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 15, 2008

India’s Greed Belts

SOMINI SENGUPTA of NYT recently discovered what many of us now have known for a while:

“Many in India’s upper middle class have moved to gated communities, with servants who live in nearby slums.” (June 9, 2008)

Read an entry dated November 20, 2007 from this blog here.

The NYT article says:

“…Hamilton Court — complete with a private school within its gates, groomed lawns and security guards — is just one of the exclusive gated communities that have blossomed across India in recent years…

In China, the main Asian competitor to which India is often compared, the state managed early on to harness economic expansion for huge public works projects and then allow more and more Chinese to partake of the benefits. There, the poor are far less likely to be deprived of basic services, whether clean water or basic schooling.

In India, poverty has also dropped appreciably in the last 17 years of economic change, even as the gulf between the rich and poor has grown. More than a quarter of all Indians still live below the official poverty line (subsisting on roughly $1 a day); one in four city dwellers live on less than 50 cents a day; and nearly half of all Indian children are clinically malnourished…”

What I didn’t know was how China handled this challenge.

Movements of Indian upper middle class are an old story. Recently a relative made a statement: “Poor people hate us because we have a big car.”

D D Kosambi has written about “senseless opportunism and termite greed of the ‘cultured’ strata” through India’s known history.

T S Shejwalkar त्र्यंबक शंकर शेजवलकर has written some of the best essays in Marathi on various subjects.

In an essay dated Diwali 1962, he writes:


"बुद्धिवादी आणि सुशिक्षित समाजाची नीतिमत्ता" "Intellectual and Educated Society’s Morality”
("निवडक लेखसंग्रह" त्र्यंबक शंकर शेजवलकर; परिचय गं दे खानोलकर
"Selected Articles-collection" by Tryambak Shankar Shejwalkar 1977 introduction: G D Khanolkar)




The Spectator September 22, 2007