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5

A collection of interesting quotes by various people and from a wide range of sources ranging from books to speeches and even Twitter on occasion.
misty idyll forest ukraine
misty forest in Ukraine. Image: Balkhovitin

More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity. — Francois Gautier, French writer and journalist

So, my position is just that it would be immoral of me to preach violence to anybody unless I’m prepared to pick up arms myself. But I think it is equally immoral for me to preach nonviolence when I’m not bearing the brunt of the attack. — Arundhati RoyFebruary 2011 interview with Guernica

This cocktail of religious fundamentalism and a crazed, irresponsible, unaccountable media is becoming a very serious problem, in India as well as Pakistan. I don’t know what the solution is. Certainly not censorship! — Arundhati RoyFebruary 2011 interview with Guernica

Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. — Prof. Randy Pausch,Last lecture: Achieving your childhood dreams

What other people think of you is none of your business

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. — Martin Luther King Jr

You can imprison a man, but not an idea. You can exile a man, but not an idea. You can kill a man, but not an idea. — Benazir Bhutto

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty! — Che

You cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that caused the problem — Albert Einstein

Well, I would like to tell you the rat race is over. The rats have won. — P. SainathLecture: The Importance of Citizen Journalism

Growing insensitivity is often the baggage of deepening inequality. — P. SainathDregs Of Destiny

If we draw a baseline in the last Ice Age, everyone’s conditions have improved. — P. SainathDregs Of Destiny

Read the press on rural India. You’ll be struck by the fact that—in the press—the rural poor almost never speak. They invariably ‘lament’ or ‘plead’ or ‘cry’ or ‘beg’ for attention. Sometimes, they even ‘wail’ or ‘weep’. They rarely just ‘say’ things the way the rest of us do. Because we have decided that that is the way they are. — P. SainathDregs Of Destiny

How agonized we are over how people die. How untroubled we are by how they live. — P. Sainath,Globalizing Inequality

As famous last words, those rank along side the Tarzan’s “Who greased the grapevine?” — P. Sainath,Globalizing Inequality

Then there are the ideologically insane. The members of the sect have no interest in either farmers or agriculture. Only in upholding their Gospel.For them, farmers are dying because they have not been reached by free market reforms. If more of them keep dying after they are reached, it’s because the “reforms have not gone far enough.” It hangs a halo of righteousness around wanton ignorance. — P. Sainath

Always speak, write, live your highest truth. That is how you grow. And if you get lynched for it, at least you have that glow. — Vidyut

None of us can do curing. We are not medical people, we don’t deal with curing. And by the way, they can’t cure either. — Moshe Feldenkrais

No matter how ruthlessly you curb free expression, truth survives breathing in between those bruised lines. — A S Raghunath @asraghunath

The death of our civilization is no longer a theory or an academic possibility; it is the road we’re on — Peter Goldmar

i like my people like i like my coffee ~ rare beans in broken cups — Angad Chowdhry @angadc

MEDIA is a crime scene – ALWAYS take screenshots — @barbarindian

Individual victims get vilified and denied justice in a macabre tug-of-war when elephants fight comprehensive battles in the courtyards of puny mortals. — Vidyut

The opposite of consumption is not frugality, it’s generosity. — Raj Patel

When the man moves on, the woman is the slut. — Vidyut

“media objectivity” seems like a fictional concept, like the Yeti. — Srikanth R,https://twitter.com/_R_Srikanth/status/156806745061203968

Democracy runs on public debate — Subramanian Swamy

With a sudden gush of mist winter arrives, streetlights ogle with sodium eyes — Madhavan Narayanan

In a democracy if two people agree on everything then one of them is redundant. So we have to learn to agree to disagree. — Subramanian Swamy@Swamy39

You see her body. I see her courage. You see her morality. I see her priorities. — Madhavan Narayanan,@madversity https://twitter.com/madversity/statuses/138134884668542976

Man is the creature who does not know what to desire, and he turns to others in order to make up his mind. We desire what others desire because we imitate their desires. — Re

Man is the creature who does not know what to desire, and he turns to others in order to make up his mind. We desire what others desire because we imitate their desires. — Rene GirardViolent Origins

My soul would have no rainbow, if my eyes had no tears — Aisha ChaudharyThe INK Conference

My suspicion is that we as a society didn’t want any change, and didn’t have the guts to refuse to change. So we put in systems that wouldn’t work. — Vidyut

Violence in the home normalizes violence in the street and in foreign policy. — Gloria SteinemGloria Steinem on Rape in War, Its Causes, and How to Stop It

It’s been said that the woman a man most fears is the woman within himself. Men are punished by being cut off from human qualities denied to them as “feminine.” — Gloria SteinemGloria Steinem on Rape in War, Its Causes, and How to Stop It

Because we genderize the study of childrearing as “feminine” and the study of conflict and foreign policy as “masculine,” we rarely see that the first causes the second. — Gloria SteinemGloria Steinem on Rape in War, Its Causes, and How to Stop It

No society is beyond reproach or beyond repair. — Gloria SteinemGloria Steinem on Rape in War, Its Causes, and How to Stop It

We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will. — Whitney Houston

There are always alternatives. We like to pretend there are none, so that we can blame someone for our inaction. — Vidyut

Nations are composed of societies. Societies are made up of families. Families consist of people. The human being thus becomes the determining unit of life. — Vijay SimhaA Nation without mentorshttp://tehelka.com/story_main50.asp?filename=Ws060711VSinsideout.asp

The one function that TV news performs very well is that when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if there were. — David Brinkley

There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it — Bertrand Russell

If you can conceive of morality without god, why can you not conceive of society without government? — Peter Saint-André

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. — Albert Einstein

Man is certainly stark mad: he cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen. — Michel de Montaigne

Civil disobedience, that’s not our problem. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem. — Howard Zinn

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich, as well as the poor, to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. — Anatole France

When you philosophically oppose an entire power elite, you cannot help but sound like a conspiracy theorist. Social power is by nature a conspiracy. — Tom N

Our world is faced with a crisis that has never before been envisaged in its whole existence… The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift towards unparalleled catastrophe. — Albert EinsteinBulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May, 1946

To reach a port, we must sail – sail, not tie at anchor – sail, not drift. — Franklin D Roosevelt

The job of the editorial writer is to go down into the valley after the battle is over and shoot the wounded.— Murray KemptonNew Republic

Opinions founded on prejudice are always sustained with the greatest of violence. — Francis Jeffrey

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. — Isaac AsimovSalvor Hardin in “Foundation”

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. — John F. KennedyIn a speech at the White House, 1962

There are always survivors at a massacre. Among the victors, if nowhere else. — Lois McMaster Bujold,Ethan of Athos, 1986

A “reality” that is unjust needs to be changed, not accepted. It should be no one’s fate to be taking abuse and giving care. — Vidyut

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. — John Lennon

Everybody pities the weak. Jealousy you have to earn. — Arnold Schwarznegger

I have been in a heterosexual world all my life and I have not been influenced by heterosexuality, how do heterosexuals get influenced by my sexuality so easily? — Harish Iyer

Never mind that the British decriminalised homosexuality 46 years ago, we’ve still stuck with their ancient law with the dogged enthusiasm of an engineer on his fourteenth IIT attempt. On the bright side, the corollary to that is that it must also mean that it’s still okay to call Mumbai Bombay. — Rohan Joshi,http://www.mid-day.com/columnists/2013/dec/141213-idiot-penal-code.htm

I measure the progress of a community by the degree of freedom which women have achieved. — Babasaheb Ambedkar

Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self. — Babasaheb Ambedkar

History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict, victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them. — Babasaheb Ambedkar

I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity. — Babasaheb Ambedkar

Indians today are governed by two different ideologies. Their political ideal set in the preamble of the Constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion denies them. — Babasaheb Ambedkar

If I find the constitution being misused, I shall be the first to burn it. — Babasaheb Ambedkar

 

On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality.

In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value.

In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value.

How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions?

How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life?

If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up.

— Babasaheb Ambedkar 

I do not want that our loyalty as Indians should be in the slightest way affected by any competitive loyalty whether that loyalty arises out of our religion, out of our culture or out of our language.
I want all people to be Indians first, Indian last and nothing else but Indians.
 — Babasaheb Ambedkar

 

In the Hindu religion, one can[not] have freedom of speech. A Hindu must surrender his freedom of speech. He must act according to the Vedas. If the Vedas do not support the actions, instructions must be sought from the Smritis, and if the Smritis fail to provide any such instructions, he must follow in the footsteps of the great men.
He is not supposed to reason. Hence, so long as you are in the Hindu religion, you cannot expect to have freedom of thought.

— Babasaheb Ambedkar 

Lost rights are never regained by appeals to the conscience of the usurpers,
but by relentless struggle…. Goats are used for sacrificial offerings and not lions.
 — Babasaheb Ambedkar

Free speech includes freedom to talk randomly and sound knowledgeable while being clueless. There’s a whole tribe that specialises in this. — Madhavan Narayanan

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Update: After getting praise mails that I am, as a journalist encouraging war, I need to state specifically that I am NOT a journalist, and my knowledge of politics is minimal. What I am is a concerned and distraught citizen. My posts are not informed political opinions or advice about policy, but thoughts that cross my mind as I follow this crisis. I am against war and violence. I even feel pity for the poor captured terrorist for that matter. This is only a perspective and reaction about the threat of a nuclear war from Pakistan. This threat is actually explained by recent news about a hoax call that led to the Pakistani government thinking India was about to attack them. More than that, any comments like "kill the Pakistanis" will immediately be deleted, as I have no wish to encourage the circulation of such views. So, if you find that the comment you posted has been deleted, that's me in action. If hostile comments recur, I will delete this post. This post is about the Indian attitude toward the threat of nuclear war and what at that time seemed an insane attitude to me and not about hatred for Pakistan.

Current worry is that Pakistan is apparently never in the wrong, even as many Pakistanis raise questions about the ISI in their daily lives. Strange that the average Pakistani believes that their ISI can sabotage their own country but no other. Strange kind of organization to have, no? But I don't think logic has anything to do with the Pakistani response at the moment.

As for the Pakistani government not being involved, no one believes that. I doubt if the Pakistani government was ever directly involved with happenings in India. I doubt if it ever was in the loop. For that matter, the government was clueless about the Kargil conflict. Doesn't mean it didn't happen.

It is transparent that Pakistan WANTS the excuse of war with India to escape from its "coerced commitment" to the war against terror on the Afgan front. So I don't really think any actionable cooperation is ever going to come from there beyond demands of proof. Even if Zardari wants to cooperate, I doubt if he has the power to do so, when the army has another agenda. He is the sitting duck for pressure from his own country, the army, US, India, world opinion...... with no real power to do anything, because doing anything on this front will mean hurting the unofficial ISI weapon against India, which the ISI will not allow and I don't see how Zardari can make them, even if he wants to, even if he accepts that LeT are the culprits, even if he commits to getting rid of them.

A country that disowns terrorists as non-state actors (after first denying their existence) is willing to go to war over protecting them - anyone else find that incongruent?

Meanwhile, India is pissed and frustrated that its proof is dismissed and proofs are demanded. Terrorists wanted for causing harm in India are not to be given over. Pakistan speaks of strikes being seen as acts of war, and nukes are laid out on the table straight off. For someone cooperating, its a strange attitude of denials, refusals and threats.

Meanwhile, US and the rest of the world is shitting bricks at the thought of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan, and doing all it can to prevent it.

What I literally see is a world held hostage to Pakistan. No one is convinced of their innocence, but no one also wants to provoke them because they have *melodramatic shudder* nukes, you know?

Pakistan is not the only country in the world to have nukes, but it is the only country to act against the interests of the world and then threaten to use nukes if it thinks there will be retaliation.

For that matter, it does the same with its own people. The threat is not nukes, but its own extremist and army agendas of power to control that hold the common man hostage with threats of physical harm. For example, in this current scenario, what the Pakistani common man thinks is as irrelevant as what Zardari thinks. The situation hinges on the army deserting the war on terror and threatening nukes and the militants talking of defending the country they were relentlessly destroying, which incidently were both irrelevant to the talks happening between the governments.

Perhaps I'm direct, but this is how I see it.

As long as the Kashmir issue is resolved, India and Pakistan will never be truly at peace. Pakistan has nukes and doesn't even consider an option of no-first-strike as a part of its "defence", so that problem is unlikely to be over, ever. For that matter, I don't even think Pakistan really wants Kashmir resolved, because that will take away their reason for acting on their hatred of India.

From how I understand, Pakistan sees nukes as any other weapon, and one of the most powerful in its arsenal. Its not particularly bothered about the damage it will cause to India, because that is the whole idea in any case. It counts on this attitude to be a deterrent in itself, with the entire world pressurizing India to avoid war, because they sure as hell know that there will be no reasoning with Pakistan.

My approach to this is different. Much as I hate violence, and my dream of a good world includes armies dismantled because they become redundant, I hate being held hostage by bullies even worse. I am aware that I could be one of the casualties if Pakistan makes a nuclear attack, and one of the more likely ones by virtue of living in Mumbai. Yet, I do think what India and the world needs to do at this moment is a nuclear war. Pakistan needs to go to the stone age before it can become a civilization.

I thought long and deep over it, considered my abhorrence of violence, the situation with Pakistan...... a whole load of things. I know it will be terrible thing. It will harm Indian economy, lives, morale, and cause a whole load of pain.

Yet, as I consider:

  • Pakistan is never ever going to stop harming India directly or indirectly.
  • Even if the LeT is finished, the reason for its creation is still there, and it is only a matter of time before it is resurrected or something else created to fulfill that need.
  • Pakistan has nukes and will continue to have them till they are destroyed or used. 50 years from now, we will still be bearing attrocities exported from that country because it has nukes. It will still be operating without a conscience, because it believes that its irresponsible attitude toward human lives will continue to protect it from those who value them.
  • India is a strong country. It will be devastated, but it will regenerate. Hopefully, it will regenerate without the hanging sword of Pakistani nukes over its head. I may die, but the future of hundreds will be safer from threat.

It is with a heavy heart, and against my instincts that I admit that a nuclear war between India and Pakistan is what India and the world needs, provided that we are able to work together and take out their nukes completely.

Rather than cringe and tolerate endlessly that which has no intention of ever going away, we need to face it and conquer it. If we pay a price, it is the price of a future of not being held hostage and harmed.

What is needed is for Pakistan to be conquered, and reorganized under a stable country (preferrably not India) and led to prosperity. It needs to find a future in creation rather than vengeance for perceived attrocities. It needs hope and well being.

The other option is to sit and do nothing. Ignore the attack completely, strengthen internal security, hang the terrorist and leave Pakistan alone to collapse under its own weight or in the "war against terror".