I was sitting in Café Coffee Day in Dehradun, trying to pass a few hours until my bus was supposed to leave for Delhi. After finishing off some of my work, I decided to fire up the Kindle App on my mobile phone and started reading Animal Farm by George Orwell.
I had been thinking about reading this book for a while, especially since my sister was all praises for it and I liked reading 1984 by George Orwell.
Animal Farm is a light read, hence it was the perfect book to read during my layover at Dehradun. Even though, apart from a little bit of sleep on the bus, I had been awake for over 32 hours!
Animal Farm is not just a story of a bunch of animals who revolt against their human masters, it is the story of every revolution, every leader who claims to be a savior, every politician who claims he will bring about a change, that others have been unwilling to do.
It is the classic story of human greed for power, as the end all and be all for those who desire it. And the submission of rights and privileges by those, who choose to follow it and accept it, in hopes of a better tomorrow.
After all, each and every revolution seems to start with a genuine and heartfelt need for a change, led by seemingly genuine and empathetic leaders, giving up every bit of their soul for the betterment of the public at large and yet, end up either failing miserably and thus leading to even greater miseries or ending with the success of the revolution and replacement of one tyrant, with another even more gruesome and cruel!
The beauty of Animal Farm is, George Orwell has managed to convey all this through a story of farm animals of Manor Farm, who revolt against the human tyranny and take charge of their own destiny and become free from oppression.
Little do they know, they are only replacing their human masters with pigs, who at first claim to be unwilling leaders of the revolution. And then by showcasing their intellect and ability to read and write, become the de facto managers of the farm.
And then, little by little, they completely get rid of any semblance of a democratic society and replace it with a dictatorship based on the fear of outsiders invading the farm and animals within, colluding with the outsiders to cause harm to everyone at the farm.
False propaganda, spreading rumors, irrelevant controversies and drowning the voices of genuine concerns by the endless chanting of “four legs good, two legs bad” by sheep is the classic case of molding and distracting the public opinion by those in power.
Something that is all too evident in even today’s world, even though there has been a digital revolution and almost the entire world is connected now (well at least those who can afford to pay for connectivity.)
Yet, the more the things change, the more they remain the same.
And thus it is hardly surprising, George Orwell wrote a story 73 years ago, that still resonates with the readers and is there for all of us to see and understand, if only, if we choose to look.
Even though I couldn’t finish Animal Farm at the CCD, I managed to read it at the bus station and on the bus as well. And this little book of 100 odd pages, left a strong impression in my mind and left me marveling at the ability of George Orwell to not only see through all the lies in the world thrown by the those in power but also to pen it down so beautifully.
Animal Farm is a must and classic read for all, and the fact that it is fairly easy to understand and follow is icing on the cake. You can buy Animal Farm at Amazon, by clicking this link.