To Orwell Today,

Dear Jackie,

I am working with a television production company which specialises in travel and adventure shows and has offices in London and Los Angeles. Currently, we are working on a travel show in India.

We have a short segment on the birth place of George Orwell. Motihari. We would like to meet the residents of Motihari who have initiated efforts to preserve the house of Orwell and installed a bust outside.

Would it be possible for you to provide the email ID and phone number of Mr. Debapriya Mookherjee, whose letters have been featured on your website at ORWELL STATUE IN MOTIHARI.

If you could provide us the contact details of other residents and journalists who have been active in preserving Orwell's legacy in the town, it would be of great help.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you and regards,
Saad Ahmed

Greetings Saad,

I'll forward your email to Mookherjee and hopefully he'll get in contact with you. I posted an article a year ago with news about the preservation of Orwell's house and that the George Orwell Memorial Committee had created a website. See MOTIHARI MOOKHERJEE DEFENDS ORWELL.

There was news also of the first-ever Motihari-produced documentary which aired on YouTube on the occasion of Orwell's 64th death anniversary on January 21, 2014.

Also, last year, a journalist from the Times of India -- Harsh Kabra -- wrote an excellent article on the progess -- or lack of progress -- of the Orwell project in Motihari. He contacted me to enquire about reader feedback pertaining to Orwell's birth place in India over the years, so I'll forward your email to him as well. See BIG BROTHER INDIA ABANDONS ORWELL & POONA & MOTIHARI ORWELL MEMORIES.

As I write this it's Orwell's 111th birthday tomorrow -- June 25th, 2014. Possibly Mookherjee and others from the Memorial Committee are planning a celebration in Motihari.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

watch Orwell Motihari Documentary (Orwell...But Why?), YouTube, January 21, 2014

Documentary on '1984' author George Orwell, TheHindu, Jan 20, 2014
As a special tribute to English author George Orwell, a documentary film seeks to spread awareness about the importance of cherishing the legacy of his birthplace. Mr. Orwell was born on in the lake town of Motihari in Bihar's East Champaran district. For many years this part of his life was not known to the local residents until renowned British journalist Ian Jack discovered the birthplace in 1983. The short film titled 'Orwell!...but why?' is "the first ever documentary made on the writer's birthplace," said director Bishwajeet Mookherjee, also a freelance journalist based in Delhi..."The film – a social awareness project – seeks to address three main issues: the ignorance about the place, the ignorance about Mr. Orwell himself and why we need to promote his birthplace," Mr. Mookherjee told The Hindu.

A group of local citizens from the Rotary Club have been campaigning with the State government for building a memorial in the place. For a brief period the issue took a controversial turn with local politicians opposing the idea on the ground that Mr. Orwell's birthplace was a symbol of British imperialism. In a rival bid, they proposed a Satyagraha Park in the next plot.

"People asked, 'why should we promote an 'angrez' [Englishman] in a place like 'Motihari' which is known for its contribution to the Indian freedom struggle?' When I started my research on the film last November, I went through Mr. Orwell's biography as well as his writings. In his book 'Burmese Days', there are first reflections of his anti-imperialist position. In fact, I learnt that he was one of the chief guests at a celebration held in London on August 15, 1947. He loved India, but why has India forgotten him?" Mr. Mookherjee said. The documentary will be released at MS College in Motihari on January 21, Mr. Orwell's death anniversary. The 23 minute six second video will also be uploaded on YouTube. "Every year, we celebrate his anniversary with floral tributes, but Motihari remains unaware about him. The documentary will help us reach a wider audience," Mr. Mookherjee said.


To Orwell Today,

Dear Jackie,

Thanks a lot for helping us out. Your site is an excellent source of information and has helped us in scripting.

I did manage to get the contact of Mr. Mookherjee...and I might require Mr. Kabra's assistance for more information on Motihari. Thank you for putting me in touch.


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~