To Orwell Today,


Our article about George Orwell's birthplace in Motihari, Bihar, has appeared in the Sunday Times of India (June 23, 2013).


Please find attached a scan of the article. It can also be read online at:

Big Brother can't be bothered, by Harsh Kabra, The Times of India, June 23, 2013 (Motihari in Bihar was the birthplace of George Orwell. Instead of turning his home into a lucrative literary tourist destination, the state government couldn't care less... Ever since a group of citizens, led by senior Rotarian and Orwell fan Debapriya Mookherjee began demanding that Orwell's house be restored and converted into a heritage site complete with a museum and a library, politicians and officials of all stripes have been drawn to the site by photo opportunities, but delivered only empty promises... There are many who want to help. Canada-based researcher Jackie Jura, whose deep interest in Orwell led her to create in 2000, says that many readers have emailed expressing ideas on how the house in Motihari can be restored. The Orwell Society, a UK-based group, is keen to support the restoration. "The proposal will go before the society committee in October," says Richard Blair, Orwell's adopted son and a patron of the society...)

Thank you so much for your help with the article. Please keep me informed about future developments so that the possibility of follow-up features could be explored.

Warm regards,
Harsh Kabra

Greetings Harsh,

Wow...that is a fantastic article and I absolutely LOVE the title, ie BIG BROTHER CAN'T BE BOTHERED

I love how you really sock it to the powers-that-be who are thwarting all attempts of the people of India to build a shrine to Orwell in his birthplace town of Motihari. As you point out, even the corrupt communist Chinese junta ruling Burma are contemplating preserving the Orwell sites there -- if only for the money they know they can reap from tourists and Burmese alike who have fond memories of Orwell.

Thanks so much for mentioning ORWELL TODAY in your article -- it's an honour to be cited in The Times of India. I've mentioned in previous articles that Orwell -- disguised as Winston Smith in 1984 -- wrote for The Times of London.

No doubt Orwell is chuckling down from heaven about the godcidence -- and no doubt, too, he's pleased that his adopted son, Richard Blair is planning to help restore his birthplace in India.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

To Orwell Today,

Dear Jackie,

Thank you so much for your encouraging feedback and best wishes for your wonderful work. I hope to meet you in Pune some day. :-)

Warm regards,
Harsh Kabra

Greetings again Harsh,

I'm highly motivated to travel to India again one day -- not only to visit Orwell in Motihari but also to visit you in Poona.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Burmese battle to save Orwell home, by Flora Bagenal, Times of London, Jun 23, 2013
A group of Burmese artists is campaigning to protect the house where George Orwell lived when he served in the colonial police force in the 1920s. The two-storey wooden and redbrick house, where the author set part of his first novel, Burmese Days, stands in an overgrown garden in the sleepy river town of Katha, in the remote northern jungle. The book is a contemptuous portrait of gin-soaked British colonials ruling over natives in the wilting heat of the tropics. "We have asked the government to let us turn the house into a museum," said Nyo Ko Naing, an illustrator who heads the group of photographers, writers and painters fighting to protect Katha's colonial relics. The town, disguised as Kyauktada in the book, is 12 hours north of Mandalay by a slow train crawling through the jungle, or two days along the Irrawaddy River by boat...

Big Brother can't be bothered, by Harsh Kabra, The Sunday Times of India, Jun 23, 2013

A small town's brush with greatness, by Rahi Gaikwad, The Hindu, Jun 22, 2013 (June 25 is the birth anniversary of George Orwell. But no celebrations are under way in the the novelistís birthplace in remote Bihar, which has, instead, become the stage for a political satire.... Recently, a mob disfigured Orwellís marble bust erected in front of the house in 2010. A more recent failed attempt to tear it down has resulted in cracks at the base of its neck. These developments donít worry Vinay Kumar, East Champaranís district magistrate, who is keen to see the Orwell project through. Debapriya Mookherjee, a Motihari resident is spearheading the efforts to restore the birthplace...)

POONA & MOTIHARI ORWELL MEMORIES (reader Harsh is writing a Times of India newspaper feature on the state of Orwell's house in Motihari)



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