Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Grandma's Legacy: a Last or Lost Link? (Comment)

Image Source: Hindustan Times

Grandma's Legacy: A Last or a Lost Link? Thankfully not yet. There is much to savour the legacy my grandmother left for me - for us.
Grandma’s legacy is not a lost link. They found some in Andhra Pradesh – it is everywhere in India – provided you look for it.
They should show these movies to the ruling minority – politicians, bureaucrats, experts, specialists, planners, the educationists and the self-proclaimed leaders, and the urban elite – before showing them to the world.
This “Soil Unrecognized Indian” is now being seen…

More on Grandma's Legacy >>
1. She Lived Her Living Doctrine
2. We must carry our own burden

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© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Monday, 19 May 2008


INDICA: I deliberately use the word ‘Indica’, a biological term, instead of ‘India’. It is precisely to indicate a ‘region’ and not political boundaries that associate with the State. In the historical time political boundaries have been subjected to change, anywhere.

TERRA: literally ‘soil’, which I refer to ‘Land and Waters and People, and Biotic and Abiotic Nature’. The biotic and abiotic nature is intrinsic in the life, therefore also in their culture, of the people – the daughters and the sons of the soil.

INCOGNITA: the literal meaning is ‘unknown – unexplored – unrecognised’ alike the medieval (European) map showed the known world encircled by ‘terra incognita’ where monsters roam.

Indeed even in the twenty-first century, the ‘soil’, in my way of comprehensive meaning, still remains ‘unknown (to the world) – unexplored (by the pundits) – unrecognised (by the so-called Authority or the State)’, whom I fondly call my ‘anonymous’ kin, from whatever glimpse I have had through my six decade journey in the Third World India and the Fourth World India.

INDIA has almost a continental size. Broadly there are about 50 – 60 cultural and social sub-groups (as illustrated….). No. We are not referring to the castes or cults or the creeds. We are not taking of, in American lingo, of the Class or the classless society. We are speaking of the ethnic and adivasi – tribal – communities (that is the cohesive collectives), not the civilised advance societies (that is the fragmented collectives in the modern times).

She indeed is a thousand-petal lotus, our national flower. There have been as many topographic and climatic regions – bioregions – that have great hand in shaping the culture, expressed in food, clothing, shelter (or architecture!), visual and performing arts and crafts, languages an folklore… and thus as a result a superior quality of sustainable living. I call it a model for the modern world, a world heritage, now facing a wipe-out.

Unfortunately in the global race to make India an industrial power by the petty imitators – the ruling minority – comes at cross-purposes with the survival of the agrarian society and the diverse bioregions. The petty imitators are out to homogenise them with monoculture of industrial civilisation. The industrialisation here, so far, only helps the power mongers and profiteers through their invisible tentacles.

Indeed one lifetime is not enough to see and to assimilate and to understand this phenomenon for any person or even a group of persons. Any documentation, even a fraction, would reveal great treasures of wisdom and knowledge and skills, across these diverse bioregions, accumulated over generations of anonymous People of India.

India is such a vast country with diversity that it is impossible to manage even the welfare of the people (for the lack of understanding) for any centralised power, even with an iron hand. This is true of any region in the world which has been proved time to time. Decentralisation of powers, down to earth in practice, (power in the hands of peasants) is the only answer to this malady; M. K. Gandhi came very close to it in his concept of Panchayati Raj – power to village self-rule.


© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Man and Nature (within and outside)

Presentation accompanied with the paper ARCHITECTURE AND BIODIVERSITY IN INDIA: A Context to Aesthetics in Our Times”, presented to PAITHRUKAM 2004: Seminar/Workshop on “Aesthetics in Indian Architecture: Past, Present and Future”, at MES College of Architecture, Trissure, Kerala.
Author: Remigius de Souza, 14 OCT 2004



Note: All the references to images and quotes in the following presentation are not mentioned. Also the permissions of the authors and publishers have not been taken. The author acknowledges their copyright. These are used purely for the academic purpose.

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© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.