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Homage to Aditya (Surya) or the Sun, the Bringer of Light and Knowledge. A godliness made visible.
Ramli Ibrahim, Konark, Temple of the Sun 2015 | Photo A Prathap

It would be short of arrogant to speak of Sutra’s irresistible triumphs against the odds in the light of environmental landscape of massive national and international disasters, which plagued humanity and this planet, throughout 2015. Yes, we are now almost numb with news of natural disasters in the form of earthquakes, cyclones and hurricanes, and the assortments of suffering that they entailed. But there were also plenty of ‘man-made’ calamities in the form of floods, haze, landslides, and various devastating illnesses, brought about by man’s mega avarice and subsequent intransigence against nature — which eventually retaliated with shattering vengeance. Terrorism with its horrendous culture of fear and the unnecessary suffering it has spawned has unwittingly brought us to the throes of a Third World War. One wonders how much of the climate changes are caused by our own voracious greed which had contributed to the extreme environmental degradation that presently plagues our planet.

Despite all of this — however much the individual may feel helpless — I am insistent that individual efforts such as that of Sutra and numerous others in areas of arts, culture and the social sciences are vital in helping to tilt the balance for humanity’s justification to inherit this planet. I am reminded of the saying of 20th Century philosopher-architect Buckminster Fuller, “Whether humanity is to continue and comprehensively prosper on spaceship Earth depends entirely on the integrity of the human individuals and not on the political and economic systems”.

Sutra, through its efforts over the years, has upheld the autonomy of the individual and one’s effort ‘to make a difference’ to society and the nation. Integrity and focus to our artistic call has been the leitmotif – the binding sutra – of all our endeavours. “Human integrity,” as Bucky rightly observed, “is the uncompromising courage of self determining whether or not to take initiatives, support or cooperate with others in accord with ‘all the truth and nothing but the truth’ as it is conceived by the divine mind always available in each Individual.”

With this in mind, on behalf of Sutra, I would like to wish everyone a sustainable and peaceful 2016, of showered blessing from Divine Grace for a healthier and better life in this planet.

 Ramli Ibrahim