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."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Will the President of India Receive Shankaracharya the way the Pope was in US?

George W. Bush and his family never looked happier on TV than when they received the pope at the White House. They celebrated pope’s birthday there. With more imagination, they could have got him to conduct Mass on the lawns.

BBC claimed it was the grandest reception ever seen at the White House.

I wondered if any head of the state in India would receive any religious leader in similar fashion.

I bet even L K Advani would not do it. India’s first prime minister J L Nehru frowned upon the overt religiosity of India’s first president- Rajendra Parsad.

The White House ceremony also partly explained why some of my Hindu NRI cousins and friends have turned rabidly religious since they went to USA.

America is a Christian nation and has been one since its birth. No wonder it’s always working on promising new treatments for what it calls ‘heresies’ around the world.


Artist: Ed Fisher The New Yorker 4 December 1989

2 comments:

Chetan said...

It was indeed disconcerting to watch pope being received in such an obsequious fashion by the head of the State. It was even more surprising since people here love to emphasize that America is a Christian (meaning protestant) nation as opposed to a Catholic one and are very proud of that fact as they perceive Catholicism as ritualistic and corrupt.

However, your observation that such overt displays of Christian/Catholic religiosity may explain your cousins' and friends turn to rabid Hindutavavad is not consistent with what I have observed here. As regular practice such displays of religiosity are very rare and there is hardly any insecurity that stems from them. Also, the Indian community being so tight knitted here allows for Hindu displays of religiosity as well. I think the reasons are much more perverse than some kind of pop-psychology explanations of insecurity and alienation.

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

I agree with you Chetan. Reasons are very complex.

They have turned rabid, there is no question about it.

I was perhaps seeing one possible reason on the lawns of the white house.