Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Silent spaceships sent by self-absorbed cultures

Pride Of India? - Edit Page - Opinion - Home - The Times of India GAUTAM BHATIA, Jul 24, 2010 The writer is an architect. 
Sadly, even in today's era of open economic borders, we still remain unconvinced that the Indian mind is capable of producing anything of real value. The new Terminal 3 at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport is cited as the eighth-largest in the world, and … that the building belongs to the new century. …
Foreign technology and inventiveness on Indian soil is certainly not new, especially in a country that has had a long history of direct imitation and mimicry. In the 1970s, it was a matter of Punjabi pride that the world's most successful innovations could be copied in Ludhiana. …
While many of the new projects for the Commonwealth Games airports, stadiums and metro stations provide sparkle to the ramshackle grime of the Indian city, they remain foreign implants, silent spaceships sent by self-absorbed cultures. Faced with situations and conditions that are uniquely Indian, none among the new buildings seek Indian resolutions. Designed neither for the unforgiving landscape nor the general misuse of public facilities expected in India, their long-term usefulness is suspect. 
Hard-pressed though we are to find symbols of the new India, the new terminal, with its import of foreign designs, foreign materials and construction technology, does little to promote India and Indian ideas.

Disasters sow seeds of success 28 Jul 2010, Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, ET Bureau. To err is human because risk-averse refusal to stop tinkering with the world as it is alien to human nature.
Disasters will still occur. No innovation or new exploration is ever risk-free. But just as shipwrecks did not stop exploration of the seas, so too economic and technological disasters should not stop economic and technological innovation. Henry Petroski of Duke University has written a book, Success through failure: The paradox of design. Its key lesson is that failures teach us more than successes. Failures lead to radical design changes that are needed but are ignored in times of unbroken success. …
Many greens believe that humans should not tinker with nature, and will be penalised for it. In fact, humans evolved from the hunter-gatherer stage only because exploration and innovation is hardwired into their DNA.
Poet TS Eliot wrote, “We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to return to where we started, and know the place for the first time.” Greens who fear exploration know very little of the nature they claim to protect, and think that ignorance is bliss. Regardless, we humans must and will explore every facet of nature. Then alone will we know the place for the first time.

They were in 'thralldom to outworn and stale ideas', lacked initiative, energy, enthusiasm, perseverance and a sense of commitment, and had become deeply fearful of anything new. Aurobindo put the point well: ...

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