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."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How Valuable were India's Dalits?

Today is 120th birth anniversary of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (भीमराव रामजी आंबेडकर).

Clint Eastwood talking to MICHAEL JUDGE:

'..."Growing up I was always rooting for the jazz musician," he says. "I remember I was disturbed when there was a big objection to Nat King Cole moving into Hancock Park in Los Angeles. I didn't know Hancock Park at that time, because I was just a kid in Oakland. But I always thought: 'God, who wouldn't want to have Nat Cole living next to him?' Not only because he was a popular guy, but he was one of those few popular guys who was a great jazz player as well, a great piano player."...

"It was a disgraceful time," Mr. Eastwood says. "I remember living through it. You had to have all-white bands or all-black bands or they'd send you away. Woody Herman and Ernie Royal had an occasional mixture. But by and large you couldn't play certain places . . . especially in the South, but across the whole country, really."... '


(WSJ, Feb 22 2011)


I read something startling last year.

JOHN STAUFFER:

"On the eve of the Civil War, Southern slaves were the nation's most valuable commodity. They constituted 80% of the gross national product, equivalent to roughly $10 trillion today. Before the war, America's richest tycoons were not Northern industrialists but Southern planters."

(WSJ, MARCH 26, 2010)

I had not come across them as a balance sheet item yet!

Stock options? Yes. (Read: No wonder they were given as stock options!)

Is it possible that India's Dalits- who were treated in their own country as badly as the blacks in US- too were the nation's most valuable resource around 1860?

Artist: Alan Dunn, The New Yorker, May 7 1927

African-Americans might have looked alike to some but they were- and are- very precious.

Imagine Jazz, comedy, cinema, television, sports and Satyagraha of 20th century without African-Americans.