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, May 10, 2016

1857: Ambala and Lahore Had Everything Important to Communicate

India's First War of Independence, the Great Rebellion, the Indian Mutiny, or the Sepoy Mutiny began this day, May 10, 159 years ago. 


Henry David Thoreau:

“We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate."

Christopher Hitchens:

“...Marx's appreciation of the laws of unintended consequence, and his disdain for superficial moralism, also allowed him to see that there was more to the British presence in India than met the eye. No doubt the aim of the East India Company had been the subordination of Indian markets and Indian labour for selfish ends, but this did not alter the fact that capitalism was also transforming the subcontinent in what might be called a dynamic way. And he was clear-eyed about the alternatives. India, he pointed out, had always been subjugated by outsiders. "The question is not whether the English had a right to conquer India, but whether we are to prefer India conquered by the Turk, by the Persian, by the Russian, to India conquered by the Briton." If the conqueror was to be the country that pioneered the industrial revolution, he added, then India would benefit by the introduction of four new factors that would tend towards nation building. These were the electric telegraph for communications, steamships for rapid contact with the outside world, railways for the movement of people and products, and "the free press, introduced for the first time to Asiatic society, and managed principally by the common offspring of Hindus and Europeans". His insight into the Janus-faced nature of the Anglo-Indian relationship, and of the potential this afforded for a future independence, may be one of the reasons why Marxism still remains a stronger force in India than in most other societies...”

Saul David writes in  'The Indian Mutiny, 1857', 2002 in the chapter titled ‘The Electric Telegraph has saved us’:


"...By enabling the authorities at Lahore, in the words of one senior official, to ‘disarm the native troops before they had received one word’ of the uprisings at Meerut and Delhi, the telegraph messages played a key role in the preservation of British India. ‘The Electric Telegraph has saved us,’ wrote Donald MacLeod, the Financial Commissioner of the Punjab. He was right. If Lahore had fallen to the rebels, the rest of the Punjab would probably have followed suit. And if the Punjab — where the majority of European troops were stationed — had been lost, British India might not have endured. As it was, its survival was in the balance for many months to come..."

 



 Artist: Helen E. Hokinson, The New Yorker, April 1 1933

No comments: