I read this wonderful article yesterday on the idea behind the designs of India’s iconic monuments. The article starts off with Chandigarh, a beautiful city designed by Le Corbusier.
When the city of Chandigarh and its legislative assembly buildings were built, the architecture cast in concrete was very different from the Parliament and other legislative houses built before in India. It looked neither like a palace nor a temple, the two traditional archetypes that served as a model to represent power or ‘culture'. Chandigarh's lexicon of forms was new. Not everyone liked it.
Dismissing the scepticism, Nehru, who ardently supported it, said, “Some like it, and some dislike it… You may squirm at the impact, but it has made you think.”
Nehru, being the Prime Minister, fortunately had the final say and it resulted in one of the finest cities of the world being created. It is another thing that in the ensuing decades we have done our damndest best to reduce it to the chaotic depths of other Indian cities.
More importantly, great ideas will always generate extreme views (and buzz). It will make a lot of people uncomfortable. Therefore, one’s got to be ballsy enough to take a decision in its favor.