Saturday, April 17, 2010

In 15 years, the city will be unrecognisable'

In 15 years, the city will be unrecognisable'
ASHWIN MAHESH


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Heritage becomes all the more important in times of great change. Bengaluru is going through one of the most rapid transformations in the peace time history of the sub-continent. Within 15 years the city will have no resemblance to its origins and gradual growth up to 1980.
And unless we act now there will be very little memory of it either. What ABIDe proposed to the government is to establish institutions that record and cherish each era, namely a Museum of Bengaluru and a permanent Heritage Commission to oversee conservation. These institutions can help create and sustain a collective memory of the city and its people. This year I hope to see these institutions take shape.
Bengaluru also has a unique position from which to look at the present era. It is the first Indian-made metropolis, and therefore a mirror to much of our imagination of ourselves. Who we see ourselves to be today will resemble a lot of India itself tomorrow. Hence we must build and nourish new institutions for heritage protection and awareness. The problem with modernisation is that it creates more isolation. Unfortunately in this micro environment it is hard to remember who shaped our city. There must be deliberate efforts to bring back the city's lost glory so that we are able to create a distinct future.

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