know about Janapada Sampada
CULTURE OF PEACE
Dwight W. Allen
‘Motion is life. . . . Nothing is stationary in the material world of outer phenomena or in the inner world of intellect and consciousness.’1 The starting point for the application of Bahá’í principles to educational reform is the understanding that continuing reform and evolution of education is essential to the life of the mind and spirit. A Bahá’í perspective creates the expectation that education can and must change.
The expectation that change is desirable and to be expected has a profound impact on the reform of education. Current patterns presume stability, and change is an intruder. Because change is not built into the process, when reform takes place it is viewed as a temporary disruption which will be followed by a new stability. This quest for stability distorts the process of change. Seeking instant results leads to ‘reforms of the day’ — an endless procession of trendy, piecemeal innovations which are tried, quickly found wanting, and discarded. One important task is to design a strategy or strategies for the change process itself. Bahá’í principles can inform these strategies in important ways.
Shoghi Effendi, first Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, defines an appropriate expectation when he states: ‘All we can reasonably venture to attempt is to strive to obtain a glimpse of the first streaks of the promised Dawn that must, in the fullness of time, chase away the gloom that has encircled humanity. All we can do is to point out, in their broadest outlines, what appear to us to be the guiding principles underlying the World Order of Bahá’u’llah.’2
With such modest expectations we must forge ahead. Our strategies must be well considered, timely, and patient. It is important to realize that there is an awkwardness about change and reform, that new patterns will not immediately be smoothly implemented. This patience is a part of the Bahá’í concept of moderation: don’t be too quick to change, nor too quick to abandon change.
Bahá’í principles can influence material education and enhance its effectiveness. They can also focus the effort of material education to enhance the growth of spiritual education. But the animating force of Bahá’í principles is to enlighten the spirit so that the world of nature can become complete and allow human society to achieve the unity which is an essential component of world peace. The first task is to gain acknowledgement that these principles are important to the success of education. The process is not linear. Bahá’í principles of education can enhance the most flawed educational practice and improve its effect. They can be successfully applied without acknowledging their source. An ever-increasing awareness of the potential of these principles will create insights and precedents which only in the fullness of time will produce true Bahá’í education and enhance the process of achieving world unity and world peace.
Two of the specific Bahá’í principles of education that will influence the emergence of world peace are that education must become a virtuous process and that we must learn to celebrate error as a part of the essential processes and products of effective education. These fundamental principles will then foster the type of environment necessary to promote the independent investigation of truth to facilitate the interdependency of the process, content, and objectives of education.
A Virtuous Process
Much of current decision-making in education, as in all aspects of life today, is not genuinely motivated. The jockeying for such ends as power, credit and recognition, material gain, or favouritism confuses the agendas of reform. Motivations are almost always likely to be mixed, but there can be no substitute for striving to achieve a virtuous process. From the trust that such a process generates comes great strength, and a willingness to accept the inevitable difficulties and ambiguities that change will produce.
The Principle of Trial and Error
The traditions of education have seldom recognized the legitimacy of error. Ambiguity and error are to be avoided whenever possible. There has been a righteous insistence that excellence in education is an unerring path towards achievement. There are fundamental problems with this assumption. First of all, it is assumed that the objectives of education are clear and precise. They are not. They are ever-changing, and the rapidity of the changes is also increasing, creating ambiguity and confusion. The assumption that all objectives are clear and precise is an illusion. Second, it is assumed that the best — even the only — desirable model of learning is ‘one trial learning’. The ideal student learns everything the first time. One trial learning is often not even desirable, let alone possible. These assumptions create false expectations and stereotyped responses prejudiced against exploration and change, and prejudiced against the newer objectives of education as they struggle even to gain recognition, let alone parity.
Bahá’í principles clearly identify trial and error as fundamental to human nature. Perfection in imperfection is one of the profound mysteries of God. One of the major tasks of educational reform is to find how to build the principle of trial and error into the process of change and into the practices of education.
It is impossible to learn to ride a bicycle without falling off. But there are better and worse ways to go about instruction. There are good mistakes and bad mistakes. But the expectation of error as a part of the learning process is indispensable to its full success. The educational process must find ways to reward the right kind of mistakes and to encourage them. The full learning potential of any individual is compromised without the knowledge of how to benefit from mistakes. The exploration of the implications of this great principle in planning both the process and objectives of education is one of the priority tasks of educational reform.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá often mentioned the importance of encouragement. Current educational patterns rely dominantly on criticism. Encouragement is multi-dimensional. A proper educational environment is one where teachers encourage students, students encourage one another, and parents and community encourage schools and teachers — as well as their own children in their learning. And students must be trained to encourage their teachers as well.
Encouragement must be sincere and tied to real educational progress. However, progress may be incremental and reflect the legitimate errors which are part of eventual learning success. We need to reward the reduction of errors with encouragement. Just understanding the right approach or appropriate direction may unlock the potential for complete success and warrants encouragement. Encouragement spurs the learner to seek the next level of achievement.
Both teachers and students must become conditioned to use encouragement without thinking. It must become a normal, expected part of all interaction. The principle of using encouragement is not limited to formal education, but will gradually emerge as a major characteristic of Bahá’í society. Encouragement within the family, at the workplace, as well as at school and in all aspects of life, is important. For this reason mastering the art of encouragement must be an educational objective as well as an element of successful educational practice.
Trial and error and encouragement together provide the means of consistent, focused, and successful feedback. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s concept of encouragement focuses on feedback, giving us a sense of incremental success, meeting expectations and gaining the will to continue. Current educational systems are basically flawed in their feedback processes.
Examination patterns are a good example. One of the prime purposes of examinations should be to provide feedback. For examination results to be really useful the student must have an opportunity to try again, to see if the lessons of feedback have been successfully learnt. Both the structure and timing of the current examination systems go against, and usually even preclude, this opportunity. Examinations come at the end of a course when there is no opportunity for further instruction. A second example is that writing after feedback will generally produce more learning than the original writing exercise. Only infrequently are students asked to rewrite. Even when feedback is given, often it is so general as to be useless for learning. ‘Good job’ does not tell a student what has been done well or why. ‘Weak’ does not tell a student how to make the point stronger.
Learning how to give and receive feedback effectively, in a timely fashion, with encouragement and with provision to try again is both a process and objective of effective education.
Too often there is little emphasis placed on the quality of feedback. Telling a student what she or he has done wrong is, in itself, not necessarily effective feedback. To be effective the feedback must include both how and why it is wrong, and what alternatives are available to give success or create the potential for future success.
Understanding and mastering feedback is vital to all aspects of life. In addition to being one of the foremost tools of the professional teacher, mastering feedback will give parents one of the strongest tools for the education of their children in the family setting. It is one of the prime mechanisms for creating a ‘learning society’, a society capable of systematic and ongoing improvement.
Interdependent Process, Content and Objectives of Education
The process of education itself is spiritual and must be examined for its effect. Learning how to learn is both process and objective, both method and content. Bahá’ís define the process of education to be the independent investigation of Truth. The purpose of education is to seek the transformation of each individual spirit through conscious knowledge.
One of the most promising fields of enquiry is to discover how the educational process can be made more ‘conscious’. Fundamental to independent investigation is responsibility. At every stage of the educational process each individual must be made to feel responsible for the process and its results. Developing active learners is a starting point for successful Bahá’í education. Active student involvement becomes a focal point for defining both the process and the content of education.
Because Bahá’í education is seen to be a life-long process, it becomes obvious that teachers are never finished with their learning. Teacher learning must be integrated into the instructional process. As the sources of learning become more diversified — many of them outside the formal learning process — teachers will routinely have opportunities to learn from their students. At present they are not equipped to do so. We must learn how best to help teachers learn from students and for students to learn to be confident teachers. Properly conceived, this will not compromise the teacher’s responsibility for instructional leadership. Teachers remain responsible for managing the educational environment, but a part of that environment should be the contributions of students to the teaching-learning process.
When the soul is conceived it enters the world pure and unblemished. The experiences of this world contribute blemishes and impurities. Paradoxically, it is the purpose of life to recognize and deal with these imperfections and to try to regain purity of motive and action. The purity of the infant is a bestowal of God. The imperfect purity we strive to regain becomes the conscious fruit of our lives.3 Our nobility comes from successful choice. Successful choice has only one criterion, alignment with the spiritual premises of the active Divine attributes. Bahá’ís call the process of aligning our choices with Divine Will, personal transformation. Recognizing and making conscious choices which conform to spiritual virtue is the essence of education.
The process of spiritual growth and transformation has many settings. Obviously school is only one of them. But in modern secular education, school is often not considered a place for moral and spiritual transformation. It is not simply a matter of curriculum. The process of education, the premises of human relationships, the consequences of actions and how they are understood, all this is a part of spiritual growth. Put another way, if spiritual growth is not taken into consideration when designing the content and process of education, the result will almost certainly be at odds with spiritual processes, and effective education in the most fundamental sense will become impossible.
In the few examples we have of Bahá’í sponsored comprehensive schools, which include secular curricula, they are prone to copy, by default, both the content and the processes of secular schools. This is not their intent. They are simply applying a familiar academic template to create schools with recognizable academic excellence. The template is likely to be flawed in three ways: inadequate and inappropriately selected content and objectives which do not consciously integrate material and spiritual knowledge, obsolete processes which ignore both material and spiritual principles, and most important, a lack of understanding that one of the most important objectives of both spiritual and secular education is for students to master the processes of independent learning.
As the world around us becomes impossibly ‘information rich’ the simple acquisition of knowledge is no longer the prime objective of education. Knowing how to learn, how to evaluate information and knowledge, how to establish the credibility of sources, where to find appropriate information and principles, how to organize information for its effective use and to share it with others — all these are even more important. In Bahá’í terms, these skills are the foundation of the independent investigation of truth.
Cooperation and Competition
If world peace is to be achieved we must find a balance between competition and cooperation, between justice and mercy, and learn to appreciate tests, hardships and effort. Differences in human capacity will have to be acknowledged and respected as we consolidate our commitments to unity in diversity in a new world order. Vying for excellence is competition in its finest sense, strongly endorsed in Bahá’í principles. It is competition which encourages cooperation, which seeks the elevation of all performance as an integral consequence of its practice. Traditional models of education are based on a more destructive competition, and excellence has been defined in terms of competitive achievement with winners and losers. Cooperation has been seen as mutually exclusive with competition, a fundamental misconception.
There is value in saluting achievement so long as we also salute the achievement of the loser which has made the higher level of achievement of the winner possible. At an award banquet a few years ago honouring the winning women’s swimming team, with times much slower than the men’s, it was noted that if the women were to swim against the fastest men of two decades earlier, they would handily beat them all.
The ugly side of competition, winning at all costs, has fostered an equally extreme reaction in trying to create models of education where competition is completely eliminated. Competition, properly managed, can lead to overall improvement. It is interesting to note that in sporting competition today there is an expectation that records will continue to be broken, an expectation of continued improvement. In many individual sports there are increasing repertoires of strategies and moves (often named after the first competitor to develop them) which all competitors freely imitate and incorporate into their own repertoires. This mutual cooperation builds additional competitive advantage and higher levels of achievement. Many aspects of the current sporting model of competition are extreme and inappropriate. This does not detract from our ability to selectively learn from them.
In recent years competition for university places has been intense. One outcome of this competition has been the creation of more university places. Another outcome has been the creation of a variety of institutions to broaden the scope of competition. We have created more winners. But there is a residue of competition in the unhealthy sense, that true status remains limited to the narrow student body of ‘prestige’ institutions.
Justice and Mercy
A ‘sense of justice’ is perhaps the most powerful objective of all education. Bahá’u’llah states, ‘Set your reliance on the army of justice, put on the armour of wisdom, let your adorning be forgiveness and mercy and that which cheereth the hearts of the well-favoured of God.’4 It is a part of the mystery of God that justice should be embedded in paradox.
Children must be taught that this is not a world where absolute justice is possible or even desirable. This is a world of mercy. From a Bahá’í point of view it is vital for children to understand that injustice is an essential part of the world in which we live, for the opportunity for injustice gives us choice. And it is choice that makes education meaningful. If education were in any way an automatic process, we would be deprived of merit, and ultimately of our nobility. Nobility is derived from making the right choices in a world where wrong choices are possible and historically have dominated. This in turn goes back to the legitimacy and desirability of trial and error as a part of the educational process, and as a part of life.
Absolute justice would deprive us all of the opportunity to choose. So we must learn to celebrate our own and each other’s errors — so long as they become a part of the larger process of achieving ever higher levels of perfection in an imperfect world. Justice is the grand, inescapable, yet unachievable objective, both for individuals and society. It is the foundation of world order.
Mercy is linked to the concept of forgiveness. If God can forgive the most grievous sins of man, then we are well advised to forgive one another. This means that we must each give others the opportunity to rise above past mistakes, however grievous, and to celebrate our progress in doing so. That is vital to the conduct of the teacher in the classroom. A learning environment is by definition a setting where mistakes are expected to be made frequently and dealt with mercifully. The consequences of mistakes in a controlled learning environment are dampened with effective teacher leadership. With feedback and encouragement the potential to enhance just action is enormous. Classrooms must be the laboratories of life. Teachers must be models, striving constantly to improve their own understanding and practice of justice. When we do not exploit the potential of formal education to use years of interaction to embed a sense of justice in students, we waste the greatest potential of formal education. We must be accountable for our actions but leave our mistakes behind by learning from them. Therefore teachers, more than other members of the society, must be trained to deal with the delicate balance between justice and mercy. Not only must teachers learn to deal with their own mistakes as well as the mistakes of their students, they are responsible to help students learn to deal with the mistakes of one another.
But we can become preoccupied with truth and justice. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said that not everything which is true is timely; not everything which is timely can be heard; and not everything which can be heard can be acted upon. This suggests that in educational settings in particular, a preeminent consideration must be to determine the timeliness of educational concerns — from the content and process of instruction to the correction and discipline of the child. Even truth and justice must be set forth in moderation. Understanding justice and mercy and their interrelationship both as processes and as prime objectives of education will grow gradually within the consciousness of individuals and society. It is time to transform the consciousness of society to achieve a completely new awareness of the importance of this agenda. It is this perspective which will guide true educational reform.
Tests, Hardship and Effort
‘Abdu’l-Bahá says that we must accustom children to hardship. The Bab tells us that he would not wish for his worst enemy a life without tests. Clearly tests and difficulties are an appropriate part of education. Again, it is a matter of balance. When we can see purpose in our tests and understand them, they become more meaningful and easier to accept. Not all tests, however, can be understood, and we must be prepared to accept tests and difficulties which we do not understand. It is the task of educators to make the process of education as focused and understandable as possible. It is the task of the learners to trust their teachers even when they do not understand. This places a moral responsibility on teachers to make the educational process as purposeful as possible, to make effort meaningful and productive.
The task of education is enormous. We must do everything possible to make the educational process as easy and as effective as possible, adding further levels of difficulty as students gain in capacity and understanding. There is so much to be learnt that hardship and effort are natural concomitants of any effective educational process, but they should become the source of high achievement and not the result of harassment, which has too often been the case in the past. There are many ironies in the process. Spiritual equilibrium comes from a series of challenges successfully met.
This is true on the institutional as well as the personal level. Each invention, each discovery, each achievement simply exposes multiple new challenges. As we learn to apply more spiritual principles to the processes of education we will be rewarded with the opportunity to further reform the system to achieve even more. The challenge we face now is to understand the dimensions which are required to begin the process in a confident direction so that our effort will be productive.
Dealing with Differences in Capacity
It is obvious that children thrive in different degrees in the same educational environment. Why? Partly because their innate potentials are different. Partly because of the influences and experiences they bring to the educational setting. Partly because of their own attitudes and dispositions. The teacher must make education as easy and effective as possible; the student must learn how to learn most effectively regardless of the quality of the teaching.
We must not confuse difference in intellectual potential with difference in spiritual worth. Current educational practice does not uplift the spirits of all children. Academic success is often confused with personal worth or spiritual capacity. To whatever extent possible we must learn from one another. Current practices of ‘streaming’ or ‘homogeneous grouping’ are overemphasized. Bahá’í teachings clearly endorse the different innate capacities of children. This would imply different educational levels and processes. There are also Bahá’í principles which suggest that some combination of multi-ability and multi-age groups as well as grouping by interest and ability will be appropriate. This is an area which will need the perspective of time, experience, and trial and error learning before effective practice can emerge.
A basic Bahá’í principle is unity in diversity. Perhaps one of the most profound consequences of this principle is to provide perspective. Only when there is diversity is perspective possible. When only one viewpoint or one alternative is known, it is almost impossible to progress more than incrementally. We don’t know what we don’t know. Once a second alternative is introduced — diversity — it suggests a range of possibilities which can completely transform and redefine our approaches, our understanding: our perspective. One of the most vital lessons in education is for us to learn that our way is a way and not the way. Education must value a diversity of viewpoints, of processes and procedures, of content and method. But unity in diversity means that there must be coordination, a sense of direction and purpose, and a commitment to unity even as we actively seek to promote and appreciate diversity.
Unity in diversity implies a balance between top-down and bottom-up decision-making. Individuals must be encouraged to mount new initiatives and have the freedom to explore — and to fail. But they must accept the legitimacy of coordination and direction from institutions. Conversely, it becomes the responsibility of institutions not only to coordinate and direct, but to do so in a way which empowers and encourages individual diversity. Applied to education, this would suggest a whole new set of principles to guide educational development. The result will be a constant evolution of perspectives on which new educational initiatives can be based. The educational system alone will not solve problems of interdependency, but it can make a major contribution by providing the next generation of students with substantial new perspectives.
As the world becomes unified, we must have a greater understanding of one another — awareness of cultural diversity. But not all cultural practices are compatible with a unified world. The educational process must help students become aware of how cultural beliefs, their own as well as others’, influence attitudes and behaviour. It is important to understand their history and context. Further, everyone must be taught to recognize how beliefs and practices must be modified to be effectively integrated into a world community. Students can gain the benefit of being able to incorporate other beliefs and practices to enrich their lives, from the food they eat or the entertainment they enjoy to an appreciation of alternative family structure and a willingness to change.
As global interaction increases, the tension between standardization and local choice will gain in consequence. Different voltages and alternating current frequencies are inconvenient, expensive and limiting when one travels or when goods and services are exchanged. The United States costs the world economy billions of dollars by refusing to join the world in adopting the metric system. Which side of the road one drives on is not very important unless you have to switch back and forth or build cars for both. We are rapidly moving towards a world currency and a world language (English). But because we are reluctant to support world standards in principle and have no mechanism to debate or decide the boundaries, we lurch along with expediency, our decisions constantly overtaken and preempted by events.
The basic school curriculum is edging towards worldwide standardization. In fact, there is very little difference among basic school syllabi. The best evidence of this is that students can attend the universities of almost any country in the world based upon the skills they have acquired in their local secondary schools. But nations, even local communities, cling to the right to determine their school curricula. It is more often an illusion than a reality. Mathematics, science, language, history and culture are considered ‘basic’ throughout the world. And the schools of all nations are concerned about increasing their emphasis on the arts. The same new subjects wait in the wings: the environment, health and nutrition, global awareness, thinking, interpersonal and analytical skills, and most crucial from a Bahá’í perspective, moral and spiritual education.
We desperately need to find a balance, to define the mechanisms to decide on common world curriculum elements, which will in turn encourage even more diversity in local curricula. Local curriculum diversity will prosper even more when there is confidence that the basic needs of education required to succeed in an integrated global community are met. The lack of a sure mechanism to establish common curriculum elements is one of the greatest barriers to successful educational reform and the achievement of the ultimate goal of the universal education of humanity.
Moral and spiritual education are, of course, not new, but they need to be newly reintroduced into almost all modern systems of secular education. As local populations have become more diverse in their beliefs, moral and spiritual education has retreated to the family. Societies have become confused in their spiritual values and have removed moral and spiritual education from their curricula. The continuing cascades of new knowledge and perspectives in secular education have disguised this gaping omission.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá identifies two purposes for education, to make children good and to make them smart. He points out that a member of society who is ‘good’ but not ‘smart’ can be useful; whereas a person who is smart but not good is a menace. When a person is both good and smart, there is ‘light upon light’. We have become preoccupied with making humanity ‘smart’. The result has been to unleash well-educated and ‘smart’ members of society to wreak havoc with great ingenuity. Restoring the balance is an urgent need.
Bahá’í teaching affirms in the strongest theological terms the reality that education affects both outward and inner virtues — the material virtues and the ideal virtues. Civilization is the sign of the progress of the material virtues, but the inner and ideal virtues have been delayed. Now is the time for their development. The development of these inner virtues constitutes the rebirth of man, the second birth referred to by Christ.5
Consultation and Decision-Making
Bahá’í education focuses our attention on new modes of decision-making, defined by Bahá’u’llah as the spiritual processes of consultation. As humanity gains an appreciation of multi-cultural experiences, coalescing into agreed upon limits of diversity and a commitment to spiritual principles, and learns to speak out, to listen, and to respect diverse opinions, a new commitment will be forged towards the unified action and integrity of decisions and decision-makers.
There is a host of Bahá’í principles guiding the decision-making process. And there are many ways in which the decision-making process is applied to education. What to teach, how to teach it, who should teach, whom to teach it to, and when. Each of these decisions will enhance or constrain the process, appropriately and inappropriately. The process of educational reform should hold none of the current elements of education sacrosanct. All should be examined and alternatives considered. The principles of Bahá’í consultation can greatly facilitate and guide the process. As is the case with all of the principles we have been discussing, consultation is a process, and the mastery of consultation an important objective of education. The skills of decision-making are essential to success, in the family, in the workplace, in social institutions, and even in casual human interaction.
One straight point is to understand the definition of an effective decision: a decision based upon analysis of facts and circumstances and of the principles which apply; a decision which has been informed by the opinion and perspective of all those concerned; and a decision which is conscientiously implemented by all.
Part of the decision-making process, whether by an individual or a group, is to explain the decision and assist with its implementation. Conscious understanding is essential in both making and implementing decisions. Roles must be clearly defined and understood. There is a time to offer advice and input to a decision. After a decision is made it is essential for everyone to be united in implementing it; otherwise it is impossible to make a good judgement about its effectiveness. Its failure may simply be a function of strife rather than of its own weakness.
All opinions are sought, whether informed or uninformed. The only condition is purity of motive. To remain silent is to bias the decision inappropriately. At the same time, when an opinion is offered it becomes a part of the group decision-making process and should not be clung to by the person offering it. Every effort must be made to listen to what is being said, not to who says it.
In the classroom teachers have a leadership responsibility. They are in charge. But they have an obligation to listen to the viewpoints of their students and to take their opinions into account. They must help students understand why decisions are taken and the principles on which they are based. They must demonstrate how each decision relates to the welfare of all concerned and attempts to reflect justice and wisdom. Conversely, it is the responsibility of the student to conform joyfully to the expectations of the teachers, to constantly analyse the educational setting, and to offer opinions so they can be heard and appreciated.
Joyful students can have a visible impact on the entire class. Joy and enthusiasm are within our ability to achieve, independent of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. The environment around us makes it easier or harder to attain this state, but to the extent that we understand our own role and responsibility we gain a sense of power and direction. How great is the responsibility of the teacher to model joy. Bahá’í principles have a profound impact on the teacher-pupil relationship. Mutual respect and understanding, creating an atmosphere of joy, validating and celebrating trial-and-error learning, these must become the focus for decision-making and be prime evaluative criteria for the success or failure of decisions.
Defining a Comprehensive Agenda for Educational Reform
Educational reform continues to be muddled by conflicting, uncoordinated initiatives. There is constant tension between conflicting viewpoints. Principles themselves often appear contradictory. Bahá’í principles offer insights into the definitions of both the process and the objectives of reform.
In some respects Bahá’í teachings are harsh in their admonitions. ‘It is evident that no vital results are now forthcoming from the customs, institutions and standpoints of the past.’6 At the same time, they offer perspective and even specific guidance as to how we should build on the scientific body of knowledge which is being rapidly expanded, and incorporate both old and new knowledge into new institutions and practices.
There are three kinds of education: training and development of the physical body, intellectual and mental training, and the education of the spirit. The body of the world will receive its vivification through the animating virtue of the sanctified spirit of man.7
Some objectives of Bahá’í education stand alone, sometimes contradicting current educational theories such as the priority of spiritual education, achieving spiritual discipline, the memorization of the Holy Word, the preference for the education of girls, and the requirement of a profession without regard to economic necessity.
Bahá’í teachings identify the obstacles to human happiness as ‘racial and religious prejudice, the competitive struggle for existence and inhumanity toward each other’.8 Perhaps the most important way to define the purpose of education is to see true education as the ultimate source of human happiness. With unified action we will begin our journey to the achievement of true human prosperity and world peace.
©1999 Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi