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."

Saturday, December 01, 2007

SAAWARIYA: A Beautiful Face of Nepotic, Inbreeding India

On November 27, 2007, I saw Shekhar Kapoor saying, on NDTV panel discussion in Goa, that Hindi film Saawariya does NOT feature newcomers but kids of (well established insiders like) Rishi Kapoor, Nitu Singh and Anil Kapoor.

He wondered if Sony corp. would have indeed invested Rs. 38 crores on a pair of unknown artists.

Indian film industry, similar to Indian businesses, is like larger Indian society, deeply nepotic right from the days of Mahabharat.

If Saawariya pair is a new comer, following Indians should also be called "newcomers" to their respective fields:

Rahul Gandhi, Supriya Pawar, M.K. Kanimozhi, Uddhav Thackeray, Rahul Mahajan, Maran brothers…to infinity.

Would you?

Nepotism has not worked in sports yet. But who knows? I would bet on a Tendulkar or a Ganguly captaining Indian national cricket team around year 2025.

In India, social mobility was always suspect because of caste system. What about the rest of the world?

Nepotism is prospering every where.

Newsweek November 3, 2007 announced: “The Death Of Social Mobility. In the Asian Tiger economies, the next generation will struggle to do as well as their parents did.”

Once beacon of social mobility, America too is turning very nepotic.

Paul Krugman:

“…Very few children of the lower class are making their way to even moderate affluence. This goes along with other studies indicating that rags-to-riches stories have become vanishingly rare, and that the correlation between fathers' and sons' incomes has risen in recent decades. In modern America, it seems, you're quite likely to stay in the social and economic class into which you were born… “ (“The Death of Horatio Alger”)

The Economist (January 8, 2004) said:

“…AMERICA likes to think of itself as the very embodiment of the spirit of meritocracy: a country where all people are judged on their individual abilities rather than their family connections. The American Revolution swept away the flummery of feudal titles. Thomas Jefferson dreamed of creating a “natural aristocracy”. Benjamin Franklin sniped that “a man who makes boast of his ancestors doth but advertise his own insignificance.”

… But are they right? The more you look at modern America, the more you are struck by how frequently it departs from the meritocratic ideal. George Bush's Washington is a study in family influence: look at the Powells, the Chao/McConnells, the Scalias and the Cheneys, not to mention the Shrub himself.

The biggest insult to meritocracy, however, is found in the country's top universities. These institutions, which control access to the country's most impressive jobs, consider themselves far above Washington and its grubby spoils system. Yet they continue to operate a system of “legacy preferences”—affirmative action for the children of alumni…”


Artist: R K Laxman Times of India 11 September 2006