[Independence Day] An Undivided India: A Lawyer-Artist's tribute to the Nation

Bar & Bench August 15 2018

Lawyer and artist Bahaar Dhawan Rohatgi has created an art installation to commemorate India's 72nd Independence Day. The work was created in celebration of India's unity in diversity.

Rohatgi goes on to explain the inspiration behind this piece of art and its significance in this day and age.

As a proud Indian, I am eager to engage in the revelry of celebrating our Independence Day on this infinitely unforgettable day 72 years back, the very cause our forefathers were martyred for, perished, suffered and sacrificed for.

Unity in diversity; in existence of oneness, without fighting for uniformity, was the mantra that our extraordinary leaders dreamt of and strived to create. People of all religions, sects and communities together in one supreme bond of humanity and coexisting in harmony, with tolerance and at peace and love for one another was the sole dream and continues to be so for the truest patriots till date.

Celebrating today is not only about our freedom, liberty and our right to live and think freely as individuals, but also to do so as a cohesive whole, as proud fellow Indians.

Through this medium, I earnestly request everyone to join hands as a cohesive force in educating and spreading awareness towards the shunning of the parochial outlook of some radicals, who have misled the innocent and uneducated.

The Work

Extending my salutations through a kinetic art installation of our Nation, without state divisions. It is a 3D sculptural work wherein panels have been overlapped to depict India as a whole, one nation, one soil, one soul.

It is conceptual work, 54 feet in diameter, made of metal panels mounted on wood, which is also a rotating installation.

Each metal panel is painted in one solid colour from the tricolor (which overlap), rather than there being a segregation based of states as per the placement on the map of India. The distortions are intentional to show unity in diversity and a common pulse to the nation.

The work aims to promote tolerance, love, and reduce pre-conceived notions, or stereotypes on account of the regions the people of the nation hail from.

The rotating work dilutes the idea of North, South, East, or West India. The panels are painted as a mirror image intentionally, to give a sense of the Indian viewer to look at India as their own mirror image.

Significance

Unfortunately, sometimes it seems as if the country is disintegrating due to a growing sense of regionalism and the sense of ‘I’ over ‘We’. This obviously detracts from patriotism that we as Indians must aspire to achieve.

It occurred to me that as a lawyer, an artist and an Indian, I should send out the message of true unity in diversity to fellow Indians, instead of sitting back and moaning about this situation as most other people, myself included, have been doing.

I remember back in the day, when my mind would ignite when I saw those three ordinary colours merge in the most extraordinary manner to evoke the idea of my country. The feeling has to come from within. I strongly believe that a life without love, duty, charity, patriotism is unworthy of our founding ideals and those who died defending those ideals.

With this work, I am attempting to question the perception of underlying differences and hence modified and overlapped regions and states of the country to bring it together as a whole, one nation, one soil, one soul. This patriotism should not be just a sudden, frenzied, outburst of emotion but a steady journey, dedication of a lifetime. We all need to work together and contribute in our own capacity to achieve that.

 We are Indians, firstly and lastly! United we stand, divided we fall!

Disclaimer: The artwork created is purely an artistic expression and is not intended to be an authentic representation of the map or boundaries of the Union of India.