Saturday, 18 September 2010

SAVE OUR TIGERS Campaign Corrected

‘Historically the study of evolution has concentrated almost exclusively upon the animals. If plants are mentioned it is only in passing and usually to reconstruct the environment in which to view the animal record.'(The opening sentence of the book, “The Evolution of Plants” by Willis, K.J. & McElwin, OUP, 2002.)
International Year of Biodiversity 2010 needs to implement DOWN TO EARTH action rather than sermons and slogans. It also needs to curb wild use of natural resources by the persons / organizations in power, and use peoples’ participation. 

To Save Our Tigers,
Save Plants to
Save Forest to
Save Water to
Save Land to
Save Livelihood to
Save All Living beings to
Save Human beings to
Save Our Sanity.
We give due credits to the AIRCELL for their noble intention to support ‘Save Our Tigers’ campaign while placing advertisement to promote their product that recently appeared in print media.

We sincerely and earnestly feel environmental and ecological balance between natural, rural and urban areas for sustainable living must be restored. It must be on equitable basis for all living beings – plants, animals (wildlife), aborigine communities (Scheduled Tribes), peasants in rural and forest areas, and the urbanite; not merely for – as is the buzzword goes – sustainable development.  

We make an effort to add few missing but most important elements, within same area, at the risk of being it called plagiarism.

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© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

All Are Architects

Honeybees and Hive
 ALL ARE ARCHITECTS: Honeybees are architects; Spiders are architects; Weaver-birds are architects; Beavers are architects; Ants are architects... 

All are architects, because at primary level architecture is Shelter; that matters! The Title 'Architect' is protected by law in some countries, and following them in the First World India. This is so because of ignorance about real life and real issues of people.

However, thankfully, the term “architecture” is not legal.

In India now there may be about 50,000, perhaps more, qualified architects. How many of them have taken legal title is doubtful. Imagine, 1200 million people have 50K architects! They will have no time to cope up the amount of work they should have had. 

Weaver Bird's two nests are never same

Spider's Site Selection

Yet there is monopoly of a few architects in the profession. Forty years ago, one architect, a foreigner of credibility, (I don't mention the name) exclaimed in Ahmadabad, "these mafia architects!"    

While “shelter”, howsoever may have stood the test of time, is considered “low” in esteem by civil society; “Architecture” is “high art” surrounded by mystery. In the present scenario, “architect” belongs to a “service class” – in Indic term, “Neo-Shudra” – in the created by Industrial Civilization, on the outskirts of Global village.   

 Well, that was a case earlier too. Emperor Shah Jahan cut off the hand of the architect who created Taj Mahal! 

Heinrich Robert Zimmer, in his book on Indian art (Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization), quotes a story of the gods’ architect, Vishwakarma, who had built a palace of Indra, the king of gods. Indra brought him virtually to tears. So he approached Vishnu, and he took Vishvakarma to Shiva for recourse. Shiva, in a guise of an ascetic, gives Indra a vision to understand that his glory is short-lived like a millions Indra that have passed away before him. The mythical story imbibes aesthetics and ethics. 


My mother was the owner - architect of this house. It was built by Community Participation, where carpenters, masons, adobe wall builders came from village and surrounding area. I was in teens then. I took by first lessons 'mud house building' here.My mother exercised her autonomy about planning, size, materials to be used, in consultation with all workers: it is in regional style. This house was built by self-help.

It is a mud house - mud floor, mud walls and mud plaster; local latarite stone facia for plinth, and pillars; timber for pillars, bamboo for roof scantling, wooden doors and windows; and country clay roofing tiles. 

I worked almost in all operations as a helper, from collecting stones, and from foundations to roofing, and later regularly attended to maintenance of mud floors, mud walls and roofing. This is a case study: All over India millions of people exercise self-help, autonomy, community participation, planning, maintenance and economy. 

In rural India children learn 'life-supporting-skills' at early formative age. May the elite scorn it as "child-labour", while pampering their urban rich brats by putting them in the best school in the city or a best in the country... What contribution the parents do other than spending money! Modern India has failed to create better model of education than  that has been existing in the past ten thousand years, in past six decades.

NOTE: 1. Images are by Remigius de Souza. 
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© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.