Education has not kept pace with globalisation - MONUMENTAL MAGIC AT AGA KHAN AWARDS - 2004-11-28
Religious leadership has always been linked with high finance. Uniquely, the institution of the Aga Khan has come to carry the ultimate lifestyle label as well. The triple burden sits lightly on the sharply cut shoulder pads of the present incumbent, revered by his 15 million followers in 25 countries as the 49th direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. Anointed at 20, Prince Karim, now 68, has steered clear of both fundamentalism and the flashy life which killed his father, Prince Aly Khan. Instead, he has crafted an exemplary package which fits equally into sacred or corporate spaces, salon or slum. He is in New Delhi for the 2004 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. This $500,000 triennial prize will be presented this Saturday at Humayun's Tomb, a site spectacularly restored largely by his foundation.Isn't the concept of a 'spiritual prince' an anachronism in a secular, democratic age. How have you reinvented the role of the Ismaili Imam?
The Imam's mandate is to guide and lead as a person of that particular time. The Imam-ship of my grandfather (Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah) was shaped by his colonial times. Mine has been in the context of decolonisation, the break up of the Soviet empire, and now globalisation. We had to create the institutional capacities to deal with a new set of needs