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Book Review – 1984



This is a classic so who am I review it … but I will :), especially after struggling to complete it. It took me nearly two months to complete reading it and in between I read several other books. The reason it took that long is because so much of it seems to have been implemented in today’s life !! Someone had posted on Facebook as though George Orwell is saying “I wrote 1984 as a possible future, not an SOP”.

I have highlighted many lines in this book and there is no doubt that many many more people should read this book atleast to avoid our societies from becoming this way. The three statements that stand out are “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength”. We have made these statements true – there is war across the world everyday and purportedly to bring peace …. Freedom is slavery – whats happening in Syria ? The refugees are happy to be accommodated in some other country, almost as slaves, in order to be free. Ignorance has become a strength especially for the media and politicians – they refuse to see reality and media tries to create an alternate reality !!

Thought police and Thought Crime, purges and vaporizations, songs written by a jumble of words on a machine …. all reality today. News is being “written” by a machine. The television is ubiquitous and is the source of entertainment, knowledge, propaganda…and soon babies will be fitted with a cellphone at birth.

Some things hit home literally, home meaning India. The statement “In the long run, hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance” is a true statement – and the political parties for the past 60 years had learnt it well. They kept the voting masses poor and ignorant – bingo, success in getting elected again and again. The next statement was about the surplus labor in the world being deployed to dig holes and fill them up again or to produce large quantities of goods and setting fire to them …. smells the same as some of the so-called “welfare” schemes like Congress’ MNREGA :(.

The “SMS” language also resembles the “Newspeak”… the vocabulary is strangely similar. Very sad to see a language dying.

A fascinating book and as I said earlier as well – a must read. Lets just stop it from becoming a reality.

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3 comments

  1. One of my favourite books….. It is very very prescient; scarily so!

  2. Bindu-ji, Orwell wrote “Animal Farm” and “1984” in the 1940s . I read these books in the 70s and it was still relevant to the communist and totalitarian regimes then. I never imagined that someone could actually draw a parallel to it in India— but you did it!
    Incidentally Orwell was the son of a British Civil servant posted in India — and was indeed born in Bihar (where you can see “newspeak” at work, wonderfully!) He also served in the British Imperial Police in our sub continent. His writings were descriptive of China/ Russia then— how could he have imagined that Politicians in India would be inspired by it! Irony of fate!

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