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."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Let Ajmal Amir Kasab Stay in the Hell of an Indian Jail

Debate is raging in India on the subject of terrorist Kasab’s entitlement to legal assistance.

If Nathuram Godse नथुराम गोडसे- the killer of Mahatma Gandhi- was entitled to a lawyer and a 'grand' speech (the speech that still motivates Hindu extremists), why not Kasab?

Ram Jethmalani has the most interesting take.

He says: “…If I had been a judge I would not sentence Kasab to death for a different reason. It is only by remaining in the hell of an Indian jail that he would realise that what the Mullahs told him is false.

Long stay in an Indian prison will detoxify him of all the superstitions and illusions instilled into him. Those who did it surely deserve a sentence of death if caught.”

This sounds like the Hindi film villain Ajit’s rationale on why someone should be thrown in the tank of liquid oxygen: Liquid will not let him live, oxygen will not let him die!

Hell indeed comes in many forms.


‘I never expected hell to be as bad as this.’


The Spectator