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 29, 2007

Tilak-Agarkar Dogfight...Still Goes On

This blog already commented on the abusive language used by Andhra Pradesh chief minister against his predecessor:

“Why are you feeling so restless. I will thoroughly expose you today…(so much so that)…you will feel ashamed that you were born to your mother, you will feel that you should not have born at all. This is just a preamble.” (Times of India July 24, 2007).

Sonia Gandhi recently called Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi- “Maut Ka Saudagar” (merchant of death). (Wonder what Congress leaders should be called for carnage of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984. "Maut Ke Dalal" Brokers of Death?)

Using extreme profanity in public is not new to India and prominent Indian leaders.

It probably started with Bal Gangadhar Tilak बाळ गंगाधर टिळक (1856-1920) and Gopal Ganesh Agarkar गोपाळ गणेश आगरकर (1856-1895), truly giants of 19th century India. In 1893, they fought mother of all wordy duels.

They used terms like leper, dog afflicted with rabies, murderous, rotten brain, arrogant, mean to describe each other.

Agarkar started it.

(Source- “व्यक्ती आणि विचार” य दि फडके; “Person and Thoughts” Y D Phadke, 1979)

In January 1882, Wikipedia says, telephony was introduced in India but Tilak and Agarkar never spoke to each other on phone.

If they were to...


Artist: Whitney Darrow,Jr. The New Yorker 8 February 1947