Tag Archives: India

Shooting an Elephant (Orwell)

Here’s an excellent essay about George Orwell’s time in Burma.  Spoiler alert:  He shoots the elephant.

In Moulmein, in Lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people — the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me.  I was sub-divisional police officer of the town, and in an aimless, petty kind of way anti-European feeling was very bitter.  No one had the guts to raise a riot, but if a European woman went through the bazaars alone somebody would probably spit betel juice over her dress.  As a police officer I was an obvious target and was baited whenever it seemed safe to do so.  When a nimble Burman tripped me up on the football field and the referee (another Burman) looked the other way, the crowd yelled with hideous laughter.  This happened more than once.  In the end the sneering yellow faces of young men that met me everywhere, the insults hooted after me when I was at a safe distance, got badly on my nerves.  The young Buddhist priests were the worst of all.  There were several thousands of them in the town and none of them seemed to have anything to do except stand on street corners and jeer at Europeans.  (continued at link below)

Shooting an Elephant, by George Orwell


Mahatma Gandhi

Also known as “Bapu,” or “father,” among the people of India, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, at Porbandar in the state of Gujarat.  He is best known for helping to win national independence for India through the practice of nonviolent civil disobedience.  When he was nineteen Mohandas travelled to London to study law.  Returning in 1891, he sought to establish his legal practice in Bombay, but was unsuccessful, possibly because he was too kind to effectively cross-examine witnesses.  In 1893, at the age of twenty-four, Gandhi moved to South Africa, where he would spend the next two decades of his life.  While living there he devoted himself to gaining human rights for the Indian population in South Africa, as well as for women and for people of color.  From 1915 until his death in 1948, he labored for the cause of peace, freedom, and independence for the Indian nation.  England granted their independence in 1947, and the land was partitioned into two sections, Hindu-majority India and Muslim Pakistan.  Gandhi passed away while struggling to establish peace in his beloved country.

3 great quotes
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
“Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
“Where there is love there is life.”

Rest in peace, Mahatma Gandhi.