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.”

Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~

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."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Animal Farms of Maharashtra: Hunting in the Name of Gyanba’s Marathi

I consider myself lucky that after spending almost 11 years outside Maharashtra- else where in India- I came back with 5 medals- to put in the words of a US veteran of Iwo Jima: Two Hands, Two Legs and a Head.

Although I didn't speak any of their languages, Tamilians, Bengalis, Assamese (including ULFA), Kannadigas and numerous other language speakers I met did not kill me.

Not just that, most of them were very kind to me. Suckers!

Of course being a Brahmin in today's Maharashtra, I still run a considerable risk of getting hurt in the name of caste.


Artist: Frank Cotham The New Yorker 3 November 2008 Cartoon Caption Contest 167

Proposed Caption:

“Don’t be afraid. I am Chief Minister of Maharashtra. I know you are totally helpless, defenseless in front of armed goons roaming the streets of our major cities, trying to kill you in the name of Marathi. I also know it’s my constitutional duty to protect you…But er…since you stay in Maharashtra, shouldn’t you all be speaking Marathi?”

5 comments:

Chetan said...

It is disheartening, heartbreaking, in fact, to see ordinary Maharashtrians justifying and rationalising Raj Thackeray's campaign. The irony of it is that most middle/upper middle class Maharashtrians who support his campaign have a relative who is working abroad and almost all the arguments presented by Thackarey against Bihari's/UPites apply to their kin. It pains me no end to see no strong voice from academia, literature, politics or civil society condemning this in the strongest possible language. This makes me empathise with Muslims in India who are constantly pilloried for not protesting against terrorism strong enough. The feeling of impotence against a sweep of an ideology that 'speaks for' your language/caste/religion as is unbearable.

Anyways, no point in lamenting. I am however curious as to why you added the getting hurt as a Brahmin part to your post. That somehow seems incongruent and orthogonal to the point of the post. Would you care to explain?

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

They have burnt and killed in the name of caste in the past and they will do so again. '1948' happened only 60 years ago.

Samarth Ramdas/ Dadoji Kondev/ Bori-vandalism controversies are symptoms of a cancer that refuses to go away.

All minorities are a 'fair game' in today's India and 'progressive' Maharashtra.

I am get lucky though but not my son. Or not his duaghter. Or not her daughter...

Chetan said...

I think you are exaggerating. This is like VT Rajshekhar of Dalit Voice comparing Jews and Brahmins. What happened in 1948, mostly in Kolhapur and other parts of Maharashtra in light of Gandhi's assasination was lamentable. However, to assume denouncing of Ramdas, BORI vandalism portend similar attacks on Brahmins falls in the realm of fantastical, in my opinion.

Seema said...

Searching for Cartoons? :).

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

I hope you are right and I am wrong.