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."

Thursday, September 14, 2017

मिरजेची मॅनहोल कव्हर्स...When India Was NOT Fundamentally Sound

T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan, April 2017:
“In 2006 a British writer called William Dalrymple rummaged in the unpublished and hitherto ignored private papers about the revolt of 1857. They were in Urdu. So he took the help of Mahmood Farooqui to translate them. He then published a book called The Last Mughal.
That book exposed a serious weakness amongst Indian historians who, in their quest for certification from Oxford and Cambridge, were content to adopt colonial lenses. In this scheme of things British rule was the best thing that happened to India. Many Indians still think so. Fortunately their numbers are shrinking.

From the 1960s onwards, Oxbridge steered Indian students towards a study of the freedom movement. In this view, the main villains were the Indians themselves. The divide-and-rule aspect of British policy was mentioned only in passing...

...Now, gradually, things have begun to change. Indian historians are beginning to show how the Oxbridge version was actually an “alternate truth” — post truth plus alternate facts. This is beginning to show how there can be entirely different versions and interpretations of events.
They are doing so by re-examining the many different aspects of 1857-1947. An altogether different picture of British rule emerges when these stories get told by un-colonised Indian minds...”

मिरजेला रहात असताना मॅनहोल कव्हर्सबद्दल फार आकर्षण वाटे... सॉलीड , घट्ट, वर्तुळाकार  कास्ट आयर्न हे त्यावेळच्या बालजीवनात एक कुतूहलाची गोष्ट होती.... कधीतरी उचलायचा मूर्ख आणि अयशस्वी प्रयत्न पण केला होता.... उघडलेल्या  मॅनहोल मधून खालील गूढ गटार पण बघत थांबायचो....

 जातायेता त्याच्यावरची अक्षरे वाचत असेन...नंतर नंतर ती 'मि न पा' असायची....मिरज नगर पालिका... पण आधीची वर्षे तीच्या वर वेगळी अक्षरे असायची आणि ती इंग्लंड मध्ये बनवली गेली असत...बहुदा मँचेस्टर ... बनवणारी कंपनी पण आत्त्ता, आत्त्ता पर्यंत लक्षात होती...

हे आठवायच कारण बार्नी व्हाईट-स्पुनर ( Barney White-Spunner) यांचे छान पुस्तक अधून मधून वाचतोय: 'Partition: The story of Indian independence and the creation of Pakistan in 1947', 2017...

त्यांनी पण शशी थरूर (Shashi Tharoor) यांच्या सारखाच 'निकाल'  दिलाय: ब्रिटिशांनी भारताला मॅनहोल मध्ये ढकलले!

ते लिहतात:

“...It was this lack of development that is probably the most difficult legacy of the Raj to justify. Unpopular as it was when a much-respected ICS officer and Indian historian, W. H. Moreland, produced the figures, the average Indian income per head in 1932 was shown to be the same as it had been in 1605 under Akbar. When compared to the comparable growth in the quality of life in Great Britain, and allowing for relative increases in population, India had stood still. The English population had in fact increased eight times over the period while India’s had increased just under four times but per capita GDP in Great Britain had grown six times.38 Even as late as 1944 half the population of India was under twenty years old, which is a damning comment on the lack of improvement in life expectancy under the Raj....

... Part of the problem was that the Indian government had an inadequate economic planning capacity. The senior ICS men who staffed the viceroy’s ministries had been trained on tour in the provinces, assessing land disputes or bringing troublesome border tribes to order. They had little notion of making capital available to fund development or of how to increase industrialisation and they did not really think it was their job to do so anyway. By 1931 there were only three industries employing more than 200,000 people: jute, cotton and coal mining, and still only 9,206 factories across the whole of India. Many of these were in the Princely states where the rulers were more sensitive to the importance of financial incentives and tax breaks. S. Moolgaonkar, a Tata executive, recalled that virtually the entire cement industry was located in the Princely states as the Indian government would not give it any financial support in the British provinces, something he, like many, ascribed to a desire to protect imported cement supplies from Britain. ‘The Brits imported everything’, he complained, ‘even the man hole covers’...”
Artist: Otto Soglow (1900-1975), The New Yorker, 17 October 1931

ऑटो सोगलो यांनी त्याकाळात हेच कार्टून डझनाहून जास्त वेळा वेगळ्या कॅप्शन सहित न्यू यॉर्कर च्या अनेक इशूत काढलेले आहे!

Well, Mr. Soglow, America was perhaps fundamentally sound but India had gone to the dogs in 1931, thanks to the British Raj!

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