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.”
Albert Einstein: “I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.” (To P. Moos, March 30, 1950. Einstein Archives 60-587)
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: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Saturday, November 22, 2008
In one of the severest indictments of India’s UPA government, Business Standard said on November 19, 2008:
“…A review by the Planning Commission is reported to have found that barring rural telephony and housing, all other sectors chosen for focused attention under the Rs 1.76 lakh crore five-year (2005-09) rural infrastructure programme are lagging behind the set targets. Notably, the situation is particularly dismal in key areas of irrigation, rural roads and rural electrification, though it is below par also in the provision of safe drinking water. Sadly, in the first four years, only one-third of the target for rural connectivity and electrification, vital for inclusive growth, could be attained. Worse still, the progress was an abysmal 10 per cent in the case of electric supply to the below-poverty-line households. The achievement in critical areas of irrigation and potable water supply, too, was far from satisfactory, being 50 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively…
…The track record of many a critical programme under the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) is equally dismaying. Provision of sanitation facilities to curb open defecation, deemed a national scourge, is a case in point. It is estimated that as many as 1,12,300 toilets need to be built every day if the MDG aim is to be attained by the set deadline of 2012. What really needs to be appreciated here is that the country is paying a heavy economic price for poor sanitation that causes diseases and consequent manday losses. Such losses are estimated at around Rs 1,200 crore, including 180 million mandays, a year. Little wonder that the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), in its recent report on South Asia, has ranked India far below its neighbours like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in terms of sanitation. Notably, between 1990 and 2006, only around 20 per cent of additional people gained access to sanitation facilities in India, against 40 per cent in Pakistan, the UNICEF reported to the discredit of India.
Such a woeful profile of the fundamental facilities for the people is disgraceful. What makes the situation all the more disconcerting is that all these programmes, even if executed by the ministries concerned, are supposed to be monitored regularly by the Planning Commission and, more importantly, the Prime Minister's Office…”
Artist: P C Vey The New Yorker November 24, 2008 Cartoon Caption Contest 170
“…For today’s presentation, I found no better symbol than headless chicken to sum up running around of India’s coalition government for last five years.”