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 16, 2018

' मी लाय' कत्तल@50...Kill Anything that Moves

#MaiLaiMassacre50  #मीलायकत्तल

Today March 16 2018 is 50th anniversary of one of the sorriest chapters in human history: The Mai Lai Massacre (मी लाय कत्तल), Vietnam

Barbara W. Tuchman , ‘The March of Folly : From Troy to Vietnam’, 1984:

“Ignorance was not a factor in the American endeavor in Vietnam pursued through five successive presidencies, although it was to become an excuse. Ignorance of country and culture there may have been, but not ignorance of the contra-indications, even the barriers, to achieving the objectives of American policy. All the conditions and reasons precluding a successful outcome were recognized or foreseen at one time or another during the thirty years of our involvement. American intervention was not a progress sucked step by step into an unsuspected quagmire. At no time were policy-makers unaware of the hazards, obstacles and negative developments. American intelligence was adequate, informed observation flowed steadily from the field to the capital, special investigative missions were repeatedly sent out, independent reportage to balance professional optimism—when that prevailed—was never lacking. The folly consisted not in pursuit of a goal in ignorance of the obstacles but in persistence in the pursuit despite accumulating evidence that the goal was unattainable, and the effect disproportionate to the American interest and eventually damaging to American society, reputation and disposable power in the world.

The question raised is why did the policy-makers close their minds to the evidence and its implications? This is the classic symptom of folly: refusal to draw conclusions from the evidence, addiction to the counter-productive. The “why” of this refusal and this addiction may disclose itself in the course of retracing the tale of American policy-making in Vietnam...”

Nick Turse:

“As I came to see the indiscriminate killing of South Vietnamese noncombatants — the endless slaughter that wiped out civilians day after day, month after month, year after year throughout the Vietnam War — was neither accidental nor unforeseeable.”

Kendrick Oliver, History Today, February 2006:

“...The silence that generally surrounds the massacre in contemporary American discourse contrasts not just with the urgent babble of voices offering opinions on the subject at the turn of the 1960s, but also with the persistence of debates about the Vietnam War as a whole...

... Americans, indeed, were far more interested in the character and fate of the perpetrators than those of their victims. As many media commentators noted, there seemed to be nothing in the background of the soldiers involved that explained how they had come to engage so willingly in slaughter...”

Max Hastings, London Review of Books, January 25 2018:

"...The damage inflicted by My Lai on the image of the US and its armed forces as ‘crusaders for freedom’ persists to this day. As so often with stories of this kind, the institutionalised cover-up and the surge of public support for those who carried out the offences, make even uglier reading than the narrative of the original massacre. The apologists for C Company, and indeed for the US army, tried to make a case that, while it may not have been entirely acceptable to murder Vietnamese peasants, it was understandable and excusable. .."

Photo courtesy: Ronald Haeberle, November 1969/ Getty

Viet Thanh Nguyen, ‘Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War', 2016:
“...On a smaller scale and in the middle of the country, the Son My museum that commemorates the My Lai massacre focuses on the singular tragedy of the five hundred people murdered—some raped—by American troops. The aftermath of their story is the same as the common narrative, the triumphant revolution eventually transforming the war-blasted landscape of village and province with verdant fields, new bridges, lively schools, and lovely people. While the photographs that decorate these museums feature real people, the captions underlining them have stamped them flat, as in the Son My museum’s display of Ronald Haeberle’s most famous photograph, underwritten with this: “The last moment of life for villager women and children under a silk cotton tree before being murdered by the U.S. soldiers.” Whoever these civilians and soldiers were in their complex lives and complicated histories, they exist in the caption as victims and villains in a drama that justifies the revolution and the party. The caption as genre echoes the slogan as genre, from Follow Uncle Ho’s Shining Example to Nothing Is More Precious than Independence and Freedom. Slogans like these exemplify the Communist Party’s story of itself, which has become, for now, the official story of the country and the nation...”