[Hindi]Khol do by Saadat Hasan Manto

 

http://sasw.chass.ncsu.edu/fl/faculty/taj/hindi/hmanto.htm

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Review: The concise oxford history of Indian Business by Dwijendra Tripathi and Jyoti Jumani

THE CONCISE OXFORD HISTORY OF INDIAN BUSINESS: Dwijendra Tripathi, Jyoti Jumani; Oxford University Press. Rs. 275.

Rajiv Gandhi: I don’t know history, I make history!

Jagmohan: But those who don’t know history, makes a bad one!!

If one has to sum up in a single line as to what this book aims at, then that one line will be, “ it gives you sense of history of Indian business”. Unfortunately the typical Indian manager, trained in science, engineering or commerce, has never been introduced to the value of history as a doorway to the present. Most of the people fail to appreciate the fact that character of business as we see today, has been shaped by its past history

This present work further answers relevant questions like, what are the roots of modern business practices in India, What forces shaped the way Indian Business looks today.

This book tells the story of evolution of Indian Business from merchants to service providers. Focusing on the principal actors whose exploits made the transition possible.

 The author, Dwijendra Tripathi, has been a pioneer in the study of business history in India, he teaches a full time course on the subject at Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad.

 The book has been divided in 15 chapters and focus is on the modern period or that phase of Indian history which witnessed the shaping of the features and characteristics that distinguish Indian business today-during which period the country made the transition to an industrial economy.

 The story begins at the turn of eighteenth century when Mughal Empire under Emperor Aurangzeb encompassed practically the whole of Indian sub-continent. Indian society was primarily agrarian with a very small manufacturing sector confined largely to textile and handicrafts; even then it was counted as one of the most industrialized countries of Asia at its time. Despite relatively high political stability, infrastructure for transaction of goods and scattered nature of market impeded growth of business operation both in terms of volume as well as innovation. Absence of one unified currency created another hurdle to the business of that time. Some notable mentions of that period will be, Seth Hira Nand Sahu, the founder of house of Jagat Seth, Abdul Ghafur of Surat, reputed to be owner of more than twenty sailing ships and with a trade volume equal to that of British East India company, Prominent Jewelers of Ahmedabad like Zaveris who also carried Banking business, occasionally obliging the English East India Company with loans.  There was well developed credit institution, Hundi System, used to remit money across lands.

English East India Company was not the only foreign player in India those days, others like French, Dutch and Portuguese were also quite active under charter from their respective governments. Some old players like Arab and Egyptian merchants were also active around Calicut region. This was the backdrop with which book begin to chart a journey of next 300 years of Indian Business, 1700 AD was indeed close to golden period for Indian business which was not second to anyone in the world.

 With death of Aurangzeb in the year 1707, Mughal Empire started declining with weak rulers unable to effectively control in wake of rising Marattha power and gave way to small regional centers of power. Mughal period saw a strong treasury and revenue department which made Empire less dependent on Business class, but emergence of small regional powers changed this relationship for ever, these small states were dependent on big merchants for loans. Prominent states like Sikh in north, Nawabs iof Bengal and Awadh in East, Nizam in South resorted to a system wherein rights of land revenue collection were given to merchants so as to raise finances. A parallel can be drawn with present day relationship between political class and industrialist class, political parties are dependent on big corporate class for election funding, and one can expect this to be give and take relationship!

Most interesting aspect of that era was short-sightedness of native Merchants and Bankers; they became party to efforts of European powers to take political power in their hands, resulting in end of influence of these native merchants and Bankers. This phenomenon could be seen in all parts of country, Baroda and Ahmedabad saw Merchant bankers rejoicing British annexation of that part of country following the rout in the last and decisive Anglo-Maratha war. The Surat merchants followed same and aligned openly with British and resulted in emergence of Company as real power in 1759. Role of Jagat Seth, Khoja Wajid and Amirchand is well known in the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The victory of Plassey brought enormous power and prestige to the English Company and marker the beginning of a process that culminated in the British conquest of almost the entire subcontinent in next 60 years. Interesting phenomenon which followed next was control of Hundi network to transmit funds from Calcutta region to Bombay by British.

Several Bankers such as Manohardas Dwarkadas and Travadi Arjunji Nathji of Surat and Mannu Lal and Beni Prasad of Benares, financed the British military operations against the Indian rulers. Within a space of less than thirty years after the emergence of British supremacy, all these prominent merchant bankers were routed from the business scene with likes of Jagat Seth reduced to penury.

 Emergence of the English East India Company as an unrivalled political force in subcontinent coincided with Industrial Revolution in England. Steam Engine developed by James Watt in 1765 was beginning of a new change, followed by important inventions such as Richard Arkwright’s spinning frame(1769), James Hargreave’s spinning jenny(1770) and Edmund Cartwright’s power loom(1783). A new Factory system of large scale machine production changed the mainly agrarian Britain into an industrialized country and British hegemony in India provided an easy market for the products of the burgeoning British Factory system.

By the mid of 18th century, India saw emergence of Agency Houses, through which number of British subjects emerged as new free Merchants engaging in private trade with India. With abolition of monopoly of  East India company in year 1813, agency houses and private merchants rose to the position of supremacy in the commercial sphere.

Book further traces history of emergence of Dwarkanath Tagore and beginning of yet new era for Indian business. Next few decades saw new business leaders like Jamstji Jejeebhoy emerging, roots of Tatas of future. This transition phase saw emergence of modern industry with ventures into textiles by Indians.

By the beginning of 20th century Indian business class started to assert a confident identity with diversified ventures into chemicals, steel and textiles. There were many new powerful families which emerged, some survived such as that of Tatas, while many could not stand the test of time and were forgotten.

Book gives entirely different perspective to way most of us have seen history of making of nation as we know today, book supports arguments with facts and figures and it sees everything in most objective manner without flowing in emotions of lofty nationalism blaming everything on colonial rule alone, it praises when it was worth it such as emergence of unified currency and evolution from trade to industry under the British rule, book do not hide shortcomings of natives as well as colonial power.  Narrative is continuous with every chapter falling in line with next one. Book helps one dispel many myths about early days of Indian Independence with Nehru at the helm, government intervention in commercial activities can be better appreciated with base created by preceding chapters. One gets to learn how the best of the intentions of Nehruvian period were betrayed with ascendancy of Indira Gandhi’s infamous License Raj period and how some industrialists made profits with careful manipulation of political levers. From relatively low period of commercial life in India, book further takes reader to globalized era of 1990’s when India started aggressive liberalization, but by this time, reader starts to ponder on the strikingly similarity between gone era of early 18th century and present era, and one cannot escape from wondering if we will be more careful this time in giving way to our sovereignty for short term commercial gains! Even though possibility of getting colonized may be far fetched but still emergence of neo-colonism in the garb of globalization is something which poses its own share of challenges for Indian government. Still book ends with a healthy and confident picture of Indian business with strong emerging economy and players such as Reliance, Tatas, Infosys, Wipro, Biocon, Pharma companies and so on.  Book amazes with its comprehensive and rewarding analysis of business history of India and it fills a glaring vacuum in the existing literature on Indian Business.

This fascinating and well researched book will appeal to anyone interested in the story of Indian Business from CEOs to scholars, professionals and students.

 


My frozen Turbulence in Kashmir by Jagmohan

The Prologue to Bertrand Russell’s Autobiography: What I have lived for..

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair. I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy – ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness–that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what–at last–I have found.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.

 Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.

 This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.

 

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

‘How to make a cat eat pepper’ approach

During mid-fifties, China was preparing ground for nationalisation of all private businesses, but rather than nationalising by decree at first, Mao asked opinion of his private sector interlocutors on it. During the same time, some unnamed wit among Sanghai Capitalists summed up Mao’s approach as ‘how to make a cat eat pepper’ approach.

“Lio Shaoqi, it was said, advocated firmness: ‘You get somebody to hold the cat,’ he said, ‘stuff the pepper into its mouth, and push it down with a chopstick.’ Mao was horrified. Force he declared was undemocratic: the cat must be persuaded to eat voluntarily. 

Then Zhou Enlai tried. ‘I would starve the cat,’ said the premier. ‘Then I would wrap the pepper with a slice of meat. If the cat is sufficiently hungry, it will swallow it whole.’ Again Mao shook his head. ‘one must not use deceit,’ he said. ‘Never fool the people!’

Mao’s own answer, he explained, was very simple. ‘You rub the pepper into the cat’s backside. When it starts to burn, the cat will lick it off-and be happy to be permitted to do so.'”

 

Taken from, with slight modification, ‘Mao A life’ by Philip Short

Speech: Javed Akhtar: India Today conclave session on spirituality, halo or hoax.

INDIA TODAY CONCLAVE
DAY 2, Saturday, February 26, 2005
session: spirituality, halo or hoax.


SPEECH: JAVED AKHTAR  

 

I am quite sure ladies and gentlemen, that in this august assembly nobody would envy my position at this moment. Speaking after such a charismatic and formidable personality like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is like coming out of the pavilion to play after Tendulkar has made a sparkling century. But in some weak moment I had committed myself.

There are certain things that I would like to make very clear at the very outset. Don’t get carried away by my name – Javed Akhtar. I am not revealing a secret, I am saying something that I have said many times, in writing or on TV, in public…I am an atheist, I have no religious beliefs. And obviously I don’t believe in spirituality of some kind. Some kind.

Another thing. I am not standing here to criticize, analyze, or attack this gentleman who is sitting here. We have a very pleasant, civilized relation. I have always found him to be an extremely courteous person.

One is talking about an idea, an attitude, a mindset. Not any individual.

I must tell you that when Rajeev opened this session, for a moment I felt that I have come to the wrong place. Because, if we are discussing the philosophy of Krishan and Gautam and Kabir, Vivekanand, then I have nothing to say. I can sit down right now. I am not here to discuss a glorious past of which I suppose every Indian is proud, and rightly so. I am here to discuss a dubious present.

India Today has invited me and I have come here to talk of spirituality today. Let’s not be confused by this word spirituality, you can find two people with the same name and they can be totally different people. Ram Charit Manas was written by Tulsidas. And the television film has been made by Ramanand Sagar. Ramayan is common but I don’t think it would be very wise to club Tulsidas with Ramanand Sagar. I remember, when he had written Ramcharit Manas, he had faced a kind of a social boycott. How could he write a holy book in such a language like Avadhi? Sometimes I wonder fundamentalists of all hues and all colors, religions and communities…how similar they are. In 1798, a gentleman called Shah Abdul Qadir, in this very city, for the first time translated Quran in Urdu, and all the ulemas of that time gave fatwa against him that how could he translate this holy book in such a heathen language.

When Tulsi wrote Ramcharit Manas and he was boycotted, I remember a chowpai that he had written.

Dhut kaho abdhut kaho rajput kaho ki julawa kohu

Kohu ki beti se beta na biahab, kohu ki jaat bigaar na chahu

Mang ke khaibo, mehjid ma raihbo, lebe ka ek na debe ka dohu”

Ramanand Sagar, when he made his television serial, he made millions. I am not undermining him, but obviously he is much lower in the rung.

I will give you another example. Perhaps it would be more direct and more appropriate. Gautam came out of a palace and went into wilderness to find the truth. But nowadays we see, the modern age gurus, come out of the wilderness and wind up in the palaces. They are moving in the opposite direction. We can’t talk of them in the same breath. So let us not hide behind names which are dear and respectable for every Indian.

When I was invited to give this talk, I felt that yes, I am an atheist, try to be a rationalist in any given situation, Maybe that’s why I have been called. But suddenly I have realized that there is another quality that I share with Modern Age gurus. I work in films. We have lot in common. Both of us, sell dreams, both of us create illusions, both of us create icons, but with a difference. After three hours we put a placard – the end. Go back to reality. They don’t.

So ladies and gentlemen, let me make it very clear that I have come to talk of this spirituality that has a supermarket in the world. Arms, drugs and spirituality – these are the three big businesses in the world. But in arms and drugs you really have to do something, give something. That’s the difference. Here you don’t have to give anything.

In this supermarket you get instant Nirvana, Moksha by mail, a crash course in self realization, cosmic consciousness in four easy lessons. This supermarket has its chain all over the world, where the restless elite buy spiritual fast food. I am talking about this spirituality.

Plato in his dialogues has said many a wise thing, and one of them is – before starting any discussion decide on the meanings of words. Let us try to decide on the meaning of this word spirituality. Does it mean love for mankind that transcends all religion, caste, creed, race? Is that so? Then I have no problem. Except that I call it humanity. Does it mean love of plants, trees, mountains, oceans, rivers, animals? The non-human world? If that is so, again I have no problem at all. Except that I call it environmental consciousness. Does spirituality mean heartfelt regard for social institutions like marriage, parenthood, fine arts, judiciary, freedom of expression. I have no problem again sir, how can I disagree here? I call it civil responsibility. Does spirituality mean going into your own world trying to understand the meaning of your own life? Who can object on that? I call it self-introspection, self assessment. Does spirituality mean Yoga? Thanks to Patanjali, who has given us the details of Yoga, Yam, Yatam, aasan, pranayam…We may do it under any name, but if we are doing pranayam, wonderful. I call it healthcare. Physical fitness.

Now is it a matter of only semantics. If all this is spirituality, then what is the discussion. All these words that I have used are extremely respectable and totally acceptable words. There is nothing abstract or intangible about them. So why stick to this word spirituality? What is there in spirituality that has not been covered by all these words? Is there something? If that is so then what is that?

Somebody in return can ask me what is my problem with this word. I am asking to change it, leave it, drop it, make it obsolete but why so? I will tell you what is my reservation. If spirituality means all this then there is no discussion. But there is something else which makes me uneasy. In a dictionary, the meaning of spirituality is rooted in a word called “spirit”. When mankind didn’t know whether this earth is round or flat, he had decided that human beings are actually the combination of two things. Body and spirit. Body is temporary, it dies. But the spirit is, shall I say, non-biodegradable. In your body you have a liver and heart and intestines and the brain, but since the brain is a part of the body, and mind lies within the brain, it is inferior because ultimately the brain too shall die with the body, but don’t worry, you are not going to die, because you are your spirit, and the spirit has the supreme consciousness that will remain, and whatever problem you have is because you listen to your mind. Stop listening to your mind. Listen to your spirit – the supreme consciousness that knows the cosmic truth. All right. It’s not surprising that in Pune there is an ashram and I used to go there. I loved the oratory. On the gate of the lecture hall there was a placard. Leave your shoes and minds here. There are other gurus who don’t mind if you carry your shoes. But minds?…sorry.

Now, if you leave your mind what do you do? You need the Guru to find the next station of consciousness. That hides somewhere in the spirit. He has reached the supreme consciousness, he knows the supreme truth. But can he tell you. No sir, he cannot tell you. So can you find out on your own? No sir, you need the guru for that. You need him but he cannot guarantee that you will know the ultimate truth… and what is that ultimate truth? What is the cosmic truth? Relating to cosmos? I have really not been able to understand that. The moment we step out of the solar system the first star is Alpha.Centueri It is just four light years away. How do I relate to that!!  What do I do!!

So the emperor is wearing robes that only the wise can see. And the emperor is becoming bigger and bigger. And there are more and more wise people who are appreciating the robe.

I used to think that actually spirituality is the second line of defence for the religious people. When they get embarrassed about traditional religion, when it starts looking too down-market, they hide behind this smokescreen of cosmos and super consciousness. But that is not the complete truth. Because the clientele of traditional religion and spirituality is different. You take the map of the world, you start marking places which are extremely religious, within India or outside India, Asia, Latin America, Europe…wherever. You will find that wherever there is lot of religion there is lack of human rights. There is repression. Anywhere. Our Marxist friends used to say that religion is the opium of poor masses, the sigh of the oppressed. I don’t want to get into that discussion. But spirituality nowadays is definitely the tranquilizer of the rich.

 

You see that the clientele is well heeled, it is the affluent class. Alright, so the guru gets power, high self esteem, status, wealth…(which is not that important), power…and lot of wealth too. What does the disciple get? When I looked at them carefully I realized that there are categories and categories of these disciples. It’s not a monolith. There are different kinds of followers. Different kinds of disciples. One, who is rich, successful, doing extremely well in his life, making money, gaining property. Now, since he has everything he wants absolution too. So guru tells him – whatever you are doing, is “niskaam karma” – you are playing a role, this is all “Maya”, the money that you are making everyday and the property that you are acquiring, you are not emotionally involved with it. You are just playing a role. You come to me because you are in search of eternal truth. Maybe your hands are dirty, but your spirit and soul are pure. And this man, he starts feeling wonderful about himself. For seven days he is exploiting the world, and at the end of the seven days when he goes and sits at the feet of the guru, he feels – I am a sensitive person.

There is another category. That too comes from the affluent class. But he is not the winner like the first one. You know winning or losing that is also relative. A rickshaw-wallah if he is gambling on the pavement and wins hundred rupees will feel victorious, and if a corporate man makes only 300 million dollars, while his brother is a billionaire, he will feel like a failure. Now, what does this rich failure do? He needs a guru to tell him – who says that you have failed? You have other worlds, you have another vision, you have other sensibility that your brother doesn’t have. He thinks that he is successful…wrong. The world is very cruel, you know. The world tells you honestly, no sir, you have got three out of ten. The other person has seven out of ten. Fair. They will treat you that way and they will meet you that way. There he gets compassion. There he plays another game.

Another category. And I will talk about this category not with contempt or with any sense of superiority, not any bitterness, but all the compassion available one that is a very big  client of this modern day guru and today’s spirituality, is the unhappy rich wife.

Here is a person who put all her individuality, aspirations and dreams, and her being at the altar of marriage and in return she got an indifferent husband. Who at the most gave her a couple of children. Who is rather busy with his work, or busy with other women. This woman needs a shoulder. She knows that she is an existential failure. There is nothing to look forward to. She has a vacuous, empty, comfortable yet purposeless life. It’s sad, but it is true.

Then there are other people. Who are suddenly traumatized. They lose a child. The wife dies. The husband dies. Or they lose the property, they lose their business. Something happens that shocks them and they ask – why me? So who do they ask? They go to the Guru. And the guru tells him that this is Karma. But there is another world if you follow me. Where there is no pain. Where there is no death. Where there is immortality. Where there is only bliss. He tells all these unhappy souls – follow me and I will take you to the heaven, to the paradise, where there is no pain. I am sorry sir, it is disappointing but true that there is no such paradise. Life will always have a certain quota of pain, of hurts, a possibility of defeats. But they do get some satisfaction.

Somebody may ask me if they are feeling better, if they are getting peace then what is your problem. It reminds me of a story that I have read. It’s an old Indian story told by a sage, that a hungry dog finds a dry bone and tries to eat it and in the process bites its own tongue. And the tongue is bleeding and the dog feels that he is getting nourishment from the bone.

I feel sad. I don’t want them, these adults, to behave like this because I respect them. Drugs and alcohol are also supposed to give mental peace and serenity, but is that kind of piece or serenity desirable or advisable? The answer is no. Any mental peace that is not anchored in rational thoughts is nothing but self-deception. Any serenity that takes you away from truth is just an illusion – a mirage. I know that there is a kind of a security in this which is like the security of a tri-cycle. If you are riding a tri-cycle you can’t fall. But adults do not ride tricycles. They ride bi-cycles. They can even fall. It is a part of life.

There is one more kind. Like everybody who is the member of the golf club is not fond of golf. In the same way everybody who is seen in an ashram is not a spiritual person. A film producer who is an ardent follower of a guru, whose ashram is about two hours from Delhi once told me that you must go to my Guru. You will see the who’s who of Delhi there. Let me tell you my Guruji is another Chandraswami in the making. Now this is a contact point for networking.

I have great respect for people who are spiritual, or religious, and in spite of this they are good people. And I have a reason. I believe that like every emotion or feeling, you have a limitation.

I am feeling slightly pressurized about time, can I get another five six minutes please…may I sir… Rajiv Mehrotra “yes you can”

You can see upto a point. And you can’t see further. You can hear upto a point, but beyond that you won’t be able to register sounds. You can mourn upto a point and then you will get over your mourning. You will feel happy upto a point and then you will be through with your happiness. Same way, I am sure that you have a certain capacity for nobility also. You can be as noble and no more. Now suppose if we count this capacity for nobility in the average man as ten units, now anybody who goes to pray in a mosque five times is consuming his five units, there anybody who goes to the temple or sits in the feet of the Guru, he is consuming his quota of nobility there. And in a totally non-productive manner. I don’t go to pray. I don’t pray. If I don’t go to any guru, or mosque or temple or church, what do I do with my quota of nobility. I will have to help somebody, feed somebody, give shelter to somebody. People who use their quota in worshipping, praying, adoring religious figures and spiritual figures, in spite of that, if they are left with some nobility, hats off to them.

You may ask me, that if I have this kind of ideas about religious people, why should I show such reverence for Krishan and Kabir and Gautam? You can ask me. I’ll tell you why I respect them. These were the great contributors in the human civilization. They were born in different points of time in history, in different situations. But one thing is common in them. They stood up against injustice. They fought for the downtrodden. Whether it was Ravana, or Kansha or the pharaoh or the high priests or the British Samrajya in front of Gandhi – or the communal empire of Firoze Tughlaq in the times of Kabir, they stood against that.

And what surprises me, and confirms my worst feelings, that today, the enlightened people who know the cosmic truth, none of them stand up against the powers that be. None of them raises his voice against the ruling classes and the privileged classes. Charity, yes, when it is approved and cleared by the establishment and the powers that be. But I want to know which was that guru which took the dalits to those temples which are still closed to them. I want to know which was that guru who stood for the rights of the Adivasis against the thekedaars and contractors. I want to know which was that guru who spoke about the victims of Gujarat and went to their relief camps. They are human beings.

Sir…It is not enough to teach the rich how to breathe. It is the rich mans recreation. It is the hypocrites’ pretension. It is a mischievous deception. And you know that in the oxford dictionary, mischievous deception is a term that is used for a word, and that word is…HOAX.

Thank you.

 

Taken from http://www.javedakhtar.com/itc.htm

‘What’s worse’ and ‘Successor’

What’s worse?

A well-known politician greeted every disaster with the words, ‘It

could have been worse.’

One day, a friend said: ‘I came home and found my wife in bed with

Ramirez.’

Politician: ‘It could have been worse.’

‘So I shot them both.’

‘It could have been worse.’

‘How could it have been worse? I don’t understand.’

‘If you’d come a day earlier, you’d have found me there!’

 

Successor 

When Harold Wilson handed over the premiership to James

Callaghan, he is said to have left three envelopes in a drawer. They

were to be opened in turn, in times of disaster.

Opening the first envelope, after the first disaster, Callaghan read:

‘Blame your predecessor.’

After the second, he read: ‘Sack your assistant.’

After the third: ‘Prepare three envelopes

 

Taken from  ‘Janner’s complete speechmaker’ by Greville Janner

Camels on a housetop..

Once the noble Ibrahim, as he sat on his throne,

Heard a clamour and noise of cries on the roof,

Also heavy footsteps on the roof of his palace.

He said to himself, ‘Whose heavy feet are these?’

He shouted from the window, ‘Who goes there?’

The Guards, filled with confusion, bowed their heads, saying,

‘It is we going the rounds in search.’

He said, ‘What seek ye? ‘They said ‘Our camels.’

He said, ‘Whoever searched for camels on a housetop?’

They said, ‘We follow thy example,

Who seekest union with God, while sitting on a throne.’

 

by Jalal-Uddin Rumi

Contemplation of the one and lost in ecstasy

‘I died a mineral and became a plant,

I died a plant and rose an animal,

I died an animal and I was man.

Why would I fear? When was I less by dying?

Yet once more I shall die as man, to soar

With the blessed angels; but even from angelhood

I must pass on. All except God perishes.

When I have sacrificed my angel soul,

I shall become that which no mind ever conceived.

O, let me not exist! for Non-existence proclaims,

“To him we shall return.”‘

 

by Jalal-uddin Rumi

Bertrand Russell on errors of ‘some’ theory and associated feelings!

“In the marxist philosophy, as interpreted in Moscow, I found, as I believe, two enormous errors, one of theory and one of feeling. The error of theory consisted in believing that the only undesirable form of power over other human beings is economic power, and that economic power is co-extensive with ownership. In this theory other forms of power- military, political and propagandist- are ignored, and it was forgotten that the power of a large economic organisation is concentrated in a small executive, and not diffused among all the nominal owners or the shareholders. It was therefore supposed that exploitation and oppression must disappear if the state became the sole capitalist, and it was not realized that this will confer upon state officials all, and more than all, the powers of oppression formerly possessed by individual capitalists. 

The other error, which was concerned with feeling, consisted in supposing that a good state of affairs can be brought about by a movement of which the motive is hate. Those who had been inspired mainly by hatred of capitalists and landowners had accepted the habit of hating, and after achieving victory impelled to look for new objects of detestation.”

Taken from ‘Potraits from memory and other essays’ by Bertrand Russell

Losing proposition

The two friends finally picked out a girl from the dozen or so they had been shown. She cost forty-two rupees and they brought her to their place.

After spending the night with her, one of them asked her, ‘what is your name?’

When she told him, he was taken aback, ‘But we were told you were the other religion.’

‘They lied,’ she replied.

‘The bastards cheated us!’ he screamed as he ran to his friend, ‘selling us a girl from our own faith. Let’s go and return her!’

 

Taken from ‘Bitter Fruit-The very best of Saadat Hasan Manto,’ edited and translated by Khalid Hasan

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