Skip to comments.Rudyard Kipling, India and Edward Said [Defending Kipling from his Muslim Detractors!]
Posted on 03/01/2010 7:55:39 AM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
There is a marvellous passage in Kim where Kipling good-humouredly pats himself on the back and is asking for our applause for the way that he has totally immersed himself in India, and has mastered all the nuances of caste, creed and etiquette. Practically every Westerner writing gushingly about India commits unforgiveable solecisms- there are traps for the unwary and untutored. Modern films like the ridiculous Gandhi are the most egregious sinners. Here is the passage from Kim....
(Excerpt) Read more at newenglishreview.org ...
One thing India has is diversity.
The west had nothing in common with Islam. Why would anyone exect Muslims to understand Kipling. Who cares if they do? Their criticism of anything western is perfectly irrelevant.
Thanks — this was good — took me back to college when I got into trouble for interpreting “the White Man’s Burden” along similar lines.
Unless I’m confused, Said (the main critic the author is defending against) does not present a specifically Muslim critique of Kipling.
He instead presents an essentially leftist critique, based on Leninist anti-imperialism, of what he popularized referring to as “Orientalism.”
An Islamist or truly Muslim critique would be made on quite different grounds.
BTW, I enjoyed the article, but can’t absolve Kipling of racism quite as thoroughly as the author. Kipling wrote the most appalling things at times. While he is certainly not the white supremacist cartoon he is generally seen as, his attitudes are close enough to it to be unacceptable in polite society today. Even mine.
Kipling is much more complex than a short essay can really discuss.
He's absolutely right, and I missed that. The poem is more brilliant than I thought. But it's strong stuffonly safe for those who believe that truth exists.
Meanwhile, speaking of imperialists, if everyone's so special that no people can write about another, what was a @#$%&* Egyptian like Said doing pontificating about Indians? (Oh, I see, as a Marxist who thinks he is above it all.)
I used to think Kipling was a prophet for his poem “Gods of the Copybook Headings.” Then I listened to “Liberal Fascism” and realized he was simply describing what was happening back then; it only sounded prophetic because the Progressive/Fascists have been pursuing the same objectives with amazing consistency since before the beginning of the 20th Century.
We took up the White Man's burden
Of ebony and brown.
Now can you tells us,Rudyard
How may we put it down?
Mastering all the nuances of caste, creed and etiquette may make for a good novel, but a good cigar is a smoke.
The difficulty with the position is that Said himself, not an Indian but a Palestinian, had far less acquaintance with India than did Kipling. Underlying this is the assumption that a grasp of postcolonialism, like all Marxian and neo-Marxian doctrines, elevates the thinker above the model, transcending the old oppressor/oppressed dialectic into a new enlightenment. One finds, however, that its adherents constitute some of the most prejudiced, least tolerant, least enlightened intellects on the planet.
Hence we have Said, arguing with a superficial grasp of India and an incomplete acquaintance with Kipling, that it all fits into his neat intellectual model of imperialism. And so it does, if you're willing to twist it enough.
I predict that we have not seen the end of Imperialism. I see new empires about to be built —this time by India, China and Others. Just look at Tibet? Is not that a part of a new Chinese Empire? If I was Vietnam I would be worried about my neighbor to the north.
Aye, but you'd be surprised just how much of the Marxist argumentation radical Muslims have adopted and internalised. When people talk about the Red-Green alliance, they're not being pert.
Perhaps not, but they are usually talking about an alliance between leftists and environmentalists.
A very slight point: Said was arguably an Egyptian who was born in and spent several years of his youth in Jerusalem.
Not always. A lot of the time, they're talking about the anti-Western confluence of radical socialism and radical Islam.
It can be passed down by handing it over to the next “generation”. Just as Assyria handed the crown to Babylonia who gave it to Persia who gave it to Greece who gave it to Rome who gave it to Byzantium who gave it to France and Spain who gave it to England who gave it to the US, sadly it seems that now we are passing this to India (sadly because it’s accelerated under Obambi, though it’s good that the baton is handed to an anglophone nation)
Vietnam IS worried about China — it has been worried about it for centuries. The present Vietnamese came from southern China, driven out by the Han and they pushed out Malayan type people (the great kingdom of Champa), which, incidently enough was Hindu-Buddhist with Indian culture. Anyway, back to the present and Vietnam has strong ties with India and is building up ties with Australia and Japan to counter China.