Friday, November 27, 2015

'Sociocracy - design for collaborative governance' from 24th to 28th January 2016 at Swaraj University


Swaraj University and the Swapathgami Network


invite you to a 5 day residential workshop on


'Sociocracy – design for collaborative governance'


Dates: 24 to 28 January, 2016


Venue: Swaraj University, Udaipur



What does this gathering offer?


Around the world, people in communities, organizations, corporations, and political parties are looking for:


         A spirit of co-creation, co-responsibility and collective ownership of the decision-making

         Efficient and meaningful ways to make collaborative decisions.

         Communication and integration between different parts of your organization.

         Full transparency with safety and trust between team members.


Sociocracy is a design system that makes these goals achievable. Its dynamic governance principles involve everyone in the organization's decision-making processes; their voices matter equally. It is inspired by the Quakers, Cybernetics and nature's way of operating.


It was developed in The Netherlands, first at an alternate school where the children's learning space was governed in the spirit of partnership, and later at an electrical engineering company set up as an intentional management science laboratory. Since then, for-profit corporations, NGOs, schools, religious groups, communities, and networks in Europe, North and South America, and a few places in Oceania, Africa and Asia, including India, are using it successfully.



About the Facilitators


John Buck


A certified Sociocratic Organizational Consultant, John heads The Sociocracy Group operations in the United States. His career includes an extensive for-profit management experience. As a consultant he has led dozens of Sociocracy implementation projects for a variety of organizations, resulting in greater effectiveness and increased employee engagement. He believes that basic values such as equality, liberty, and transparency can make our work places dramatically more sustainable, elegant, and profitable.


He excels in customizing sociocratic principles to each organization's particular concerns, work schedules, and professional focus. John has translated numerous documents from the original Dutch and is co-author (with Sharon Villines) of We the People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy. He has also been instrumental in bringing Socioracy to the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) and had collaborated with Marshall Rosenberg and various NVC trainers to successfully implement it in their organization. To know more about John and Sociocracy, visit



Prem Pavitra


With a B.A in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia, Canada, Pavitra lives in Findhorn, a sustainable community in Scotland. She began practicing 5 Rhythms Dance and later moved into conscious embodiment through Open Floor Movement over these last four years. Pavitra follows a unique path bridging knowledge in inner and outer sustainability, anthropology, and mind-body-emotion awareness. She is working towards certification in Sociocracy, and aspires to do the same for Open Floor when the moment is ripe.



Here's what people who have learnt and practiced Sociocracy, have to share about their experience.


"Sociocracy supports transparency and clarity in roles and responsibilities. It offers efficient and speedy ways of taking decisions with full consent of the team, which nurtures the spirit of co-creation", says Shammi Nanda who works on Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and Sustainable Living.


"We wanted to bring in a more inclusive and collaborative work culture in Green Souls. Sociocracy is helping us bring in equivalence, transparency and effectiveness in our work together", remarks Sabita Rajendran, coordinator at Green Souls, Mumbai.


"Sociocracy is unique in the way it uses intelligent processes to bring people together with an eye for effectiveness and equality like no other model that I have ever seen so far in this world", adds Ashok Subramanian, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) trainer, Shinota Consulting, Bangalore.


"I've been using Sociocratic consent decision making process in group meetings. I found it to be an effective way to get all voices heard and I appreciate the idea of embracing objections from any member as a gift, bringing wisdom to the group", observes Mona Patrao, an organic farmer sharing NVC & sustainable living.




Like many spaces across India and around the world, Swaraj University and the Swapathgami Network are experimenting and working with rethinking our lifestyles and our relationship with ourselves, our work, our resources and our communities. We are questioning, challenging and experimenting with our set notions of money.

So we welcome you to join our experiment and explore your relationship with money.

By participating in such workshops you are in a non-monetary way, supporting and encouraging such learning spaces to stay alive. You are, in a beautiful way, taking forward the larger movement of reclaiming our learning. However, it is important that we all contribute to take care of the needs of the facilitators and meet the actual expenses of hosting such a workshop.

The financial contribution for this workshop is on a sliding scale from 5,500 to 12,500 or more. Please choose your preferred contribution in the registration form.


Your contribution will support to pay for the food and stay expenses of the workshop at Swaraj University. It will also help us to fund those who cannot pay the minimum amount.


We would like to accommodate everyone who is interested in this field of work and we understand that some of us might find it challenging to contribute the minimum amount. If so, please feel free to speak or write to us so that we can look for ways through which we can support each other.


If you think this workshop is for you then please go ahead and register by clicking this link.

For further queries and in case you are unable to register through this link, please write to us at[at] You can also call us on 08764279302.

Looking forward to your presence,

Swaraj University and the Swapathgami Network

Swaraj University workshop team

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Orgone Accumulator: Impossible Technology Inventions That Work

Cross-posting from FixTheWorld project's newsletter:


As Wilhelm Reich, M.D., (1897-1957) moved from Europe to Scandinavia to America, he left a trail of angry experts in every field he explored, from psychiatry to politics to sexology, biology, microscopy and cancer research. His work all led toward one unifying discovery, a mass-free pulsating life-force energy he named orgone, because he discovered it in living organisms before finding that it also permeates earth's atmosphere.

Reich's life ended in prison after prolonged conflict with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. His books and papers were burned by federal officials because the FDA had gathered a case against use of his orgone accumulator for therapy. The accumulator is a box made of layered organic and inorganic materials; experiments with it show anomalous results. An unusual temperature rise inside the accumulator indicates limitations of the second law of thermodynamics. Whether or not concentrated orgone can help with health problems, the accumulator does defy standard science.

Note: I strongly believe that this is the same as prana referred to in pranic healing.

Misguided War on Terror Explained - Dr. Robert Pape

Parliament Keynote Pape Explains Misguided War on Terror 

In a dedicated message to the Parliament community, Dr. Robert Pape, co-founder of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism says, "This work is spreading the word about how to actually fight terrorism. For too long, we have relied on the false impression that we are in a war against Islam. Instead data from thousands of attacks around the world shows that foreign occupation, not religion, is the key driver for suicide terrorism." Check out Pape's Resources for Understanding Terrorism and Watch His 2015 Parliament Keynote Here >

You will not have my hatred

"You will not have my hatred "

Antoine Leiris, whose wife Helen Muyal-Leiris, 35, lost her life in the Paris attack, has posted a poignant message to Islamic State terorrists on Facebook, insisting that he and their baby son would not live in fear of terrorists.

"On Friday evening you stole the life of an exceptional person, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hatred.

"I don't know who you are and I don't want to know, you are dead souls. If this God for whom you kill blindly made us in his image, every bullet in the body of my wife is a wound in his heart.

"So no, I will not give you the satisfaction of hating you. You want it, but to respond to hatred with anger would be to give in to the same ignorance that made you what you are.

"You would like me to be scared, for me to look at my fellow citizens with a suspicious eye, for me to sacrifice my liberty for my security. You have lost. The player still plays.

"I saw her this morning. At last, after nights and days of waiting. She was as beautiful as when she left on Friday evening, as beautiful as when I fell head over heels in love with her more than 12 years ago.

"Of course I am devastated with grief, I grant you this small victory, but it will be short-lived.

"I know she will be with us every day and we will find each other in heaven with free souls which you will never have.

"Us two, my son and I, we will be stronger than every army in the world. I cannot waste any more time on you as I must go back to [my son] who has just woken from his sleep.

"He is only just 17 months old, he is going to eat his snack just like every other day, then we are going to play like every other day and all his life this little boy will be happy and free.

"Because you will never have his hatred either."

Painting by child on Chennai floods

Painting by a child making sense of the floods in Chennai.

Shared on twitter, creator unknown to me as of now.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

About NIOS Open Basic Education

From: University of Life

Open Basic Education (OBE) is a programme of NIOS providing a elementary education at three levels, for school drop-outs and neo-literates, out of school learners through Accredited Agencies.Under its "Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)", the Government of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has been endeavouring to provide Basic Education to all children, youth and adults in the country. The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) has launched the Open Basic Education (OBE) Programme, as an alternative educational programme, equivalent to the Elementary Education Programme of the formal education system. The OBE Programme explores and makes use of the potentialities of Distance Education Mode (DEM) for reaching the unreached.

In 2005 Govt of India took decision to terminate Open Basic Education (OBE) from NIOS which is the world's largest open school. This decision was later revoked and OBE got extension till 2017. Earlier there was no proper response from the NIOS office in Noida but now it seems the HRD ministry has taken steps to improve the standards of NIOS. We can see more OBE centers on the list of NIOS website. As per the new guidelines the schedule timing for OBE admission is now April & May. NIOS will now charge fees for OBE. (roughly Rs. 300 for "A" level equivalent to class 3, Rs. 500 for "B" level equivalent to class 5, Rs. 800 for "C" level equivalent to class "8")

Below mentioned organisation are OBE study study center at following locations:
(GOA) - Jan Shikshan Sansthan Goa SIE. Bld, Vidya Nagar,P.O. Alto-Parvari-Goa,Distt. - ALTO PARVARI, Pin - 403521, State - GOA.(Off.): 0832-5628709 .Email: jssgoa [at]

(Belgaum) - CENTRAL MINORITY ASSOCIATION, NO-21, CANTONMENT BOARD COMPLEX CAMP, Dist. - BELEGAUM, Pin - 590001, State - KARNATAKA.(Off.): 0831-2447867, Email: cma_bgm [at]

(Ratnagiri) SHRAMIK SAHYOG RATNAGIRI ZILLA,GRAMIN VIKAS PRAKALP AT SATI,Distt. - RATNAGIRI, Pin - 415604, State - MAHARASHTRA.(Off.): 02355-256027, (Res.): 09422595129,Email: shramik2 [at]

More organisation should apply for study center of OBE. For more details contact your state regional center of NIOS


Invite: Fri-27-Nov: Movie Screening: Earthrise @World School of Happiness, Baner, Pune

World School of Happiness, Baner, Pune
cordially invites you to a community screening of

A curated collection of segments from the path-breaking Earthrise series

Date: Friday, 27 November 2015
Time : 6.30pm onwards (1.5 hrs, themewise clips with informal sharing in between)
Venue: Hriday Kunj - World School of Happiness. Blw no. 39/3, Girme Park, behind Yogi park, Off Mumbai Pune bypass road, Baner, Pune-45
See Map
(call for directions : Nikhil, 966-583-1250)

About the movie:

"Earthrise" is Al Jazeera news channel's award-winning environmental show. Now in its seventh season, earthrise continues to champion the individuals and grassroots initiatives exploring solutions to the environmental challenges we face today. From Sweden to the Seychelles, Myanmar to Mozambique, earthrise's diverse team of reporters meet visionaries, global and local, who share their innovations and experiences, inspiring us all to get more involved.

We'll watch a curated collection of stories from the series covering themes like sustainable farming, energy, waste management, etc from around the globe, and discuss their potential applications in our localized contexts.

More links to explore:

About last week's screening (Summerhill):
A big thank you to our friends new and old who joined us last Friday for watching Summerhill! We had a lively discussion and sharing after the screening, talking about how children and adults learn, what kind of learning environment we want to bring forth, and various alternative education initiatives in India, particularly in Pune. It was great to know about the sheer diversity of initiatives going on.

Also, update on the Billions in Change movie (which we screened on 13-Nov) : It's being screened on some Indian TV channels, tell your folks and friends about it! See this link to know more.

>> Know a movie that inspires, and want to watch it together with friends? Suggest it and let's screen it! Please email Nikhil on nikhil.js [at] !

Looking forward to your wonderful presence and watching and discussing these inspiring stories together! Please RSVP to Nikhil on nikhil.js [at] or 9665831250 by Friday 12pm, and if possible, bring some snacks we can all share while watching!

-World School of Happiness Team

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Global financial crap

Negative rates??

That means if I borrow from you, you have to pay me extra?

That doesn't make any sense at all!

Even if you dress it up all fancy and complex, at the very fundamental level it still doesn't make any sense at all!

I suppose it arises from adopting the totally silly concept of buying debt...

[Solutions] The Untold Success Story: Agroecology in Africa

The Untold Success Story: Agroecology in Africa Addresses Climate Change, Hunger, and Poverty

The Oakland Institute today released 33 case studies that shed light on the tremendous success of agroecological agriculture across the African continent in the face of climate change, hunger, and poverty.

"Released just two weeks ahead of the COP21 Conference in Paris, these case studies provide irrefutable facts and figures on how agricultural transformation–respectful of the farmers and the environment–can yield immense economic, social, and food security benefits while ensuring climate justice and restoring soils and the environment," said Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute.

"We are told over and over that Africa needs a new Green Revolution, more synthetic fertilizers, and genetically modified crops. These case studies debunk these myths and highlight the multiple benefits of agroecology, including affordable and sustainable ways to boost agricultural yields while increasing farmers' incomes, food security, and resilience," said Frederic Mousseau, Policy Director of the Oakland Institute, who coordinated the research for this project.

The case studies bring forward a large variety of techniques and practices used to achieve these benefits: plant diversification; intercropping; the application of mulch, manure or compost for soil fertility; the natural management of pests and diseases; agroforestry; the construction of water management structures; and much more.

The success stories from all over the African continent have farmers—including many women farmers—in the driver's seat of their own development. Agroecology is not a one-size-fits-all set of practices. Rather, its techniques are adapted to meet specific needs and ecosystems. Farmers who practice agroecology are innovators and experiment to find the best solutions for themselves.

Agriculture, forestry, and other land use are responsible for nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. According to the International Panel on Climate Change, emissions from these sectors have almost doubled over the past 50 years, and could increase by an additional 30 percent by 2050. The use of synthetic fertilizers is the fastest growing source of agriculture GHG emissions, having increased 37 percent since 2001.

Ibrahima Coulibaly, President of CNOP-Mali and Vice President of the ROPPA (Network of Farmers' and Agricultural Producers' Organisations of West Africa) said, "Our governments must now take decisive steps to actually support agroecological practices instead of promoting industrial food production systems that are contributing to climate change while making farmers poorer and more vulnerable to market fluctuations and weather hazards. We need our governments to ensure our children a future in which they can feed themselves with nutritious food in a healthy environment."

View and download the case studies

View and download Frequently Asked Questions

The Oakland Institute is an independent policy think tank, bringing fresh ideas and bold action to the most pressing social, economic, and environmental issues of our time.


Like us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter: @oak_institute

Kurt Sonnenfeld : The 9/11 whistleblower

This one's for the recent-history learning!

As official videographer for the U.S. government, Kurt Sonnenfeld was detailed to Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, where he spent an entire month filming: "What I saw at certain moments and in certain places ... is very disturbing!" He never handed his 29 tapes over to the authorities and has been persecuted ever since. Kurt Sonnenfeld lives in exile in Argentina, where he wrote "El Perseguido" (Persecuted). His recently-published book tells the story of his unending nightmare and drives another nail into the coffin of the government's account of the 9/11 events.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Who the conspiracy nuts are

Sometimes it seems to me that the "nuts" are those who hold to what they've been told with an almost religious fervor despite all of the evidence to the contrary — the ones who won't even consider that there was a conspiracy.

Quoting Kurt Sonnenfeld, official FEMA videographer at the 9/11 ground zero just after the attacks, who refused to hand in his footage as it contained evidence showing that it was an inside job, and who was hounded, managed to escape to Argentina and the US govt has been trying to extradite him on a fake murder charge. He has written a book on his ordeal and what all he discovered at ground zero.

Monday, November 16, 2015

What the mainstream is just not understanding about democracy in education


A typical problem has also been that Neill has often been seen as an educator of 'problem children' and his methods only deemed appropriate for them. Some children have always refused to accept the lives forced upon them in schools in which they have no say and where they have to attend lessons that are compulsory. Only when violence or truancy is the result have governments and educational 'experts' been quick to support alternative and free methods such as those advocated by Neill. But this is seen as a temporary measure with the ultimate goal being a return of the individual child to the orthodox system. Neill has shown that most of what children do in schools is in fact a complete waste of time and that there are much better things that they could be engaged in: exploring their own interests, acquiring new skills, making friends, chatting, playing, thinking or daydreaming. This is all dangerous stuff and cannot be taken seriously by the majority of people as it doesn't sound like anything they've heard of before which might be called education.
While Hemmings was writing his book back in the early 1970s, Neill's philosophy as embodied in his work at Summerhill, had already come under attack from the British government as a series of inspections found things not to their liking. This was an uncanny forerunner of the later troubles to befall the school after Neill's death when in the 1990s it suffered what amounted to harrassment from a series of unsympathetic and completely inappropriate inspections from Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education), only managing to free itself after an expensive court case which effectively found in favour of the school.
The later inspections and subsequent court case in 2000 were not least remarkable for the government's stubborn refusal to try and understand anything at all about Neill's real philosophy. This attitude seems to have contributed largely to their defeat in the appeal made by the school and heard at the Independent Schools Tribunal. Despite this the HMI Report claimed that it did not pass judgment on Summerhill's philosophy. Clearly, though, its own rigid view of what constitutes education was greatly at odds with the reality of Summerhill. The expert witness statement by Professor Ian Stronach on behalf of the school which was heard at the Tribunal catalogues an incredible ignorance on the part of the HMl inspection which failed completely to address Summerhill's unusual aims and methods. Stronach takes apart the Ofsted argument piece by piece to devastating effect and shows that the inspectors were in effect trying to judge 'tennis by the rules of basketball' or 'entering a racoon at a dog show'. Not surprisingly, the question most frequently asked of the Summerhill children was "How often do you go to lessons?".
This association of education with the academic side only, to the detriment of everything else, goes hand in hand with the idea that education is a preparation for some undetermined future. Therefore the present must always be sacrificed to the contingent future. This is found almost as much with those who purport to have some understanding of Neill's ideas or who imagine that they are sympathetic to Summerhill. Therefore, even parents of students at Summerhill are doubtless weary of being asked questions concerning their children's 'learning' progress.
Parents of Summerhillians who understand and support the school must also be very strong and clear in expressing their opinions to others. Misunderstandings though seem almost inevitable given that the true nature of Neill's ideas put into practice is still shocking in a world where it is assumed that adults know best what is good for children.
Educationalists and university professors, who on the surface may be sympathetic or reasonable in their discussions of Neill, are by no means immune to this problem either. A stumbling block here is that Neill is not quite like other educational philosophers. He was comparatively little read in educational theory and even less impressed by the ideas of other educationalists, and claimed his initial inspiration to come from psychology rather than education. Although often described as a progressive educator he held no 'progressive' theories about learning or the classroom and is completely different from those such as Rudolf Steiner or Maria Montessorl with whom his writings are frequently (and wrongly) grouped. For Neill, Steiner's spirituality, his attempts to mould and guide children, and his disapproval of self-government were enough to put him beyond the pale.
Similarly, he saw Montessori as a religious woman who placed too little importance on the child's fantasy life and too much on learning and intellectual development. Neill felt that Homer Lane's one book, Talks to Parents and Teachers, was of greater value than all the work of Pestalozzi, Rousseau, Froebel and Montessori put together, because Lane touched on deeper things to do with child nature rather than learning and the classroom. Moreover, Neill's own books do not read the way that many people think a book on educational philosophy should read. For one thing the books, although often repeating the same ideas in different ways, are immensely readable, enjoyable and entertaining. They are heavily biased towards Neill's own experiences and full of anecdotal material to support his theory and practice at Summerhill. And of course he is irreverent and, needless to say, always on the side of the child. (Hence titles such as That Dreadful School and The Problem Teacher). This is a tough one for teachers and educationalists to come to terms with as opinions like these question the whole validity of their existence and so Neill's ideas have a tendency, if not to be dismissed, then to be written about with many reservations. He is often damned with faint praise.

Would we expect a zookeeper to be able to hold forth on the natural behavior of animals in the wild without studying it first? The conclusion we might reach in the case of a tiger, for example, is that in its natural state it spends its day pacing listlessly up and down and is unable to fend for itself. Expertise in one field does not justify judgment in another. We must first gain experience of and familiarity with the new field before we can comment with authority on its content. As such, the world of the "free range" or selfregulated child lies outside of the auspices of any academic institution or tradition, be it psychological, sociological, or educational. Until such time as these disciplines embrace this world seriously and practically it remains the province of those who have; namely the handful of parents, educators, physicians, and others who have had hands-on experience, and the children themselves.

-- Matthew Appleton, A Free Range Childhood, p.2.

Invite: Fri-20-Nov, Baner, Pune: Summerhill Movie Screening @World School of Happiness

World School of Happiness, Baner, Pune
cordially invites you to a community screening of

Date: Friday, 20 November 2015
Time : 6.30pm onwards (1 hr 48 mins movie with a half-time break, and followed by informal sharing)
Venue: Hriday Kunj - World School of Happiness. Blw no. 39/3, Girme Park, behind Yogi park, Off Mumbai Pune bypass road, Baner, Pune-45
See Map | Call for directions (before screening time!) : Nikhil, 966-583-1250

About the movie:
Summerhill school, UK is the oldest children's democracy in the western world, having birthed the concept of students irrespective of age voting for taking decisions that affect them (including rules, finances and hiring/firing of staff).

"The function of the child is to live his own life, not the life that his anxious parents think he should live, nor a life according to the purpose of the educator who thinks he knows best." - A.S.Neill, founder of Summerhill school

Imagine a school where you don't have to go to lessons, you make all the rules yourself and climbing trees and building boats are definitely part of the curriculum. That school exists. It's called Summerhill and it has been there for almost a century.

Maddy and Ryan attend Summerhill and find it changes them in ways they would never imagine. But then when Ofsted Inspectors decide the school must close, Maddy and Ryan join forces with staff and pupils in a battle that goes to the very heart of the UK Government. Written by Alison Hume and directed by Jon East, Summerhill aired as a 4-part drama series on BBC in 2008 and won two BAFTA awards, and many of the school's pupils have acted in it. Based on a true story, Summerhill is an enchanting drama that will captivate the whole family.

Looking forward to your wonderful presence and watching and discussing this inspiring movie together! Please RSVP to Nikhil on nikhil.js[at] or 9665831250 by Friday 12pm if you're coming, and if possible, bring some snacks we can all share while watching!

More links to explore:
A Beacon of Hope: Summerhill (Article written by Arvind Gupta)
That Dreadful Educationalist: Answering A.S.Neill's Critics -  Essay by John Potter
Summerhill school and the do-as-yer-like kids (Guardian article on 90 yr anniversary and having inputs from various alumni)

About last week's screening (Billions in Change):
A big thank you to our friends new and old who joined us last Friday for Billions in Change! We had a lively discussion and sharing after the screening, not limited to the film itself but covering so many aspects in sustainability and wellbeing. In addition to the wonderful work showcased in the movie, it was great to learn about so many ongoing wonderful initiatives by various people working quietly to mitigate problems and create a beautiful world.

We're starting a weekly movie screening at World School of Happiness.. If you would like to suggest a name for this event or a movie to screen then please leave a comment or email Nikhil on nikhil.js[at] .

See you this Friday!

-World School of Happiness Team

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Invite: Fri-13-Nov, Baner, Pune: Billions in Change Movie Screening @World School of Happiness


On the auspicious occasion of Bhai Dooj,
World School of Happiness, Baner, Pune

cordially invites you to a community screening of

Billions in Change

Date: Friday, 13 November 2015
Time : 6.30pm onwards (43 mins movie followed by reflections and optional further videos)
Venue: Hriday Kunj - World School of Happiness. Blw no. 39/3, Girme Park, behind Yogi park, Off Mumbai Pune bypass road, Baner, Pune-45
See Map
(call for directions : Nikhil, 966-583-1250)

Contribution: There are no fees for this screening. But the community center hosting this is running on Gift Economy basis and you're welcome to contribute in any way if you wish to.
About the movie:

Entrepreneur Manoj Bhargava unexpectedly found himself a billionaire with the runaway success of an energy drink product. Possessing more money than he could ever hope to spend on himself, he set out to discover ways in which his wealth could assist him in making a meaningful and lasting difference in the world. Billions in Change shows the fruits of these efforts.

Led by Manoj Bhargava, who describes himself as a student of simple, a small group of crazy tinkerers have refined and perfected simple, decentralized solutions for fundamental global issues of water, energy (both at household and macro level) and health, backed with mass production technology and with a strong focus on keeping things simple and easily maintainable, such that they empower the beneficiaries without creating dependency.

They released this movie in October 2015 and it has spread around the world inspiring thousands of people to sign up as volunteers for spreading the word and the simple solutions.

Official website  |  Watch the trailer

Looking forward to your wonderful presence and watching and discussing this inspiring movie together! Please RSVP to Nikhil on nikhil.js [at] or 9665831250, and if possible, bring some snacks we can all share while watching!

More links to explore:
Discussion with Manoj Bhargava on Al Jazeera channel about the movie and the movement
See some talks and interviews by Manoj Bhargava, the entrepreneur and philanthropist behind this initiative
Featured on

Wishing you a lovely and illuminating Diwali and New Year!

-World School of Happiness Team

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Ravish Kumar's recent article on BJP's Pakistan politics (in Hindi)

ऐ पाकिस्तान, बिहार के चुनाव में बीजेपी को तेरा ही सहारा है...

Written by Ravish Kumar

'इस चुनाव में बीजेपी हारती है तो पाकिस्तान में पटाखे फोड़े जाएंगे। क्या आप लोग ऐसा होने देंगे।' बीजेपी के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष अमित शाह के इस बयान के बाद बिहार चुनावों में पाकिस्तान आ गया है। सुशील मोदी ने भी कहा है कि पाकिस्तान में जश्‍न मनेगा। हमारी राजनीति में गुप्त रूप से एक ध्रुवीकरण डिपार्टमेंट चलता है जिसके कुछ धारदार हथियार हैं। गोमांस, बांग्लादेश और पाकिस्तान का नाम अचूक हथियारों के रूप में लिया जाता है। अमित शाह ने पाकिस्तान का नाम क्या लिया, बिहार बीजेपी के नेता पाकिस्तान-पाकिस्तान करने लगे हैं। वैसे चुनावी काम में बांग्लादेश का हथियार ज़्यादा चलता था मगर अब लगता है कि भोथरा हो चुका है। वर्ना एक समुदाय को टारगेट करने के लिए बांग्लादेशी कह देना काफी होता था। पाकिस्तान हमारे मुल्क में एक मुल्क से ज़्यादा मज़हब की पहचान है। इसीलिए हमारे मुल्क में मज़हब की पहचान उभारने के लिए पाकिस्तान का सहारा लिया जाता है।

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Interesting Links for October 2015

Interesting Links for October 2015

Hi Friends, a LOT has happened in this month! Great links to share this time.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Tribute: Bhaskar Save, the Gandhi of Natural Farming

In tribute.. rest in peace, Save ji...
Pasting the contents of a word attachment being shared that encapsulates his work

Bhaskar Save, the Gandhi of Natural Farming

On the 27th January, 2015, Bhaskar Save, aka Save-guruji – the acclaimed 'Gandhi of Natural Farming' – completed 93 years. He has inspired and mentored 3 generations of organic farmers. Masanobu Fukuoka, the legendary Japanese natural farmer, visited his farm in 1997, and described it as "the best in the world, even better than my own farm!" It is a veritable food forest and a net supplier of water, energy and fertility to the local eco-system, rather than a net consumer.

Did Putin just confirm that the US used the Rod of God weapon on Tianjin, China?

Putin at Valdai Forum 2015 - World between War and Peace

>> 9 mins in, did he just confirm about the Rod of God weapon?
"We have already seen the appearance of the concept of the so-called disarming first strike, including one with the use of high-precision long-range non-nuclear weapons comparable in their effect to nuclear weapons."

What happened at Tianjin, China? See :

Reverse racism, or systemic characteristic endemic to a limited group?

Might this be just a reverse-racist thought, or might there be something more to it :

That the inclnation to abuse one's planet, beyond all limits, doesn't really extend beyond the english-speaking white-skinned male or those seeking to be one of that group?

Instead of running after medals, lets teach kids these activities

[Rethinking] Article highlighting what many Athiests might be getting wrong

Article on The Guardian (rapidly emerging to be a class apart other mainstream news organizations)

My atheism does not make me superior to believers. It's a leap of faith too - by Ijeoma Oluo
Quoting excerpts, emphasis added by me:

It's easy to view religion as the root of society's ills.

But atheism as a faith is quickly catching up in its embrace of divisive and oppressive attitudes. We have websites dedicated to insulting Islam and Christianity. We have famous atheist thought-leaders spouting misogyny and calling for the profiling of Muslims. As a black atheist, I encounter just as much racism amongst other atheists as anywhere else. We have hundreds of thousands of atheists blindly following atheist leaders like Richard Dawkins, hurling insults and even threats at those who dare question them.

Look through new atheist websites and twitter feeds. You'll see the same hatred and bigotry that theists have been spouting against other theists for millennia. But when confronted about this bigotry, we say "But I feel this way about all religion," as if that somehow makes it better. But our belief that we are right while everyone else is wrong; our belief that our atheism is more moral; our belief that others are lost: none of it is original.

If we truly want to free ourselves from the racist, sexist, classist, homophobic tendencies of society, we need to go beyond religion. Yes, religion does need to be examined and debated regularly and fervently. But we also need to examine our school systems, our medical systems, our economic systems, our environmental policies.

Faith is not the enemy, and words in a book are not responsible for the atrocities we commit as human beings. We need to constantly examine and expose our nature as pack animals who are constantly trying to define the other in order to feel safe through all of the systems we build in society. Only then will we be as free from dogma as we atheists claim to be.

(emphasis added)

Also see : An excerpt from The New Atheist Threat, by CJ Werleman

And see the work of Charles Eisenstein' and Rupert Sheldrake.

Recruitment Policy

Joke I saw that made me laugh out loud:

Adam: Let's have sex
Eve: I have a boyfriend
Adam: You do realise we are the only 2 people on earth, right?
Eve: Look, you're my best friend

I'd like to know from both sexes what their first reactions to this are, as well as what later thoughts come to mind. Is this in any way not at all humorous to some?

And what sparked me to laugh out loud was a recollection of witnessed irony. There has been a worrying rise in domestic violence, especially in countries like USA which we'd otherwise consider fairly evolved on women's rights front. One American friend I knew had shared this at a deep sharing session once : She found a disturbing trend in herself and could not explain it : In three consecutive relationships the men she was with became routine abusers, had started to beat her up regularly.

At the same time there seems to be a distinct separation between "friend" and "boyfriend" : going back all the way to a possibility that the "recruitment policy" (sorry for the jargon) itself might be flawed. I see a systemic flaw here : shaped by the abusive society we've been brought up in, for some reason women's romantic choices have tended to skip candidates who would n.e.v.e.r indulge in something like beating a love partner, and instead gone in favour of men having abusive tendencies.

And haven't we seen a very similar flaw in recruitment policies of businesses and governments in their leaders, CEOs and managers? Haven't we been talking about the abuse and greed and narcissism and psycopathy of these classes and how they're taking the world down with them? It's an abusive culture manifesting itself on all fronts, macro level and personal level.

"Look, you're my best friend"

Would you ever have been best friends with a man who has a tendency to beat up women? Doesn't the process of becoming best friends with a man automatically weed out men with those tendencies? Would you be best friends with a man who considers women as property? Wouldn't you have found something wrong with the guy early on and stopped being friends long back? Unlike romance, friendship happens over a much longer timescale and so is a lot more resilient at detecting and removing the wrong people. Not entirely of course, but dude, people aren't as split-personality-separate as our murder drama movies want us to believe.

I know there are several other factors, but shouldn't clear deal breakers on the negative side, as well as a more generous allowance of possible attractability on the positive side, factor into the equation? What about trustworthiness, the ability to keep a secret, caring and looking out for you? What about being able to talk at length about life? Could it be possible that our culture has downplayed more important characteristics and exaggerated less important ones?

Ladies, I know I'm over-generalizing, but even you know that this IS true for a lot of women and many whom you know and are worried for yourself. Coming back to my side of the world, we're only just starting to get over the very restrictive extremes of only parents/grandparents deciding everything for us. But what we're bringing in its place might turn out to be just as bad in another sense if we're not careful, if we don't take a pause, reflect and analyze like my friend did. After realizing her pattern, she was able to get a much better grip over herself, and has since been in a happy relationship with a longtime friend.

Might it be time to re-evaluate the recruitment policy?

PS: Please do not see this as any kind of escape excuse for the despicable behaviour of many men. Guys, we need to get out of our Man Box ( if we want to to give up doing the most cowardly and ridiculous things imaginable to those we love. It's only a temporary aberration that is permitting violent men to get women to take them for partners : it is very quickly going to sel-correct so do not go to the losing side.

Authorities in France just forced a rape victim to get raped again for evidence

>> Despite the girl having come forward and tell about her father abusing her, they refused to take any action (not even sheltering her!) untill they had "hard evidence". She had to allow the monster to rape her AGAIN for the sake of video-recording it, and only with that submtted did the police take any action. WTF, France?? Imposing the entire burden of collecting evidence on the rape victim?? Isn't that supposed to be the police investigator's job?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Unsolicited tips for people who are starting with blogging

To people who are starting with blogging.

1. Only write what is coming from your heart. Don't care about what others will think, at least at the creation stage and in over the intial couple of years. Then after posting, reading it yourself (explained further in point 4), receiving feedback through comments, your friends telling you personally, will automatically lead to the improvement you wish for. So focus on a post-feedback model instead of a pre-feedback model. ie, put it out there first, take feedback later. At least that's the way I managed.

2. We actually don't need others giving us feedback SO much. Little was ok, but you're growing up in a time when this stuff has gone depressingly out of balance. So we need to learn to inculcate a slight, healthy disrespect for the opinions of others, to counteract the imbalance that we have today.

3. There is no hierarchy of subjects. A love story or some courage story or something soccer related are as great, as important, as valuable as any social issue commentary. In fact, stories are instrumental in scripting the future : they visualize imagination, bring it to life, and inspire others to act on their imagination. And speaking of stories, check this out : That's ONE story I came up with after being exposed to social commentaries on caste injustices, etc, and it's something that I keep returning to time and again to remind myself of things. It's my personal favorite work. I haven't bothered trying to make stories after that as that kind of stuff just wasn't happening with me. If you have stories flowing out of you then I really envy you!

4. Writing is actually very much like Eklavya's arrow shooting learning. He didn't really need others to tell him that his arrow has not hit the target. Itna toh saaf saaf dikh jaata hai. After writing your stuff, go away for some days, then come back and see the published thing (yes, it is important to see it actually published rather than in draft form) with a new set of eyes. Read your own article from start to finish, and if my guess is right, I think you will feel like this has been written by someone else. That is because : 1. We are constantly changing, and 2. Our thoughts aren't really coming from inside our brains. But that's a topic for more eccentric research later.

5. Carrying on from last lines of previous point, this realization has brought out to me the flaws in our university Literature etc courses where there is so much unnecessary dissection of writers and attempts to make connections and draw conclusions on what the guy's personality was and basicaly judging people in such abstract unrealistic ways. Everybody is ever-changing yaar. No need to fixate.

6. Check out

7. Now this is a difficult one even for me : Don't delete the posts that you later feel unhappy with. Instead, write it afresh and post it as v2, v3 etc. If possible, cross-link between them. If you feel really embarrased with one work, be open about it and publish that you're not happy with the earlier version. This will give everyone a chance to witness your journey in writing. Kind of like in wikipedia when we go into seeing the page's history and see how it evolved over time. All that said, there will always be stuff that needs to be deleted so proceed and use the deleting power of digital publishing.

8. Technical tip : I always blog by email-posting : it's sooo convenient. And this way I can simply forward excerpts from ongoing email conversations that I want to post to blog, or emails I'm sending. You can configure a secret email address in your blog's settings, save it in your contacts list on gmail (just send to it once). Note: if you're having a phone number or direct email address in the email's signature or content, remember to remove it before sending to blog. (You know what, after I send this to you I'm going to edit and forward this to my blog as well, with name and all redacted of course)

9. Put the link to your blog in your email's signature (ie, don't write it in everytime.. go to your email settings and write out a full fledged signature, so that it automatically comes at the end of all your emails. Got a quote you love? Write that over there as well!). And similarly link to your blog on your social media profile etc.

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