Friday, 17 June 2016

Flat

I am fond of ‘Trends’ actually. According to me, trends give us (me, to be particular) one of the prominent reasons for happiness. Almost every independent group on God’s green Earth has a trend of its own. Whether we know it or not, trends keep updating themselves and continue to delight us, every now and then. Rest is our part to turn around, leave a glance and lose our hearts or turn a deaf ear to them. But there are certain trends that are too condescending to be dispelled from our interests. Yes. Some of them are deep-rooted, which only evolve in due course of time.

One such proliferated trend has mesmerized the User interface (UI) and app designers in recent times. The entire design world was flattered by this trend, that even giants in this field have graciously embraced the same. Adapting to this trend has become a ritual now, at least to wipe off the outdated look and present a brand new stature. Presenting you the ‘Flat’ aesthetic, the modern day’s design trend. Of course, ‘flattening’ everything is the soul concept behind this aesthetic.

Designing world is where trends always move backwards to where everything actually started. This flat aesthetic is no exception. You would’ve likely heard its praises sung on blogs and in lists of design trends. This visually simplistic style has its roots in minimalism and can take a variety of forms, but is better defined by what it isn’t. It isn’t 3D. The style’s name comes from its two-dimensional qualities, including flat shapes and the absence of details that create depth and dimension — such as shadows, highlights, and textures. It isn’t skeuomorphic (container + form). Flat design started as reaction against skeuomorphism, an embellished style intended to suggest or resemble real-world objects or processes.

Flat design really started becoming a recognizable style in 2012 and 2013. Those were the years this trend became highly visible (and easier to emulate) thanks to the release of Windows 8 and iOS 7.

                The ‘sweet spot’ in the evolution of flat design is somewhere between the original trend and the skeuomorphic ideals that were abandoned. But since flat design has been around for several years now and is still going strong, it’s likely more than just a passing trend. This drives me to know more about the entire reason for such flourishment and where this is to end up in future.

Since Microsoft and Apple jumped on board with flat design, the style was quickly adopted as a fresh approach to user experience. It was and continues to be popular for web and mobile design — and for good reason.

Compatibility with responsive design is an important occupant in the pros corner of our aesthetic. Flat design’s principles can be applied to other design categories, but its grid-based layouts and simple graphics are particularly suited to web and mobile design since they’re easily able to be resized or rearranged to display on different devices and screen sizes. On the other hand, skeuomorphism’s highly detailed style with lots of shadows and textures, along with fixed-size imagery, often doesn’t translate well when shrunk down or enlarged to fit various viewing methods.

Our hero has another affable quality, Flexibility. Call it what you like — a grid, cards, modules, or blocks — many designs going for the flat look tend to have compositions organized by uniform geometric shapes. This type of layout, where every design element has its place, is easy to scan and navigate quickly.

Flat qualities also extend to designers’ approach to typesetting, which often results in larger, more streamlined typography. The absence of shadows and other effects makes text easier to read.

But, the trend also has a box filled with cons, compromised usability being a principal one. In an effort to emphasize flat design’s clean, streamlined qualities, some designers fall into the trap of focusing too much on aesthetics — to the extent that it negatively impacts a design’s usability. This is a particular risk for web and mobile design. Take this website as an example. Are all the boxes clickable? Only some of them? It’s hard to tell just by looking at it.

Lack of distinctiveness is the next one in the queue. One of the downsides of flat design is that sticking to a simplistic, narrowly defined visual style often results in the designs and colours they choose that look very or somewhat similar.

Flat design regularly shows up on design trend lists, as it continues to be a popular choice for designers who want their work to come across as modern or reflective of current technology, that some designers will apply them just to follow the crowd, without really thinking about their usefulness. This can result in purposeless design choices — for instance, early flat design’s fondness for long shadows.

While early iterations of flat design were characterized by a strict visual simplicity, recent developments have seen the subtle reintroduction of qualities like shadow and texture — for both aesthetic and functional reasons.

The result of these tweaks to a purely flat approach to design resulted in a style often referred to as “Flat 2.0” or “almost-flat” design. This style is more of a compromise: you still get the clean simplicity of flat design, but add some subtly skeuomorphic qualities for visual variety and improved usability.

Having many characteristics in common with almost-flat design, material design is a visual language developed by Google that emphasizes grid-based layouts and features “deliberate colour choices, edge-to-edge imagery, large-scale typography, and intentional white space” for a bold, graphic look.

So while big brands like Microsoft, Apple, and Google definitely have influence when it comes to popularizing design styles, it’s the designers that take trends and run with them to create something new — it’s the designers that help usher in the next “big thing.”

Promising world of Tamizhian politics

In Tamilnadu, we usually have two broad festive seasons every year, and a separate festival once in five years. Every festival of course has its own bundle of practices and tradition. This semi decadal assembly election festival too is no way inferior to those. The election at Tamilnadu is usually packed with pledges and promises. Wow. Every candidate makes romantically overwhelming promises in front of masses, to establish their candidature and attract votes. However, almost all elections have been predictable to some extent. But this election, the Tamilnadu assembly election 2016 is proving to be a peculiar one right from its early days of announcements. The people of Tamilnadu aka the voting population seem to be indifferent this time. The possible reasons should be either the fallacy in the manifestoes or the confusion in deciding their choice.

The politicians are as usual busy with their pre-poll pledges, most of which being counter-productive and absurd. The VIBGYOR of promises range from the cheap freebies to ultra-controversial bans. There are many significant and absolutely anti significance absurdities in this rainbow.

BJP promised to bring back Jallikattu (Bull taming) at Tamilnadu. Oxymoron. The ruling party is already playing a major role in banning the sport once and for all, and have banned beef in some states its ruling. We as tomorrow’s voters have no idea how this promise would become an action.

Liquor ban is the next prominent topic politicians have taken today. The ruling AIADMK party promised a gradual ban of alcohol. But the opposing DMK has promised a total prohibition of the same (the thing we hadn’t even dreamt of). Tamilnadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) has literally been the back bone of the state’s income, yielding around 27,000 crore INR every year. The giant holds 6823 retail outlets and 41 depots and employment of 29,297 employees. I wish the pledgers must have devised some erudite alternatives to supplement this revenue before promising.  

DMK’s manifesto also promised the complete waiver of educational loans, from both central and state government institutions, LCD televisions, tablets and laptops with 3G/4G connections and 10 GB/month download options for 1,600,000 students. As usual a manifesto filled with freebies, a complete deterrence to voters.

Vijayaraj Naidu aka Captain Vijaykanth has displayed his mind-blowing leadership skills in his manifesto. Captain led third front, otherwise called ‘People Welfare Front’ has given a list which include sending 5,000 farmers abroad every year to learn latest farming techniques and increasing the per capita income of 12,620 villages to 25,000 INR p.m. It also highlighted the reduction in oil prices, Petrol to Rs.45 per litre and diesel to 35.

Oh My God! DMDK Manifesto, Genre: Fiction.

Srilankan Tamilians have become a plaything in the hands of today’s politicians. AIADMK has promised to stress the ruling centre to negotiate with Sri Lanka and provide dual citizenship for the Tamilians of Eezham. The other parties have also stressed this same point, but in different way to bring the separate Eezham for the refugees and stop the fishermen getting slaughtered by Lankan navy.

On the other hand, some completely outlandish promises like DMDK’s promise about a week’s holiday for Pongal (Festival) celebrations, ADMK’s promise to give 50% discount in mopeds’ price for ladies, BJP’s eight gram gold giving proposal for eligible ladies have infuriated the voters. Continuous check-ups and raids brought to light the money and materials reserved for distribution to voters. Recent capture of 570 crores INR in three trucks has turned all spotlights towards Tirupur, Tamilnadu. All these added oil to the flame.

According to leading political analysts, AIADMK which is supposed to win this election, has not put enough efforts. This overconfident gesture of the party reflected by the delay in the release of election manifesto, changing the candidates in many constituencies and restricting campaigns in some areas, has largely reduced its possibility of winning. On the other hand, DMK taking over social media for advertising and making continuous efforts in campaigns has strived really hard to wipe the stains left by the 2G scam. DMDK led PWF is trying to give tough competition with its flashy-but-imaginary pledges, filing in the holes left by the two main fronts. The other front led by Tech savvy Dr.Anbumani Ramadoss also continues to lie from the podiums of 234 constituencies, thus establishing the fourth dimension of the polling sport.

This multi-cornered competition has coloured the assembly elections with confusions. The people are yet to decide about their choice. NOTA too proves unworthy because the candidate with second majority wins that too. Rest is in our hands. Let us not throw the baby out with bath tub water. Let us separate the good from bad, and vote not for bitter today but for a better tomorrow.               

From the podium

Speaking isn’t just a quality, but an ability to instil one’s thoughts in many minds. To be exact, speaking is an art that isn’t born with people. One must toil day and night to get it under control. There are certain people who have excelled this art. Every one of these speakers isn’t just emulators of other better speakers, but a designer of his/her own dogma of speaking tactics. The enigmatic appearance of this priceless art makes it insurmountable, but some live examples stand in front of us who literally reached the acme of eloquence. Knowing about them is the least we could do, to pay our tribute.

Hitler

Hitler is one classic template of oration. He is one of the greatest orator history has ever seen. Hitler’s speeches were really overwhelmingly powerful, that they frighten even the Jewish coffins.  His party hardly won more than 3% of votes in 1924 elections. He understood the importance of public speaking. According to him, every great movement on Earth owes its growth to great speakers. He toiled deep into his nights, writing his speeches. He gradually grew up; He delivered nearly five thousand persuasive speeches; Hitler took over the country, conquered a dozen other nations as well, slaughtered 21 million people, thereby building the largest German empire in a span of just 12 years.

Hitler writes his own speech. He worships the art of speaking in such a way that he didn’t trust anyone else to write his speech for him or influence his ideas. He had five stenographers to feed the writings directly into type writers, after five pedantic reviews by himself.

Hitler’s voice was mesmeric. He could continuously speak for six hours, without losing the attention of the audience. He drew masses towards him and his viewpoint, and made them stay with that forever. He convinced the Germans that his governing system will reign for 1000 years. Hitler convinced the people to slaughter their own neighbours, the Jews. Such was the power of this man’s words.   

Hitler was an architect himself. He wasn’t influenced by anyone. He designed his one political system, which could not exist without him. He had his ‘own’ in everything he did. He aesthetically prepared his public act. He used to add animations, acting and much more to his speech, with the gestures and words that usual speakers deliver. He used to rehearse his every speech in front of a mirror.

There are universities teaching his rhetoric as a course even today. Every progress he dreamt of and the flourishment he brought died with him when he committed suicide in his secret bunker. The Third Reich was officially brought to an end without the living model of the Fuhrer and his oration.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill is a notable personality during the Second World War. His stirring speech gave him the fame of arousing millions and take them back to the Golden English era. To be particular, his war time speeches during the darkest days of war stood as a chance for the British soldiers to fight. He believed in the unimaginable power of speeches. Let’s google it, for instance. Just reading the glimpses of his top ten speeches will leave us with Goosebumps.

Right from his first speech, he has begun to magnetize masses. In war times, speaking what the people wanted to hear is tougher task than said. But doing tougher tasks makes a Hero.  

Churchill put politics aside in his speeches and spoke for the welfare of fellow Englishmen. At one point of time, the House of the Commons and the entire England itself started to believe whatever Churchill said from the podium, and he never deceived their belief. The concept of Churchillian optimism revolved around in every word he uttered.

Churchill’s speech was a stirring feature especially when the battle of Britain reached was at its crisis point. He established that the victory of the Great Britain only can bring about the survival of the same. His speeches were foundation for the establishment of the European Union.

Churchill too wasn’t a born orator, but the one who tirelessly built his own craft in due course. He wrote is speeches. No one knew when he sleeps and when he works. Such a hard worker he is. He believed that if a man’s oratory is powerful enough, he would become an independent force, drawing all others towards him. He not only said that a speech should be brought to a climax with waves and sounds filled with the vivid pictures of optimism, but also vectored in displaying the same in his speeches.  

Socrates

As many of already know, relentless questioning nature of Socrates led him to his end. Shortly after his historic scene describing Euthyphro, Socrates was accused by Meletus and others as a corrupter of youth and a non-believer of the God of the state. They brought him to trial. The day arrived and Socrates was standing in front of the jury consisting of five hundred Athenians. The speech he delivered there was legendary, as described by Plato, in his work The Apology. The speech was fantabulous because it not only summarized his entire life but also displayed his immense devotion towards philosophical questioning.

Socrates was so much emotionally attached towards his ‘fellow Athenians’ and so he wasn’t prepared to contradict any decision of the jury. He gave his reasons and expressed his doubts about the reasons behind such accusations. He started with an attractive note of sarcasm, “I don’t know, my dear Athenians, how much have you been moved by my accusers. I must admit they spoke very persuasively, that even I forgot who I was. But they hardly pronounced a word of truth”. He continued with a story about his search for a wiser man than himself, to establish his point, ‘Only God is wiser’, which ultimately shattered the accusation about his belief in Gods.

 He aroused the masses to question everything. He instilled that the wisdom of any man truly worth nothing and only the quest of wisdom fetches the same. His entire speech was built around one strong point, which says, ‘A good man doesn’t count on his living or dying; He continues to ask himself what he does is right or wrong’. He presented his testimony but the blinkered jury decided to put him to death. He whole-heartedly accepted the judgement, saying “The hour of departure has arrived at last; let’s go our ways — I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.” Artist may die; Art stays forever. His speeches were later construed properly, which evoked people to revolt and put an end to the tyranny of the then monarchy.

I extend my humble apologies to many more speakers about whom we didn’t discuss here. Yes. Every speaker certainly had some impact on his audience. But convincing an entire nation or race is entirely a different scenario, about which we talked above.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Dear Chennai, I'd live to see you smile


"Nature Cleans Itself", once a wise man said. 

Ten days ago, I was wondering about the narrow-mindedness and stupidity of lads speaking about intolerance in India. I was gazing at them having immense time to discuss these. But everything turned around in a week. The cyclonic showers that are usually usual in Tamilnadu, went pro this time, with unprecedented rainfall drowning Chennai and Cuddalore. Ever busy chennaites were confined to the perimeters of their homes, wading in darkness through water leveling to hips. But, some determined heads raised above the demonic floods, the youth of the city. 

Every process demands an initiation, which demands courage. But young cubs who knew no fear, made up their minds, that no angel is coming to lift them up, and it's their own responsibility to stand again. They inspired masses for the rescue ops. Every person with sufficient household to balance the city's imbalance, came out on the roads to lift others up. 

"Artists see collections; Arasiyal see elections"
Heroes who bathed in gallons of milk on their cutouts didn't come out, however reacted to pressure of situation by throwing cheques for meager amounts as semi-hearted donations. But I must say, some affluent artists, who are yet to taste milk, presided over the ops. In parallel, politicians tried very hard to sow the seeds of publicity dreaming of a golden harvest in the nearing elections. 
Mother nature became even more impatient. The forecasts continued to scream; Dams and lakes were overflowing; The streets of the marooned city became stranded; Bridges submerged; Blackouts everywhere; Death toll was growing at alarming rate; 

Networks did die everywhere, but connections did not. People did not flee the city, instead stayed to lift that up; Will you leave your mother behind in calamity, to save yourselves? I won't. 
Immediate entry of the military in the scene sped up the ops. People worked hand in hand with them, tirelessly to bring back normalcy; Air support was godly at that time. Humanity was on the driver's seat. Social media was put to optimum use to draw human and material resources. Tweets and posts in them were not to show off, but to inspire people. Even people far away from chennai collected immediate essentials and sent them to the brave minds which withstood the calamity. 

However misfortunes and fortunes are cyclic. Death toll reached many hundreds in the city. Two idiots just released ' The Beep Song', absolute ignorance. Some tragedies too accompanied the city's rebirth. Around 85 patients lost lives in a private hospital due to resource shortage. Some people became martyrs to save others. Deadly diseases broke around. But the sympathy we get is nothing before the satisfaction in bouncing back. The city managed to be back to normalcy.

A potato in a boiler softens, but a egg in the same hardens. Personality is about what we are made of and not about circumstances.The city could stand the nature's pressure. BBC named the city as one of the top 10 cities around the globe to live not because it's infrastructure, but because it's people. The survivors' minds are calm now, prepared to handle any surprise hardships; No unnecessary noisy horns are being heard on road, instead allowing others to take route; they follow signals now; they provide lifts; They greet each other; They run periodic checks over others' safety and health; Above all they smile seeing each others, having understood what really is life.  

Dear Chennai, I'd live to see you smile.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Can I speak?

Bangladesh, a land where 3000 people residing in every square mile. The nation shows a whooping figure of 2000 periodicals and news dailies. The country is at eighth place in population, with average constant reading rate of 15%. Bangladeshis generally have a strong belief in myths and superstitions, which has resulted from staunch religious principles followed for centuries together.

But, as an essence of distinction, they show in every field, a detour from the trail the country follows. Lateral and rational thinkers do make a notable difference. Bloggers are one such independent citizens that can write and air their ideas with none to question. Bangla bloggers aren't the odd men out in this case. Many bloggers write random ideas, only when they feel like writing, and read the same by themselves, when they feel like reading. Only few have a reach among readers with some hundreds of readers.

One such blogger is our hero Late. Mr.Ananta Bijoy Das. He has his own decent figure of fans following. Mr.Das had regular entries to his blog. He tried to spread humanist and secular ideas in every feed in his blog. He had written a poem eulogizing the flee of people to Europe in 1994, due to religious reasons. But not all people had the patience to tolerate his rational ideas and posts.

A group of people who got too much irritated by his blogging, plotted against him and stabbed the blogger chasing him down the streets. They also justified their act of murder in public place as a lesson to other so called 'rational thinkers' out there. This is not the first time a blogger's being murdered. Since 2013 five bloggers have been killed in Bangladesh alone, by groups calling themselves as religious activists, jihadists, or sometimes terrorists.

Blogging is the ultimate medium of showing one's right to speak. But every country around the globe experiences rude incidents like attacking Press Reuters, news company headquarters, etc., not because they wrote they lied, but because they aired the truth. This is the peak of intolerance. These tragedies witness people taking undue right to terminate people who used their right to speak.

Revenge is folly. It brings no use many a times. Murder as a revenge is just the deadly people and the dead people dealing among themselves. But the aftereffects affect the innocent children inclusive families. But an idea that is planted deep in one's mind cannot be changed that easily. But can be mitigated to some extent and can also be channelized in a useful stream in fact. For those activists out there, who couldn't control their fury, the society opens many gates for you to have your vengeance like corruption, reservation, discrimination, extortion, poaching, terrorism and many more. Do something to make others' life easy, before you go. Don't use one's innocence to ruin one's life. 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Redshirt



I am a believer that color affects people's moods. Every color's capable of paving its own self crafted pathway to appeal the eyes that trespass. Especially Indian society has a deep rooted beliefs in this logic. We prefer light colors to please the eyes. Darker ones are often undermined too, BLACK in particular. But there are colors that stand brilliant at every single instance they show up in front of a cenacle. RED is one such leader. To many, red signifies danger, evil, anger, escorts, and more as you may presume. 

But the studies delight us by saying something different.

RED intensifies our physical reactions
Seeing red causes people to react faster and more forcefully. Our bodies react to red, a culturally ingrained signal of danger, as if we've seen a threat, says study author Andrew Elliot of the University of Rochester. The reaction doesn't last long, and people aren't even aware of it, but, the findings "may have applications for sporting and other activities in which a brief burst of strength and speed is needed, such as weightlifting."
RED makes men more desirable to women
Men in red are "more attractive, more powerful and more sexually desirable to women," according to studies in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, asked women to rate pictures of men framed by or wearing a variety of colors. The women rated men in red "higher in status and more likely to earn a better living." That perception, which may stem from the fact that red pigmentation indicates male dominance in a number of animal species, leads to the attraction. It is found that men also find women in red more attractive because the color suggests "sexual receptivity."
RED is the color of winners
The color red can be intimidating — just ask Tiger Woods, who famously wears red on the final day of golf tournaments. A 2005 study by British scientists found that athletes wearing red "have an advantage over blue-suited competitors,". "We find that wearing red is consistently associated with a higher probability of winning," the researchers wrote in the journal Nature. Though subtle, it might factor in when evenly matched competitors face off.
REDSHIRT
A "redshirt" is a stock character in fiction who dies soon after being introduced in the flow of the movie. The term originates from the original Star Trek TV series, in which red-shirted security personnel frequently die during episodes. Such short characters having greater impact on the story are addressed to be redshirts. 
The term "Redshirt" is also used to signify the delay or abandonment of athletic events in the US. 

RED is a powerful way to catch the rare attentions around. Red signifies blood, therefore life. It stands for the 'Royale'. Walls painted in red makes people in the room work faster. Restaurants having red tints stimulates hunger, thereby profits the firm. Its a symbol of high energy and aggression. Today's world only needs people who can influence others. Scientifically or mentally, every proven fact has Red's back. So whenever in doubt, wear RED.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Politics can never dismiss History

Planning was a vision, a part of the nationalist movement and its history goes back even to pre independence era in India. Now it became a stranded dream of linking knowledge and power to serve society.
 “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away” 
This might also be the fate of most institutions. However, it was not true of the Planning Commission, which was terminated brusquely. One of the most hallowed institutions of the Nehruvian era was dismissed from history as an anachronism. There was no goodbye, no obituary, no sense of nostalgia. A great institution died as less than a footnote. As a wag noticed, “People get rid of their old cars with a greater sense of loss.” Such a dismissal makes a spectator reflective.

 Three names in particular, come to our minds when we think of planning commission. The first is the physicist Meghnad Saha, the second, the engineer M. Visvesvaraya and the third, the eccentric Scottish polymath Patrick Geddes. Each idea, each career demands a storyteller as each one of these founders was a remarkable intellectual.

Meghnad Saha, an ionospheric physicist, a Royal society fellow, carried the dreams of physics into society, had always dreamt of a society based on scientific methods. For Saha, the Gandhian way was anathema and he condemned it as a “society based on the loin cloth and the bullock cart.” He planned according to the Russian model in post revolution period. His policies coincide with that of Lenin's who coined the slogan “Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.” It was a great dream of energy, scientific and romantic. In 1930s, Subhash Bose had just been elected President of the Indian National Congress. Saha felt it was an optimal time to end the Gandhian epidemic and asked Bose what he intended to do. Saha proposed the establishment of the National Planning Committee. The Congress meeting was held in Delhi in 1938. Saha attended it a day late and in the meanwhile, Visvesvaraya had been elected head of the Planning Committee. Meghnad Saha approached the great engineer and requested him to step down. He argued that planning needed a reciprocity between science and politics. Visvesvaraya generously agreed and Jawaharlal Nehru was made head of the National Planning Committee. Nehru’s legendary speech, that the future belonged to science and that “dams and laboratories are the temples of modern India,” was only a watered-down variant of the Leninist dreams of energy.

Saha’s utopia of planning met its variant in Visvesvaraya. Visvesvaraya was a legend, a great engineer known for his immaculate dress sense and honesty. For Visvesvaraya, character-building, dam-building and nation-building were equivalent activities. The emphasis was on planning and discipline, an emphasis which extended to his private life. Visvesvaraya was immaculate in differentiating between the public and the private. Legend has it that he always carried two fountain pens, one for official use and the other for personal use. When one reads his memoirs, one feels it reads like a policy document. The eccentric and the innovative combined brilliantly in this life. He was closer to business and this stream of ideas culminates in the Bombay Plan, a business model of planning.

Patrick Geddes combined ecology and locality, to emphasise that the region was the ideal unit of planning. Geddes’ idea of geotechnics eventually culminated in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a great dream of regional planning which revived a stagnant America. Geddes also developed the idea of educational and urban planning in India. He wrote town plans and was involved in the planning of Tagore’s Shantiniketan. In fact, there is a fascinating fragment in one of the Tagore-Geddes letters where Geddes emphasises the need for planning and Tagore responds by admitting that he builds a school in the same way he writes a novel, a germ of an idea that spontaneously grows into an essay or school. The debates of science in the nationalist movement are fascinating. 

The least we owe the history of the idea of planning is a book which captures these ideas. Planning today summons controversy. It earlier summoned the storyteller to tell tales of the dreams of science in India. To condemn it to silence would be to insult history. The Nehruvian years of planning had a halo of the power and resonance of knowledge. The second Five-Year Plan became legendary in its emphasis on heavy industrialisation. But, by then, the ironies begin. Saha died then, a few yards away from these days. 

Then we met many sensible and sometimes legendary events from the planning commission. Then the Emergency created a whole gamut of question marks around economics and planning, questioning the democratic pretensions of both. A whole spate of social movements challenged the logic of planning, chronicling the devastation called development. Simultaneously, the other social sciences began questioning the scientific pretensions of economics and also the scientism of science. Ecology added to planning a reflectiveness it had not dreamed of. By the 1990s, planning was no longer a major social gestalt. It was now a technocratic, bureaucratic body, centred around fragmentary debates. The legend had shrunk but its power to determine life chances remained.

By the time the results of Mr. Modi’s victory were declared, the future of the Planning Commission was in doubt. There was a sense that planning was impervious to the needs of the new federalism. In his Independence Day speech, Mr. Modi dismissed and dispensed with the institution without a footnote of thanks. There was a sadness to his rank indifference. But politics cannot dismiss history. Planning was once a great idea, a wonderful fable of the dreams, even the arrogance of knowledge. It was a great experiment which became erratic, but its history, its genius, its innovations need to be told and told fully. This much even the critics of planning owe this great institution.