The Jewish culture has this very powerful saying, which many Jews especially repeat on a day called the holocaust memorial day: Never to forgive, never to forget. On face value, this statement might seem a bit extreme, especially the “never to forgive” part. Continue reading Patrice Lumumba-Never to forgive, never to forget
What’s this liberal media’s hullabaloo and condemnation of Donald Trump all about? And lo and behold , even political saints like David Cameron, Ben Carson, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and other angels and honest men in the media and intellectual culture, have combined to condemn poor old Trump. Actually, it’s quite hypocritical of mainstream media, intellectual culture and politicians to condemn Trump, when in fact they have laid the ground for someone like him to appear–in two ways:
What happened in Paris was heart-wrenching and tragic. My first reaction was intense anger at the monstrous perpetrators. Soon after, it was accompanied by an equally intense anger and sense of frustration at the western reactions that had already started coming in. As a Pakistani who has been living in Europe for some time, there was also bitter trepidation in anticipation of much worse reactions that would inevitably come in (as they did), surpassing the hypocritical reactions to the gruesome Charlie Hebdo attacks.
Maxim Gorky was arguably the most famous writer in the world at the turn of the 20th century. His novel Mother inspired millions of workers for generations. His play The Lower Depths, was among the first plays to detail the lives of the lower classes in a very realistic, unromantic manner. But Gorky is now more or less forgotten. How did this happen? A key to this lies in the answers to the following questions: Why did Gorky, who had severely criticized the October 1917 revolution, go back to Russia under the regime of Joseph Stalin? Why did the man who would publicly denounce such gifted men as Lenin and Trotsky, succumb to the guile of the much less gifted (and more ruthless) Stalin? Continue reading Gorky in the lower depths of mother Russia
Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen, coined the term “Rational Fools” nearly 35 years ago. In his famous paper, Sen criticized the first principle of economics: “Every agent is actuated by only self-interest”. On top of this axiom of rational self-interest lie rational action and rational expectations, leading all the way up to the efficiency of the markets. As mentioned in my earlier post on Galileo, this is basically how science is done: models are devised using abstractions and idealizations. However, if the model turns out to be totally meaningless in explaining the world, then those who stick with such a model are indeed fools, rational fools.
Here is a song that I wrote and animated on such ‘Rational Fools’:
Anton Chekhov revolutionized modern playwriting and short stories. And he is one my favorite writers. Thus, I remember being confused when I first read that Hemingway had said the following about him: “Chekhov wrote about 6 good stories. But he was an amateur writer”. I have never quite been able to understand why Hemingway called Chekhov an amateur. Whatever the truth of it, I now realize that its at least not an illogical statement, lest one feels that an ‘amateur’ couldn’t possibly redefine plays and short stories. There is another ‘amateur’ who also redefined his field and its a pity that he is largely unknown outside the South Asian sub-continent. That person is Dilip Kumar, Continue reading Dilip Kumar: The Chekhovian Amateur who redefined acting
It was a hot summer’s day. I remember standing in front of his cell in the Robben Island prison. He spent eighteen years of his life there. The cell was very small and a bucket had been provided to him for excrement. But this is not what moved me. What has stayed with me is the scorching limestone quarry. That limestone quarry on which Mandela and comrades would work under extreme conditions and which nearly cost him his eyesight. That Sisyphean limestone quarry on which day in and day out, simply for mental and physical torture, Mandela and other lovers of freedom and equality were made to toil away.
Mandela was a terrorist according to US law till as late as 2008. Indeed, he was a terrorist. He sent terror down the hearts of all those who deal in terms of power, who kill and torture by the millions, and who are supported by subservient ‘intellectuals’ and ‘educated’ people.
Mandela was an advocate for Palestinian liberation and of oppressed people everywhere. He was a living symbol of the fact that no struggle, however difficult it might appear, is in fact Sisyphean. And this perhaps will be his ever-lasting legacy: a shining testament to the human spirit’s capacity of overcoming any odds.
There will be rightful (in some cases hypocritical) mourning on the passing of the great great man. But even as we mourn, we must not forget the apartheid that continues in Palestine today. The last words belong to Mandela. He said, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”