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BRITISH IMPERIALISM TO INDIAN VVIPISM … if only George Orwell was alive.



british imperialism georgeorwell indian vvipism

    Novels and movies are the best mirror of times for they often spill the beans, whereas, history can be contrived and VVIPISM most certainly, imposed.

    Nothing has changed. In this scathing and zipping novel ‘Burmese Days’ written by George Orwell way back in 1934, Indians and Burmese are referred as niggers and beggars in some pages: and thus denied membership in a local European club in Upper Burma.

    To come to think of it, what has changed in India, even now? Earlier the Britishers used to keep Indians at an arm’s length, today the VVIP Indians do the same. For you still have special roads and parking areas, grand lounges, devoted policemen, z-class security and even muscle power for the VVIPS. The list doesn’t end there. For you also have several allowances in terms of free passes and tickets and subsidies only for the VIP race. The only difference is, we are not referred as niggers or beggars anymore but as Aam Aadmi.

    The book mentions that in British regime when an illiterate domestic servant used to misbehave he was sent to a prison with a chit—15 lashes. And today many VVIPs continue to do the same in the event of dissent.

    Perhaps, there was an opportunity for this great writer to write another book on India after the British Imperialism on Indian VVIPISM titled “Indian Days.’ But sad, he is no more.

    In the ‘QUOTE-UNQUOTE’ below there is peace 1 and peace 2 that tells the unkind ways in which many Britishers thought about Asians. But since 1934 Indians have moved on and so will the Aam Aadmi of India.


Peace 1

    “The old type of servant is disappearing,” agreed Mr. Macgregor. “In my young days, when one’s butler was disrespectful, one sent him along to the jail with a chit saying ‘Please give the bearer fifteen lashes’. Ah well, eheu gugaces! Those days are gone forever, I am afraid.”

    “Ah, you’re about right there,” said Westfield in his gloomy way. “This country’ll never be fit to live in again. British Raj is finished if you ask me. Lost Dominion and all that. Time we cleared out of it.”

    Whereat there was a murmur of agreement from everyone in the room, even from Flory, notoriously a Bolshie in his opinions, even from young Maxwell, who had been barely three years in the country. No Anglo-Indian will ever deny that India is going to the dogs, or ever has denied it—for India, like Punch, never was what it was.

    Ellis had meanwhile unpinned the offending notice from behind Mr. Macgregor’s back, and he now held it out to him, saying in his sour way:

    “Here, Macgregor, we’ve read this notice, and we all think this idea of electing a native to the club is absolute—–“ Ellis was going to have said ‘absolute balls’, but he remembered Mrs. Lackersteen’s presence and checked himself—“ is absolutely uncalled for. After all, this Club is a place where we come to enjoy ourselves, and we don’t want natives poking about in here. We like to think there’s still one place where we’re free of them. The others all agree with me absolutely.”

    He looked around at others. “Hear, hear!” said Mr. Lackersteen gruffly. He knew that his wife would guess that he had been drinking, and he felt that a display of sound sentiment would excuse him.

    Mr. Macgregor took the notice with a smile. He saw the ‘B.F.’ pencilled against his name, and privately he thought Ellis’s manner very disrespectful, but he turned the matter off with a joke. He took as great pains to be a good fellow at the Club as he did to keep up his dignity during office hours. “I gather,” he said, “that our friend Ellis does not welcome the society of—ah—his Aryan brother?”

    “No, I do not,” said Ellis tartly. “Nor my Mongolian brother, I don’t like niggers, to put it in one word.”

    Mr Macgregor stiffened at the word ‘nigger’, which is discountenanced in India. He had no prejudice against Orientals; indeed he was deeply fond of them. Provided they were given no freedom he thought them the most charming people alive. It always pained him to see them wantonly insulted.

    “Is it quite playing the game,” he said stiffly, “to call these people niggers—a term they very naturally resent—when they are obviously nothing of the kind? The Burmese are Mongolians, the Indians are Aryans or Dravidians, and all of them are quite distinct—-“

    “Oh, rot that!” said Ellis, who was not all awed by Mr. Macgregor’s official status. “Call them niggers or Aryans or what you like. What I’m saying is that we don’t want to see any black hides in this Club. If you put it to the vote you’ll find we’re against it to a man—unless Flory wants his dear pal Veraswami,” he added.

Peace 2

    “It’s all very well,” grumbled Ellis, with his forearms on the table, fidgeting with his glass. The dispute with Mr. Macgregor had made him restless again. “It’s all very well, but I stick to what I said. No natives in this Club! It’s by constantly giving way over small things like that that we’ve ruined the Empire. This country’s only rotten with sedition because we’ve been too soft with them. The only possible policy is to treat ‘em like the dirt they are. This is a critical moment, and we want every bit of prestige we can get. We’ve got to hang together and say, ‘We are the masters, and you beggars—‘ “ Ellis pressed his small thumb down as though flattening a grub—“ ‘you beggars keep your place!’”



By Kamlesh Tripathi




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Arvind Kejriwal had quit as Chief Minister of Delhi, just after 49 turbulent days of taking charge. Putting the blame of his Government’s demise on Congress and BJP, whom he accused of colluding to thwart Aam Aadmi Party’s efforts to get Jan Lokpal Bill approved. Even if the intention was noble, it backfired on him. As, now many call him an escapist or even a Bhagora.

He announced his resignation, screaming victimization, without realizing Delhi is a city of doers and achievers. Who don’t give up so easily even if it happens to be corruption. Therefore, he was found wanting in the skill of ‘power-struggle’ and a complete non-starter in managing a coalition- considered so vital in politics. So one can say, the speed with which he rose was fast, but the direction was wrong, and as they say direction is more important than speed, so he came crashing down. This brings us to an important analysis about Kejriwal himself.

Whether Kejriwal is a man for all seasons or only for the ideal season? Popularly referred as ‘Mufflerman’ juxtaposed to a common man. But mufflers are only seasonal, perhaps he did not realize this; else, he would have preferred himself to be called as a ‘Kurtaman’ implying –man for all seasons, even before the typecast kurtas of Narendra Modi made waves nationally.

That apart, his ostentatious resignation now becomes his own nemesis. Owing to his lack of political acumen, for which the public of Delhi should forgive him as he is not an outright politician. He came and he conquered but couldn’t hold on to his success- perhaps ill at ease. Today, he crowds the streets of Delhi to seek pardon for his self forced resignation from the public. But, whom all, will he try and convince about his noble intentions and who all will even believe in him.

For he blundered even further, by jumping into the general elections. Thereby opening another front before closing the important one at hand-Delhi. Perhaps, he didn’t believe in, one in hand. And this gave him a very untidy look in the shelf of politicians. Or, was it the case of him not being able to handle success. Which could be termed as an operational deficiency, or a case of simple greed. Trying to amass Pan-India political power in an abrupt fashion, even when he was both on the right side of age and providence. And defying his party colleagues at all stages exhibits the dictatorial streak in him.

Voters may have a short memory, but a voter doesn’t. So Kejriwal now needs to repackage his old distillery with some new wine. And the muffler-man needs to quell certain anxieties of his voters, and not remain in the muffler forever. Rather come out of it. In the next ten days he should assure the people of Delhi on the following points:

Because, unless he clarifies  he may not win the election.

  1. Will he form a coalition government? And if he forms, and becomes the Chief Minister, will he be tempted to resign again if his Party’s agenda is not supported by the coalition?
  2. Will he form a coalition government only if he becomes the CM or will he support a party in forming the government; and whether it will be blanket support or issue based.
  3. If he doesn’t get a majority what will his role be as an opposition party- Staging dharnas or pursuing issues of public interest, and which are those issues?
  4. If he sits in the opposition what are the key deliverables he would like to extract from the ruling party.