I continue this from the point I left off in Fieldwork in Kerala of having to get back to the drawing board and re-look at development.
The few days after fieldwork were really torturous, here I was with all these questions, yearning to talk to someone to discuss my experiences, open up my heart but again I found myself to be alone. Most of the other participants were playing the game of village report and theme paper submission. The world started and ended there. I am sure there were many like me who were tremendously impacted and confused, but just like me, I perceive the majority were afraid to open up and did not share their real feelings (at least I did not). Or maybe a few might have decided to stop the dissonance and simply push it under the carpet and move to the next stage in life.

Whatever the case I feel this was the best opportunity to have someone like Prof. B conduct sessions were we could openly express ourselves, someone who would listen to our emotions and facilitate their channelling in a positive direction and learning. That I feel is seriously missing at I: a counsellor.
Anyway unable to deal with my turmoil, I decided to call it quits blaming everyone around me. This was the time when Prof. R and Prof. G turned up with a lamp in their hands. It was through dialogue that I was made to see the possibility of a future at I and encouraged to foray into intellectually challenging readings. Two months since then and I have devoured Paulo Freire: Pedagogy of the Oppressed; Ivan Illich: Deschooling Society, Gender; Ervin Lazlo: The Systems View of the World; Kevin & Jackie Freiberg: Guts. Movies like What the Bleep Do we Know; The Secret and Waking Life have gone towards not only throwing wood into the fire but also questioning my very existence at I.

Freire reaffirmed my belief in the power of people. In each one of us is a possibility of leadership and greatness that becomes latent due to the way in which we are being socialized. In fact all of us already are great leaders of our respective lives but by accessing ourselves deeper we can make choices about raising the personal bar. He wrote how dialogue leading to action: praxis forms the basis for any true revolutionary transformation. Without dialogue all thoughts and actions simply remain external and do not go towards raising self efficacy. The lack of student teacher interaction outside the classroom @ I, simply reaffirms my view that true personal growth and transformation is not happening.

Ivan Illich talked about the loss in empowerment due to institutionalisation of the education system. By building schools, colleges and universities to provide formal, bureaucratised education we have ended up transferring control of our growth and learning to external entities. If I do not undergo the process of institutionalisation (School, College, University, Job, Hospital, Coroner), I end up feeling guilty, worthless and have doubts about my existence. In fact societal progress has been exponential in the past 100 years but on the cost of human values, human power and individual human development. I am continuously looking forward to a brighter future (someday I will be Rich, Thin and Happy), but the moment I try to access it or make it a reality, I feel afraid and lost because of the dependence that has been institutionalised in me through formalisation of life itself. Looking at I, I would say someone decides that compulsory attendance, assignments not considering of my interests and a voiceless existence will go towards my development and value addition. Adding value for what I ask? Am I a commodity to be traded during placements? Is that how this system works? For 2 years I processes me (I pay for the processing), apparently some socially accepted value is added to me and in the end I am traded to another institution (ICICI, ITC…) in return for growth of I brand.

Is this what we are calling Rural Development - Leading the Silent Millions.
In Guts, Kevin and Jackie Freiberg talk about organisations that have been built on human values like freedom, love, learning, innovation and leadership. These organisations simply blow the hats off other companies because of the way they see their employees: as partners and friends. Each one grows in responsibility and leadership, thereby leading to organisational growth. This responsibility and leadership is not given by the organisation but rather pulled by the employees towards themselves. These organisations uphold human values and create alternate societies in themselves.
I feel it is time to merge these two worlds (rural and urban) together. Listening to Joan Holmes (on video), CEO of The Hunger Project I agree that the impediment to true development is barriers to accessing opportunities. Our task is to facilitate the removal of these barriers. In many cases it will mean removing some part of our developed society. We developed at a tremendously rapid pace due to growth in institutions, organisations etc. but the main purpose behind them; one that cannot be debated over is; growth of the institution/organisation. However this cannot happen unless you forgo some kind of individual development. Let us throw aside all these jargons, management, profitability, growth etc. The meanings each conveys are varied and cause for conflict. They have become the source for the game of life. Our institutionalised society gives us a job, position, status and work. However it cannot provide us happiness, joy, love and freedom.

Developing India needs entrepreneurs. It needs people willing to take the risk of creating something from nothing, to walk alongside the masses while they remove barriers to a new future of opportunities. The last thing we need is management. If a social entity grows so large that it needs to be managed by external professionals and cannot be done locally then it is defeating the very purpose for which it was built; community development. We need task forces for development. Come together, work together, move forward, dismantle, relook at the needs and objectives, what are the values we want to bring forth, reband and the cycle continues - Organically evolving organisations.

If we truly care about development all these development / management institutions should have free reserved seats for farmers. Who else would be able to benefit rural society more than the people who live in it? But I guess I will be shot for raising this point.
Management is antithetical to development. Management indicates trying hard to keep up the status quo, it’s pessimistic whereas development indicates growth, increase and is optimistic. I know this is an linguistic debate, but it is important from the point of view of I. Does it want to create rural entrepreneurs for development or rural managers for organisations?
As for me, my confusion is clear!!
My passion is creation, and I shall follow my heart. That way I will be happy, and happy people make people around them happy. This is the only way for development; first self, à family, à society (do not read as earning enough money first and then doing social work). I cannot be in development because it is the thing to do or because the world needs it.
I will do it because I love it and choose to do it!!

The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within – Mahatma Gandhi