Cosmopolitan Bangalore

Saturday, 04 June 2005

An excerpt from an article written by Sri Chiranjeev Singh, in the “Architectural Heritage and The City Aesthetics of Bangalore”, published in 1988 by T.P. Issar.

“Cosmopolitanism of the Indian sort is rootless: it makes for dull cities. Cosmopolitan Bangalore is dull; it is the non-cosmopolitan Karaga-celebrating, Dasaranaama-singing, Vachana-reciting, Rajkumar-cheering, ragi-mudde, anna-saaru-relishing Bangalore which is interesting.

Bangalore identifies itself more with Delhi or Bombay than the rest of Karnataka. It is quite in character that when Bangaloreans erected a statue of the founder, Kempe Gowda, they showed him clad in Rajasthani upper garment, Punjabi lower garment and Parsi theatre turban. That indeed is cosmopolitanism. Kempe Gowda in life would have gone around in native ‘panche’ (dhoti). His descendants prefer to call themselves Arun and Lohit, not Kempa. After all red is red, called by any name.

Like the characters in the Wizard Of Oz, the city seems to be in search of a soul. For a while it looked as if the Kannada Chaluvali – a militant assertion of Kannadiga identity – would be its Wizard of Oz but that did not happen. The movement degenerated into politics.

With the public sector invasion of the city – at the invitation of the state government in most cases – came more outsiders and more industries. The influx continues. Companies continue to move their headquarters from Bombay and Calcutta to Bangalore. Sometimes, one wonders when the reaction would start.

Architecturally also, the City is cosmopolitan. Every style, from Dravidian to modern, neo-classical to neo-gothic, co-exists along with the PWD-gothic. And then there is Vidhana Soudha, which can only be described as classical Kengal. The best example of this co-existence can be seen in the old Residency complex. There you have the most beautifully proportioned and elegant building of Bangalore flanked by a Charles Corea creation on one side and a PWD on the other.”

Via Prof. Vasant Honavar’s page »


Rk on 2005-06-05 01:16:57 said :
hi pradeep,
new look is just cool!! earlier colors were a bit more, but this is very pleasant. also lot more on the sidebar!

Pradeep on 2005-06-05 03:31:53 said :
Hi Ravi,
thanks :)
Dude, what happened to your new blog?
Till you get your new blog, restart your blogging engines. Use your new ‘Lens’ :)

Rk on 2005-06-06 00:22:49 said :
hi pradeep,
check out new blog!

Article from around 2005-06. Exact date lost