Why We Call Shikshantar a Jeevan Andolan (‘Life Movement’)
Shikshantar is a movement that starts with bringing movement (rhythm, color, energy, etc.) into our own lives. We seek to link our personal lives with our social, cultural and political work. We believe in the philosophy that we must “be the change we wish to see in the world.”
- We start with a deep faith in human goodness, wisdom, intuition and the sacredness and abundance of Life.
- We have no demands from the State or the Global Market as we believe that these institutions have been built and sustained on illegitimate forms of power.
- We are open to dialogue with any and every one who is searching for a better world. We we continually try to transcend categories of ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ and various labels which dehumanize ‘the Other’. We engage with individuals and communities using appreciative approaches rather than deficit frameworks.
- We see each person as uniquely and completely qualified to share their insights, experiences, strengths and dreams about deep learning and honest living. We don’t believe in institutionalized ‘experts’ or ‘professionals’.
- We believe in the power of the informal, intimate and spontaneous. No one needs any qualifications to be a co-creator of this movement. There are no formalized procedures, bureaucracy or hierarchy for connecting with or interacting with any of us.
- We are exploring new ways of collaboration, conviviality and co-learning. We challenge competition, compulsion and ‘survival of the fittest’ narratives.
- Unlike most professionals and institutions, we do not fragment our work, our roles or our lives into separate compartments. We see concepts and practices, thought and action, as inter-linked and seek to transcend various institutional boundaries (of disciplines, of degrees, of nations, etc.). We are actively in the struggle to bring consistency among our means and our ends. We initiate change with our own homes, families, communities.
- We believe in multiple paths, multiple ideas, multiple possibilities, and resist monoculture in all its forms. We don’t have a master plan to implement or a ‘grand utopian narrative’ to force into diverse peoples’ lives and realities. We firmly believe in and encourage the right to make mistakes.
- In contrast to NGOs or didactic campaigns, we are not here to teach, convince or provide ready-made answers or solutions, but more to question, experiment and learn together. Our interactions are based on mutually exploring and deepening one another’s questions and life journeys.
- We find our resources from individuals, in the form of time, commitment, energy, love, support, in-kind materials, money, and their passion for co-creation. We do not take any core funding from governments, multinational corporations, international agencies or any other institutions. We are committed to finding ways of doing meaningful things in our lives and in growing this movement without dependence on money.