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Wodehousian Indian Grotesque Politicians

'Cocktail Time' by P.G. Wodehouse, Illustration by EH Shepard(of Winnie the Pooh fame)about Partition of India
'Cocktail Time' by P.G. Wodehouse, Illustration by EH Shepard ( of Winnie the Pooh fame ) about Partition of India

“There may have been men in London”, writes P.G. Wodehouse about a character in his ‘Cocktail Time’, “who thought more highly of Sir Raymond Bastable than did Sir Raymond Bastable, but they would have been hard to find, and the sense of being someone set apart from and superior to the rest of the world inevitably breeds arrogance.”

More and more as one looks at the characters in the Indian political pantheon, one sees a resemblance to the dramatis personal of the world of Wodehouse. The only difference is that the real world of Indian politics, which is often ridiculous, sometimes to the point of being grotesque, is not harmlessly funny. It is deeply flawed in its moral seeting. Nevertheless, the ludicrousness of many of its leaders, their pomposity and pretentiousness, and the inflated sense of self importance of even some greenhorns makes them mimic the likes of Sir Raymond Bastable.

It iss a note from my cousin’s diary where the entry for the source of the note is scribbled out with pen.
Image: Cover of P.G. Wodehouse’s book Cocktail Time
About the other image:
It is from BBC: Indian Independence Pictures (nice vintage posters) which tells us:

As partition looms, illustrator EH Shepard (of Winnie the Pooh fame) depicts the mainly Hindu Congress organisation and the Muslim League as two elephants ignoring each other in a 1946 cartoon for Punch. Image courtesy of the British Library.
The note at the bottom of the illustration read:
“And now you can go on with it”
And we are still going on.


Found the image at a write up about Pakistan turing 60 by Bookstamper


In the book, Sir Raymond Bastable, sometimes known as 'Beefy', after having his hat knocked off by a well-aimed brazil nut from the Drones Club window, was inspired to write a book Cocktail Time about the young people of the day. However, he had to use a pseudonym, 'Richard Blunt', as he was hoping to stand for Parliament in Bottleton East as a Conservative candidate, and the book's sex motif would the cause the constituency committee to reject him as candidate.

Read more about the book at the Blandings


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