I want to put Indian art on the world map

Updated: Apr 29 2007, 05:30am hrs
Anjli Paul moved to the United Kingdom when she was eight years old. Homecomings were restricted to annual vacations or attending a wedding in the family. Things have changed since then between her and her homeland though the fun trips and family get-togethers continue till date.

She is happy acknowledging every little change. The airports and roads, which put many foreign travellers in the country into discomfort, impress her. Indias new avatar goes beyond infrastructure. Most of us settled in the West are in awe of Indias progress. There is so much happening in the country that no one can miss it. Today the NRIs are even looking at remigration. They are investing enormously in the country. Others not into business look at it for inspiration. The country never disappoints, she says.

Daughter of UK-based business magnate and philanthropist Lord Swraj Paul, Anjli was in the Capital recently to attend a seminar on the issues of livelihood promotion amid growing urban development. A key patron of CAP Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, she announced the launch of its UK chapter.

Next on her agenda is the creation of a platform for Indian artists abroad. Describing the initiative as a business straight from her heart, she says, The market in the West is ripe for Indian artworks. After UK, we wish to take the works of Indian artists to other locations such as Dubai and New York. I want to see these works sport the sterling tag, announcing their presence in the global art mart. We want Picassos and Da Vincis of India to come out and create a place of their own, says Paul, whose soon-to-be-launched website on the initiative would detail about the plans, which include backing young talent financially.

But why venture into the Indian art world Most of the developments seen in India have been achieved in the last 10 years. It is the time to explore more and add to it, whether we talk about business or a creative field like art. Also, with Indias art and culture being its strongest assets, it is worth going for, she explains. If the economy continues to grow at the same pace for some more time and issues like red-tape and poverty are tackled, there is no stopping India, she declares.

Is Indias poverty a concern for Indians settled abroad Yes, because it is much more visible when the country is advancing at all the other levels. Its good that the upper and middle classes here have evolved. They are spending a lot and have a broader outlook towards life. The issue of concern is the bottom of the pyramid. All of us must do something at our levels to take care of that, she says.

Speaking about the countrys struggle with poverty, Paul asserts that her feelings towards fellow humans are no different from other Indians. The values Indians have within themselves make them relate to others and their problems. I have seen the same Indianness in my father. There is nothing foreign about it, she concludes.

Jyoti Verma