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!"

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."

Chris Ware: "Being a cartoonist means you don’t consider yourself too fancy."

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: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Monday, September 29, 2008

How can Our Democracy Afford to Provide Third-rate Services to the Poor?

Arundhati Roy recently wrote

“…all Indians who are not nanga or bhookha are—and have been—complicit in complex and historical ways with the cruel cultural and economic systems that make Indian society so cruel, so vulgarly unequal…”

Financial Times, that beacon of modern America-led capitalism, agrees with "rabid Roy".

David Pilling (FT September 24, 2008) said:

“…the neglect of basic education and healthcare which, as well as being scandalous in its own right, deprives India of the fit and literate workforce any competitive industry requires. Mao Zedong, for all the reckless horror he unleashed, did bring schools and rudimentary healthcare to the peasants. “The train of China’s industrialisation runs on the secure foundation of Maoist rails,” says Prof Sen. If India is to become a car-owning democracy, it will have to solve some basic problems first. “

Now many Indians want to hold only their “government” responsible for this so that they can continue to party.

They should read Suhas Palshikar's brilliant Marathi essay in Samaj Prabodhan Patrika April-June 2008:

“…When patients die in government hospitals because of adulterated medicines, government and civil society look at them coldly because of the contempt for human life. When homeless poor die in summer and winter, children die only because of lack of access to clean water, they don’t become scandals for our civil society. Therefore, we assign the question of homeless, support-less, old, physically challenged to either a joint family or an invisible system called ‘government’…”

(“गरिबांना भुक्कड सुविधा पुरवणं आपल्या लोकशाहीला कसं परवडतं?”)


Peasant. 'Ah! I'd like to be cared vor half as well as thee be!'

Artist: John Tenniel,'The Pig and the Peasant' Punch 9 September 1863