Listen, My Children...

Every Little Helps

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Quote of the Day

'There was a judge in Bengal [during India's freedom movement], who was greatly loved by all the people of his district. He was their ma-bap [parent-figure], and they all came to him with their troubles. He loved India, he was devoted to India and like so many other men he worked long hours for India, and yet he met his end at the hands of two girls in saris. They came along to his bungalow and told his servant that they wanted to see the judge-sahib, as they had a petition to present to him. The judge came out on to the verandah and directly he got close to the girls with his hand out to receive the petition one of the girls pulled a pistol from her sari and killed him.' Like many of her compatriots, Marjorie Cashmore found such actions incomprehensible and sought an explanation from an Indian friend in the Congress party: '"Here you have devoted servants of India, giving their lives, sacrificing everything in order to serve your people. You have others who come out from England and don't understand India. They've only come out for a few years and they abuse the Indian. I can understand you wanting that type of person out of the country, but this person is serving you, doing more than anybody else for your people and yet you kill him." And he laughed and said, "Don't you understand? The judge and those like him are hindrances to our getting Home Rule. The other man we needn't bother about because he gives us a cause for kicking out the British."'

--Plain Tales from the Raj, edited by Charles Allen.


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