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 08, 2007

माता कापी गळा Mother Slices the Throat. With King’s Excalibur.

Tarun J. Tejpal has written a scathing article: “Partying While Gujarat Burned” (Newsweek December 3, 2007).

The article may make some of us not swallow our food.

“…There are times when the tragedy is particularly gory—as during the Gujarat riots of 2002, which, after someone set fire to a train carrying Hindu travelers in a town named Godhra, killing 59, saw the massacre and rape of more than 2,000 Muslims by Hindu zealots.

…2002 killings had been planned, had enjoyed the sanction of the state and its chief minister, Narendra Modi, as well as the collusion of the police. Later on, the process of justice had been effectively manipulated to keep those responsible out of jail.

The evidence was graphic. Mass murderers appeared on camera, describing how they killed, why they killed and who helped them kill…”

Tejpal concludes:

“…Any nondoctrinaire Indian can see that a serious schism between its 900 million Hindus and about 150 million Muslims would tear the country apart.

… The fact is India cannot be fixed through economic initiatives alone. It needs great political vision. And there are no signs of that. Yes, India is highly resilient, which allows the management of great contradictions and crises. But in the coming years, this resilience will be tested as never before.”

I agree with Tejpal's conclusion but I think he still underestimates India's resilience. Often in the past, India looked similar to what it looks today but it persists, largely because of sway of Bhakti/ Sufi movement over Indian masses.

Gujarat 2002 reminded the late M V Dhond म वा धोंड Tukaram's तुकाराम following poem:

माता कापी गळा, तेथे कोण राखी बाळा,
हें का नेणां नारायणा, मज चाळवितां दीना,
नागवी धावणें, तेथें साह्य व्हावें कोणें,
राजा सर्व हरी, तेथे दुजा कोण वारी

(Akshar Diwali अक्षर दिवाळी 2002)

Can likes of Tejpal with their pens fight Excalibur of Modi? We shall see.


The Spectator 2007