Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kipling's Indian legacy

Plans for a museum in Rudyard Kipling's Mumbai home commemorating the writer have been shelved following concerns that a memorial to the renowned imperialist and chronicler of the British Raj would be politically unpalatable. But is it time for Indians to reappraise him. 

Nearly 75 years after his death, the poet and author Rudyard Kipling remains as celebrated and controversial as ever.

The man who created the popular image - or myth - of the British Raj, has gone through somewhat of a renaissance in modern Britain. His poem If - for so long virtually ignored by poetry experts and anthologies alike - topped a BBC poll as the greatest poem of all in 1995.

And in 2002, when his works came out of copyright, a flurry of cheap editions of Kipling's poetry and novels proved a popular attraction. But, for Indians, the man praised by George Orwell as "a good bad poet" remains a divisive figure.

Full report here BBC

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