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Where is the public art in Baroda?
Sandhya Bordewekar-Gajjar
Over the last many decades, in addition to the magnificent Indo-Saracenic architectural jewels, the city of Baroda (Vadodara) also announced its leading role in the creation of Contemporary Art via the Public Art installed in its numerous traffic circles or roundabouts. But over teh last few weeks, the rhino at Genda Circle has been poached and the Abacus at Akshar Chowk (end of Old Padra RoadJ P Road) has also disappeared. The next to go is likely to be the Banyan Tree at the Fatehgunj Crossroads and the Circle of Mankind on Race Course Circle towards Ellora Park. And what is the reason for this madness, one might ask? To remove the traffic roundabouts so that traffic can flow easier! Well, if traffic must flow easier, would it not be better to have a decent bus service installed in the first place?
It is indeed disheartening to hear that the iconic traffic circles of Baroda may be non-existent soon! They truly were synonymous with the city and lent identity to each junction. The mapping of a route in the mind often relies on the visual impressions that are etched in the human memory; and traffic circles of Vadodara certainly did that very well... Genda Circle no more? Shocking!! it is shattering my sensibilities and i dread to think what i might see (or in this case - not see!) during m
Social requirements differ over spread of time. Monuments and sculptures which adorned the traffic circles earlier are today seen as obstacles. Time tests everyone. India has seen Dynasties vanish. Families who ruled earlier, are today seen struggling to survive. So, Change is inevitable. However a conscious effort is required to be made to value and preserve the inherited past..
it is shattering my sensibilities and i dread to think what i might see (or in this case - not see!) during my next visit to my city. Besides their role as Public Art displays, they are absolutely sound design solutions for traffic management. Road widening proposals should make conscious attempts to protect the circles as we will lose the city's landmarks to inappropriate planning!
Well, would they dare to remove the Dr. Babsaheb Ambedkar statue from the traffic roundabout opposite the GEB?
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