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SHATTERED SPLINTERED DEEMED DAMNED DOOMED INDIA OF TODAY -- V SUNDARAM

SHATTERED SPLINTERED DEEMED DAMNED DOOMED INDIA OF TODAY -- V SUNDARAM

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Published by swamijyoti
Tomorrow (26th January 2010) is the 61st year of the establishment of our Republic. The Ship of Indian State seems to be sinking slowly, gradually and irretrievably. In this terrible context, I cannot help recalling a book titled “INDIA IN 1983”, written by an English Civil Servant belonging to the Indian Civil Service in 1888. The imaginary and fictitious predictions he made in 1888 about the future of the Independent Indian State seem to have come true in letter and spirit today!!

-- V. Sundaram
Tomorrow (26th January 2010) is the 61st year of the establishment of our Republic. The Ship of Indian State seems to be sinking slowly, gradually and irretrievably. In this terrible context, I cannot help recalling a book titled “INDIA IN 1983”, written by an English Civil Servant belonging to the Indian Civil Service in 1888. The imaginary and fictitious predictions he made in 1888 about the future of the Independent Indian State seem to have come true in letter and spirit today!!

-- V. Sundaram

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Published by: swamijyoti on Jan 25, 2010
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02/26/2010

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 1
SHATTERED SPLINTERED DEEMEDDAMNED DOOMED INDIA OF TODAY
V SUNDARAM
Tomorrow (26
th
January 2010) is the 61
st
year of the establishment of our Republic. TheShip of Indian State seems to be sinking slowly, gradually and irretrievably. In this terrible
context, I cannot help recalling a book titled “INDIA IN 1983”, written by an English Civil
Servant belonging to the Indian Civil Service in 1888.
 
The imaginary and fictitiouspredictions he made in 1888 about the future of the Independent Indian State seem to havecome true in letter and spirit today!!
When
George Orwell
published his book
1984
in
June 1949 
, it instantly became a best seller.Likewise in
1888
, a book entitled
INDIA IN 1983
was published. The book became very popularin India and England at that time. During my visit to the British Museum Library in London in1987, I had the good fortune of reading this book. I also managed to get a photocopy of this veryrare and unknown book from the museum authorities.
The author of that book intended toremain anonymous. Written in the nature of a gripping political satire, the author fore-toldthe granting of independence for India by England in 1983.
 
 2
The author of that book prophesied with remarkable accuracy the various so-called
„progressive‟ 
 political reform schemes which were going to come subsequently in the next 30 years and whichwere to become the stepping stones on the road to India's freedom in 1983.
The only weakpoint in the book was the Englishman's optimistic attitude towards the duration of theirstay in India. He had expected the British rule to last in India till 1983!
The book depicted ina humorous way the imaginary chaotic functioning of the Parliament (
our Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha of today!! 
) that was to be created in India after independence in 1983, if the dreams ofthe Indian nationalistic leaders of 1888 were to become a reality in 1983 in the fullness of time.
Lord Ripon was the Viceroy of India in 1883
.He was known for his liberal attitude towardsIndians and their aspirations.
Sir Courtenay Ilbert
, the then Law Member of Viceroy Ripon'sCouncil, introduced a bill in the Imperial Legislative Council in 1883. In those days no English orEuropean or white citizen in India could be tried by any Indian judge for his offences in India. Thebill sought to do away with that privilege of the whites.
There was a great public outcry fromthe British trading and commercial community in all parts of India
and more particularlyin Calcutta and Bengal--- against the introduction of the Ilbert Bill.
 
All the local vernacularnewspapers were vehemently in favour of the Ilbert Bill.
Lot of dirty linen was washed bymany Englishmen against the so called native Indians and vice versa. In such an atmosphere ofvituperative public controversy and high public tension, a new book entitled
INDIA IN 1983
waspublished.
What is interesting historically is that this book forecasting the attainment ofIndian independence in 1983, was published in 1888, three years after the founding of theIndian National Congress in December 1885
.The new book created a great public sensation and unprecedented consternation in official circlesat Calcutta. In view of the author's official position, the book was published anonymously, but thegentry of that time guessed correctly who had written it. It was
T. Harte-Davies (1849- 1920), ofthe Indian Civil Service
, a man of versatile talents, the District Judge of Karachi at that time. Hewas an accomplished pianist and a talented linguist.
 
He knew French, German, Italian andRussian, in addition to three Indian languages. He was a frequent contributor to
The Pioneer of Allahabad,
a leading English newspaper of that time.
Upon his retirement in 1894, he returnedto England only to plunge into active politics there. He was elected as MP for Hackney in1895. He was also an active member of the British Committee of the Indian NationalCongress. He was an enthusiastic champion of the political aspirations of the Indians. Hewas a close associate of Mr. A.O.Hume and Mr. Wedderburn, of the Indian NationalCongress.
In his book
INDIA IN 1983,
 
T.Harte-Davies
 
described the departure of the 
British 
 
from India 
in 
1983 
in the following words: 
“ 
It was a still and broiling day in April 1983 when the last vessel sailed out of Bombay harbour with the English troops on board. The vast bay, which for a month before had been crowded with huge transports and resounded with the rattle of shipping cargo and stores, was now deserted, except for the picturesque native boats and the Mail Steamer which was to convey the Viceroy, the Commander-in-Chief, and the Governors of Madras and Bombay from the shores of India.
” 
 
T Harte-Davies
caricatured the lawless and unruly Parliament that was going to be established inIndia after independence in 1983. The
President of this new Parliament was Babu Joy KissenChunder Sen.
According to
Harte-Davies
, this is how he came to the Parliament and started hisproceedings in 1983:
He took his seat, and having just finished his breakfast, proceeded toeructate violently three or four times; he then blew his nose on the floor, holding that organbetween his fore-finger and thumb for the purpose, cleared his throat, expectorated, and finallyrose and burst into a flood of typical oriental eloquence
:
Gentlemen, fellow-countrymen, shall Inot say fellow-members of Parliament and Romans, lend me your ears. This is theproudest moment of my life, my vita, ars longa, vita brevis, as the poet says, when I see
 
 3
before me your physiognomies and visages all full of constitutional transformation;indeed, I am as it were in a hurly-burly, and say to myself, I am now in a more nobleposition than
 
Washington was in USA in 1782; in a stronger position than Cicero, when hestirred up his fellow-citizens to make war on the Carthagians; all this I say in this princelyhouse and more, sitting on its own bottom, and controlling the Financial, Judicial,Revenue, Secret, General, Political, Educational and Public Works Departments of theGovernment of India
(
Thunderous applause greeted the President 
).Babu Joy Kissen Chunder Sen
continued
in this manner: ‘
For we are the advanced thinkers,and we show things to others, and nobody shows nothing to us. We are the heirs of the ancientwisdom of ARYAVARTA, we are the sons of the Bengal, which has conquered India, we are theB.A's of the Calcutta University, superior to all the gentlemen educated at Oxford and Cambridge.Let us then go on blazes in the course of civilization and progress, and guided by the teaching oftheology, psychology, geology, physiology, doxology and sociology and all the other sciences thatPax Brittanica can boast of. We can now confront the unmitigated myrmidons of despotism, andsay to the adversaries of freedom and jurisprudence, you be blowed (
cries of 'Shabash','bohuth acha' and rapturous applause.
)
CHAOS IN INDIAN PARLIAMENT
 
I am indeed wonder struck by the prescient and detailed understanding shown by
T Harte-Davies
 about the unruly and chaotic functioning of Parliament that was going to come to India afterindependence in 1983.
He anticipated the unruly incidents, rude, crude, foolish, indecent,barbarous and criminal behaviour of the Members of Parliament in India 1983 in thesewords
:
The next instant every man in the assembly of Parliament was on his feet andsoon an unseemly wrangling began, and such exclamations as,
 
you shut up, you have got no locus yatandi, chup raho, thum beff coofe ho and the like 
,
were heard through the din
.
Atlast they began to make uncomplimentary remarks concerning the moral character of thefemale members of each other's families and finally matters went so far that all themembers stood up shouting raucously with clenched fists with an attitude of self-defence,

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