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.”

Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~

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."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Maharashtra Farmers Just Sit and Chew Tobacco?

On September 9, 2007, Union textile minister Shankarsinh Vaghela said farmers of Vidarbha were themselves to be blamed for their plight.

He reportedly said: “If you just sit and chew tobacco in the farms, how can you expect good crops? The government can only help you to an extent. You should emulate the practices of farmers in Gujarat

There has been big hue and cry after this. Vaghela of course has declared that he is misquoted and this is a “fabrication” by BJP to malign him.

These debates have been going on for long.

When I was in Assam, I often heard all other communities talking about Assamese as “Lahe Lahe” people.

One of the best non-fictional Marathi book in recent years is the late R B Patankar’s “अपूर्ण क्रांती ” ‘Incomplete Revolution’ (Mauj Prakashan 1999). He has written extensively about two important periodicals of 19th century Maharashtra. ‘मराठी ज्ञान प्रसारक Marathi Dnyan Prasarak’ and ‘विविध ज्ञान विस्तार Vividh Dnyan Vistar’.

In June 1851, an article was published titled “Comparison of Gujarati and Marathi people’s current condition”. Author Keshav Janardan Punalekar said that “Marathi people have indifference towards commerce, fondness for undisciplined expenditure, arrogant nature and laziness” and Gujarati people have “interest in commerce, simplicity, industriousness, habit of limited expendituere”.

Punalekar is not just critical but suggests how Marathi people can change their ways.

Patankar does not mention any controversy after publication of Punalekar’s article.

Mr. Minsiter, is this farmer in Thurber's picture from Maharashtra or Assam?


Artist: James Thurber The New yorker August 15, 1936

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Go to http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/ and click on "The Dying Fields" in the left menu. This is a PBS show about the plight of Vidarbha farmers.

I am a new reader of your blog and am liking it a lot. A couple of suggestions to make it easier to read: show fewer than three entries on the home page so that it is easier to scroll. Also, open links in a separate window.

-- N

mangesh said...

It has been said and critisized a lot about Maharashtrian farmer. But have you read a recent novel "Baramaas" written on the tortutrous life of one family of farmer?
So, don't be a critic. "jaave tyaachyaa vanshaa" it is said and that is true.