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."

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."

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."

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Who's Going to Plunge Us into Fascism Today?

There are number of things that bother me about today’s Maharashtra.

Following is the most disturbing.

PRAFUL BIDWAI wrote in Frontline March 14, 2008:

“…not a single major leader of Maharashtra – from Deshmukh to the Nationalist Congress Party’s Sharad Pawar, from State Congress chief Prabha Rau to Home Minister R.R. Patil – has condemned Raj Thackeray’s campaign of crass chauvinism or his goon tactics. They have not uttered a word against the intimidation and beating up of scores of working people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. They have been silent on the MNS’ glorification of all that is Marathi and its nauseating condemnation of the culture of the north. Although the progressive and secular intelligentsia has spoken out, the politicians’ silence is revealing.

The top leadership of the United Progressive Alliance too has chosen to refrain from deploring the MNS’ hate campaign. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has taken to frequent exhortations to crush and eradicate “the virus” of “left extremism” (naxalites). But not once has he spoken in a similar vein against right extremism, which has caused far greater destruction to this society and posed a much more virulent challenge to its constitutional-democratic order. Leave alone “crush” the forces of vicious nativism and xenophobia such as the MNS and Shiv Sena, Manmohan Singh does not even talk of restraining, discouraging or combating them. About his expression of solidarity with the terrorised victims of the recent hate campaign, the less said the better.

This is creating a peculiar polarisation along narrow ethnic-linguistic lines…”

Jonah Goldberg defines fascism as:

“It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the "problem" and therefore defined as the enemy.

Please note words- uniformity of thought and action and ominous warning- “Any rival identity is part of the "problem" and therefore defined as the enemy.”

Artist: Perry Barlow The New Yorker 14 September 1940