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."

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.


"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.