28 November, 2020

Four Parables & A Lie

The great Indian diaspora is more Indian than great

Four Parables & A Lie

The American space wallahs launch a rocket with a robot which they name Gunga Din. The Indians and Pakistanis settled in the US of A don’t take kindly to the christening. Is it a joke? Is it an insult, an intended slight, an unintended gaffe, a philosophical code, a tribute from a lover of Kipling’s verse?The reaction from the "NRIs", who may by now consider themselves well-resident in New Jersey and as American as hot dogs, was swift, predictable and entirely fatuous. It was as though NASA had named a robot "Sambo".

Most of the protestors, I bet my green card, will not know the provenance of the name Gunga Din. Like the torchers of The Satanic Verses and those unfortunate few who died in riots against the book, they will be wholly ignorant of the cause of their belligerence, the prime mover of their tragic fate. Others among these aggrieved of Arizona are vaguely aware that the name comes from a Kipling poem and the man so named is a water carrier in the service of the British Indian army.

To the protestors, Kipling is the closest they can...



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