"How can you make out that we are in this country
for any purpose except to steal? It’s so simple.
The official holds the Burman down
while the businessman goes through his pockets...
The British Empire is simply a device for giving trade monopolies
to the English — or rather to gangs of Jews and Scotchmen."
ORWELL'S BURMESE DAYS
"It is a stifling, stultifying world in which to live.
It is a world in which every word and every thought is censored....
Free speech is unthinkable. All other kinds of freedom are permitted.
You are free to be a drunkard, an idler, a coward, a backbiter, a fornicator;
but you are not free to think for yourself.
Your opinion on every subject of any conceivable importance
is dictated for you by the pukka sahibs’ code."
Burmese Days - Orwell's second book - was published in the United States in 1934 and in England one year later in 1935 after no one got sued, due to its factual account of British Imperialism in Burma. No one in Burma or India was allowed to read it. It must have been pretty difficult for Orwell when he went home to his parents' house in Southwald - a retirement area for the very people Orwell had disparaged like no one else had ever disparaged. The book is famous for taking no prisoners and everyone - no matter their race - is equally exposed. Corruption is corruption everywhere and no one describes it like Orwell.
In my opinion Orwell's ability as a writer reached its climax in Burmese Days. He never wrote anything better than this as far as description and character development go. It's as much a masterpiece as 1984 and yet he wrote it when he was only thirty-one years old. Obviously his five years spent in Burma as a policeman for the British Government weren't wasted. Like everywhere else he'd been, Orwell's eyes were wide open and he was watching and recording every experience in his mind including his own inner turmoil and pain. Burmese Days is one of the biggest tear-jerkers I've ever read, and the descriptions of scenery are as vivid as a painting. ~ Jackie Jura
Here are a few excerpts on the theme of corruption:
U PO KYIN, Sub-divisional Magistrate of Kyauktada, in Upper Burma, was sitting in his veranda...
It had been a brilliantly successful life. U Po Kyin’s earliest memory, back in the eighties, was of standing, a naked pot-bellied child, watching the British troops march victorious into Mandalay. He remembered the terror he had felt of those columns of great beef-fed men, red-faced and red-coated; and the long rifles over their shoulders, and the heavy, rhythmic tramp of their boots. He had taken to his heels after watching them for a few minutes. In his childish way he had grasped that his own people were no match for this race of giants. To fight on the side of the British, to become a parasite upon them, had been his ruling ambition, even as a child...
Now, at fifty-six, he was a Sub-divisional Magistrate, and he would probably be promoted still further and made an acting Deputy Commissioner, with Englishmen as his equals and even his subordinates.
As a magistrate his methods were simple. Even for the vastest bribe he would never sell the decision of a case, because he knew that a magistrate who gives wrong judgments is caught sooner or later. His practice, a much safer one, was to take bribes from both sides and then decide the case on strictly legal grounds. This won him a useful reputation for impartiality. Besides his revenue from litigants, U Po Kyin levied a ceaseless toll, a sort of private taxation scheme, from all the villages under his jurisdiction. If any village failed in its tribute U Po Kyin took punitive measures-—gangs of dacoits attacked the village, leading villagers were arrested on false charges, and so forth-—and it was never long before the amount was paid up. He also shared the proceeds of all the larger-sized robberies that took place in the district. Most of this, of course, was known to everyone except U Po Kyin’s official superiors (no British officer will ever believe anything against his own men) but the attempts to expose him invariably failed; his supporters, kept loyal by their share of the loot, were too numerous. When any accusation was brought against him, U Po Kyin simply discredited it with strings of suborned witnesses, following this up by counter-accusations which left him in a stronger position than ever. He was practically invulnerable, because he was too fine a judge of men ever to choose a wrong instrument, and also because he was too absorbed in intrigue ever to fail through carelessness or ignorance. One could say with practical certainty that he would never be found out, that he would go from success to success, and would finally die full of honour, worth several lakhs of rupees.
And even beyond the grave his success would continue. According to Buddhist belief, those who have done evil in their lives will spend the next incarnation in the shape of a rat, a frog or some other low animal. U Po Kyin was a good Buddhist and intended to provide against this danger. He would devote his closing years to good works, which would pile up enough merit to outweigh the rest of his life. Probably his good works would take the form of building pagodas. Four pagodas, five, six, seven — the priests would tell him how many —- with carved stonework, gilt umbrellas and little bells that tinkled in the wind, every tinkle a prayer. And he would return to the earth in male human shape —- for a woman ranks at about the same level as a rat or a frog -— or at best as some dignified beast such as an elephant...
U Po Kyin did not answer immediately. A puffing, labouring noise began to proceed from him; he was trying to rise from his chair. Ba Taik was familiar with this sound. He appeared from behind the beaded curtain, and he and Ba Sein put a hand under each of U Po Kyin’s armpits and hoisted him to his feet. U Po Kyin stood for a moment balancing the weight of his belly upon his legs, with the movement of a fish porter adjusting his load. Then he waved Ba Taik away.
‘Not enough,’ he said, answering Ba Sein’s question, ‘not enough by any means. There is a lot to be done yet. But this is the right beginning. Listen.’
He went to the rail to spit out a scarlet mouthful of betel, and then began to quarter the veranda with short steps, his hands behind his back. The friction of his vast thighs made him waddle slightly. As he walked he talked, in the base jargon of the Government offices — a patchwork of Burmese verbs and English abstract phrases:
‘Now, let us go into this affair from the beginning. We are going to make a concerted attack on Dr Veraswami, who is the Civil Surgeon and Superintendent of the jail. We are going to slander him, destroy his reputation and finally ruin him for ever. It will be rather a delicate operation.’
‘There will be no risk, but we have got to go slowly. We are not proceeding against a miserable clerk or police constable. We are proceeding against a high official, and with a high official, even when he is an Indian, it is not the same as with a clerk. How does one ruin a clerk? Easy; an accusation, two dozen witnesses, dismissal and imprisonment. But that will not do here. Softly, softly, softly is my way. No scandal, and above all no official inquiry. There must be no accusations that can be answered, and yet within three months I must fix it in the head of every European in Kyauktada that the doctor is a villain. What shall I accuse him of? Bribes will not do, a doctor does not get bribes to any extent. What then?’
‘We could perhaps arrange a mutiny in the jail,’ said Ba Sein. ‘As superintendent, the doctor would be blamed.’
‘No, it is too dangerous. I do not want the jail warders firing their rifles in all directions. Besides, it would be expensive. Clearly, then, it must be disloyalty — Nationalism, seditious propaganda. We must persuade the Europeans that the doctor holds disloyal, anti-British opinions. That is far worse than bribery; they expect a native official to take bribes. But let them suspect his loyalty even for a moment, and he is ruined.’
‘It would be a hard thing to prove,’ objected Ba Sein. ‘The doctor is very loyal to the Europeans. He grows angry when anything is said against them. They will know that, do you not think?’
‘Nonsense, nonsense,’ said U Po Kyin comfortably. ‘No European cares anything about proofs. When a man has a black face, suspicion is proof. A few anonymous letters will work wonders. It is only a question of persisting; accuse, accuse, go on accusing — that is the way with Europeans. One anonymous letter after another, to every European in turn. And then, when their suspicions are thoroughly aroused — ’. U Po Kyin brought one short arm from behind his back and clicked his thumb and finger. He added: ‘We begin with this article in the Burmese Patriot. The Europeans will shout with rage when they see it. Well, the next move is to persuade them that it was the doctor who wrote it.’
‘It will be difficult while he has friends among the Europeans. All of them go to him when they are ill. He cured Mr Macgregor of his flatulence this cold weather. They consider him a very clever doctor, I believe.’
‘How little you understand the European mind, Ko Ba Sein! If the Europeans go to Veraswami it is only because there is no other doctor in Kyauktada. No European has any faith in a man with a black face. No, with anonymous letters it is only a question of sending enough. I shall soon see to it that he has no friends left.’
‘There is Mr Flory, the timber merchant,’ said Ba Sein. (He pronounced it ‘Mr Porley’.) ‘He is a close friend of the doctor. I see him go to his house every morning when he is in Kyauktada. Twice he has even invited the doctor to dinner.’
‘Ah, now there you are right. If Flory were a friend of the doctor it could do us harm. You cannot hurt an Indian when he has a European friend. It gives him — what is that word they are so fond of? — prestige. But Flory will desert his friend quickly enough when the trouble begins. These people have no feeling of loyalty towards a native. Besides, I happen to know that Flory is a coward. I can deal with him...'.
Ma Kin was sitting on a mat in the corner, stitching an ingyi... She was a simple, old- fashioned woman, who had learned even less of European habits than U Po Kyin...She had been the confidante of U Po Kyin’s intrigues for twenty years and more.
‘Ko Po Kyin,’ she said, ‘you have done very much evil in your life.’
U Po Kyin waved his hand. ‘What does it matter? My pagodas will atone for everything. There is plenty of time.’
Ma Kin bent her head over her sewing again, in an obstinate way she had when she disapproved of something that U Po Kyin was doing.
‘But, Ko Po Kyin, where is the need for all this scheming and intriguing? I heard you talking with Ko Ba Sein on the veranda. You are planning some evil against Dr Veraswami. Why do you wish to harm that Indian doctor? He is a good man.’
‘What do you know of these official matters, woman? The doctor stands in my way. In the first place he refuses to take bribes, which makes it difficult for the rest of us. And besides — well, there is something else which you would never have the brains to understand.’
‘Ko Po Kyin, you have grown rich and powerful, and what good has it ever done you? We were happier when we were poor. Ah, I remember so well when you were only a Township Officer, the first time we had a house of our own. How proud we were of our new wicker furniture, and your fountain-pen with the gold clip! And when the young English police-officer came to our house and sat in the best chair and drank a bottle of beer, how honoured we thought ourselves! Happiness is not in money. What can you want with more money now?’
‘Nonsense, woman, nonsense! Attend to your cooking and sewing and leave official matters to those who understand them.’
‘Well, I do not know. I am your wife and have always obeyed you. But at least it is never too soon to acquire merit. Strive to acquire more merit, Ko Po Kyin! Will you not, for instance, buy some live fish and set them free in the river? One can acquire much merit in that way. Also, this morning when the priests came for their rice they told me that there are two new priests at the monastery, and they are hungry. Will you not give them something, Ko Po Kyin? I did not give them anything myself, so that you might acquire the merit of doing it.’
U Po Kyin turned away from the mirror. The appeal touched him a little. He never, when it could be done without inconvenience, missed a chance of acquiring merit. In his eyes his pile of merit was a kind of bank deposit, everlastingly growing. Every fish set free in the river, every gift to a priest, was a step nearer Nirvana. It was a reassuring thought. He directed that the basket of mangoes brought by the village headman should be sent down to the monastery...
At about the time when U Po Kyin began his morning’s business, ‘Mr Porley’ the timber merchant and friend of Dr Veraswami, was leaving his house for the Club.
Flory was a man of about thirty-five, of middle height, not ill made. He had very black, stiff hair growing low on his head, and a cropped black moustache, and his skin, naturally sallow, was discoloured by the sun.
Not having grown fat or bald he did not look older than his age, but his face was very haggard in spite of the sunburn, with lank cheeks and a sunken, withered look round the eyes. He had obviously not shaved this morning. He was dressed in the usual white shirt, khaki drill shorts and stockings, but instead of a topi he wore a battered Terai hat, cocked over one eye. He carried a bamboo stick with a wrist-thong, and a black cocker spaniel named Flo was ambling after him...
Flory had not spoken all this time. Though by nature anything but a silent man, he seldom found much to say in Club conversations. He had sat down at the table and was reading G.K. Chesterton’s article in the London News, at the same time caressing Flo’s head with his left hand. Ellis, however, was one of those people who constantly nag others to echo their own opinions. He repeated his question, and Flory looked up, and their eyes met. The skin round Ellis’s nose suddenly turned so pale that it was almost grey. In him it was a sign of anger. Without any prelude he burst into a stream of abuse that would have been startling, if the others had not been used to hearing something like it every morning...
The butler was called and the ‘liquid refreshment’ ordered. It was hotter than ever now, and everyone was thirsty...
Flory pushed back his chair and stood up. It must not, it could not -— no, it simply should not go on any longer! He must get out of this room quickly, before something happened inside his head and he began to smash the furniture and throw bottles at the pictures. Dull boozing witless porkers! Was it possible that they could go on week after week, year after year, repeating word for word the same evil-minded drivel, like a parody of a fifth-rate story in Blackwood’s? Would none of them ever think of anything new to say? Oh, what a place, what people! What a civilization is this of ours — this godless civilization founded on whisky, Blackwood’s and the ‘Bonzo’ pictures! God have mercy on us, for all of us are part of it.
Flory did not say any of this, and he was at some pains not to show it in his face. He was standing by his chair, a little sidelong to the others, with the half-smile of a man who is never sure of his popularity.
‘I’m afraid I shall have to be off,’ he said. ‘I’ve got some things to see to before breakfast, unfortunately.’...
‘Exit Booker Washington, the niggers’ pal,’ said Ellis as Flory disappeared. Ellis could always be counted on to say something disagreeable about anyone who had just left the room. ‘Gone to see Very-slimy, I suppose. Or else sloped off to avoid paying a round of drinks.’...
...‘My dear doctor,’ said Flory, ‘how can you make out that we are in this country for any purpose except to steal? It’s so simple. The official holds the Burman down while the businessman goes through his pockets. Do you suppose my firm, for instance, could get its timber contracts if the country weren’t in the hands of the British? Or the other timber firms, or the oil companies, or the miners and planters and traders? How could the Rice Ring go on skinning the unfortunate peasant if it hadn’t the Government behind it? The British Empire is simply a device for giving trade monopolies to the English — or rather to gangs of Jews and Scotchmen.’...
...‘Bosh, my dear doctor. We teach the young men to drink whisky and play football, I admit, but precious little else. Look at our schools — factories for cheap clerks. We’ve never taught a single useful manual trade to the Indians. We daren’t; frightened of the competition in industry. We’ve even crushed various industries. Where are the Indian muslins now? Back in the forties or thereabouts they were building sea-going ships in India, and manning them as well. Now you couldn’t build a seaworthy fishing boat there. In the eighteenth century the Indians cast guns that were at any rate up to the European standard. Now, after we’ve been in India a hundred and fifty years, you can’t make so much as a brass cartridge-case in the whole continent. The only Eastern races that have developed at all quickly are the independent ones. I won’t instance Japan, but take the case of Siam—’...
‘Pox Britannica, doctor, Pox Britannica is its proper name. And in any case, whom is it pax for? The money-lender and the lawyer. Of course we keep the peace in India, in our own interest, but what does all this law and order business boil down to? More banks and more prisons — that’s all it means.’ ...
‘Of course I don’t deny,’ Flory said, ‘that we modernize this country in certain ways. We can’t help doing so. In fact, before we’ve finished we’ll have wrecked the whole Burmese national culture. But we’re not civilizing them, we’re only rubbing our dirt on to them. Where’s it going to lead, this uprush of modern progress, as you call it? Just to our own dear old swinery of gramophones and billycock hats. Sometimes I think that in two hundred years all this — ’ he waved a foot towards the horizon — ‘all this will be gone — forests, villages, monasteries, pagodas all vanished. And instead, pink villas fifty yards apart; all over those hills, as far as you can see, villa after villa, with all the gramophones playing the same tune. And all the forests shaved flat — chewed into wood-pulp for the News of the World, or sawn up into gramophone cases. But the trees avenge themselves, as the old chap says in The Wild Duck. You’ve read Ibsen, of course?’...
'I see the British as a kind of up-to-date, hygienic, self-satisfied louse. Creeping round the world building prisons. They build a prison and call it progress,’ he added rather regretfully — for the doctor would not recognize the allusion.
...It is a stifling, stultifying world in which to live. It is a world in which every word and every thought is censored. In England it is hard even to imagine such an atmosphere. Everyone is free in England; we sell our souls in public and buy them back in private, among our friends. But even friendship can hardly exist when every white man is a cog in the wheels of despotism. Free speech is unthinkable. All other kinds of freedom are permitted. You are free to be a drunkard, an idler, a coward, a backbiter, a fornicator; but you are not free to think for yourself. Your opinion on every subject of any conceivable importance is dictated for you by the pukka sahibs’ code.
In the end the secrecy of your revolt poisons you like a secret disease. Your whole life is a life of lies. Year after year you sit in Kipling-haunted little Clubs, whisky to right of you, Pink’un to left of you, listening and eagerly agreeing while Colonel Bodger develops his theory that these bloody Nationalists should be boiled in oil. You hear your Oriental friends called ‘greasy little babus’, and you admit, dutifully, that they are greasy little babus. You see louts fresh from school kicking grey-haired servants. The time comes when you burn with hatred of your own countrymen, when you long for a native rising to drown their Empire in blood. And in this there is nothing honourable, hardly even any sincerity. For, au fond, what do you care if the Indian Empire is a despotism, if Indians are bullied and exploited? You only care because the right of free speech is denied you. You are a creature of the despotism, a pukka sahib, tied tighter than a monk or a savage by an unbreakable system of tabus.
Time passed and each year Flory found himself less at home in the world of the sahibs, more liable to get into trouble when he talked seriously on any subject whatever. So he had learned to live inwardly, secretly, in books and secret thoughts that could not be uttered. Even his talks with the doctor were a kind of talking to himself; for the doctor, good man, understood little of what was said to him. But it is a corrupting thing to live one’s real life in secret. One should live with the stream of life, not against it. It would be better to be the thickest-skulled pukka sahib who ever hiccuped over ‘Forty years on’, than to live silent, alone, consoling oneself in secret, sterile worlds...
ORWELL & POLO INDIA ORIGINS (...Orwell wrote the thinly-disguised autobiographical novel BURMESE DAYS in 1934 describing his five years in Burma. Orwell is recognizable as timber-company employee Flory but is a composite of other characters too -- including Verrall, a member of the Imperial Military Police who comes to town (Katha disguised as Kyauktada) and steals the heart of Flory's love-interest, Elizabeth. Polo plays a role in BURMESE DAYS. Below I've scanned and transcribed the excerpt where Flory is humiliated -- in front of Elizabeth -- by Verrall on the polo field....)
Reader Hendrik is producing a TV documentary on Orwell's "Burmese Days" & is looking to interview a knowledgeable fan of the book in England
Burma exports rice as survivors starve (revenue for junta & ally China) & Burma biofuel deepens food shortage (junta ordered farmers to destroy rice; replant with poisonous plant jatropha) & Burma moved capital from coastal Rangoon (to mountain desert with rat-hole tunnels; junta listens to fortune tellers). Guard/Times/BBC, May 13, 2008. Go to WEATHER-FOOD CONTROL
Disaster tests China-backed Burma junta (military did nothing for 12 hours) & Burma cyclone deaths top 10,000 (need shelter, food, water, medical...). See in pictures, Burmese cyclone. BBC/NYT, May 4-5, 2008
Reader Barry wonders if Richard Blair owns film rights for "Burmese Days", a screenplay he's contemplating writing
Author on Orwell in Burma speaking (a world like 1984 & Animal Farm). LewisClarkUniv, WashState, Apr 3, 2008
China building oil pipelines in Burma ("only the army will get money; will buy weapons to kill people"). Telegraph, Jan 16, 2008
THE BURMA FRONT (..."FDR supported a Burma theater with limited supplies, and by Sept. 1943 Stilwell was able to start his GALAHAD offensive with the help of the Kachin guerillas trained by DETACHMENT 101 of the OSS, aimed at taking the airfield at Myitkyina, the largest city in Kachin province. The British finally agreed to help and created the South East Asia Command Nov. 15, 1943, under Lord Mountbatten to protect India ("Save England's Asian Colonies") and to begin an offensive in Burma. Gen. Lewis Pick led construction battalions and the African American 858th Aviation Engineers to build the Ledo Road in Nov. and Dec. 1943 into Burma for Stilwell's X-Force that led the GALAHAD offensive...")
China's hand behind junta's fist. Australian/Times, Oct 1, 2007
...Chinese businesses have, in effect, colonised the property markets in Burma's cities, stripped the forests, excavated the gems, hauled off the minerals and built roads, ports and airstrips to serve China's hunger for resources and commerce. Stepping into the void left by European and US firms, most of whom observe the sanctions, the Chinese have become the new masters of Burma. They sell the weapons, organise the trade and provide the credit lines that keep the generals in business. Fantastic fortunes have been made by Chinese business people. Exile groups allege huge payoffs have gone to Burmese and Chinese officials. The pink lights of karaoke parlours and dens of prostitution catering to a vulgar class of new rich thrive adjacent to the sacred shrines of Burmese Buddhism. At the same time, China has provided cover for Burma at the UN under the straight-faced affirmation that it is Beijing's policy to veto interference in the internal affairs of other nations. The junta's crackdown was planned and executed on the Chinese model, using stealth, intimidation, psychological shock tactics and the selective use of lethal force...The crackdown strategy came straight from a Chinese textbook. The political lesson, said diplomats in Rangoon, is that China is bound up with the regime's crackdown far more intimately than its public pieties pretend. That makes it hard to see how the UN envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, who flew into Rangoon yesterday, stands any chance of progress....
No freedom for Burma. WallStreetJournal, Sep 26, 2007
...But don't expect China, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, to add its voice to the call for change. While world focus has rightly been on Chinese economic and military support for the Sudanese government's war against the people of Darfur, its involvement with other despotic regimes goes largely unnoticed. The Burmese people, however, understand clearly China's role in their continued oppression. China's relationship with Burma is the closest of any it has in Southeast Asia. It views that nation as a strategic ally, coveting the potential use of its ports on the Indian Ocean and easier access to oil from Africa and the Middle East. China has provided economic support key to keeping the dismal economy afloat, and has built roads, bridges, airport facilities, power stations, factories and telecommunications networks. It has also modernized Burma's army, including an infusion of weaponry valued at over $1.4 billion when the junta took power. In June it was announced that China would begin buying natural gas from Burma, and that the two countries were negotiating agreements on mining in Burma by Chinese companies. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese live in Burma and there have been protests against their increasing economic influence and presence....We are all painfully aware of the carnage in Darfur -- the thousands of villages completely destroyed, the hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced by the war, the systematic and widespread use of rape as a weapon of war in Khartoum's relentless war of ethnic cleansing there. That awareness has lead to highly effective campaigns to divest from the Chinese oil giant, PetroChina, that does business with Khartoum. There have also been repeated calls to not support the "Genocide Olympics" to be held in Beijing next August... It is time to pressure China's leaders to use their considerable influence in Burma as well. The military junta has carried out a campaign of ethnic cleansing, razing thousands of villages, killing tens of thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands more. As in Darfur, Burmese women are being systematically raped; hundreds of thousands of women, children and men are subjected to forced labor; and the country reportedly has more child soldiers -- some as young as seven -- than any other country in the world.
20,000 march in Burma against junta (USA to meet in NY with foreign minister of China) & Aung San Suu Kyi rare appearance (monks marched by her house & Chinese Embassy in Rangoon) & Aung San Suu Kyi comes to gate (protests begun month ago by civilians against economic hardship & house arrest of Aung San Suu) & Who is Aung San Suu? (leader National League for Democracy denied election win in 1990). UK/NZ/Jazeer/Can, Sep 23, 2007
Burma under Beijing sheild. Mizzima News, Jul 12, 2007
Beijing and Rangoon have long been the best of friends. Ever since the military seized power nearly 19 years ago, China has offered Burma a protective umbrella against international pressure. In the past two decades, China has been Burma's most important source of military hardware, during a period in which the West has effectively banned sale of armaments to the junta. Economic ties between the two countries have also burgeoned over the years to the point where China is by far Burma's most import trading partner...
India: Burma's dishonest neighbour. Irrawaddy, Mar 2, 2007
...China has been selling arms, frigates and other naval vessels, jet fighters and military trucks to Burma, and the Chinese have been involved in modernizing Burmese naval facilities. The scope of Chinese involvement has definitely created anxiety and concern among politicians in New Delhi. At the same time, New Delhi’s recent gestures and the flurry of mutual visits have rung alarm bells among Burmese activists and international observers. Immediately following the military crackdown in 1988, New Delhi openly and publicly supported Burma’s democracy movement, but nowadays such commitment could not be expected. In the new Asian scenario, India is competing with China to accommodate the generals in Burma. Yet the generals are bound to win at this game. The close relations with both China and India now enjoyed by Burma have benefited the handful of military rulers who continue to commit crimes against their own people. It is easy to predict the direction in which communist China wants to steer its policy with Burma, Tibet or any neighboring countries — and even with African states. China’s support for the world’s repressive regimes is regrettable but predictable and not unexpected. New Delhi’s support for the military rulers in Burma, however, only provokes bewilderment and embarrassment. To put it bluntly, New Delhi’s policy on Burma is morally bankrupt and pitiable. Although ranking as the world’s largest democracy, India is basing its foreign policy on self-interest and national concerns...
China & Russia block USA on Burma (UN supports military dictatorship persecuting minorities & opposition) & Double UN veto on Burma resolution (no end to human rights abuses). ABC/BBC, Jan 12, 2007
ORWELL'S BURMA. Time Traveller (To flush out the ghost of George Orwell, Steven Martin journeys to the writer's old haunt of Burma — where he finds the past is still present...)
FINDING ORWELL IN BURMA
Hasina is looking for literary criticism of "Burmese Days"
ORWELL MOTORCYCLE MEMORIES (..."In order to see more of the country [Burma] outside the city [Mandalay], Blair decided to buy a motor-cycle, about which he was entirely a novice, and Roger Beadon, who had a New Hudson 2-stroke and was an experienced rider, agreed to teach him how to ride it. The lesson was to take place within the less crowded precincts of Fort Dufferin. 'He had an American machine of a make I had never seen before [Beadon writes] and have never seen since. It was very low with 4 cylinders running fore and aft, and the sight of Blair, over six feet tall, astride this midget was ludicrous, as his knees almost came up round his ears, or so it seemed. 'All went well until we came to one of the gates which, so we thought, would let us out of the Fort, and we were moving along splendidly when I realized it was not one of the exits, but a gate that was permanently shut. I shouted to Blair to stop, but he lost his head apparently and instead of slowing down, stood up, and the bike went on under his legs and hit the gate. Luckily we were not going fast, and no damage was done, but it was an amusing incident.'"...)
Flo needs "useful summaries" of Burmese Days and Homage to Catalonia for his final exam
GULLIVER DESCRIBES BOMBS & WAR (as applicable now as then). Apr 20, 2004. Go to 13.Weapons & 12.Ministry of Peace & GULLIVER'S TRAVEL TRUTHS
ORIGINS OF ROOM 101 (the funny and double-plus-unfunny). Feb 12, 2004
PS - Rent the movie THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI. Listen to the soundtrack of the Colonel Bogey March
PUBLIC PRIVATE LAND GRABS (US/UK pay Big Business to seize land-water-utilities-mines-schools-health-services). Guardian, Jan 6, 2004. Go to 9.Keeping Masses Down & RUSSIAN SEIZURE OF LAND
ORWELL'S OTHER BOOKS
HOMAGE TO ORWELL
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