I was in Bangalore yesterday to open an exhibition "the Bigger Picture II", organised by the Indian Foundation for the Arts at the Grand Ballroom of the Leela Palace. Curated by Abhishek Poddar this exhibition showcases the works of 89 Indian contemporary artists who have come together to support this fund raising endeavour, that aims to nurture residency projects, public art practices, collaborations, documentation and research and experimental enquires within the arts, as well as alternative educational modules that engage with art, music, dance, writing and theatre. Supporting the arts is an area of awareness that needs far greater committed attention; and where I believe the private sector can play a major role.
Getting up at 4 am to catch an early morning flight to get to Bangalore, I had the television on to keep me awake. Listening to the continued coverage of the attempts of the government to excuse the faux pas of attempting to pass off rupees thirty-two as a minimum wage, I felt deep shame at a nations callousness to the plight of those who make up a significant majority and who remain, even after all these years of independence and supposed progress, voiceless regarding the inequality of their plight. We are getting nowhere with governance that is riddled with only damage control, crisis after crisis; and where for every two steps forward that we go, we do a mile in reverse!
The issues of how and why money should be spent wisely are never discussed with children. And so we have generations of young people who pour out of our educational institutions each year, without a clue as to the power they possess that can bring change to the dynamics of true progress. My dear friend Ripan Kapur, who founded CRY, was amongst the few I knew who carried his passion in small dreams and made big inroads into creating platforms to focus on issues of development for underprivileged children. His buy-a-brick to build a school program was such an imaginative and simple module that could engage all children to comprehend philanthropy. Today we have the big money culture that breeds the big party syndrome and perpetuates wastefulness as a mantra of social snobbery. We have so, we flaunt, is the calling card of the jet setting who's who, with very few who stand apart from this norm.
My dream is to always hope that each of us understand how little things can make a difference, and how collective collaborations can make big dreams a reality. Joy for me is the idea that another person who is not as privileged as myself can also hold their dream and possess the ability to realise it; and for this to occur we must embrace the desire to be involved with things outside of the immediacy of our own existence and lend support to upliftment and economic advancement for all. Our legacy is imprinted in our motivation to create positive modules of life and dignity; and so dear Mr. Montek Singh Aluwalia, rupees thirty- two a day is a nightmare and one that surely you have never encountered. So wake up to a reality check and get it right. You are in public service and that should mean something to you.