15.5.42

I saw Cripps on Wednesday, the first time I had actually spoken to him. Rather well impressed. He was more approachable and easy-going than I had expected, and quite ready to answer questions. Though aged 53 some of his movements are almost boyish. On the other hand he has decidedly a red nose. [I saw him in one of the reception rooms, or whatever they are called, off the House of Lords. Some interesting old prints on the walls, coronets on the chairs and on the ashtrays, but everything with the vaguely decayed look that all Parliamentary institutions now have. A string of non-descript people waiting to see Cripps. As I waited trying to talk to his secretary, a phrase I always remember on these occasions came into my mind – “shivering in ante-rooms”. In eighteenth-century biographies you always read about people waiting on their patrons and “shivering in anterooms”. It is one of those ready made phrases like “leave no stone unturned”, and yet how true it is as soon as you get anywhere near politics, o even the more expensive kinds of journalism.]

Cripps considers that Bose is definitely in German territory. He says it is known that he got out through Afghanistan. I asked him what he thought of Bose, whom he used to know well, and he described him as “a thoroughly bad egg”. I said there seemed little doubt that he is subjectively pro-Fascist. Cripps: “He’s pro-Subhas. That is all he really cares about. He will do anything that he thinks will help his career along”.

I am not certain, on the evidence of Bose’s broadcasts, that this is so. I said I thought very few Indians were reliably anti-Fascist. Cripps disagreed so far as the younger generation go. He said the young Communists and left wing Socialists are wholeheartedly anti-Fascist and have a western conception of Socialism and internationalism. Let’s hope it’s so.

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8 Responses to 15.5.42

  1. zenomax says:

    Bose seems to have been the Malcolm X to Ghandi’s MLK?

  2. andrew says:

    i think that is a good comparison!

  3. M G says:

    So why does everything have to be put in an American context to make any sense to you? America is not the world.

  4. the ridger says:

    Of course America is not the world, but why should it bother you that Americans use American experiences and metaphors to understand the world?

  5. M G says:

    In the same way one finds it tiresome to come across a person who endlessly talks about themselves. US-centricity/ ignorant insularity is everywhere and after continual exposure to it, it starts to get on your nerves.

  6. andrew says:

    m.g., use of analogies to aid in understanding is a ubiquitous trait of human reasoning. you certainly do it too. i think it is probably something else that is getting on your nerves.

  7. M G says:

    It’s ubiquitous because it’s useful and works. As is the use of capital letters. No, Andrew, it’s definitely that which gets on my nerves.

  8. I agree with MG.
    The supposed analogy only works if you know nothing substantial of Bose, Malcolm X or Dr. King. Of Orwell, even less. It is neither useful or appropriate but misleading. One might compare these two – why defeats me since the careers of both Ghandi and Bose are well known – to Gen. Custer and Sitting Bull. Or Abbott and Costello. This may happen.

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