A Case for Rudyard Kipling as a Pro-Indian rather than an Anti-Indian
Marwadi Education Foundation – Rajkot
Rudyard Kipling has been one of the few British writers born in India whose writing exhibits a range of sentiments, strength and struggle of the British, the Anglo-Indians and the native Indians alike. His 39 stories published in Civil and Military Gazette under the title of Plain Tales from the Hills between November 1886 and January 1887 and later edited versions of the tales, 29 from Civil Military Gazette and 11 new tales, exhibit the said range. Most of these stories are concerned with Anglo-Indian life, civilian and military, that include Kipling’s soldier trio, Mulvaney, Learoyd and Ortheris. The present paper aims at exploring this range and the shifts that Kipling is seen undergoing in the later editions of the Plain Tales, from stories of ‘out hear’ to stories of ‘out there’, in order to be accessible to the English reader. It will also be interesting to observe how Kipling chooses to discern these references of the world he belonged and his reader didn’t. The study is made with the special reference to 5 selected and representative tales from Plain Tales viz: Lispeth, Thrown Away, Beyond the Pale, In the House of Suddhoo, and The Story of Muhammad Din.