Monday, March 9, 2020

The Question of Identity: The Lakshana of Being Indian

'Needless to say, the question of a contemporary Indian identity in design is a difficult one. The context of Indian identity itself is deeply debated. Identity in any case, is complex, partially glimpsed and often in flux. It is influenced by familial, local, community, regional and national affiliations—which may not always be in perfect sympathy. Today, when most people and governments in the world wish to become like the industrialised countries of Europe and America, national identities are increasingly getting standardised to fit the image of a global consumer.

The omnipresent ‘market’, through large industries and commercial entities such as multi-national corporations, shapes our choices both as consumers and designers, as well as our identities. It re-makes boundaries—witness the cleaving of the U.S.S.R. and much of Europe through the force of capital and capitalism in the recent past. Colonialism, its most aggressive form, has done the same thing in the distant and not-so-distant past.'

This question, among other related questions about the role of identity in design, is explored in my forthcoming book. A longer extract may be found on this link.

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