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."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nanasaheb Peshwa (1720 – 1761) and Mumbai Attacks (2008)

(There are a number of entries on this blog on Shivaji, Panipat 1761, T S Shejwalkar. Nanasaheb Peshwe. You can search it to reach them.)

William Faulkner: “The past is not dead; it is not even past.”

If I were India’s navy chief, November 26, 2008 would be one of the saddest days in my life. Only on November 20, 2008, “Indian warship sinks Somali pirate vessel in the Gulf of Aden” was FT’s most ready story. Indian navy was darling of the international and local media.

Sea is a great leveler.

My first thought after hearing about the Mumbai attacks on the morning of 27th November: India’s vulnerability from the sea-borne invaders has changed little since medieval times

Robert D. Kaplan has put it well: “…the tragedy has caused the world to focus on India’s weaknesses — its lax security, its vulnerability to age-old maritime infiltration and, most of all, the constant threat of caste and tribal violence — that have been obscured by its economic success…” (NYT December 8, 2008)

Notice: “India's vulnerability to age-old maritime infiltration.” Exploiting that, Europeans entered, looted, and ruled India.

Since the dawn of 17th century, Shivaji शिवाजी was perhaps the only Indian ruler who understood the importance of an effective navy. But Peshwas- his successors- were not that wise

T S Shejwalkar त्र्यंबक शंकर शेजवलकर and his classic “Panipat 1761 पानिपत 1761” will continue to remain relevant –even prophetic- as long as volatile situation prevails in South Asia. After analysing contemporary actors of 18th century India and Afghanistan, he has blamed Mahatma Gandhi- for whom he had enormous respect- and J L Nehru for not learning from Panipat.

Shejwalkar has pilloried Nanasaheb Peshwe- who also was a principal actor in 1761- for destroying the Maratha navy created by Shivaji. Read scanned image- given below- of a passage from Shejwalkar’s essay: “Nanasaheb Peshwe नानासाहेब पेशवे” (1925).

("निवडक लेखसंग्रह" त्र्यंबक शंकर शेजवलकर; परिचय गं दे खानोलकर "Selected Articles” by Tryambak Shankar Shejwalkar 1977 introduction: G D Khanolkar)

Has modern Indian state learnt enough from Shivaji (1630-1680) when it comes to self-defense? Or is Shivaji there only to be abused for waging wars against fellow Indians?