Quote of the week...please share your favourite line from Ayn Rand's writings

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.”

Friday, October 30, 2009

An informal report on the 4th Atlas Meet - Delhi

The 4th Atlas Meet in Delhi last Saturday (24th October) turned out to be a pleasant change from the previous three. There were no newcomers and only four attendees from amongst the usual suspects!

The meeting got off to a late start as Barun, Poonam, Vikram and Arun all got stuck in traffic on the Ring Road. A discussion began naturally on the confounding dilemma that the traffic situation never seems to improve despite the construction of more and more fly-overs and signal-free junctions. Many theories were propounded, some even doubting the wisdom of putting in more fly-overs, but it was agreed that at least the delays on modern city roads are in a different orbit; they are much preferable to the mind-numbing confusion of traditional bazaars where the same time gets taken to cover just a few yards!

A related discussion began on how the cornucopia of regulations governing land-use and urban planning makes a criminal out of every citizen. Arguments erupted over whether there was even any need for "planning", and whether aesthetic spaces could or would develop in the absence of such laws. Arun Virmani, himself an architect, raised another point about how we are making a fetish of preserving everything old when it came to buildings.

Finally, over samosas and chai, the agenda got discussed and plans were made to arrange meetings with the schools that Arun had contacted. It was decided that Barun would front the initiative and talk to the principals about participation in the essay-contests for schools announced by the ARI. An additional idea that was discussed was about sponsoring a debate amongst schools in Delhi on topics of relevance. Here, one side of the argument could be provided by us through 'talking points'. Vikram shared that a school he is in touch with already organizes such a debate, and we could consider sponsoring it. Once again, the principal would be contacted and a meeting arranged.

On that positive note, we called it a day.

1 comment:

  1. To me what was particularly interesting about this evening's discussion, was how we related the idea of property rights to question of urban development. And how much of the present problems of urban India can be dealt with greater recognition for property rights.

    Secondly, Arun Virmani and I did follow up on the suggestions Arun had made. We met the principal of one of a prominent public school in south Delhi. And although, he was not aware of Ayn Rand, he suggested that we submit a proposal to him for consideration by the school.