G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Vilasrao Deshmukh receives a letter

Dr. Shreeram Lagoo डाँ. श्रीराम लागू- a good stage artist, a ham cinema (both Hindi and Marathi) actor and an activist- has written an open letter (Lokmat Aug 5, 2007) to Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

It’s worth reading in its entirety. It sums up degeneration of Maharashtra leadership- both social and political.

It talks about democracy becoming just a formality because of caste, money, power and gundaism. It narrates number of instances where blatant violence was used by major political parties to silence the dissenting voice and how the administration did nothing.

It reminds the minister that the Indian Constitution declares scientific temperament as a fundamental duty of all citizens. The letters asks why the Maharashtra Eradication of Black Magic and Evil and Aghori Practices Bill, 2005 took such a long time to progress to its current stage. (btw- The State Government has sought suggestions from public on the bill by 30th August 2007) Read more on the bill here.

I wonder where the minister and his cabinet colleagues stand on the issue of superstition personally. Most of them are seen wearing amulets,stones, rings, threads, chains and what-have-you.


Artist: James Thurber The New Yorker June 1, 1935

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