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, June 08, 2008

Have you read M F Husain Version of Ramayana?

U.R. Ananthamurthy says: “The only two languages that are understood all over the country are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.” (India Today, August 20, 2007)

I know there are many versions of these two ‘languages’ but don’t know which one M F Husain uses.

This refers to “Politics of Art” by GPD from Economic & Political Weekly dated May 17, 2008.

GPD sounds naïve even comic when he compares “blasphemy” of Saint Janabai संत जनाबाई with insensitivity, ignorance and plain mischievousness of M F Husain. He seems to be carried away by the fact that Husian hails from Pandharpur पंढरपुर.

On this subject, I wish to quote the late Durga Bhagwat दुर्गा भागवत, who all her life defended freedom of expression, challenged the dictators like Indira Gandhi when most intellectuals were silent and fought culture-vultures of Maharashtra while defending Marathi author Bhau Padhye भाऊ पाध्ये who was accused of obscenity.

“…why does Husian draw Seeta sitting on the tail of Lord Maruti flying across the sky? And that too naked one? Obviously religious people will get angry, won’t they? Basically Husain has not read Ramayana is obvious because no where in Ramayana, Maruti carries Seeta. In Ashok-vana, he offers Seeta that he would transport her on his shoulder safely. Seeta declines the offer because she wants Rama to go there personally, slay Ravana and free her. That shows Seeta’s confidence in Rama and also pride. Without considering this context, drawing revealing pictures of Hindu goddesses has to be considered objectionable. Such pictures are naturally going to hurt the sentiments of religious people. Not just that even a religious Muslim may not like this insult of gods of other religions.”

In the same book, Ms. Bhagwat dares likes of GPD to defend the right of Salman Rushdie to write “The Satanic Verses”.

(Source- ऐसपैस गप्पा : दुर्गाबाईंशी लेखक प्रतिभा रानडे “Aispais Gappa: Durgabainshi” by Pratibha Ranade, Rajhans Prakashan, November 1998)

Artist: Alan Dunn The New Yorker 22 April 1961