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."

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