Aditya Prakash was considered a Renaissance man by friends & admirers
Lakhon mein intikhwab ke kaabil bana diya,Jis dil ko tumne dekh liya, dil bana diya.
(You’ve changed me into such a noble person I’ve become one in a million. You touch one’s personality in such a way, he starts feeling one with the whole of humanity)
Prakash lived in his life the thought behind this couplet that endeared him in a very special way to those who came into contact with him.
He was a man of many parts in the true sense of the term and was considered to be a Renaissance man by his friends and admirers. Prakash was born in Muzaffarnagar, UP, and over his decades of stay in Chandigarh, he distinguished himself as an architect, painter, academic and author, and, above all, as a friend, philosopher and guide to many.
In an interesting conversation between Prakash and one of his students, Rajneesh Wattas, who later became the Principal of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, the latter asked him whether he (Prakash) would call Corbusier “dictatorial” or “arrogant”. Prakash’s reply was, “I would put it this way. He had struggled all his life to have his ideas accepted and this acceptance came to him only after the Second World War. So when the opportunity came, he was anxious to implement his ideas without discussing them; therefore, one has to make allowance for a man of genius.”
Prakash was picked up to be the Principal of the C handigarh College of Architecture for his deep interest in academics and research. He joined the college on December 13, 1967, and retired on March 31, 1982. His students, in particular, were fond of him for his focused involvement in whatever he took up.
In one of his writings in the early 1980s, Prakash outlined his manifesto as an architect: “I like to think that ‘architecture’ is an attitude of life. Undoubtedly one becomes an architect to earn a livelihood. But in the absence of a cultivated way of looking at life, the practice of profession becomes mechanical…”
In 1983, Prakash’s booklet “Reflections on Chandigarh” was published in verse with an “afterword” by Mulk Raj Anand in which Anand writes, “…you accept the main plan of Le Corbusier for what has come to be called the ‘City Beautiful’, based on the order of ‘Working’, ‘Care’, ‘Living’, and ‘Circulation’ of ‘Man’.
He goes on to say, “You are quite right when you say that what was supposed to be a ‘pedestrian’s paradise’ has become a motorcar city, with roads not amenable to bus service, forcing people to use the noisy scooter, and muscle machine of the cycle rickshaw. The parks in the sectors remain empty.”
There is a pencil sketch of Corbusier at the beginning of the booklet which is captioned, “The most profound ARCHITECT of the Industrial era.”
In the afterword to Aditya Prakash’s booklet “Reflections on Chandigarh”, published in 1983, Mulk Raj Anand writes, “You accept the main plan of Le Corbusier for what has come to be called the ‘City Beautiful’, based on the order of ‘Working’, ‘Care’, ‘Living’ and ‘Circulation’ of ‘Man’. What was supposed to be a pedestrian’s paradise has become a motorcar city, with roads not being amenable to bus service, forcing people to use noisy scooter and muscle machine of cycle-rickshaw.