Skip to comments.India to turn Rudyard Kipling house into museum but ignores author
Posted on 01/29/2010 9:19:53 PM PST by bruinbirdman
The house where Rudyard Kipling was born in India is to be turned into a museum, but the author will be written out of history, failing to get a mention anywhere in the building because of political sensitivities.
The foundation restoring the Mumbai house has shelved plans to use it to house a Kipling museum, fearing that commemorating the author of The White Mans Burden and chronicler of the British Raj, will lead to a political furore.
The house, instead, is likely to feature a collection of paintings by local artists.
The Dean's residence on the campus of Sir J.J Institute of Applied Art in Mumbai, India where Rudyard
Kipling was born
If we tried to convert it into a Kipling museum simply because Kipling was born there, that would ruffle quite a few feathers. In the political storm, you may find that the conservation effort would be set aside, said Mukund Gorashkar, who is in charge of the project for the JSW Foundation, which plans to start the renovation work next month. Kipling was born in 1865 in the Deans bungalow in the grounds of the JJ School of Art in the bustling Victorian heart of the then Bombay. His father, John Lockwood Kipling, was the schools first dean.
Kipling described the location of the bungalow in his poem To the City of Bombay. His experiences there formed the template for the character he created in his novel Kim a white boy who is indistinguishable from the Indian children around him.
Mr Gorashkar said the municipal government officials with whom he had dealt since the project began had reprimanded him whenever he referred to the building as the Kipling house, and insisted that it be called the Deans house.
Sharad Keskar, Chairman
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
A really worthy cause. What the world needs is more places to put a "collection of paintings by local artists"
Those who can not address history honestly are COWARDS unworthy of respect, and deserving of contempt. IMHO
This is disappointing to say the least.
If you don’t like Kipling, you’ve never really Kipled.
Yeah. In the United States of America we even have cities and states named after our former oppressors.
The lee mansion at Arlington National Cemetery is no longer referred to by the guides there by that name and when I inquired of them the reason for this declension they gave me some rigmarole. I pointed out to the that when I visited the Lee mansion as a boy it was accorded its proper appellation. More bureaucratic rigmarole.
Do you suppose the "Dean" house in "Bombay" will exhibit the Confederate flag among the artwork displayed there?
Yeah and this is good to remind us of our history, and thereby point to future progress.
by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And - which is more - you’ll be a Man, my son!
I love Kipling.
I guess New York shall return to being referred to by its original name - New Amsterdam?
Kipling will be rehabilitated. He’s too good an author to be ignored.
From the article, it appears more like the local body in charge of the house is pandering to political correctness.
I doubt India has a problem with its British-era history, as their whole government and bureaucracy was voluntarily modelled after the British parliament, (although in conjunction with the American constitution), and ratified by the local population, two years after the British left - in 1950 or so. Not just that, the first Governor-General of India was a British official, for two years or so after independence.
The snappy song “New York, New York” would be incredibly clumsy if it had to use that old moniker.
Perhaps as long as the heirs kept up their claims to the old homestead or compensation, the name was verboten? Have Lee's heirs discontinued their claims?
I have a definite recollection of place being known as "Lee's mansion" in my youth. I was a bit put off by the insistence of the guide the term "Arlington House." She was evasive when I asked if they were instructed to use that name because of political correctness.
Thanks for posting, I had not seen this one before.
It is now called "Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial"
However, when we visited D.C. in 2006, all of the guide signs along the paths within the National Cemetery still referred to the Lee Mansion.
Bah. Here’s a note to the overly sensitive
Read ‘White Man’s Burden.’ Yeah, yeah, racist, racist. Whatever.
Fine. Replace the words ‘white man’ with ‘First World’ or ‘republic’ or ‘empire’.
Now, look around the world, and tell me where that poem reads false.
I wouldn't say pandering to it...more like reluctantly giving in to it.
It's brilliant and one of my favorites. Kipling was going through a great deal of suffering at the time he wrote it.
Published in October 1919 when the poet was 53 years old, "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" has proved enduringly popular, despite the fact that copybooks disappeared from schoolrooms in Britain and America during, or shortly after, World War 2. A copybook was an exercise book used to practice one's handwriting in. The pages were blank except for horizontal rulings and a printed specimen of perfect handwriting at the top. You were supposed to copy this specimen all down the page. The specimens were proverbs or quotations, or little commonplace hortatory or admonitory sayingsthe ones in the poem illustrate the kind of thing. These were the copybook headings.
Kipling had lost his dearly loved son in World War 1, and a precious daughter some years earlier. He was a drained man in 1919, and England, with which he identified intensely, was a drained nation.
I’ve always known it as “Custis-Lee Mansion”.
To be fair to some of Rudyard Kipling’s critics, it’s sometimes hard to tell his condescension from his irony.
The saddest thing of all is that Kipling is not a bad author! He doesn’t disparage India or Indian heritage at all. Look at his beloved Jungle Book. And “White Man’s Burden”, is a very melancholy piece. I know academia loves to take potshots at the work as an unmitigated jingoistic work, but that’s hardly the case.
“Take up the White Man’s burden—
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard—
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:—
“Why brought he from our bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?”
He calls out this bullshit, no doubt he’d find it humorous how India ‘remembers’ him.