Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Proud Moment for all Chandigarhians...

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="516" caption="My-Chandigarh"]My-Chandigarh[/caption]

The world, it seems, is celebrating India’s first modern city. Even as London fetes the brilliance of master architect Le Corbusier through an ongoing exhibition, ‘Time’ magazine has dubbed Chandigarh as ‘’the thinking man’s city’’ amidst ‘’a continent of mindless growth’’. 
Featured as one of the 15 places in ‘Best of Asia-2009’ list, the city has been detailed as a model - almost un-Indian - city, with its ‘’egalitarian sectors’’ and ‘’tranquil settings’’. In a fitting tribute to the venerated Swiss-French creator, Chandigarh, the magazine says, reflects the ‘’Best Application of Corbusian Principles’’. 

Applauding the title, the first chief architect of Chandigarh, MN Sharma, says, ‘’The city deserves this status. The architectural plan, which was prepared after studying several European cities, envisaged a unique destination, which Chandigarh has truly become.’’ 

However, hitting a cautionary note, ‘Time’ mentions: ‘’Today, the city is threatened by its very success, as Indians have been lured here in droves by its relatively high living standards and high percentage of greenery. An old vision of modernity is being replaced by the latest model.’’ 

Giving ballast to this debate, Sharma states, ‘’If UT administration wants to maintain the city’s status, it must be very conscious about pursuing future plans. As a standard, Le Corbusier’s dreams must be abided by at every step.’’ 

The nodal officer of Le Corbusier Centre in Sector 19, VN Singh, calls the architect ‘’the genius of 20th century’’. 

’’People of Chandigarh have an emotional attachment with Le Corbusier,’’ he notes, and adds the Frenchman - who considered himself a painter first, and then an architect - worked between the polarities of ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’. Resonating this, the magazine states, ‘’he (Corbusier) intended for Chandigarh to be a statement of innovation for a nation where material progress would be wedded to ancient values of simplicity and rootedness.’’ 

’’Chandigarh is on its way to become the world’s number one city,’’ Singh opines. 

Having created the world-famous Rock Garden, Padma Shri Nek Chand says it is gratifying to hear about the honour. ‘’The city deserves this status and it is due to its well-planned nature that Rock Garden has become so famous all across the world.’’ 

For a city that was conceived soon after Independence - in the backdrop of tragedy and bloodshed - the city continues to stand testimony to aspirations of the new people. ‘’Chandigarh is still the place to ponder what rational planning might have done and still can do,’’ the article puts it aptly. 


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