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."

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

दुर्गा भागवत @105: Terrorism and Sacrilege

 Today February 10 2015 is 105th Birth Anniversary of Durga Bhagwat (दुर्गा भागवत)

Of all the writings on the terrorist act at Charlie Hebdo offices, so far I have liked the best what cartoonist Joe Sacco has drawn and Tim Parks has said.

courtesy: Joe Sacco (the artist) and The Guardian

Tim Parks writes:

"...At this point, and notwithstanding a profound sense of horror for the evil and stupidity of the terrorist attack on the magazine’s offices, one has to wonder about Charlie Hebdo’s pride in constantly dubbing themselves a “Journal Irresponsable.” The current edition of the paper shows Muhammad in such a way that his white turban looks like two balls and his long pink face a penis. The Prophet is being dubbed a prick. He holds a Je suis Charlie placard and announces that all is forgiven..."

This depiction of the prophet is highly deplorable.

I am wondering how the late Durga Bhagwat (दुर्गा भागवत) would have responded to the terrorist act and the sacrilege.

She would be the first to condemn the heinous act and any attempt to curb the freedom of expression. But she would have been equally quick to protest the sacrilege by Charlie Hebdo.

There are numerous examples of how she stood for the freedom of expression. How would she have protested the insult of another religion? Here is an example:

"...आकाशातून जाणार्‍या मारुतीच्या शेपटीवर बसलेली सीता कशासाठी चितारायची ? आणि तीदेखील विवस्त्र अवस्थेतील ? धार्मिक प्रवृत्तीच्या लोकांना राग येईल; नाही तर काय होईल ? मुळात (म फि) हुसेन यांनी वाचलेल नाही हे स्पष्ट दिसतं. कारण रामायणात मारुती सीतेला घेऊन जातो असं कुठेही नाही… हे संदर्भ लक्षात न घेता हिंदू देवतांची उघडीवाघडी चित्र काढण ही गोष्ट आक्षेपार्हच समजली पाहिजे. अशा चित्रांनी धार्मिक प्रवृत्तीच्या लोकांचा भावना दुखावणही स्वाभाविकच आहे. एवढंच नाही; मी तर म्हणेन की, धार्मिक प्रवृत्तीच्या मुसलमान माणसालाही दुसर्‍या धर्मातील देवतांची अशी विटंबना केलेली आवडणार नाही."

“…why should Seeta sitting on the tail of Lord Maruti flying across the sky be drawn? And that too naked one? Obviously religious people will get angry, won’t they? Basically (M F) Husain has not read Ramayana is obvious because no where in Ramayana, Maruti carries Seeta.… Without considering this context, drawing revealing pictures of Hindu goddesses has to be considered objectionable. Such pictures are naturally going to hurt the sentiments of religious people. Not just that even a religious Muslim may not like this insult of gods of other religions."

(Source- ऐसपैस गप्पा : दुर्गाबाईंशी लेखक प्रतिभा रानडे “Aispais Gappa: Durgabainshi” by Pratibha Ranade, 1998)

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