Creativity and innovation among Godwad tribals : Murli Menon

Between 2017 and 2020, I travelled through the microinteriors of Rajasthan researching my latest  book ZeNLP- Travel Guide Rajputana. This research trip took me to 200 of Rajasthan’s most beautiful Palace hotels, Forts, Havelis, Garhs and heritage homestays.
I also spent considerable time studying the secret life of the Garasiya tribals in Godwad, the Kalbeliya cobra gypsy tribe at Pushkar and the Bhil tribe at Jodhpur. I also ventured into the deep interiors of the Thar Desert and completed 900 kms. of non-stop travel through the deserts of Jaisalmer, Badmer, Osian and Bikaner. My objective was to study the traditional learning techniques of these homeschooled illiterate tribals and how they passed traditional knowledge to their children through the oral route. 
During my research, I was helped by Padmaja Kumari Rathore of Rajdadisa Badan Kanwar School of Self-study at Raghunathpur Village near Kambeshwar Mahadev Hill in the Aravallis. Padmaja is a multifaceted personality who manages  Bagheeras camp, an ecofriendly resort, is an avid environmentalist  and runs this school of self-study where illiterate tribal children from all over Godwad learn hotel management and life skills at their own pace without any teachers, books or punishments!

  When I was growing up. I used to hate wearing the school uniform. Well, I grew up and became a motivational speaker and traveled to several countries around the world to deliver keynote speeches based on my books. Among the many institutions I was invited to speak included Rotary Clubs, Army Wives Welfare Associations, Police training schools, Advocates Associations and sometimes even prison officials. I was surprised by what I noticed in the prisons, as the prison system reminded me of public schools. Well, the first thing that I found common was a roll call, just like in a school. Prisoners are counted, present or absent and they have to walk in a line and nobody is allowed to deviate out of it. Our physical training or PT Class was nothing but a prisoner’s parade routine. When I used to forget to  wear the school badge on my uniform. I was caught and punished by someone no less than the vice-principal, who used to keep a hawk’s eye on children like a prison guard. And my school was very regimented. From 9:45 a.m. To 5 p.m. I was imprisoned in the school with a short break for lunch. Bunking meant a prison break and was punished with squats, as the conformist classmates and teachers  counted in sadistic pleasure! 
It was very difficult to even get a short break to destress  or a break for drinking water or to go to the toilet and I’m sure that most of us who have kidney problems in their 50s and 60s could be a result of suppressing urine In your bladder for long hours while being regimented at the school. The most glaring similarity between a prison and a school is the clanging of the bell every period. All school children are expected to conform to the rules of the school. The teachers are no better than jailers, or prison guards and the principal is the Jail Warden,  who whose only duty is to make sure that children are disciplined and are not creative. 
The most creative and innovative of the students are singled out and the other students who are more conformist, gang up against these brilliant individuals. I’m not saying that medical colleges or engineering colleges or even post graduate colleges are a better. The level of freedom goes up a little but the underlying mind control programming remains the same. After I got trained in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and researched the mind control techniques used by secret services, I immediately understood that the whole school system is nothing but an exercise in mind control, by those at the very top. And the other thing which  is similar in a school and a prison is the paper proliferation. So as soon as you are born you get a birth certificate and  using tjis birth certificate you get an entry into the school and the school gives you an admission. You need a school leaving certificate to get into college and a college degree to get into a job. This is mind control from the cradle to your grave where after death, you still need a death certificate to prove your death!  
However, there is one little bit of dissimilarity between prisons and schools and  here is  the dissimilarity. In a school the parents themselves enroll their children into the school prison system voluntarily, whereas prisoners have to be convicted by the courts and then are forced into the prison. So, whereas children are in the school prison system just for being children, prisoners are forced by authorities into prison.  Well, the cafeteria in prisons is also similar to cafeterias in schools. Children don’t get the food they are designed to eat by God Almighty. Instead children are fed the food, which the school wants to feed them. So instead of getting raw fruits, seeds, nuts, grains and vegetables which children are naturally attracted to, the cafeteria serves them all kinds of animal products and all kinds of unhealthy fried food and junk food, which is as per the agenda of the food manufacturing corporations. Now if you expect school children to be creative after undergoing  a rigorous imprisonment for eight hours every day, where you are not allowed to think out of the box and you are expected to conform and you are singled out and ridiculed by the teachers if you show signs of creativity, like children caught drawing a potrait of the teacher during a boring class on trigonometry. 
In case of  non-conformity, punishments can be as severe as in a high security prison without closed circuit television. The daily assembly and announcements through speakers and fingers on your lips are all borrowed from the prison system, as the schools during the industrial revolution wanted mindless robots, exemplified by Charlie Chaplin in the movie “Modern Times”.  
So what are we making? We are making mindless robots who do not have their own mind. At the same time if you look at the tribal children among the most primitive tribes who do not have a written script, you will see creativity. These children are allowed to grow like flowers. There is no schooling among tribal children. Whereas these  tribal children learn as they grow up from their family, from their friends and from their traditional folktales, songs, dances, colorful attires and eat natural fruits from the forest and drink water from the mountain streams. After spending several decades with the most primitive types in nine different countries including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam,  I realized that the most primitive of these tribes whose script have yet to be deciphered by so called modern day anthropologists are the ones who are the safest because they can follow  their own traditions as they are blissfully unaware of the wriiten script and their regimented schooling system.
 So these tribal children are taught the names of fruits, trees, plants, animals and birds through folk tales and songs. And these songs have been unaltered since generations as there has been no outward intervention because the places where these tribals live are deep inside equatorial and tropical rainforests of which are falciparum malaria positive zones, and the so-called  researchers from western nations are too scared of falciparum malaria to go inside and try to decipher the oral language of these illiterate tribes.
 The tribals, themselves are immune from falciparum malaria  whereas  all outsiders are prone to it and succumb in a matter of days as the nearest medical facilities are hundreds of kilometers and can be reached only on foot through forests populated by venomous snakes and dangerous animals. So the only people who go and study these most primitive tribes are the ones who are willing to risk their life to know their primitive learning systems. 
The other thing which is important is that these tribes have common practices though these tribes are in countries as far away as a thousand to five thousand miles apart. For example, the Hopi Indians in North America, the Murut tribals in Kalimantan and the  Bonpa tribes in Tibet all have dances with masks so to show the fight between Good versus Evil and children who watch these dances get enlightened about the force of evil through these masked dances. The Chau dance among the tribals of Baripada in Odisha is a similar dance from India. 
All these cultures have have creation truths which modern day scientists have, to tried to ridicule in order to protect the fairytale of evolution propounded by Darwin in schools. Schools  continue to call these truths about creation as creation myths whereas I call them creation truths, because almost all the primitive tribes have this story of how the world was created five thousand years back by  God, his  consort the Divine Feminine and their two sons. It is surprising that the Bantu pygmies have never met the Hopi Indians and the Hopi Indians have never met the Orang Asli tribals in Malaysia, but all their creation myths point to creation by God, his two sons and the Divine Feminine. 
So, there is something called Cosmic Consciousness and by putting children into regimented classrooms which are like prison cells, schools are trying to curtail their freedom and inhibit their creativity. How can these individuals ever be free from this mind control forever? Think differently, and if you don’t think differently you are not going to be creative. Teachers need to be deprogrammed from their rigourous mind control through unlearning what was taught to them. The other common thing which I noticed among tribal children is the focus on learning through stories. Their grandmother’s tales are a repertoire of training material, which is unparalleled! Whenever a child sees a new animal, tribal grandparents tell him the story of how this animal was created by God. This has some similarities with ancient Vedic wisdom. Like for example how the squirrel got its stripes when Lord Ram lovingly patted the squirrel.  After Lord Ram found the squirrel wetting himself in the ocean and then coming back to the land and rolling on the sand and then again going back to the ocean and helping build the Ram Setu to Lanka, he patted the squirrel’s back and his pingers created the stripes on the back of squirrels. So learning through stories has a deep impact on the unconscious mind and the learning is faster and such learners become more creative than esoteric theories taught at schools.
For example. none of the design schools anywhere in the world can make traditional wooden masks with the finesse as  tribal children do and these tribal children have had no training in design. They have no training in science but yet the masks they produce can never be duplicated  by tge best design schools of the world. 
Now, what more proof do you need then the proof that learning through stories and learning through folktales and dances and masks and sculptures and traditional attires is more powerful than regimented schooling.
 Here is my lesson from a tribal for the education sector, school principals, school owners, public schools, private schools, international schools and all teachers and trainers.
 A leading scientist in parapsychology and psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) went to learn tribal healing from an illiterate tribal Yaqui shaman in the Sonoran desert. The shaman smiled and said that they should discuss the healing therapy over a cup of herbal infusion. When the herbal infusion was served the shaman poured his visitor a cup. He poured and he poured and the infusion rose to the rim and began to spill over the table and finally onto the robes of the scientist. Finally the visitor shouted, “Enough. Are you blind,  You are spilling the infusion all over me. Can’t you see my cup is full?” The master stopped pouring and smiled at his guest. “You are like this infusion cup, so full that nothing more can be added. Come back to me when your cup is empty. Come back to me with an empty mind.” The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn – Alvin Toffler. The tribal children at Badan Kanwar School of self-study are learning, unlearning and relearning without exams, books, timetables or punishments through Padmaja’s school of self-study at Jawai and this has resulted in Bagheeras Camp, becoming one of India’s best eco-friendly camps. Thanks to a group of self-taught illiterate tribals, the cuisine is organic and delicious,  their tents are cosy and nestled in the lap of nature and the staff are always smiling._____________________________________________________________ Murli Menon is the author of ZeNLP- learning through stories and ZeNLP-the power to relax and ZeNLP-the power to succeed and 20 other travel storytelling books titled ZeNLP travel guides on Rajputana, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal,Tibet, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka,Andhra Pradesh, India And Thailand, available on amazon books and Google play books worldwide.  His hobbies include Palmistry, Facereading and Astrology. Murli conducts Travel Storytelling webinars online for corporates. He can be reached at

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