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."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Nana Patekar नाना पाटेकर, Are You Qualified To Speak on These Matters?

Lisa: While I was gone I got some really good advice from Paul and Linda McCartney.
Homer: Rock stars. Is there anything they don't know?”

[3F03] “The Simpsons” “Lisa the Vegetarian” by David S. Cohen Directed by Mark Kirkland Production code: 3F03 Original airdate in N.A.: 15-Oct-95

Pudhari पुढारी on March 3, 2008 reported:
” Nana Patekar supports Raj Thackeray राज ठाकरे.”

There is no problem with that.

Problem is with the reasoning Mr. Patekar has given for his action: “If son of the soil is not acceptable, why the formation of linguistic states and why we need domicile certificate.”

To equate the language struggles of the 1950s with the current agitation- targeting lowly paid, largely poor North Indians- is a cruel joke.

The current agitation reminded me of “The Hungry Tide: A Novel by Amitav Ghosh” based on a true story of a group of poor immigrants to Sunderbans who in the name of environment protection are chased away by Bengali bhadralok. Another example is the slaughter of poor North Indian immigrant workers by militants in Assam.

No doubt language is the first and fundamental element of human identity. But the goals of the language struggles of the 1950s were not narrow, short sighted and hence they didn’t target only one group of minorities. Those struggles therefore remain, in terms of social composition, popular participation, and moral fervour, perhaps the most significant social movements of independent India.

While attacking bhadralok Amartya Sen’s book “The Argumentative Indian” for its omission of language as a theme, Ramachandra Guha observed:

‘…The most striking omission, in terms of theme, is that of language, a matter of vital importance to India and Indians. (The word does not rate an entry in what is a fairly extensive index.) Whether or not premodern India was “multicultural”, as Sen claims, it was certainly multilingual. From the Mughals in the north to the Nayakas in the deep south, royal courts featured multiple languages of discourse. Some of the greatest medieval poets and composers wrote their songs and verses in three or four tongues. At least in the towns, the common folk were also conversant with several languages.

Of course, across vast stretches, and particularly in the countryside, a particular language predominated. But no one language held sway across the subcontinent. It was as a bow to the massively multi-lingual character of the nation-in-the-making that the Congress, under Gandhi’s lead, decided to form provincial committees by linguistic zone. From the 1920s, the Congress PCCs were based on language – Oriya, Marathi, Kannada, etc – with their respective jurisdictions being at odds with (or cutting across) the provincial boundaries of British India. When independence came, the Congress leadership reneged on the promise to form new states based on language. The Congress rank-and-file revolted, taking the masses and activists of other parties with them. Across the country, popular movements broke out calling for the formation of linguistic states. Bowing to public opinion, Nehru conceded the demand.

The language struggles of the 1950s remain, in terms of social composition, popular participation, and moral fervour, perhaps the most significant social movements of independent India…

…When, in 1962, the scientist J B S Haldane told an American journalist that he happened to be “proud of being a citizen of India, which is a lot more diverse than Europe, let alone the US, USSR, or China, and thus a better model for a possible world organisation”, he had its linguistic diversity principally in mind, along with its diversity of religions, cultures, diets, apparel, etc.

…To say that language is constitutive of human identity would be an underestimation; it is the first and fundamental element of human identity. Pakistan broke up, and Sri Lanka is in the throes of an unending civil war, because its rulers and thinkers disregarded this fact. That India stays together as a multilingual state is a tribute to its traditions of heterodoxy and pluralism, as well as to its political democracy, where at least this particular set of disputes was finally settled by reasoned argument and negotiated compromise…”

Can we please have "reasoned argument and negotiated compromise" instead of loud, hysteric dialogues of a bad jingoistic Hindi film?