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GEORGE ORWELL

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    Eric Arthur Blair, lifespan (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950) was better known by his pen name George Orwell. He was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and a critic. His work is prominent by his lucid prose, his fancy for social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support for democratic socialism.   Very few would know that George Orwell was born in Motihari, Bihar, under British India.

     As a writer, George produced literary criticism, poetry, fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for his allegorical novella Animal Farm (written in 1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (written in 1949). His non-fiction works include, The Road to Wigan Pier (written in 1937), documenting his experience of the working-class life, in the north of England, and his homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences, soldiering for the Republican faction, of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), are as critically respected, as his essay on politics, literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked George Orwell second among “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. The book I liked the most out of George’s stable was the Burmese Days written in the backdrop of Burma during the British Raj. Since the book centrally is, anti-British, and publicises his opposition to totalitarianism it didn’t get the prominence it deserved. 

    Orwell’s work continues to remain influential and popular in various political and social cultures. The adjective “Orwellian” –describing totalitarian, and authoritarian, social practices – is part of the English language, like many of his, other neologisms, such as “Big Brother”, “Thought Police”, and “Hate week”, “Room 101”, the “memory hole”, “Newspeak”, “doublethink”, “proles”, “unperson” and “thoughtcrime”.

    George Orwell described his family as ‘lower-upper-middle class.’ His father, Richard Walmesley Blair, worked in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service. His mother, Ida Mabel Blair, grew up in Moulmein, Burma, where her French father was involved in speculative ventures. George had two sisters: Marjorie, five years older; and Avril, five years younger. When George was one year old, his mother took him and Marjorie to England. His birthplace and ancestral house in Motihari have been declared a protected monument of historical importance.

    In 1904 Ida Blair settled with her children at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. George was brought up in the company of his mother and sisters, and apart from a brief visit in mid-1907, the family did not see their husband or father, Richard Blair, until 1912. His mother’s diary from 1905 describes a lively round of social activity and artistic interests.

    Before the First World War, the family moved to Shiplake, Oxfordshire where Orwell became friendly with the Buddicom family, especially their daughter Jacintha. When they first met, he was standing on his head in a field. On being asked why, he replied, “You are noticed more if you stand on your head than if you are right way up.” Jacintha and Orwell read and wrote poetry, and dreamed of becoming famous writers.

    At the age of five, George was sent as a day-boy to a convent school in Henley-on-Thames, which Marjorie also attended. It was a Roman Catholic convent run by French Ursuline nuns, who had been exiled from France after religious education was banned in 1903. His mother wanted him to have a public school education, but his family could not afford the fee, and he needed to earn a scholarship. Ida Blair’s brother Charles Limouzin recommended St Cyprian’s school, Eastbourne, East Sussex.   

    He later took up a place at Wellington, where he spent the Spring Term. In May 1917 a place became available at King’s Scholar at Eton. George remained at Eton until December 1921, when he left midway between his 18th and 19th birthday. Wellington was “beastly”, George told his childhood friend Jacintha Buddicom, and he was “interested and happy” at Eton. George was briefly taught French even by Aldous Huxley. 

    George’s academic reports suggest that he neglected his academic studies, but during his time at Eton he worked with Roger Mynors to produce a college magazine. His parents could not afford to send him to a university without another scholarship, and they concluded from his poor results that he would not be able to win one. Steven Runciman a friend noted that he had a romantic idea about the East and the family decided that George should join the Imperial Police, the precursor of the Indian Police Service. For this he had to pass an entrance examination. In December 1921 he left Eton and travelled to join his retired father, mother, and younger sister Avril, who that month had moved to 40 Stradbroke Road, Southwold, Suffolk, the first of their four homes in the town. George was enrolled at a crammer there called Craighurst, and brushed up on his Classics, English, and History. He passed the entrance exam, coming seventh out of the 26 candidates who exceeded the pass mark.

    George’s maternal grandmother lived at Moulmein, Burma, so he chose a posting in Burma, which was then a province of British India. In October 1922 he sailed on board SS Hereforshire via the Suez Canal and Ceylon to join the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. A month later, he arrived at Rangoon and travelled to the police training school in Mandalay. He was appointed as Assistant District Superintendent (on probation) on 29 November 1922 with effect from 27 November and at a base salary of Rs 325 per month, with an overseas supplement of Rs 125/month and a Burma Allowance of Rs 75/month (a total of Rs 525). After a short posting at Maymyo, Burma’s principal hill station, he was posted to the frontier outpost of Myaungmya in the Irrawaddy Delta at the beginning of 1924.

     In April 1926 he moved to Moulmein, where his maternal grandmother lived. At the end of that year, he was assigned to Katha in Upper Burma, where he contracted dengue fever in 1927. Entitled to a leave in England that year, he was allowed to return in July due to his illness. While on leave in England and on holiday with his family in Cornwall in September 1927, he reappraised his life. Deciding against returning to Burma, he resigned from the Indian Imperial Police to become a writer, with effect from 12 March 1928 after five-and-a-half years of service. He drew on his experiences in the Burma police for the novel Burmese Days (which he wrote in the year 1934) and the essays “A hanging” (in 1931) and “Shooting an Elephant” (in 1936). In England, he settled back in the family home at Southwold, renewing acquaintance with local friends and attending an Old Etonian dinner. He visited his old tutor Gow at Cambridge for advice on becoming a writer. In 1927 he moved to London. In early 1928 he moved to Paris. In December 1929, after nearly two years in Paris, George returned to England and went directly to his parents’ house in Southwold, a coastal town in Suffolk, which remained his base for the next five years. 

    In April 1932 George Orwell became a teacher at The Hawthorns High School, a school for boys, in Hayes, West London. This was a small school offering private schooling for children of local tradesmen and shopkeepers, and had only 14 or 16 boys aged between ten and sixteen, and one other school master. While at the school he became friendly with the curate of a local parish church and became involved with activities there. There he joins hands in the publishing of ‘A Scullion’s Diary for forty pounds advance.

    At the end of the summer term in 1932, Blair returns to Southwold, where his parents had used a legacy to buy their own home. Blair and his sister Avril spend the holidays making the house habitable while he also works on his novel ‘Burmese Days.’ He was also spending time with Eleanor Jacques, but her attachment with Dennis Collings remained an obstacle to his hopes of a more serious relationship. He later takes up a job in Hampstead to sell second hand books.

    George Orwell sets out for Spain on about 23 December 1936, dining with Henry Miller in Paris on the way. He returns to England in June 1937, and stays at the O’Shaughnessy home at Greenwich. He finds his views on the Spanish Civil War out of favour. Publishers reject two of his works.

    He later publishes Animal Farm in 1945 and 1984 in the year 1949. Orwell was an atheist who identified himself with the humanist outlook on life.

    It is sad when you discover many of these iconic writers of the past have seen very bad times financially, yet they still shine like bright stars.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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INTERESTING FACTS & QUOTES EPISODE-23

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Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was a famous English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. He was born in Motihari, Bihar, India on 25th June 1903 of all the places.

Very few are lucky to be a Mozart the world famous composer of classical era who found passion for music at the age of three. The way to tell you’ve found a passionate work is when it doesn’t feel like work.

 Around 30% Americans get less than seven hours of sleep per night, and among single mothers, this rises up to 47%.

 India is one of the world’s most flood prone countries with 113 million (11 crore) people exposed to floods. According to a UN report India’s average annual economic loss due to disasters is estimated to be around $9.8 billion, out of which more than $7billion loss is due to floods.

 Talisman is an object, typically, an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers, and brings good luck.

 In a country with a median age of below 30, where, a million people enter the work force every month, sudden demonetizing can be devastating.

 Even after a full scale up, a fully, financially, digitized economy, like Sweden, still conducts, about 20% of its money transaction in cash.

England: Running a palace is becoming tougher and tougher. It seems that London’s Buckingham Palace is in urgent need of essential repairs, mainly in the plumbing department.     However, a number of British taxpayers—over 85,000 of them, who have signed a petition to that effect- are reluctant to foot  the bill for the job.

 Drawbridge—is a bridge that can be lifted so that ships can pass.

 For far too long, emerging economies such as India have been at the mercy of a supplier’s cartel. It’s therefore time now to change the rules of the game—this is especially in the context of oil.

 China and India are the second and third largest oil importers respectively. When they negotiate together their combined influence in the oil market will help them get a good deal. But will it ever happen?

 The global market of merchandise exports today is approximately $15 trillion. Share of India in these exports is only 1.6% compared to that of 12% of China.

 References to Bihar regions like Magadha, Mithila and Vaishali can be found in ancient texts and epics. The world’s first known republic was established in Vaishali in 6th century BC.

The ‘Umbrella Movement’ was a political movement that emerged during the Hong Kong democracy protests of 2014. Its name arose from the use of umbrellas as a tool for passive resistance to the Hong Kong Police’s use of pepper spray to disperse the crowd during a 79-day occupation of the city demanding more transparent elections, which was sparked by the decision of the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress (NPCSC) on 31 August, 2014 that prescribed a selective pre-screening of candidates for the 2017 election of Hong Kong’s chief executive.

 Soil and water are not commodities, but life-making material.

The element composition of the human body is 72% water and 12% earth.

 Since most of our rivers are forest fed, the best way to resuscitate them is with more vegetation. But the organic content of soil has fallen drastically and the rapid pace of desertification is alarming.

 Soil depletion in this country is so acute that nearly 25% of the Indian agricultural land will not be cultivable in the next 3-5 years.

 In 40 years time, it is estimated that over 60% of our land will be uncultivable.

 The only way to increase organic content of our soil is through tree cultivation and animal waste. If we destroy that our capability to generate food, will be heading towards a disaster.

 Due to lack of vegetation and indiscriminate urban expansion, we are witnessing alarming cycles of food and drought. In the last 12 years, nearly three lakh farmers have committed suicide.

  There are many reforms that India could carry out to become more competitive in manufacturing. These would involve changing its cumbersome labour laws, cutting corporate taxes to levels seen in East Asian countries and improving the transportation networks.

 Bullet train in India is likely to cost $17 billion which is a third of India’s annual defence budget.

India was famous for having many sick industries but no sick industrialist. But I guess the trend is changing now with Mallaya and Nirav Modi in spotlight in the U.K.

 Bengaluru, once a city of 2,500 lakes, boasted of an efficient storm water drainage system of interconnected lakes. If one lake overflowed water would automatically flow into another lake. But with increasing encroachment and solid wastes blocking the channels, floodwater cannot flow to the next water body. Drawing similarities are Hyderabad that has reported extinction of 375 lakes, and Delhi where 274 of 611 water bodies have dried up due to neglect and exploitation.

Not a single Indian city has drainage system that can promptly evacuate intense monsoon rainfalls that occur over short time periods.

 A large part of BMC (Bombay Muncipal Corporation) revenue amounting to Rs 61,000 crore is locked up in fixed deposits and are not being deployed for civic amenities.

 Almost all Indian cities are water-scarce in dry seasons and prone to severe flooding during monsoons. Cities like Delhi, that witness floods every monsoon, are also, some of the most water-stressed cities of the world.

Singapore, a monsoon country, has for the most part, solved urban drainage and water scarcity problems by installing a proper functional drainage system and collection of rainwater harvest.

 When a poor man gets government money, it’s called subsidy, when a rich man gets it, it’s called incentive.

 GST replaced 17 state and central taxes to make India one common market.

 Vidur the royal counsellor in Mahabharat, tells the king that he should sacrifice a person for the sake of a village and a village for the sake of a nation.

 The National Mental Health Survey 2016 published by NIMHANS recently showed that 13.7% of Indians are likely to have some mental illness during their lifetime.

INTERESTING QUOTES & LINES.

 The worst form of democracy is a million times better than an ideal form of dictatorship.

 Muslims are Islam’s biggest enemy—says Hasan Suroor, London based journalist.

 All labour is precious but some are more precious than others: “Believe me, the man who earns his bread by the sweat of his brow, eats oftener a sweetener morsel, however coarse, than he who procures it by the labour of his brains—Washington Irving, American author.

 Buddha said that the past is—already gone and the future is not yet here; there is only one moment when you can be fully alive, and that is the present moment.

 If one’s mind is agitated, one’s breathing will not be calm.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS-episode 9

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TEN INTERESTING QUOTES

He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend—provided of course he really is dead—French philosopher Voltaire

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If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine—Jim Barksdale

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The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones—John Maynard Keynes

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 Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past—George Orwell

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As the Americans say, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me-

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Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age—Victor Hugo

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We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.’ American author Rick Warren

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Personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures—F Scott Fitzgerald

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The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement—Navjot Singh Siddhu

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You cannot police a community without effectively working with the community-Willam Bratton

***

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK CORNER VIDEO: ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

 

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK CORNER: THE ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell

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Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

ANIMAL FARM

By George Orwell

      Animal Farm is an allegorical novella of a hundred and twelve pages by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist himself was a critic of Joseph Stalin and was hostile to Moscow-directed Stalin-ism, an attitude that was critically shaped by his experiences during the Spanish Civil War. Soviet Union, he believed, had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror.

    In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as a satirical tale against Stalin. In his essay ‘Why I Write’ (1946), he wrote, Animal Farm was the first book in which he tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, “to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole.”

    The original title was Animal Farm: A Fairy Story. But the U.S. publishers dropped the subtitle when it was published in 1946. Only one of the translations during Orwell’s lifetime kept it. Other titular variations included subtitles like “A Satire” and “A Contemporary Satire.”

    Orwell wrote the book between November 1943 and February 1944, when the UK was in its wartime alliance with the Soviet Union. Then the British people and intelligentsia held Stalin in high esteem, a phenomenon Orwell hated. The manuscript was initially rejected by a number of British and American publishers, including one of Orwell’s own, Victor Gollancz, which delayed its publication. It became a great commercial success when it did appear partly because international relations were transformed as the wartime alliance gave way to the Cold War.

    Time magazine chose the book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005). It also featured at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels. It won a retrospective Hugo Award in 1996 and is included in the Great Books of the Western World selection.

PLOT

    Old Major, the old boar on the Manor Farm, summons the animals on the farm together for a meeting, during which he refers to humans as “enemies” and teaches the animals a revolutionary song called “Beasts of England.”

    But when Major dies, two young pigs, Snowball and Napolean, assume command and consider it a duty to prepare for the Rebellion. The animals revolt driving the drunken, irresponsible farmer Mr Jones, as well as Mrs Jones and the other human caretakers and employees, off the farm, renaming it “Animal Farm”. They adopt the Seven Commandments of Animalism, the most important being, “All animals are equal”. The decree is painted in large letters on one side of the barn.

    Snowball teaches the animals to read and write, while Napoleon educates young puppies on the principles of Animalism. Food is plentiful, and the farm runs smoothly. The pigs elevate themselves to positions of leadership and set aside special food items, ostensibly for their personal health.

    Sometime later, several men attack Animal Farm. Jones and his men are making an attempt to recapture the farm, aided by several other farmers who are terrified of similar animal revolts. Snowball and the animals, who are hiding in ambush, defeat the men by launching a surprise attack as soon as they enter the farmyard. Snowball’s popularity soars with this, and the event is proclaimed as “The Battle of the Cowshed”. It is celebrated annually with the firing of a gun, on the anniversary of the Rebellion. Napoleon and Snowball vie for pre-eminence now. When Snowball announces his plans to modernize the farm by building a windmill. Napoleon has his dogs chase Snowball away from the farm and declares himself as the leader.

    Napoleon enacts changes to the governance structure of the farm, replacing meetings with a committee of pigs who will run the farm. Through a young pig named Squealer, Napoleon claims credit for the windmill idea. The animals work harder with the promise of easier lives with the windmill. When the animals find the windmill collapsed after a violent storm, Napoleon and Squealer convince the animals that Snowball is trying to sabotage their project.

    Once Snowball becomes a scapegoat, Napoleon begins to purge the farm with his dogs, killing animals he accuses of consorting with his old rival. When some animals recall the Battle of the Cowshed, Napoleon (who was nowhere to be found during the battle) frequently smears Snowball as a collaborator of Farmer Jones, while falsely representing himself as the hero of the battle. “Beasts of England” is replaced with an anthem glorifying Napoleon, who appears to be adopting the lifestyle of a man. The animals remain convinced that they are better off than they were under Mr. Jones.

    Mr Frederick, a neighbouring farmer, attacks the farm, using blasting powder to blow up the restored windmill. Although the animals win the battle, they do so at a great cost, as many, including Boxer, the workhorse, are wounded.

    Despite his injuries, Boxer continues working harder and harder, until he collapses while working on the windmill. Napoleon sends for a van to purportedly take Boxer to a veterinary surgeon, explaining that better care can only be given there. Benjamin, the cynical donkey who “could read as well as any pig, notices that the van belongs to a knacker and attempts a futile rescue. Squealer quickly assures the animals that the van had been purchased from the knacker by an animal hospital, and that the previous owner’s signboard had not been repainted.

    In a subsequent report, Squealer reports sadly to the animals that Boxer died peacefully at the animal hospital. The pigs hold a festival one day after Boxer’s death to further praise the glories of Animal Farm and have the animals work harder by taking on Boxer’s ways.

    However, the truth is that Napoleon had engineered the sale of Boxer to the knacker, allowing Napoleon and his inner circle to acquire money to buy whisky for themselves. (In 1940s England, one way for farms to make money was to sell large animals to a knacker, who would kill the animal and boil its remains into animal glue)

    Years pass, the windmill is rebuilt, and another one is also constructed, which gives the farm a good amount of income. However, the ideals which Snowball propagated, including stalls with electric lighting, heating, and running water are all forgotten, with Napoleon advocating that the happiest animals live simple lives. Apart from Boxer, many of the animals who had participated in the Rebellion are now dead or old. Farmer Jones, having moved away after giving up on reclaiming his farm, has also died.

    The pigs start to resemble humans, as they walk upright, carrying whips, they drink alcohol and wear clothes. The Seven Commandments are abridged to just two phrases: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” and “Four legs good, two legs better.”

    Napoleon holds a dinner party for the pigs and local farmers, with whom he celebrates a new alliance. He abolishes the practice of the revolutionary traditions and restores the name “The Manor Farm”. When the animals outside look at the pigs and men, they can no longer distinguish between the two.

Synopsis posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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Burmese days–by George Orwell

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Khidki (Window)

The Burmese Days … By George Orwell

–Read India read–

–Books are like docile stack of papers. But when you start turning the pages. They become a gripping world of their own–

    I have always believed that books and movies are the best mirrors of their times for they often spill the beans. If you want to visit Burma of the 1930s read this book. It gives you a good flavour of how the Britishers behaved during those times. It also sensitises you about how a handful of Indians sustained themselves between the heft of the British Imperialism and the spread of the local Burmese population. And of course how, the Burmese society managed under the stubborn aristocracy of the misbehaved system.

    In this scathing and zipping novel written 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. (George Orwell thus spills the beans).

    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.

    Background: From 1922 to 1927 Orwell spent five years as a police officer in the Indian Imperial Police force in Burma (now Myanmar). Burma had become part of the British Empire during the 19th century as an adjunct of British India. The British colonised Burma in stages.  Only in 1885 when they captured the royal capital of Mandalay Burma was declared as part of the British Empire. Many people don’t know that Burma was the wealthiest country in Southeast Asia under the British rule. Therefore many workers from India and China supplemented the Burmese population. As a colony it was very much seen as a backwater.

MAIN CHARACTERS:

        James Flory: is referred as ‘Flory’ in the novel. He is the central character. A timber merchant in his mid-thirties. Blessed or disgraced with a dark blue birthmark that stretches from his eye to the side of his mouth on his left cheek. He therefore avoids flaunting the left side of his face to people. He is friendly to an Indian doctor by the name of Veraswami. He likes and even appreciates the Burmese culture. This brings him into a conflict with the members of the local club. Who, do not appreciate his radical views.

        Elizabeth Lackersteen: An unmarried English girl who has lost both her parents and comes to stay with her remaining relatives, the Lackersteens, in Burma. Before her flighty mother died, they had lived together in Paris. Her mother fancied herself an artist, and Elizabeth grew to hate the Bohemian lifestyle and cultural connections. Elizabeth is 22, ‘tallish for a girl, slender.” Throughout the novel, she seeks to marry a man because her aunt keeps pressuring her and she idolises wealth and social class, neither of which she could achieve without a husband during this time period.

    Mr Lackersteen: Elizabeth’s uncle and Mrs Lackersteen’s husband. Lackersteen is the manager of a timber firm. He is a heavy drinker whose main object in life is to have a “good time”. However his activities are curtailed by his wife who is ever watching “like a cat over a bloody mousehole” because ever since she returned after leaving him alone one day to find him surrounded by three naked Burmese girls, she does not trust him alone. Lackersteen’s lechery extends to making sexual advances towards his niece, Elizabeth.

    Mrs Lackersteen: Elizabeth’s aunt and Mr Lackersteen’s wife. Mrs Lackersteen is “a woman of about thirty-five, handsome in a contourless, elongated way, like a fashion plate”. She is a classic memsahib, the title used for wives of officials in the Raj. Both she and her niece have not taken to the alien country or its culture. (In Burmese Days Orwell defines the memsahib as “yellow and thin, scandal mongering over cocktails—living twenty years in the country without learning a word of the language.”). And because of this, she strongly believes that Elizabeth should get married to an upper class man who can provide her with a home and accompanying riches. She pesters Elizabeth into finding a husband: first she wants her to wed Verrall, then after he leaves, Flory.

    Dr Veraswami: An Indian doctor and a friend of Flory’s. He has nothing but respect for the British colonists and often refers to his own kind as being lesser humans than the English, even though many of the British, including Ellis, don’t respect him. Veraswami and Flory often discuss various topics, with Veraswami presenting the British point of view and Flory taking the side of the Burmese. Dr Veraswami is targeted by U Po Kyin in pursuit of membership of the European club. Dr Veraswami wants to become a member of the club so that it will give him prestige which will protect him from U Po Kyin’s attempts to exile him from the district. Because he respects Flory, he does not pester him to get him admitted into the club. Eventually U Po Kyin’s plan to exile Dr Veraswami comes through. He is sent away to work in another run-down hospital elsewhere.

    U Po Kyin: A corrupt and cunning magistrate who is hideously overweight, but perfectly groomed and wealthy. He is 56 and the “U” in his name is his title, which is an honorific in Burmese society. He feels he can commit whatever wicked acts he wants—cheat people of their money, jail the innocent, abuse young girls—because although, “According to Buddhist belief those who have done evil in their lives will spend the next incarnation in the shape of a rat, frog, or some other low animal”, he intends to provide against these sins by devoting the rest of his life to good works such as financing the building of pagodas, “and balance the scales of karmic justice”.[13] He continues his plans to attack Dr Veraswami, instigating a rebellion as part of the exercise, to make Dr Veraswami look bad and eliminate him as a potential candidate of the club, so he can secure the membership for himself. He believes his status as a member of the club will cease the intrigues that are directed against him. He loses pre-eminence when Flory and Vereswami suppress the riot. After Flory dies, Kyin becomes a member of the European Club. Shortly after his admission into the club he dies, unredeemed, before the building of the pagodas. “U Po has advanced himself by thievery, bribery, blackmail and betrayal, and his corrupt career is a serious criticism of both the English rule that permits his success and his English superiors who so disastrously misjudge his character”.

    Ma Hla May: Flory’s Burmese mistress who has been with him for two years before he meets Elizabeth. Ma Hla May believes herself to be Flory’s unofficial wife and takes advantage of the privileges that come along with being associated with a white man in Burma. Flory has been paying her expenses throughout their time together. However, after he becomes enchanted with Elizabeth, he informs her that he no longer wants anything to do with her. Ma Hla May is distraught and repeatedly blackmails him. Once thrown out of Flory’s house, the other villagers dissociate themselves from her and she cannot find herself a husband to support her. Encouraged by U Po Kyin, who has an alternate agenda to ruin Flory’s reputation within the club, she approaches Flory in front of the Europeans and creates a dramatic scene so everyone knows of his intimacy with her. This outburst taints Elizabeth’s perception of Flory for good. Eventually she goes to work in a brothel elsewhere.

    Ko S’la: Flory’s devoted servant since the day he arrived in Burma. They are close to the same age and Ko S’la has since taken care of Flory. Though he serves Flory well, he does not approve of many of his activities, especially his relationship with Ma Hla May and his drinking habits. He believes that Flory should get married. Flory has remained in the same reckless state that he was when he arrived in Burma. In Ko S’la’s eyes, Flory is still a boy. Ko S’la, on the other hand, has moved on with his life as he has taken wives and fathered five children. He pities Flory due to his childish behaviour and his birthmark.

    Lieutenant Verrall: A military policeman who has a temporary posting in the town. He is everything that Flory is not—young, handsome, privileged. He is the youngest son of a peer and looks down on everyone, making no concessions to civility and good manners. His only concern while in town is playing polo. He takes no notice of a person’s race, everyone is beneath him. Verrall is smug and self-centered. Encouraged by her aunt, Elizabeth pursues Verrall as a suitor, but he uses her only for temporary entertainment. In the end, he vanishes from town without a word to Elizabeth.

    Mr Macgregor: Deputy Commissioner and secretary of the club. He is upright and well-meaning, although also pompous and self-important. U Po Kyin contacts Mr Macgregor through anonymous letters as he continues his attacks on Dr Veraswami to gain a position in the club. As one of the only single men left in the town, he marries Elizabeth.

    Ellis: A violently racist Englishman who manages a timber company in upper Burma. He is a vulgar and spiteful member of the club who likes stirring up scandals. He believes in the British rule of Burma and that the Burmese people are completely incapable of ruling the country themselves. His hatred of the Burmese culture causes some clashes with Flory due to Flory’s friendliness with the Burmese, especially Dr Veraswami. Ellis is in support of U Po Kyin’s plan to ruin the reputation of Dr Veraswami and needs no evidence whatsoever of Dr Veraswami’s guilt.

    Francis and Samuel: Francis is a Eurasian clerk to an Indian money lender, whilst Samuel is a clerk to some of the pleaders. Both are sons of Christian missionaries, the book explores attitudes towards their mixed heritage.

PLOT

    The novel is set in the imperial Burma of 1920s. In the fictional district of Kyauktada. The original of Kyauktada is Kathar (formerly spelled as Katha), a township where Orwell served. Kyauktada is the head of a branch railway line above Mandalay on the Ayeyarwady (Irrawady) River. The story opens with U Po Kyin, a corrupt Burmese magistrate. Who is planning to destroy the reputation of the Indian doctor Veraswami. The doctor looks for protection in this disaster from his friendship with Flory who happens to be a pukka sahib (European white man) who has a higher prestige. Dr Veraswami wants to become a member of the prestigious British club because he thinks his standing with Europeans is good. U po Kyin intrigues against him and refuses to cow down. He starts a malicious campaign against the doctor and persudes the Europeans that the doctor holds disloyal, anti-British opinions. He also releases false anonymous letter with false stories about the doctor and thinks it will work wonders. He even sends a threatening letter to Flory.

   Flory is a worn out 35 year old teak merchant. He is responsible for appropriation of jungle timber for three weeks in a month. He is unmarried and even friendless among his fellow Europeans. He has a ragged crescent of a birthmark on his face. Flory is disillusioned with his lifestyle. Living in a tiresome expatriate community centred round the European Club in a remote part of the country.

    On the other hand he has become so embedded in Burma that it is impossible for him to leave and return to England. Veraswami and Flory are great friends. Flory often visits the doctor for what the latter delightedly calls ‘cultured conversation.’ In these conversations Flory details his disillusionment with the empire. But the doctor flares up whenever Flory criticises the Raj and defends the British as great administrators who have built an efficient and unrivalled empire. Flory dismisses these administrators as mere money makers, living a lie. ‘The perennial lie that, we’re here to uplift our poor black brothers instead to rob them.’ Though he finds a temporary rejoice with his Burmese mistress. Flory is emotionally bedevilled. On the one hand Flory loves Burma and craves a life partner who will share his passion, which the other Europeans find incomprehensible. On the other hand, for essentially racist taste, Flory feels that only a European woman is acceptable as a partner.

    Flory’s dilemma seems to be answered when Elizabeth Lackersteen. The orphaned niece of Mr Lachersteen, the local timber firm manager arrives. Flory saves her when she thinks she is about to be attacked by a small water buffalo. He is immediately befriended by her and they spend time getting close, culminating in a highly successful shooting expedition. Where, after several misses Elizabeth shoots a pigeon, and then a flying bird. Flory shoots a leopard and promises the skin to Elizabeth as a trophy. Lost in, romance and fantasies. Flory visualises Elizabeth to be sensitive and non-racist. He so much desires a European woman who will understand him and give him the companionship that he needed. As a result he turns away Ma Hla May, his pretty, scheming Burmese concubine out of his house. Under the surface, however, Elizabeth is appalled by Flory’s relative egalitarian attitude towards the native, seeing them as ‘beastly’ while Flory extols the virtues of their rich culture. She finds the Burmese repulsive. Worse still are Flory’s interests in high art and literature, which remind Elizabeth of her boondoggling mother who died in disgrace in Paris of ptomaine poisoning as a result of living in squalid conditions while masquerading as a Bohemian artist. Despite these reservations, of which Flory is entirely unaware. She is willing to marry him to escape poverty, spinsterhood, and the unwelcome advances of her perpetually inebriated uncle.

    Flory is about to ask her to marry him, but they are interrupted first by her aunt and second by an earthquake.  Mrs Lackersteen’s interruption is deliberate because she has discovered that a military police lieutenant named Verrall is arriving in Kyauktada. As he comes from an extremely good family, she sees him as a better prospect as a husband for Elizabeth. Mrs Lackersteen tells Elizabeth that Flory is keeping a Burmese mistress as a deliberate ploy to send her to Verrall. Indeed, Flory had been keeping a mistress, but had dismissed her almost the moment Elizabeth had arrived. Elizabeth is appalled and falls at the first opportunity for Verrall, who is arrogant and even ill-mannered to all but her. Flory is devastated and after a period of exile attempts to make amends by delivering to her the leopard skin. A bungled curing process has left the skin mangy and stinky and the gesture merely compounds his status as a poor suitor. When Flory delivers it to Elizabeth she accepts it regardless of the fact that it stinks and he talks of their relationship, telling her he still loves her. She responds by telling him that unfortunately the feelings aren’t mutual anymore and leaves the house to go horse riding with Verrall. When, Flory and Elizabeth part ways. Mrs Lackersteen  orders the servants to burn the reeking leopard skin, representing the deterioration of Flory and Elizabeth’s relationship.

    U Po Kyin’s campaign against Dr Veraswami is simply to malign him so that he can push his candidature instead for the membership of the European Club in Kyauktada. The club has been put under pressure to elect a native member and Dr Veraswami is the most likely candidate. U Po Kyin manoeuvres to let go a prisoner and plans a rebellion for which he conspires that Dr Veraswami should get the blame. The rebellion begins but is quickly put down. But in the process a native rebel is killed by the acting Divisional Forest Officer, Maxwell. Uncharacteristically courageous, Flory speaks up for Dr Veraswami and proposes him as a member of the club. At this moment the body of Maxwell, cut almost to pieces with swords by two relatives of the man he had shot, is brought back to the town. This creates tension between the Burmese and the Europeans which is exacerbated by a vicious attack on native children by the spiteful arch-racist timber merchant, Ellis. A large but ineffectual anti-British riot begins and Flory becomes the hero for bringing it under control with some support by Dr Veraswami. U Po Kyin tries to claim credit but is disbelieved and Dr, Veraswami’s prestige is restored.

     Verrall leaves Kyauktada without even saying goodbye to Elizabeth. Heartbroken she falls for Flory again. Flory is happy and plans to marry Elizabeth. However, U Po Kyin has not given up. He hires Flory’s former Burmese mistress to create a scene in front of Elizabeth during the sermon at the Church. Flory is disgraced and Elizabeth refuses to have anything more to do with him. Overcome by the loss and seeing no future for himself. Flory first kills his dog, and then himself.

    Dr Veraswami is demoted and sent to a different district and U Po Kyin is elected to the club. Devious plans of U Po Kyin have succeeded. He now plans to redeem his life and cleanse his sins by financing the construction of pagodas. He dies of apoplexy before he can start building the first pagoda. His wife envisages him returning to life as a frog or a rat. Elizabeth eventually marries Macgregor, the deputy commissioner, and lives happily in contempt of the natives, who in turn live in fear of her, fulfilling her destiny of becoming a ‘burra memsahib’ (respectful term given to white European women).

*****

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(Archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

Story of an Indian salesman who is lowly qualified but fights his ways through uncertainities to reach the top. A good read for all salesmen. Now available in Amazon.com

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

 

 

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

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

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.

QUOTE

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!’”

UNQUOTE

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****