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BOOK REVIEW: GOING ROGUE–An American Life by Sarah Palin

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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.

    Going Rogue—An American Life (2009) is a personal and political memoir by politician Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican candidate for U.S. Vice President on the ticket with Senator John McCain. She wrote this wonderful book with Lynn Vincent.

    The book became a New York Times #1 bestseller in its first week of release, and remained there for six weeks. It is one of the four political memoirs published since the 1990s to sell more than two million copies.

    Let me comment on this book more from an Indian perspective—Kafi dil khol kar likha hai Sarah Palin ne is kitab ko—She has really poured her heart into this book. What, she could, really bring out, is how, the political grid, of the U.S works. And within that, how American politicians, operate. Sarah belongs to Alaska and boy-oh-boy what a vivid description she has given of Alaska. Its mind boggling. She perhaps hasn’t left any aspect of Alaska untouched—be it oil, pipeline, gold, snow and the caribou. Sitting here in India one thinks Alaska is but cold cold and cold and nothing more, but Sarah Palin has showcased Alaska, the biggest state of the US in its full glory and elements.

    Although the book is a thick marathon spine of—some 341 pages and that too the big ones 6 x 9 inches, yet you won’t feel like keeping it aside, as the narration, only keeps, cheeringly swishing, all along. It’s a happening book. It’s a moving book and so is the life of Sarah Palin. Price of the book is 16$.

    It’s a narration that every Indian politician should read. It gives a hands on account of how election campaigns are conducted in the US. Their value system—and why America is America. It dwells deep into Sarah Palin’s personal life. How she balances between career, home, children and the rub-off of these on politics and vice-versa.

    Sarah is a mother of five children, youngest was born, when she was, the governor of Alaska, with down-syndrome. But she knows how to fight it out. She is blessed with a gentleman husband Todd, who is full of understanding. Her eldest son is in the army posted in Iraq. In the book she is extremely transparent about her family and her views and doesn’t mince words. She is against teen pregnancies yet she supports her daughter when she conceives and is in the family way. The piece on election campaign is superbly written.

    The book has six chapters:

  1. The Last Frontier
  2. Kitchen-Table Politics
  3. Drill, Baby Drill
  4. Going Rogue
  5. The Thumpin
  6. The Way Forward followed by Epilogue, A view from Alaska by Dewey Whetsell, Afterword and Acknowledgments

    Delving deeper. On September 3, 2008, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin gave a speech at the Republican National Convention that electrified the nation and instantly made her one of the most recognizable women in the world. As chief executive of America’s largest state, she had built a record as a reformer who cast aside politics-as-usual and pushed through changes other politicians only talk about: Energy independence. Ethics reform. And the biggest private sector infrastructure project in U.S. history. While revitalizing public-school funding and ensuring the state met its responsibilities to seniors and Alaska Native populations, Palin also beats the political “good ol’ boys club” at their own game and brought Big Oil to heel.

    In this eagerly anticipated memoir, Palin paints an intimate portrait of growing up in the wilds of Alaska, meeting her lifelong love, her decision to enter politics, the importance of faith and family, and the unique joys and trials of life as a high-profile working mother. She also opens up for the first time about the 2008 presidential race, providing a rare mom’s-eye view of high-stakes national politics—from patriots dedicated to “Country First” to slick politicos bent on winning at any cost. Going Rogue traces one ordinary citizen’s extraordinary journey, and imparts Palin’s vision of a way forward for America and her unfailing hope in the greatest nation on earth.

Writing process

    The book deal was announced in May 2009 when Palin was still Governor of Alaska. She said that she wanted the public to hear her true story, “unrestrained and unfiltered”. She reportedly received an advance of $1.25 million from publisher Harper Collins, with two projected additional payouts of between $2.5 million and $5 million each.

    Palin announced that although she would have a ghostwriter to help, she would be doing a lot of the writing herself, employing her journalism skills and the personal diaries and notes that she had kept throughout her life. Critics questioned whether Palin could write a book.

    Responding to concerns that writing and promoting the book would interfere with her duties as governor, Palin said she would only work on the book after working hours and would promote the book whenever she has the rightful opportunity. The Alaska law department issued a legal opinion which okayed the project, stating: “A book publication project is compatible with your position as governor so long as it does not interfere with your official duties”.

    Conservative journalist and author Lynn Vincent worked on the book with Palin for several weeks shortly after she resigned the governorship in the summer of 2009. Palin met with HarperCollins editors for intensive editing sessions in New York City. HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham said that Palin had been “unbelievably conscientious and hands-on at every stage”, adding that the book was “her words, her life … in full and fascinating detail”. 

 The publisher attributed completion of the memoir early to Palin’s devoting full-time to the writing process after she left office. A paperback version of the book, with new material, was released on August 24, 2010.

    The first part of the book is devoted to Palin’s life before the 2008 campaign; the second part details her life as a candidate for national office. The book is written in a personal tone similar to Palin’s manner of speaking. Palin discusses the disagreements she had with campaign advisers of her running mate John McCain, criticizes the national media, and talks about the importance of religion and family life.

    The “Going Rogue” part of the title refers to criticism leveled at Palin by McCain campaign advisers that she was straying from their carefully crafted message and publicly disagreeing with McCain on several issues. The subtitle, “An American Life”, mirrors the title of President Ronald Reagan’s 1990 autobiography.

    Palin ends the book by quoting her own father saying, “Sarah’s not retreating, she’s reloading.”, suggesting she would return to public life.

    I would give it eight out of ten.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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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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BOLLYWOOD, CRICKET & loc

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

indian-jawan

    At times it appears the Indian Army Jawan, who fights terrorism at the Line of Control is only fighting to save his own house, but in reality he is fighting for all of us. But the tragedy with Indians is that they show no solidarity with him. Our Prime Minister preaches so much about terrorism in all international forums. But back home India is a divided and selfish lot. People from all professions are only self-centered about themselves and their professions. We don’t realise by behaving in this insensitive manner tomorrow, people may desist from fighting for the country. What will happen then? There is indeed a greater need to feel for our brave jawans and we must perennially keep their morale high. Colonel Anil Chawla puts it quite beautifully.

…………………………………..

Col Anil Chawla, a serving soldier of the INDIAN ARMY wrote this:

Will sending Pakistani artists back, stopping cricket and business with Pakistan actually end terror from Pakistan?

No, it most certainly will not.

BUT there is an emotion called solidarity.

YOU CANNOT MAKE FILMS, PLAY CRICKET, AND DO BUSINESS AS IF EVERYTHING IS FINE, BECAUSE IT IS NOT.

indian-jawan-3indian-jawan2

It makes the soldier wonder aloud, “Why should I alone bear the weight of conflict?”

This conflict between India and Pakistan is not the soldier’s personal war. He is dying and killing for you and me. Imagine a situation in which the soldier felt, and behaved, like Salman Khan, Karan Johar and Mahesh Bhatt? Imagine if a soldier walked up to his superior and said, “Sir, while I am dying on the Line of Control, these people are going about as if everything is absolutely fine between the two countries.”

Why should he alone sacrifice for India, when others were making merry?

Patriotism and sacrifice is not the sole responsibility of the soldier.

The United States boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980, and the Russians did likewise when they boycotted the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. This is what happens when national interest is held paramount. And this is what must happen now.

18 families have been shattered like glass … But the pain of Fawad Khan’s departure is too much to bear, it seems …”

…………………………………

    Film Stars have nothing to do with terrorism…

    Singers have nothing to do with terrorism ….

    Writers have nothing to do with terrorism …

    Directors have nothing to do with terrorism …

    Performers have nothing to do with terrorism …

    Journalists have nothing to do with terrorism …

    Activists have nothing to do with terrorism …

    Cricketers have nothing to do with terrorism …

    Politicians have nothing to do with terrorism …

    Businessmen have nothing to do with terrorism …

    Professionals have nothing to do with terrorism …

    Lawyers have nothing to do with terrorism …

    Then for whom are the Jawans sacrificing their lives for?

    Jai Hind.

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POEM: YEH KISKA BHARAT HAI JO INDIA LE UDA HAI?

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

 

 

 

Yeh kiska ‘Bharat’ hai jo ‘India’ le uda hai?

Yeh kiska ‘Gandhi’ hai jise India kho chukka hai?

Pehle toh Bharat mein Jai-Hind-Jai Hind ka nara tha,

Par aaj ke India mein sirf Jai-Hum-Jai-Hum ka bol bala hai,

Yeh kiska Bharat hai jo India le uda hai?

Yeh kiska ‘Gandhi’ hai jise India kho chukka hai?

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Kal tak ka Bharat, aur aaj ka India,

Ab jaise sat samundar ke antaraal mein aa khada hua hai,

Kuch samajh mein nahi aata,

Yeh kiska Bharat hai jo India le uda hai?

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Bharat ko dabochkar bana hai India,

Jahan corruption ka hai bol bala,

Aur sachai ka hai mooh kala,

Aur kuch pata nahi

Yeh kiska Bharat hai jo india le uda hai?

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Bharat ke damkhan ko parast kar,

Netaon ne vote bank ko apnaya hai,

Jahan Bharat wasiyon ko Indians banakar,

Aapas mein he ladwaiya hai,

Aur kya kahen,

Yeh kiska Bharat hai jo India le uda hai?

Yeh kiska ‘Gandhi’ hai jisse India kho chukka hai?

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Bharat toh ab siskiyan le raha hai,

Jab katleaam he ho gaya sanskaron ka,

Par netaon ko toh chahiya ek he sanskar,

Is India mein rahe gaddi hamari barkarar,

Aur kya batain,

Yeh kiska Bharat hai jo India le uda hai?

Yeh kiska ‘Gandhi hai jisse India kho chukka hai?

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Janta siskiyan lete hue kehti hai,

Yeh hamara Bharat Mahaan hai jo Neta le uda hai,

Yeh hum sabka India—jahaan hai jo Neta le uda hai,

Aur yeh ham sab ka hi ‘Gandhi’ hai jisse neta kho chukka hai.

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DIGNITARIES NEED TO EXHIBIT GOOD BEHAVIOUR

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A TIP FROM BHAGWAD GITA

    We often hear of politicians and senior government officers misbehaving with the common man. Debates arising out of such incidents are often broadcasted in prime channels and at the prime time slots; not alone for TRP ratings but also to sensitize these misguided dignitaries about their bad behavior. The media also refers it as VVIP racism, where a Neta bashes up the common man or where a government official abuses and ill treats the aam aadmi. And at times our VIPs are also seen misbehaving in an inebriated state.

    To all such people who believe, success in life comes only by showing brute misdemeanours to people below them, there is a tip from the Bhagwad Gita:

Yadacharitra shrestastha devevtro janah

Sa yetpramanam kurute lokast danuvartate.

    The verse tells us:

The demeanours of all eminent people in the society are followed quite closely by the common man. Whatever he projects through his daily behavior as his deeds is followed by his followers, rather even the world at large.

Let us not forget that the Aam aadmi (common man) always needs a leader to continuously inspire him and the purpose is best served when the leader exhibits decent civil behaviour and righteous orientation.  If a mass leader himself smokes or drinks, how can he stop the junta (common man) from smoking or drinking? And if he behaves in a rowdy manner how can he expect his followers to be civil and if he creates scams how can he expect his constituents to be honest? Chaitanya Mahaprabhu preaches that a teacher (in this case any leader) must observe right moral behavior, and only such teachers with upright and good behavior should be considered as ideal teachers.

Therefore teachers before imparting education to commoners should apply religious and moral texts on themselves. And no teacher should ever deviate from the time tested and proven religious texts and should not pass his own self made laws to the commoners. Proven religious texts like Manu-Smrti should be followed by common people as a benchmark of teachings. Therefore the sermons of the netas should be based on the rules of the religious shastras and there shouldn’t be a difference kathni and karni (what you say and what you do). But unfortunately this is not the case with most eminent people.

People who want both spiritual and worldly progress in life should imbibe and practice teachings of high moral values and rules practiced by great teachers. Srimad bhagwad Gita too confirms the point that human beings should follow the spiritual footsteps of knowledge for spiritual and materialistic progress; and this is the only way.

Whether it is the king or his administrator, whether a father or a teacher—they all are considered as natural leaders. They have a great duty and responsibility towards people who lean on them and therefore they should be well versed with spiritual samhita and other religious texts so that they can convey a proper message to the society at all times.

In school days we had a paper on moral science but it was never taken seriously as the marks were never added to the finally tally deciding our ranking. But the time has come when these marks need to be added in the education of life. Maybe, an abridged form of all religious texts should be taught in school and a refresher course should be part of State Assemblies and Parliaments curriculum, including government offices.

We have tried many ways to refine the behavior of politicians and government officials but failed. So, where is the harm in trying out religious texts? For, if nothing else, it will at least remove the misconceptions about religions.

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SHORT STORY: JOB OF GOD

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charvaha god at work indian king

    Long time ago there lived a king, who was habitually righteous but extremely arrogant. One day, he called his Prime Minister and said,

    ‘I have a doubt that keeps bothering me. As you know. In this universe everyone has a job to do.  Just like the king, who is supposed to rule. A soldier’s job is to fight, a trader is supposed to trade. A teacher is supposed to teach, a preacher is supposed to preach and even the rest of the citizenry have prescribed jobs to do.

    That is the law of the universe. In the same manner. The person who runs this universe. Also must be having a definite job to do. About, which, I know nothing. So please tell me what is the job of the person who runs the universe. That is the job of God.’

    Prime Minister had no ready answer. To this very tricky query of the king. As no one had ever asked him a question like this. But he tried to deflect the king’s attention by saying.

    ‘Your Majesty! No one has an answer for this very intelligent question. Neither, it is mentioned in any book—as the job of God.’ He then halted for a few moments. But, since, he was an extremely cunning person he thought for an instant and added, ‘Nevertheless, your question is quite valid. As this question came to my mind also and that too several times. But since my job was to advise you to help you run the administration. I didn’t bother to ask. And these are spiritual issues. Where, I  think the Raj-Purohit (Chief-Priest) will be in a better position to give an apt answer.’

    After expressing his views. He strategically left the place immediately. Leaving the entire responsibility of answering the question on the shoulders of the Raj-Purohit.

    When the king posed the same question to Raj-Purohit. He too got bewildered, as no one had ever asked him such a question. Because, no one knew what the exact job of God was. And everyone, only knew to the extent they had read in the books. Even in the books there was no separate information about God’s job responsibility.

    But the King specifically wanted an answer to his question. Raj-Purohit couldn’t have dared to offend the King, so he sought a week’s time.

    King agreed and said, ‘okay, but I need a comprehensive reply to my question.’ Raj-Purohit went home. In the next one week he went to all the libraries in the kingdom and went through all the books that he could lay his hands on. But, no where, he could get a comprehensive answer to this question.

    By the end of the week he was mentally quite exhausted. So he went out of the city and sat under a tree and started thinking. How will he show his face to the King tomorrow, or should he leave the kingdom and flee.

    One shepherd boy who was grazing his sheep nearby. Saw the Raj-Purohit sitting there in a pensive mood and recognised him. He asked, ‘sir, why are you looking so sad?’ Raj-Purohit replied, ‘child you please do your work, as I have some spiritual task to handle.’

    But, when the child assertively asked again. Raj-Purohit narrated his problem. Knowing full well, the boy will not be able to solve his problem. But the child was smart. He said.

    ‘Raj-Purohit ji, if you are troubled only because of this small question. Then please go home and relax. Tell the King, this shepherd boy knows the answer to his question.’

    Upon hearing this. The Raj-Purohit was stunned. Because, even the most renowned scholars of the kingdom didn’t know the answer to this question. He pleaded to the boy to let him know the answer. But the child insisted. He alone, would tell the king. The answer to question.

   This relaxed him a little bit when he left for his home. Next day when he reached the King’s court. The king repeated his question and with great amount of eagerness and waited for the answer. But was flabbergasted to hear. That the answer to his question was available with a shepherd boy. He immediately ordered for the child to be there. The boy arrived at the King’s court in great enthusiasm.

    When, everyone looked at him with a great amount of disgust. And also waited for the valuable words to come out of his mouth. The king asked, ‘O shepherd boy! Do you know the answer to my question. That even the renowned scholars sitting in my court don’t know? So tell me all that you know about the subject?’

    The shepherd boy hesitated for some moments and then said, ‘Your Majesty! Before, I answer your question. I wish. I be given the right kind of seat to sit. Because, as far as this query is concerned. You are the student and I’m the teacher. So, I’ll provide you with that knowledge. In principle the seat of the teacher should be higher than that of the student. But such is not the case here.’

    Upon hearing this, everyone started whispering in an appreciative manner, about the boy. The King also felt some sense is his statement. After a few moments the King vacated his throne and requested the shepherd boy to occupy it After which he eagerly was waiting for the answer, while looking at him.

    But the boy after sitting on the throne went quiet. He started enjoying the great feel, while perched on it. The King got restless and in an arrogant tone he shouted. ‘Hey you child. Will you answer now. What is the job of God?’ The boy looked at the King and peacefully asked, ‘what answer?’ and on hearing this. All those present in the King’s court were stunned. The boy then said, ‘the job of God is to put down the arrogant and lift the humble.’

    This story is one out of the thousand stories of Puran (mythological scriptures). That is still relevant even today. Just as, it was in those days. 

by Kamlesh Tripathi

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We are an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. If you wish you could contribute for the cause. The bank details are below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

                                  Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

                                  IFSC code: BKID0006805

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SHORT STORY: ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE, ANYTIME AND ANYWHERE

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arrogance helpless

SO DON’T JUST BASK UNDER THE GLORY THAT YOU’RE ALL TOO POWERFUL

 

On 24th of June 2015. Kiran Rijijiu the all powerful minister of state for home, Government of India, was returning from Leh to Delhi, along with his assistant Nirmal Singh. To accommodate him. Three members of a benign family of an IFS officer including a child, were disallowed from boarding flight AI-446. According to media reports this unpleasant episode, delayed the flight and brought Kiran Rijiju under an avoidable, but virulent controversy called #VVIPRACISM.

    In this world, often the rich and mighty feel they are all too powerful, and nothing can hit them, even when, they are at large after a heinous crime. But, I guess, this is not how God works. In this case also, when Kiran left for Leh he couldn’t have imagined in his dream that he will be caught up in such a odd controversy. Considering the fact that he is the all powerful minister of state for home in Government of India. But he forgot about the Supreme Power who has his own ways of tracking such devious stories—where this time it was through the media.

    This brings us to the moot point that anything can happen to anyone, anytime and anywhere no matter how powerful he or she is. And, this is what Rijiju’s controversy conveys to the society.

    Take for instance, had Kiran Rijiju known that by gate crashing into flight AI-446 he will become a clumsy news item. Even when, he is going for an official visit and will enter the zone of controversy where the matter will escalate right up to the PMO. He would have shunned the flight. But God had not passed on any such vibes to him and therefore he had no such inkling of such a happening. For Kiran, retaining the prestigious job, as minister of state for home in Government of India, any day is much more important than getting mired in such stupid controversies. Which he had not done deliberately.

    But I presume, he never anticipated the ruckus. Perhaps, he thought I’m the all mighty minister for state, and that too for home, so who can question me. So, he got on to the flight. But this arrogant mistake of his hit him like the bolt from the blue.

    This gives us a lesson of life that no matter how powerful you are. You wouldn’t know what will come and hit you now or even later. Especially, if you try to be devious with the hapless.

    For God has his own arrows in his quivers that the notoriously rich and mighty can’t see. Such episodes keep happening at regular intervals. Only to remind us of this stark reality. Where, this time Kiran Rijiju was the chief protagonist. He will remember this episode throughout his life. But more important is the need for the message to spread across to the society.

    This is only a spiritual lesson and no aspersions on any one.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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                                                  https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share 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

*

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)

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

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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

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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