I had never believed that the legitimacy of our governments in fact stems from the symbols of the state, that is, the actual buildings which house the powers-that-be till I read this interesting article. Is it possible to imagine the power of our Supreme Court without unconsciously associating it with the building which stands at Tilak Marg? No wonder, the Supreme Court is reluctant to concede the demand to set up another Bench of the Court elsewhere in the country, even though the Constitution provides for it under Article 130, and the Government is in its favour.
The indian experience with respect to impact of architecture on the political process is disheartening.
The Parliament building is sufficiently aesthetic to accomodate democratic principles in its functioning (in my humble opinion). But the quality of governmental activities that takes place there does not meet even the minimum standards of democracy. The “house” of the people and the states chairs several criminals and rogues. It is attacked by terrorists. It witnesses horse trading and mud slinging on a daily basis.
Thus, even if legitimacy is attributed to it, it does not deserve it.
I am of the opinion that it is the processes that determine the charisma of an institution and not the glory of its architecture. The institutions which come to my mind are IIM – ahmedabad (which i have seen only on telivision) and NLSIU Bangalore. Both have very simple designs but the amount of intellectual activity that takes place is amazing.
My vision of an Ideal Indian Parliament would be a large banyan tree, with roots that spread over a large area and creates smaller tree-like structures around it, signifying the unity-in-diversity , strength and solidarity of what we are.
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