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."

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Organise Them Along Linguistic Lines?...शं बा जोशींचे 'मर्‍हाटी संस्कृती'


Dr. B R Ambedkar:

"...Should all Maharashtrians be collected together into one Maharashtra State? Should all Andhra areas be put into one Andhra State? This question of consolidation does not merely relate to new units. It relates also to the existing linguistic provinces such as U.P., Bihar and West Bengal. Why should all Hindi-speaking people be consolidated into one State as has happened in U.P.? Those who ask for consolidation must be asked whether they want to go to war against other States. If consideration creates a separate consciousness we will have in course of time an India very much like what it was after the break-up of Maurya Empire. Is destiny moving us towards it? This does not mean that there is no case for linguistic provinces. What it means is that there must be definite checks and balances to see that a communal majority does not abuse its power under the garb of a linguistic State...


...As the area of the State increases the proportion of the minority to the majority decreases and the position of the minority becomes precarious and the opportunities for the majority to practise tyranny over the minority become greater. The States must, therefore, be small. The minorities must be given protection to prevent the tyranny of the majority. To do this the Constitution must be amended and the provisions must be made for a system of plural member constituencies (two or three) with cumulative voting.


दुर्गा भागवत:

"...शं बा जोशींच्या 'मराठी संस्कृती' या ग्रंथाने माझ्या विचारांना चालना दिली. आंध्र प्रदेश,  कर्नाटक आणि महाराष्ट्र हे सांस्कृतिकदृष्ट्या एक कसे आहेत हे त्यांनी प्रथम मांडल. मला तो विचार आकर्षक वाटला..."

[Page: 69, 'Aaipais Gappa : Durgabainshi', Pratibha Ranade, November 1998) ( "ऐसपैस  गप्पा: दुर्गाबाईंशी",   प्रतिभा रानडे)]

("...S B Joshi's book 'Marathi Sanskruti' mobilized my thoughts. He was the first who argued how Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra were culturally one. I found that thought attractive...") 

Economic & Political Weekly Leader, March 1 2014:

"...It makes sense for smaller political units, not just in AP but in many other states of the Indian union. It is time for a renewed national conversation about our federalism and the structures which underpin our polity and administration. The churn one witnesses in electoral politics is perhaps an expression of the same transformations which have fuelled the demand for Telangana. A second States’ Reorganisation Commission will also help smaller nationalities like Gorkhaland, which do not have the electoral muscle to force their demand through. More states of the union neither lead to a weaker country nor weaker provinces. Rather, it may well help strengthen the union by democratising it further."

गिरीश कर्नाड, लोकसत्ता, November 12 2013:

"… कन्नड भाषेला १९५६ पर्यंत स्वत:चा प्रांत नव्हता. मुंबई, मद्रास आणि म्हैसूर अशा तीन प्रांतामध्ये कर्नाटक विभागला गेला होता. द. रा. बेंद्रे आणि शं. भा. जोशी या मराठी माणसांनी केलेल्या लेखनामुळे कन्नड भाषा समृद्ध झाली. या दोघांना खरे तर, मराठीमध्ये लेखन करता आले असते. पण, त्या वेळी पुणे हे मराठी साहित्याचे केंद्र होते. मराठीत लेखन केले असते, तर 'धारवाडचा मराठी लेखक' अशीच त्यांची ओळख झाली असती. म्हणूनच या दोघांनी कन्नडमध्ये लेखन केले…"

("...Kannada language didn't have its own state until 1956. Karnataka was divided among Mumbai, Madras and Mysore. The Kannada language was enriched by writing done in it by Marathi people like D R Bendre and S B Joshi. These two could easily write in Marathi. But at that time Pune was the centre of Marathi literature. If they were to write in Marathi, then they would be known as 'Marathi writer from Dharwad'. Therefore, they wrote in Kannada...")

Looking at all that is happening in the country on the issue of Telangana, I feel sad and confused.

I have always questioned the wisdom of dividing this country based on the language.

I am supported by the strong words of Durgabai,

"...पण या भाषावार प्रांतरचनेमुळ आपापसातला दुस्वासच वाढीला लागला. आपल मन त्यानं संकुचित करून टाकलय…" (ibid, page 56)

(...but this linguistic division has increased ill will towards each other. Our mind has been constricted by it...)


Artist: Bill Watterson

Durgabai praises S B Joshi's book at least at one more place (page 27) in the book saying it is an excellent book. (I don't know if it's a coincidence but Dr. Irawati Karve इरावती कर्वे was not very fond of the book!)

The correct title of the book is 'मर्‍हाटी संस्कृती : काही समस्या' (Marhati Sanskruti: Kahi Samsya) first published in December 1958.

I thought the book was surely out of print. It almost is but lucky me, Bookganga.com still had copies in October 2013 of its second edition dated August 1980, edited by Vasant S Joshi (वसंत स. जोशी), published by Venus Prakashan (व्हीनस प्रकाशन). That 294-page book was available only for Rs. 170. An absolute steal!



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