of Pagett, M.P."
(notes edited by
'They will pass away – all my lovers have. I wonder whether I shall be glad or sorry.'This piece is also to be found, (unsigned) in Volume 2 of Turnovers, (No. 24) April -June, 1888 and the Civil and Military Gazette of 6 June 1888.
Today both stories leave a bad taste in the mouth, but they had a specific context: the decision of the Indian National Congress to hold its fourth annual conference in Allahabad at the end of December 1888. Initially the Pioneer's response had been to declare the body an irrelevance.
However, this time there were twelve hundred delegates in attendance, drawn from all over India, and the movement could no longer be ignored. The Pioneer was now the leading mouthpiece of those Anglo-Indians determined to preserve the political status quo in India. Under George Allen's direction the paper waged an unrelenting campaign against the Indian National Congress, one in which the young Rudyard Kipling more than punched his weight.
Always conscious of the debt he owed his chief proprietor, Ruddy was more than happy to do his bit, having convinced himself that the Indian National Congress was a Hindu-dominated political party made up of men disqualified by breeding, religion, history and education from ruling over the Indian masses - in marked contrast to the Muslims, in his view `the most masterful and powerful minority in the country', possessing strength of character, strong moral convictions based on their religion, and a long history as the traditional rulers of India.
In Allahabad Ruddy had found a champion of the Muslim cause in Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. founder of the progressive Muslim Alighat University, and he had come to share the Muslim leader's fears that if the Indian National Congress ever came to power, the voices of India's Muslim minority would cease to be heard.
Kim’s representation of the English rule of India as harmonious, benevolent and uncontested (except by the ineffective Russian spies) is seductive because it is articulated, not by Anglo-Indian spokesmesmen as in the early propagandist story “The Enlightenments of Pagett, M. P.) but by Indians themselves. Yet it is unrealistic because it suppresses any acknowledgement of the serious Indian opposition to English rule that in reality existed, and was gathering strength during Kipling’s own years in India.(The expression 'Anglo-Indian', above, is used in the then current sense of an Englishman who lives and works in India. “The serious Indian opposition” presumably began again with a new generation that had no personal knowledge of the Mutiny of 1857 and its terrible aftermath: Ed.)
...in beating the imperial drum, Kipling wrote stories of a directly propagandist sort; but even then the number which had this as their raison d’être is very small. Of these, one of the clearest is “The Enlightenments of Pagett, M.P.” where the Anglo-Indian case is carefully argued and, implicitly, the British presence justified.Sandison continues (page 78):
But I have also claimed that that Kipling is eminently more than a commentator upon a changing political reality. Even where he is dealing with a highly political action or character we are continually being offered insights more characteristic of the artist’s eye than that of the political propagandist.Angus Wilson (page 114) looks at this story, telling how:
Kipling received much assistance from his father, returned on leave and equally disgusted with what he felt to be such vague liberal London talk about the country he knew.And Seymour-Smith (page 164) considers this piece to be the first manifestation of Kipling’s imperialism, and that Pagett is a genuine liberal unlike the man represented in the verse “Pagett, M. P.)
A true nobleman, a LordThe implication of the sentence that follows is that historically the rulers of India have been better used to the sword than the pen.
Leaves writing to villains.
His dignified hand, when he signs,
Scratches the vellum.
“But the price—the price,” said the Jat, and threw back his sturdy shoulders. “My son is my son. Now that he will be whole again, how shall I go back to his mother and say I took help by the wayside and did not even give a bowl of curds in return?”Michael Angelo Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) Another great Italian painter, sculptor, architect and poet.
“They are alike, these Jats,” said Kim softly. “The Jat stood on his dunghill and the King’s elephants went by. ‘O driver,’ said he, ‘what will you sell those little donkeys for?’”
The Jat burst into a roar of laughter, stifled with apologies to the lama. “It is the saying of my own country—the very talk of it. So are we Jats all."
They met a troop of long-haired, strong-scented Sansis with baskets of lizards and other unclean food on their backs, their lean dogs sniffing at their heels. These people kept their own side of the road, moving at a quick, furtive jog-trot, and all other castes gave them ample room; for the Sansi is deep pollution.See also "The Vengeance of Lal Beg" in "The Smith Administration" (From Sea to Sea Volume II), which tells how a woman from the Sansi tribe tries to better her lot by concealing her origins, but is eventually found out.
...Like Verdi when, at his worst opera's endThis was a poem parodied by Kipling and quoted by 'King' ('So, you despise me, Mr. Gigadibs') in Stalky & Co. (King actually says 'Master Gigadibs', see "Slaves of the Lamp" Part I, page 42 line 7) Kipling read Brownng with enthusiasm as a schoolboy.
(The thing they gave at Florence,--what's its name?)
While the mad houseful's plaudits near out-bang
His orchestra of salt-box, tongs and bones,
He looks through all the roaring and the wreaths
Where sits Rossini patient in his stall...
'Power without responsibility — the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.'Baldwin (1867-1947), Kipling's first cousin, was Prime Minister three times in the 1920s and 30s, and later became Lord Baldwin of Bewdley. (see Charles Carrington, p. 7).
The dead of all times were about us – in the vast Moslem cemeteries … skulls and bones tumbled out of our mud garden walls.