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."

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