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.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

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."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Friday, May 25, 2007

Is that enough to build a marriage on?

On May 24, 2007, Prime Minister Singh issued Ten Commandments to industry. During the speech, he decried cartelisation, spiralling salaries and corruption. This comes on top of his strong condemnation of crony capitalism few days earlier.

Singh said: “The electronic media carries the lifestyles of the rich and famous into every village and slum. Media often highlights the vulgar display of their wealth. An area of great concern is the level of ostentatious expenditure on weddings and other family events. Such vulgarity insults the poverty of the less privileged, it is socially wasteful and it plants seeds of resentment in the minds of the have-nots.”

Dear PM,

We appreciate your concern and thank you. We know you are the most incorruptible politician in the world today. We know you have a Spartan life style. We know you do not suffer from the most contagious disease of Indian public life- nepotism-at all.

But as you would be the first to acknowledge, you are not the first prominent economist/ public figure to air similar feelings about capitalism.

Your thoughts sound a lot like Paul Krugman’s NYT columns. Adam Smith’s later work was dedicated to attacking not just big government, but big corporations in general and the East India Company in particular. Through its monopoly on Indian trade East India Company had, Smith said, contrived to raise prices to customers while reducing them for suppliers. It was rife with fraud, cruelty and corruption and was “a nuisance in every respect”.

But is this expression of anguish by Indian PM good enough foundation "to build a marriage of Congress and its voters on".



Artist: Lee Lorenz The New Yorker 10 Mar 1962