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."

Saturday, May 25, 2019

किती पुतळे आहेत गोळवलकर गुरुजींचे?...Pygmalion Falls In Love

खालील पोस्ट मी मे १६ २०१४ साली पहिल्यांदा प्रसिद्ध केली, ती  इथे पहा ... आज कमीतकमी फेरफार करून पुन्हा प्रसिद्ध करतो आहे....

Narendra Modi, 63, a card-carrying member of  Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), for which he started volunteering at the age of eight, is all set to become India's Prime Minister.

Luis Buñuel, 'My Last Sigh':

"I also remember being struck by de Sade's will, in which he asked that his ashes be scattered to the four corners of the earth in the hope that humankind would forget both his writings and his name. I'd like to be able to make that demand; commemorative ceremonies are not only false but dangerous, as are all statues of famous men. Long live forgetfulness, I've always said—the only dignity I see is in oblivion.”

Financial Times, May 13 2014:
"The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS believe that India is the Hindu holy land and that it needs protection from outside cultural influences including the country's Muslim and Christian minorities. The organisation has mobilised behind Narendra Modi in the current election in the hope that he will further their aims for the nation."

Marc Bloch, 'The Historian’s Craft', 1953:
"Are we so sure of ourselves and of our age as to divide the company of our forefathers into the just and the damned …? When the passions of the past blend with the prejudices of the present, human reality is reduced to a picture in black and white."

Dr. Ramachandra Guha, 'Makers of Modern India', 2011:
"...There were important Hindu right-wing thinkers before (M S) Golwalkar, such as V.D. Savarkar and Madan Mohan Malaviya. These may have been more subtle or sophisticated, but scarcely as effective or influential. Through his three decades as the head of the RSS, Golwalkar exercised a deep influence on the society and politics of modem India. A lifelong brahmadtari, or celibate, he acquired, in the fashion of a typical Hindu guru, a cult of younger male acolytes. These went on to become chief ministers of large Indian states. Others acquired even more power, directing the affairs of the Central government in New Delhi. Thus, Atal Behari Vajpayee, prime minister of India between 1998 and 2004, and Lai Krishna Advani, home minister and deputy prime minister during the same period, were both, in a personal as well as ideological sense, disciples of the long-time head of the RSS... "

Simon Critchley, review of John Gray's 'The Silence of Animals', 2013:
"...Today’s metaphysics is called “liberal humanism,” with a quasi-religious faith in progress, the power of reason and the perfectibility of humankind. The quintessential contemporary liberal humanists are those Obamaists, with their grotesque endless conversations about engagement in the world and their conviction that history has two sides, right and wrong, and they are naturally on the right side of it..."

John Buchan, Greenmantle, 1916:
"Some day, when the full history is written – sober history with ample documents – the poor romancer will give up business and fall to reading Miss Austen in a hermitage."

I am often amused by the shallowness of what I read in most Indian newspapers or see on most Indian TV news channels.  I often recall what Nicholas Taleb says: “To be competent, a journalist should view matters like a historian, and play down the value of information he is providing…Not only is it difficult for the journalist to think more like a historian, but it is, alas, the historian who is becoming more like the journalist.”

I have largely stopped writing about it. But here I make an exception with an example from a Marathi newspaper.

डॉ. सदानंद मोरे, लोकसत्ता, Loksatta, April 11, 2014:
"...१९२० साली लोकमान्य टिळकांचे निधन झाले आणि १९२२ साली शाहू छत्रपतींचे. मात्र त्यानंतर त्यांची जागा घेऊ शकेल असा एकही नेता त्यांच्या अनुयायांना लाभला नाही. परिणाम म्हणून तोपर्यंत भारतात अग्रेसर असलेला महाराष्ट्र राजकारणात एकदम मागे फेकला गेला, तो अद्याप आपले पूर्वीचे स्थान परत प्राप्त करू शकला नाही..."

"...१९२५ च्या दरम्यान टिळकांच्या अनुयायांनी पुण्यात चिपळूणकरांचा पुतळा बसवून त्याचे खुद्द गांधींच्या हस्ते अनावरण करवले. जेधेप्रभृती सत्यशोधकांच्या फुल्यांचा पुतळा बसवण्याच्या मागणीला वाटाण्याच्या अक्षता लावण्यात आल्या.
आज शतक पूर्ण व्हायच्या आतच चिपळूणकरांचा पुतळा बहुधा एकुलता एकच राहिला आहे. फुल्यांचे पुतळे मात्र असंख्य आढळतील..." (लोकसत्ता, Loksatta, March 28 2014)

I have now read this argument- 'Maharashtra lost political leadership of India after 1922'- for many years.

The argument is cliched and all it does is strengthening of  parochial tendencies in urban middle-class Maharashtra and their political leaders. (Perhaps it also is the objective of a large part of the Marathi media.)

The argument is simply not true. Here is an attempt to explain why.

According to Amazon.com: "Makers of Modern India collects the work of nineteen of India's foremost generators of political sentiment, from those whose names command instant global recognition to pioneering subaltern and feminist thinkers whose works have until now remained obscure and inaccessible..."

Six out of those nineteen are Maharashtrians/ Marathi speaking- Jotirao Phule (1827-1890), G K Gokhale (1866-1915), B G Tilak (1856-1920), Tarabai Shinde (1850-1910), B R Ambedkar (1891-1956), M S Golwalkar (1906-1973).

Of the six people above, who do you think India's soon-to-be Prime Minister is closest to in his ideology? Dr. Guha's verdict, quoted above, leaves nothing to the doubt:

"...Golwalkar exercised a deep influence on the society and politics of modem India...Thus, Atal Behari Vajpayee, prime minister of India between 1998 and 2004, and Lai Krishna Advani, home minister and deputy prime minister during the same period, were both, in a personal as well as ideological sense, disciples of the long-time head of the RSS..."

I have no doubt Mr. Modi too is, in a personal as well as ideological sense, a disciple of Golwalkar guruji,  just like Vajpayee and Advani  (read Mr. Modi on M S Golwalkar in Caravan Magazine dated May 31 2014 here).

Golwalkar was born in Maharashtra and died there as late as in 1973.

How can then one say that 'Maharashtra fell far behind in politics' (महाराष्ट्र राजकारणात एकदम मागे फेकला गेला) after the deaths of Tilak in 1920  and Shahu Chhatrapati in 1922?

Read what Dr. R. Guha further says about Mr. Golwalkar: "...Golwalkar saw three principal threats to the formation of a Hindu nation-—Muslims, Christians and communists. All three were foreign
in origin, and the last were godless to boot. Golwalkar saw Muslims, Christians and communists as akin to the demons, or rakshashas, of Indian mythology, with the Hindus as the avenging angels who would slay them and thus restore the goodness and purity of the Motherland. The RSS itself was projected by Golwalkar as the chosen vehicle for this national and civilizational renewal of the Hindus.
"? (page 371)

Is Dr. More ashamed to acknowledge Maharashtra's political leadership in 21st century India just because it is NOT  in the hands of "liberal humanists"?

I also feel this "fell far behind" argument does not do justice to the posthumous rise of Dr. B R Ambedkar as a political figure as 'tall' as Mahatma Gandhi.  Arguably Ambedkar is now more important than Gandhi in India's electoral politics.

Let me now turn to the second quotation, above, of Dr. More. There,  he sort of implies that Mahatma Phule has 'trumped' Chiplunkar because he has more statues!

The comparison is not fair, although it is funny.

Chiplunkar lived for only thirty-one years to Phule's sixty-three. Chiplunkar's thoughts influenced B G Tilak,  who in turn influenced M S Golwalkar. (Dr. Guha: "...Golwalkar also admired Bal Gangadhar Tilak, 'THE MILITANT NATIONALIST',  for making culture so central to national identity and self-assertion...".  Guha  could have as well said Chiplunkar instead of Tilak.)

Therefore,  the fair comparison is that of Phule with Tilak or Golwalkar- all three from Guha's list. If Dr. More makes that comparison, I doubt if  he will give the decisive 'victory' to Phule.

By the way, I wonder how many statues of Golwalkar exist in India. I could NOT locate a single image of his statue on Google image search while Phule has got dozens of them.

But does it prove anything one way or the other?

More than the Indian National Congress, 'liberal humanists' of  India belonging to the writing/ talking community have been defeated in India's 2014 federal elections. They, of course, will continue to think that they are on the right side of history and will cling on to their own Galatea. 

(Galatea is a name popularly applied to the statue carved of ivory by Pygmalion of Cyprus, which then came to life in Greek mythology.)

Artist: William Steig, The New Yorker, 14 November 1964


Narendra Modi on May 20 2014 at the Central Hall of Parliament, New Delhi

"...Whatever we have achieved today, is because of sacrifices made by past five generations. Jan Sangh was not known to the people, some thought it is a social, cultural organisation. Today, I salute all those generations who made sacrifices for nationalist causes. We should not forget that we are here today because of sacrifices made by the past generations..."

Narendra Modi on May 23 2019 at BJP headquarters in Delhi:

"There was such a tag which was in fashion wearing which all sins would get washed. That fake tag was called secularism. Slogans would be raised for the unity of secular people. But you would have witnessed that from 2014 - 2019 that whole bunch stopped speaking."
 "In this election not even a single political party could dare to mislead the country by wearing the mask of secularism,"