necessary to challenge dehumanizing, exploitative institutions and to create new meanings and practices of development.

Radical Spirituality

redefining the meaning mainstream society gives to existing political, economic, and technological institutions beyond notions of 'profit' and 'efficiency'; and envisioning new conceptions of progress which allow people to realize their inherent goodness, to live in peace, to re-entangle ourselves with the natural world, and to discover what it means to be fully human.

Building on the work of great visionaries

Education for what?

"True Education is that by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, intellect is expanded, by which one can stand on one's own feet."
- Swami Vevekandanda

"I would develop in the child his hands, his brain, and his soul. The hands have almost atrophied. The soul has altogether been ignored."
- Mahatma Gandhi

"Education must be of such a quality that it will train students in intellectual self-reliance and make them independent thinkers."
- Vinobha Bhave

"Education is not just to pass examinations, take a degree and a job, get married and settle down, but also to be able to listen to the birds, to see the sky, to see the extraordinary beauty of a tree, and the shape of the hills, and to feel with them, to be really, directly in touch with them."
- Krishnamurti

All education is, on the one side a search for the truth, on the other a pursuit of social betterment.
- Radhakrishnan

Education how?

"We have to recognize that all education is and must always be an experiment. We must be prepared to develop, modify, and adapt it to meet the divergent needs of town and village, of industrial and agricultural areas and of the different parts of the country. . . We must also recognize that there are differences in the taste and aptitude of children and there are some who are practical-minded while others have a greater predilection for abstract or artistic activities."
- Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

"For true education is to realize at every stage how our learning and knowledge have an organic connection with our surroundings."
- Rabindranath Tagore

Education when?

"Education encompasses the entire vista of mans life on earth, from conception to cremation, if not before and beyond it."
- Mahatma Gandhi