Archive for the ‘economy’ Category

Burmese days : A review

September 12, 2016

On 8 June 2016

A review of Burmese days by George Orwell
The most unflattering account of India and its people is there in ‘Burmese days’. The authenticity of the book is stunning. George Orwell saw things far more clearly than even Forster, who totally ignored Hindus for they appeared mysterious to him, besides noting passingly Dr. Godse.
On the reverse side, the Gorge Orwell’s book presents the colonials in even poorer light. The true nature of colonialism and its soul-sapping decadence and corrupting influence on both the parties is pity-provoking.
You simply can not detest the British underclass, representing the face of colonials in India. They are capable of inflicting the severest violence on the natives to prove their loyalty to the Raj and win promotions, while they are distressed by their financial worries, childrens’ education or their future, once they complete their tenure in India.
For the ones not married yet, finding a suitable English match is almost out of question. At best they will find a woman who is considered too low in Britain and fit to be a servant only, or fit to marry a British man serving in India.
Then you have orphaned and destitute English young woman coming to India looking for a husband.
(Such was the tyranny at home–Towards which he was drawn ‘Like a moth to a flame” in the words of BBC–and Orwell went out looking for it all over the places to begin his revolution.)
The prospects of joining the retirees’ ghetto of British-Indian servicemen in England is the another loathsome inevitability at the end of a such a career.
That is, if an uprising of natives does not annihilate them before that.
They drink and indulge excessively to keep their minds off the dirty work they are doing here in most cases. Then there is the fear of tropical diseases.
From the first sentence it holds you by your neck and hits you with brilliance almost relentlessly.
He was disillusioned of his job and despaired as a writer to almost kill himself by smoking while writing 1984. He had weak lungs and a TB and lived a life of exile mostly. For his writing rendered him an alien in Britain.
To this day few writers have the courage to follow his legacy and Britain reads and produces occult-fiction or mommy porn mostly, if it not regales in foreign cultures.
The concept of home guard he suggested and the government adopted during the WWII gave him a hope that a revolt will take place in Britain itself, with millions of armed civilians. But he failed to see that British people were incapable of it, being very tribal by nature.
Before that he joined the Spanish civil war to fight the tyranny and got nearly killed. His personal life says that he was a born revolutionary with no true comrade. So writing was the last resort to him though it earned him very little to ever get settled in life. Today his works earn millions of pound in royalties.
What is the most appealing about Burmese days is the intimate scenes between Flory and his Burmese mistress in the earlier part of the book. The hostility and mutual distrust among them is total. Flory needs her to relieve his carnal desires and she needs Flory to extort money. They hate each other as much as possible otherwise. Once this relationship fails the woman turns vindictive, prompted by the villain and finally destroys Flory. The villain is a Burmese in British civil service who is against Flory because Flory supports a South Indian doctor for the membership of the club, where only one Indian will be entered to make it look more egalitarian, as per orders from higher commands.
It divides the members of the hitherto all white club, who sulk at the prospects of having an Indian now in a all white club. Now they want the one closer to them. It makes Flory an enemy of the rest of the whites and the other wannabe for the membership: the Burmese villain, for he clearly supports his friend the South Indian doctor for the membership.

It is the most forthcoming narrative of the writer where he doesn’t hide behind many symbols or allusions. Which is the case with his later work which was more celebrated than his first.
Though it is about Burma rather than India, it is almost about every country ever colonised.
The ending disappointed a bit. For neither Flory is that sensitive a soul to commit suicide after killing his pet dog when he was rejected by Elizabeth for the second time after his disposed Burmese mistress creates a scene in a church gathering. He was never that proud of his Englishness that the rejection of an English woman, who is an orphan and a destitute and is desperate to find a husband in India after finding none at home.
On the part of Elizabeth too, the second rejection of Flory is too much over done with. More so since she already rejected Flory for the same reason earlier and then accepted back after she herself was rejected by the military officer Varrell, who she and her aunt were prospecting for her husband. Flory was rejected first time as soon Varell arrives in the town and is accepted back as soon Varrell leaves without saying a goodbye to anyone after his month long stay in the town, during which he took out Elizabeth almost every evening but never proposed the marriage Elizabeth wanted from him so badly.
In the meanwhile the uncle who gives her shelter in Burma has repeatedly tried to rape her.
All British characters are too practical in the book for they are from the underclass at home and are out there to make a career in British Raj in India. When they appeared inordinately principled in the end of the book, it looked disingenuous to say the least.
If it was created to make the end dramatic it has failed completely. If it was done to uphold the uprightness and pride of British colonials it again fails miserably. For the book gave away a great deal earlier on that count.

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Faking emotions

June 18, 2014

His work was like faking emotions, to calm or create the anxieties of the society about it. Just like a woman faking an orgasm, to manipulate her man.

The royal enigma

May 8, 2014

Dilip wants to release his sex video, before he releases his first book. This is how it will work for writers too, he thinks. Nawin scoffs at his idea of writing and finds his fondness for the stuffed animal bodies in a library in Kathmandu repulsive. Both are aging without having made any mark on the literary world. The world is in a literal flux, with terrorist attacks and attacks on terrorist targets dominating headlines every day. In The Royal Enigma, Krishna Bhatt tries to take a note of it all. He looks baffled at times, clearly overwhelmed by the enormity of world and people around. At times he is successful in telling a story sensitively. Like that of an old woman, alone taking care of her middle aged, mentally invalid son. It all makes an engaging story, however.

Mandela and Mugabe

April 29, 2014

Mugabe was opposite of Mandela. Mandela allowed the colonials to control the wealth and resources of the country, while the natives had their freedom. Also he made some humiliating compromises in TRC, which allowed the most heinous crimes of the apartheid regime go unacknowledged. For it he won the Nobel and other accolades. Mugabe did the opposite. He snatched the wealth and resources from the colonials and distributed them among natives. Recently, it became public that he gets only four thousand dollars a month as salary and has no account in a Swiss bank. He rightly said that he deserves the Nobel prize. The academic world can not ignore Mugabe for long. The way he survived the protracted economic sanctions will be a subject of research. Also, many former colonies should take a leaf out of his book. To learn how to become truly independent. Any University worth its name must hurry to honour him.

The post colonial history of Zimbabwe is unlike any other country. This unique experiment of doing away with colonial institutions and replacing them with indigenous should be studies closely. For it the Zimbabwean should be proud of their country and its leader. Having a dispassionate debate about this nation is almost impossible as the economic sanctions making life of the country arduous. Mugabe survived all it. So he is no common leader. As I said, in the times ahead it will become more obvious.

The unsolicited advice

April 28, 2014

WB and IMF officials have gone jobless here, as Nepal no more needs their money. They are criticising the government policies, which resulted in rendering the economy one of the healthiest around.
Recently they are advising the Nepal Rastra Bank to not reduce the disparity in the spread rate. The banks here are highly profitable for the good of the economy and have eschewed investing in the manufacturing or developmental sector. They are willing to finance either the real estate or automobile purchase only. So they are sitting on a pile of cash.
In such a scenario, IMF and WB should not lobby for the Nepalese private banks to increase their profit.
But they are probably securing their job in the future.

You do not refer to history books to find the truth, but you read the fiction of the time.

April 11, 2014

http://thetroubledoyster.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-royal-enigma-unforgettable-tale_26.html

An IMF man

April 6, 2014

Of all the people, a former IMF official is now the governor of Reserve Bank of India. It sounds very intriguing that English media is trying to build an image for him. Kejariwal will find a lot of things to clean, if he gets into power.

Arvind Kejariwal and Indian general elections

April 1, 2014

Arvind Kejariwal represented a change in Indian politics. He has shown the courage to join it unlike his mentor Anna Hajare. Hajare has the probity of a saint around him, which can be only compared to that of Gandhi. But he has shown no inclination to join active politics and is happy to remain an activist. Also, he has not fully accepted Arvind as his protegee.
A problem with former bureaucrats is that they turn to populism in no time. Kejariwal too offered to reduce the cost of power to half, once he became the chief minister of Delhi. (An office he could not retain for long, for the political imperative of a country like India stretched him too thin.) Power is chronically deficient in India. So it leaves a gap in his understanding of Indian politics and it needs. Because he can not outdo the existing politicians in the competition of looking more populist.
Elections are due in India soon. After nearly seventy years of democracy, it has roughly seven hundred million people living below poverty line, though it’s media prefers to talk about the seventy billionaires it also has. Nearly two trillion dollars have escaped from India to safer heavens in EU nations or the USA, while the media here talked about the benefits of a free economy and reforms, during the last twenty five years. Had there been policies to prevent that, the picture of Indian economy has not looked so poor. So the list of policy failures, deliberate or otherwise, could be very long.
But this can not go on like it for long. Politicians like Kejariwal inspire hope among the people tired of endless unfolding of corruption scandals, irrespective of the party in power at the center. India matters to the world for its economic potential and its survival so far as a democracy, in spite of a stunning diversity. Rightfully, it is getting the due attention in recent days. The outcome of its elections are of seminal importance to the world powers, engaged in an ugly confrontation in Ukraine now.
May be, if Indian people vote him into political significance that may prove lasting, in the next general elections, Arvind kejariwal has a potential to create change in a society which so badly needs it. It is asking too much from a single person but often a single person makes all the difference in India. Young and charming, and untainted so far, Arvind has a lot to learn and nothing to lose.
Had he not been there, the Indian elections might have looked routine this time as well.

Press freedom

March 13, 2014

India is a little ahead of China in Press freedom. But BBC is a sold out thing.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2014/11/ws-indiapressforsale.html

Rich, poor and democracy

March 8, 2014

There are 700m poor for 70 Indian billionaires. So much for democracy and welfare economics of Amartya.