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."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Nandan Nilekani: Samyukta Maharashtra Movement = “Rioting and Protests”

First it was Nana Patekar नाना पाटेकर equating Samyukta Maharashtra movement संयुक्त महाराष्ट्र चळवळ with Raj Thackeray’s recent activities.

Now, it is Nandan Nilekani who says:

“…Jawaharlal Nehru proposed that Bombay become a separate, bilingual area, but the rioting and protests that ensued forced him to back down, and the city became part of Maharashtra. Since then, Indian cities have been passive and subordinate to the state governments. The bulk of city taxes are collected by the state and central governments and administration is dominated by state-run agencies…”

(Times of India, December 13, 2008)

Instead of holding political leaders, top civil servants, and many private sector parties responsible for the decay of Mumbai, Mr. Nilekani finds faults with Samyukta Maharashtra movement, the movement that most think was responsible for the city becoming part of Maharashtra.

This is very unfortunate dumbing down of history. We are being trained for more and more simplification as the world becomes more and more complicated.

If historian Y D Phadke य दि फडके were to be alive-he has been dead for almost a year now- I would have recommended Mr. Nilekani a visit to him.


'Could you dumb it down?’



The Spectator