Friday, January 30, 2009

Gopinath Kobiraj was close to Dilip Kumar Roy

Anurag Banerjee

Sri Anirvan (1896-1978) was a great yogi and man of immense learning. He was a linguist and proficient in the Vedas and Buddhism but he called himself a Baul and preached the ideal of humanity. In childhood he was blessed with the Darshan of the Divine Vedmata as a six year old whom he named Haimavati as in the Kena Upanishad. Since then she had been the main source of inspiration for him. He translated Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine into Bengali and penned masterpieces like Vedamimangsha (in three volumes) which earned him the Rabindra Puraskar, Gayatri Mandala (in six volumes), Upanishad Prashanga, Kaveri, Patralekha to name a few.

Gopinath Kobiraj (1887-1976) was a disciple of Swami Vishuddhananda Paramahansa. A brilliant scholar of Indian philosophy, he authored more than seventy books. Born in the district of Dacca, he had his early education in Jaipur and then in the Government Sanskrit College of Benaras under Dr. Arthur Venis who understood and recognized his pupil’s brilliance and offered him the post of the Librarian when he earned his M.A. degree in 1914. Eventually, he became the Principal of the College and renowned, not only a scholar, but also as an “explorer of the realms of consciousness.” He was close to Dilip Kumar Roy. His last years were spent in the Ashram of Anandamoyee Ma at Bhadini on the banks of the Ganges.

Khitish Chandra Sen was the Judge of Bombay High Court and also a poet and litterateur who had translated Rabindranath Tagore’s famous poem on Sri Aurobindo into English. He was introduced to Dilip Kumar by Shahid Suhrawardy.

Annadashankar Roy (1904-2002) was a noted poet, novelist and essayist of Bengal and his contributions to Bengali literature earned him the Padmabhushan, Rabindra Puraskar and Vidyasagar Puraskar. He was the Founder-President of Paschim Banga Bangla Academy and was also associated with PEN (international club of Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Editors and Novelists).

Kanailal Ganguly came to the Ashram in 1923 when he was twenty two years of age. He was the Ashram tailor.

Satyendranath Bose (1.1.1894-4.2.1974) was a Bengali physicist, specializing in mathematical physics. He was best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s and provided the foundation of Bose-Einstein statistics and the theory of BOSON. He also made deep study in chemistry, geology, biochemistry, zoology, anthropology and engineering. He was elected the General Prseident of Indian Science Congress in 1944 and Fellow of the Royal Society in 1958.

Atulprasad Sen (1871-1934) was a Bengali lyricist and composer who carved out a distinct style of his own in Bengali music. Dilip Kumar had popularized his songs.

Kazi Nazrul Islam (25.5.1899—29.8.1976) was a Bengali poet and musician whose poetry and songs revolutionized the Bengali literature and also earned him the title of ‘Bidrohi Kavi’ meaning the ‘Rebel Poet’. Born in a poor Muslim family, he enlisted himself in the Indian Army in 1917 and was posted to the Karachi cantonment where he penned his first prose and poetry. His first work in prose Baunduler Atmakahini (The Vagabond’s Autobiography) was published in May 1919 and his poem Mukti (Liberation) was published in Bangla Mussalman Sahitya Patrika (Bengal Muslim Literary Journal) in July 1919. He left the Army in 1920 and settled in Calcutta; in the same year he published his first novel Badhanhara (Free of bondage). On 12 August 1922 he started the bi-monthly magazine Dhumketu (The Comet). He was the first lyricist to compose ghazals in Bengali and in due course he wrote and set tune to almost 2600 songs. He was diagnosed with the Pick’s Disease which made him lose his voice and memory. He was shifted to Bangladesh where he was declared the ‘National Poet’, his song Amar Sonar Bangla became the national song of the country. Among the many awards and titles he received were Jagattarini Padak from the Calcutta University in 1945, Padmabhushan in 1960 and D. Litt by the University of Dhaka.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Brownian motion of this nebulous population of the city

From Aggregates to Assemblages
from Larval Subjects by larvalsubjects

The film The Mist can be read as depicting the morphogenesis of groups or as being a study of the process of groups-in-formation making the transition from the status of aggregates to the status of assemblages. At the beginning of the film you have people belonging to the same town but in such a way as to primarily be an aggregate. That is, any unity or One among these people is minimal and weak, consisting of being members of the same town without these members thinking of themselves as an assemblage or One. As the film progresses and the people trapped in the store encounter more and more of the creatures in the mist, polarities begin to form within the population. The process here could be analogized to one similar to the process an egg undergoes as the yoke gets progressively differentiated over the course of development.

Eventually fairly well defined assemblages are produced, consisting of secularists on the one side and the religious on the other side, as well as racial divides. These identities did not pre-exist the formation of the assemblages– or if they did it was only with a low degree of intensity. The people that side with the ultra-fundamentalist religious woman were not themselves ultra-fundamentalist at the beginning of the film. Likewise, the people that form the secularist assemblage were not significantly related to one another in any particular way. Rather, the identity that forms the aggregates instead emerges from out of the Brownian motion of this nebulous population of the city and reinforces itself as a One or Unity as it comes into being. 8:20 PM

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nothing has been more productive for my thought than my engagement with others on the net

Graham on Writing Productivity
from Larval Subjects by larvalsubjects

Graham has a terrific post up on how to write productively that is well worth the read for any struggling grad students or academics. While the entire post is great, I think a couple of his points are particularly valuable as they have to do with the psychology and sociology of writing. This latter dimension of writing might come as a surprise as we so often think of writing as a private affair, but just as science is a collective activity and scientists are the product of collective action (i.e., the idea of the lone scientist creating out of his sovereign genius is a myth), so too is it the case with writing. [...]

Productivity is sociological or collective in the sense that the more your reputation grows the more work you’re asked to do. Since the publication of Difference and Givenness and the rise of this blog, I have gotten more and more invitations to write articles and give presentations every year. It is not that I set out to write four or five articles a year, but rather people approach me asking if I would like to contribute to their project. Like an idiot I accept and then have to rush about doing all sorts of work to avoid [hopefully] disappointing those who have made the request. As a result of doing this work more opportunities emerge and things snowball from there. Productivity is not so much the result of a solitary individual as it is the result of a collective assemblage.

I’d like to close with two further remarks in relation to Graham’s post. First, the more you write the more you will write. This sounds like an idiotic tautology, but the point isn’t that if you write more you’ll write more. Rather, the point is that thought and writing grow It is very difficult to write a lot if you don’t write at all. However, if writing becomes a part of your daily routine, this writing will generate further concepts and ideas, which will, in turn, become the ground of yet other ideas. The activity of inscription allows thought to come into being. As you write the more you write the less painful this experience will become, the more your plant will grow.

Second, and above all, get involved! It astonishes me that there are so many graduate students and beginning academics that don’t blog or participate on the internet. I can appreciate the anxiety involved in approaching another academic out of the blue at a conference (say at the Smokers at the APA). However, with the net you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You can blog anonymously, thereby protecting yourself from the danger of your production hurting you professionally. However, through blogging and participating on blogs you also create the opportunity to develop all sorts of relations to other thinkers that create opportunities for you and which enhance your thought.

I have been participating on the net in one form or another for over ten years now and I can confidently say that nothing has been more productive for my thought and more valuable professionally than my engagement with others in this medium. Through encountering others whether on the old Deleuze list, the Lacan list, or on this blog I have constantly been placed in a position where I have to respond. In responding my thought refines itself and leads to other thoughts. Additionally I have landed all sorts of opportunities for publication and conferences. Blogging isn’t simply a pleasant diversion– indeed it’s often unpleasant –but a professional necessity. Don’t allow fear of the big Other to prevent you from getting involved with other academics.


Give writing the highest priority
What Stops you from Writing? Written by tejvan from Net Writing on July 21, 2007 9 Comments

Most bloggers know the importance of writing, but, to actually write as much as we would like can be difficult. It is not just about writing for our own blog; we should also try to occasionally write for other blogs or ezines. The more we can write, the more we can help our blog to grow. These are some of the common Stumbling blocks to writing and what we can do to overcome them:

1. Procrastination. Procrastination is easy on the internet. We have countless RSS feeds to read, forums to visit, blogs to comment on, youtube videos to watch…, the list is endless. If we are not careful hours can pass by and we haven’t actually achieved anything. If you find yourself procrastinating, you are not alone, but you do need to try and keep it under control.


Blog Rules

  • Rule#1 - Write regularly. I'll try to at least start a draft whenever I can and post right away.
  • Rule#2 - Be selective about what gets written.I don't expect I'd benefit from recording useless trivia.
  • Rule#3 - Read other blogs, and post comments. If I just wanted to keep a diary, I wouldn't do it on the internet. The thing that makes blogging so interesting is the whole aspect of interactivity. That's enough rules to start with.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Religion & American politics:
The Oprahfication of Obama posted by Kathryn Lofton
Obama is the post-polarization candidate and Oprah is a post-polarization celebrity.”Ross K. Baker, Rutgers University political scientist
I think Oprah is John the Baptist, leading the way for Obama to win.” Iowa caucus voter

First, you need a name. Not just any name. A weird name: a Biblical misspelling, maybe, or an invocation of some distant land. No matter what: the name needs an O.

The O will come in handy when you need to summon a common sphere, encourage chanting, or design a gentle logo. Never deny the utility of its replication, never avoid its allusion, and never miss a moment for its branding. An O is a space anyone can fill with anything. Posted in Religion & American politics

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Bharatanatyam Dance drama on the legend of Auroville

Auroville - Celebrating forty years
A Bharatanatyam Dance drama on the legend of Auroville
'Kaluveli Siddhar - Mahaleesar Puranam'
an Irumbai legend
Tuesday January 6th 8 p.m.
at the Sri Aurobindo Auditorium
performed by the students of
Sri Krishna Kumar Dance Academy
Johnny as Kaluveli Siddhar
story & lyrics: P.Murugesan, Kottakarai
Music Composition: Krishna Kumar
A u n i t y i n D i v e r s i t y p r o j e c t
s u p p o r t e d b y S t i c h t i n g d e Z a a i e r
posted by sundaravalli

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A string of cultural activities has been planned on January 1, 2009

JOIN US 20th Safdar Hashmi Memorial
1st January 2009, Thursday
1.30 pm onwards at Constition Club Lawns, Rafi Marg, Near Metro:Central Secretariat Patel Chowk

India TodayLATEST NEWS Fest to mark 20 years of SAHMAT
Twenty years is a milestone for any organisation. The end of 2008 marks the completion of 20 years of activities of the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT).
It was formed in January 1989, a few weeks after Safdar Hashmi was brutally murdered in Delhi. SAHMAT became a platform for artists, cultural activists and intellectuals to intervene in crucial political and cultural debates, through activities aimed at defending cultural spaces, opposing divisiveness in all forms and strengthening the bonds of artistic unity.
In the last 20 years, the members of SAHMAT have published books, presented plays and organised art exhibitions, held seminars and voiced concerns on important social issues. A string of cultural activities has been planned on January 1, 2009. They include Kabir Bani by Prahlad Singh Tipania from the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, the Manganiar repertoire of Rajasthani folk and Sufi music by Anwar Khan and Ghazi Khan Barana and Group, music performances by Rabbi Shergill, young Hindustani classical vocalist, Sunanda Sharma, Jasbir Jassi, Vidya Shah, Madangopal Singh, contemporary dance by Astad Deboo, a puppet play by Dadi Pudumjee and a performance by Maya Rao.
On January 8, you can participate in the Lecture by Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia University) on the possibilities of a radical alternative to standard liberal orthodoxies about democracy at Constitution Club. On January 15, don't miss the exhibition - Image Music Text. It maps the trajectory of the 20-year cultural journey of SAHMAT at M.F. Husain Gallery, Jamia Millia Islamia University.
The exhibition will showcase SAHMAT projects over the last 20 years like Artists Alert, Janotsav, Images and Words, Hum Sab Ayodhya, Postcards for Gandhi, Art on the Move, Ways of Resisting, The Making of India, Making History our Own, in the contexts of the times they were conceived.
Stage backdrops, videos, street banners, posters, mobile exhibitions and the books published by SAHMAT will be a part of the display. There will also be a series of lectures, performances and street plays during the month-long exhibition. The exhibition will be on view till February 14, 2009.