मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

समर्थ शिष्या अक्का : "स्वामीच्या कृपाप्रसादे हे सर्व नश्वर आहे असे समजले. पण या नश्वरात तमाशा बहुत आहे."

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.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

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);...”

सदानंद रेगे:
"... पण तुकारामाची गाथा ज्या धुंदीनं आजपर्यंत वाचली जात होती ती धुंदी माझ्याकडे नाहीय. ती मला येऊच शकत नाही याचं कारण स्वभावतःच मी नास्तिक आहे."
".. त्यामुळं आपण त्या दारिद्र्याच्या अनुभवापलीकडे जाऊच शकत नाही. तुम्ही जर अलीकडची सगळी पुस्तके पाहिलीत...तर त्यांच्यामध्ये त्याच्याखेरीज दुसरं काही नाहीच आहे. म्हणजे माणसांच्या नात्यानात्यांतील जी सूक्ष्मता आहे ती क्वचित चितारलेली तुम्हाला दिसेल. कारण हा जो अनुभव आहे... आपले जे अनुभव आहेत ते ढोबळ प्रकारचे आहेत....."

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."

Friday, March 23, 2012

In Purdah: Poverty and Pachyderm

George Orwell, "Shooting an Elephant":

"We began questioning the people as to where the elephant had gone and, as usual, failed to get any definite information. That is invariably the case in the East; a story always sounds clear enough at a distance, but the nearer you get to the scene of events the vaguer it becomes."

Film: Shikar, 1968, Voice: Asha Bhosle, Music Director :Shankar-Jaikishan:

"Parde Mein Rehene Do, Pardaa Na Uthaao
Pardaa Jo Uth Gayaa To Bhed Khul Jaayegaa
Allaah Merii Taubaa, Allaah Merii Taubaa"

India's election commission's decision to cover elephant statues in UP ahead of polls drew worldwide attention. Including cartoonists.

Time magazine has a photo essay.

Courtesy: Daniel Berehulak / AP, Time magazine

It was fascinating. You can cover a woman. Indeed her statue. But elephants?

Cover no cover, voters voted out the ruling party BSP.

Artist: Sudhir Tailang, The Asian Age, March 2012

India's planning commission was watching this. It felt: If they did it to elephants and Ms. Mayawati (whose statue is standing on left in the cartoon above), we could do it to poverty.

Indian government is claiming seven-percentage-points reduction in the national incidence of poverty between 2004-05 and 2009-10. Poverty lines on which these estimates are based: a per capita daily consumption expenditure of Rs. 28.35 and Rs. 22.42 in urban and rural areas respectively.

For a family of four the figure is `2,700 a month in rural India, and `3,420 a month in urban India for subsistence survival. Within this amount, India's planners think, they should be able to take care of food, clothing, shelter, health and education!

Artist: Sudhir Tailang, The Asian Age, March 2012

Mr. Tailang could also show how Montek Singh Ahluwalia, current Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India is making the statue of poverty vanish in one single stroke of statistics.

Two pictures, above, of Mr. Tailang prove, once again, how he probably is the best political cartoonist in contemporary India. On the brink of entering the class of past masters like K. Shankar Pillai, Abu Abraham and R K Laxman.