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Readers' take: Must pass Nek Chand's legacy to the right person

Nek Chand’s Rock Garden is pride of Chandigarh. It has to be maintained at all costs, which can best be done by a committee of approximately 13 members, comprising architects, heritage conservation experts and prominent city residents. Nek Chand’s son, who has seen the garden breathing life, over the years, helping his father, should be co-opted as a permanent member.

chandigarh Updated: Jun 22, 2015 11:02 IST
Hindustan Times
Nek Chand,Rockd Garden,Anuj Saini

Nek Chand’s son Anuj should be permanent committee member

Nek Chand’s Rock Garden is pride of Chandigarh. It has to be maintained at all costs, which can best be done by a committee of approximately 13 members, comprising architects, heritage conservation experts and prominent city residents. Nek Chand’s son, who has seen the garden breathing life, over the years, helping his father, should be co-opted as a permanent member. The chairman of the Rock Garden management committee, can be elected from amongst its members, by a popular choice. It should be allotted adequate annual budget by the UT.
Madhu RD Singh, Ambala Cantt

Only a creative personality can preserve his empire

Only an artistically creative personality can preserve and extend the distinguished empire like Rock Garden. Major drawback remains that during the life-span of Nek Chand, no known effort was made to train pupils under him. Merely naming the Chandigarh Airport or appointing his son or a bureaucrat as the director or conferring Bharat Ratna to Nek Chand won’t help in continuing his legacy.
MPS Chadha, SAS Nagar

Give Rock Garden’s charge to Nek Shand’s son Anuj

Accomplishing the third phase of the Rock Garden as well as to maintain the present garden is a Herculean task after the sad demise of the legendary artist. Someone has to be assigned its charge to continue the spread of fragrance. During his lifetime, Nek Chand had written to the UT administration to make his son Anuj Saini, an artist himself, as a permanent member of the society. To fulfill his desire, the UT administration should bestow this honour on his son for the maintenance and development of the garden. This will certainly be a befitting tribune to Nek Chand. His son will prove to be an asset for preserving and maintenaning the garden.
SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Right person is Nek Chand’s son

The right person to look after Rock Garden obviously is Nek Chand’s son Anuj. He can work dedicatedly which no one can as he has attachment with Rock Garden because it’s his father’s creation and he can carry forward the legacy. Nek Chand’s family is right choice as they have seen Nek Chand working hard to reach such a height. They are more concerned than anybody.
Opinder Kaur Sekhon, via email

Panel of city residents should take responsibility

Citizens of Chandigarh have always been kept out of Rock Garden’s ownership, which has been, for all these years, an isolated fiefdom. Nek Chand, despite his own experience of rising from the ground, failed to identify, recognise and encourage talented common people in and around Chandigarh and to get them involved in the ownership of the place, which is a public property. They would have carried on the legacy. A panel of Chandigarh residents should take the responsibility to make it a vibrant public place, where anybody respectful to the environment could contribute to the idea of ‘waste to beauty’.
Dr Sumangal Roy, Chandigarh

Annual Rock Festival on lines of Rose Festival is a must

The question now is who will keep his concept rocking? Such artists are not like hockey or cricket players, who can be replaced by players in waiting. But definitely their work and concept could be kept alive by adopting innovative and practical approach. The UT administration can develop its newly created parks in various sectors on the basis of the Rock Garden concept. The educational institutes must adopt these parks and the students must be inspired to create similar work of art. Besides, the UT administration must take care and maintain the creations of Nek Chand by holding a similar annual function of Rock Festival like Rose Festival.
Amarjeet Kumar, via email

Anuj has calibre to handle his fathers’ treasure

Definitely the charge of the Rock Garden should be given to his son Anuj Saini. He has the calibre to handle his fathers’ treasure.
Manokriti Bedi, via email

Panel of art, architecture experts should be set up

A committee is needed for its efficient upkeep, which should work keeping politics at an arm’s length. No further extension is needed rather a well-maintained neat and clean place with facilities like drinking water, toilets, green healthy trees with lots of foliage with benches underneath to sit and relax in natural surroundings is a must. The existing garden spread in acres is good enough if we can preserve that legacy. The panel must have members who are expert in art and architecture, some reputed public figures, government officers who will be coming and going or some local volunteers who can give some innovative ideas. Whether it’s named after Nek Chand or not, it may not matter much. A common man has saluted the creator that is the real honour and going to stay forever.
Dr Devinder Garg, Chandigarh

Responsibility lies with UT admn

The legend is no more and the responsibility of maintaining the Rock Garden lies on the shoulders of the Chandigarh administration. Red-tape should not be a hinderance in progress and protection of this internationally known and acclaimed garden.
DP Gautam, via email

Admn should look after its upkeep

Rock Garden’s creator has left us leaving his great creation for Chandigarians. Any expansion will pollute the original creation. There is a Rock Garden Foundation Society, which has lived its life and requires to be dissolved immediately as majority of its members are encashing the name of Nek Chand for their personal benefits. Nek Chand has made his creation self-sufficient to look after itself. Rock Garden should be looked after by the Chandigarh administration without their being any society.
Jatin Salwan, via email

Anuj himself is artist, sculptor

Rock Garden needs passionate care by a person who has remained close to its growth. His son, Anuj Saini, himself an artist and a sculptor, can fit in the scheme of things. According to a news report, Nek Chand had also expressed this wish in a letter to the administration to this effect. I think his wish should be respected.
MS Aulakh, Ludhiana

His son is the most suitable candidate

The UT administration deserves applause in giving him a befitting farewell, notwithstanding the earlier faceoffs. The garden can achieve glory only if it is handled by compassionate and selfless individuals, who are supported wholeheartedly by the UT administration and GOI. Anuj Saini, his son is the most suitable candidate to carry forward his legacy, since he has seen Nek Chand’s dreams and vision transform into reality.
Maj RS Virk (Retd), Chandigarh

Like father like son. Anuj is the best choice

Anuj Saini is fully capable of carrying forward his father’s incomplete work as he is a connoisseur of art and culture himself. He is aware of the minute details of his work. Anuj had also accompanied his father in different meetings held with the airport authority, Chandigarh. The work on a waterfall, which was started by him at the upcoming Chandigarh International Airport, must be completed as soon as possible. The artwork or murals designed by him should also be installed soon. Respecting the public demand, the new airport should be named after him. The administration should take care of it’s management.
Paras R. Kalotra, SAS Nagar

Nek Chand’s son should be made society’s president

I believe that Nek Chand’s son Anuj Saini should be made the president of the society for the maintenance and development of Rock Garden. Meanwhile, he left behind another unfulfilled dream of preparing sculptures and murals for the Chandigarh International Airport. Leaving the work on waterfall is a matter of disgrace for authorities concerned.
Bhavya Gaind, Panchkula

Tourism department should be entrusted with its upkeep

Rock Garden is a tourist attraction and it is the tourism department which should be entrusted with maintenance and upkeep of the project. However, a dedicated panel, comprising select art-loving people and close associates of Nek Chand, could be considered for its better upkeep. But under all eventualities, the sanctity of the idea must be maintained.
RP Malhotra, Panchkula

Panel with bureaucrats, eminent citizens, select family members

The need of the hour is formation of a committee to plan the upkeep of such unique and matchless legacy in a meaningful and constructive manner. The committee should comprise of sensitive bureaucrats, eminent citizens and select members of Mr. Nek Chand’s family. Government can easily afford the financial aspects, as the Rock Garden generates huge revenue from its visitors.
Dr Vijay Kumar Soi, Chandigarh

Comprehensive panel is the need of the hour

A panel should be framed by the administration. Best thinkers, artists and architects should be made its members. His son should be made a panel member for maintenance and development of the garden. One member each should be taken from finance, home and tourism departments. It is administration’s duty to provide sufficient budget to complete the legacy.
Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, SAS Nagar

The show must go on

His vision must be translated on the ground by art lovers. The trust responsible for its day-to-day running and administration should be headed by his son Anuj Saini and city’s selfless art lovers who volunteer to devote time and energy as members. Rock Garden should be converted into a school of art, where traditional sculpture carving should be taught as formal regular course as well as during summer vacations.
Colonel SK Aggarwal (Retd), Panchkula

His successor should have interest, creative instinct

His successor should be a person who has interest, knowledge, patience and creative instinct. It may be an outsider or his own son. If Nek Chand is not alive, his creations should be kept alive by city residents and the administration by organising fairs, contests, exhibitions and much more at Rock Garden.
Suman Kansal, Panchkula

Familiarity with Nek Chand’s work is a must

The responsibility of this world famous garden must be given in the hands of a person who is familiar with the Nek Chand’s hard work, love and care.
Lorna Delfinium, via email

Upkeep is important than expansion

I feel that talking point for now should be proper upkeep and not expansion of the rare marvel. The Society for Maintenance and Development of Rock Garden, comprising connoisseurs of art, should be allowed to run the affairs independently by giving more powers to it. His son Anuj, a qualified sculptor, who has seen those fingers create dazzling figures out of discarded material, could be nominated as a life member of the society.
Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh

None of present members is professional in absolute arts

As long as Nek Chand was alive, complete management remained under his control. UT home secretary is Rock Garden committee’s chairman and other members are chief architect, superintending engineer. None of the members is a professional in absolute arts. As long as he lived all things were revolving around him and nobody took his subject to Arts College, Sector 10, or even to schools. A man created a museum in SAS Nagar, but instead of encouraging him, authorities are bent upon razing it to the ground.
Manjinder Pal Singh, SAS Nagar

Declaration as national heritage to help in its upkeep

The city residents in general, social media and avid fans of artistic work of Nek Chand across the nation should impress upon the Union government to declare Rock Garden as a “National Heritage of India”. It would be a biggest tribute to its creator. This would even ensure its state-of-the-art maintenance by specialised agencies coupled with its due preservation and protection so as to serve as a glaring example of a masterpiece of art created by waste for forthcoming generations.
Hemant Kumar, Ambala City

His son is the obvious choice to carry on his legacy

His son Anuj Saini has long been associated with Rock Garden’s creation. He is said to be well groomed for it by the artist himself. Rock Garden Society can continue with its activities as earlier with much greater commitment and contribution by the art lovers as also by architects of repute, but in line with the vision of the creator without compromising with its spirit.
DS Banati, SAS Nagar

First Published: Jun 22, 2015 10:44 IST