Friday, May 11, 2007

Robert Clive..

In one of those after lunch film making sessions, when I was feeling terribly sleepy, all of sudden, I hear some discussions on some Robert Clive commiting sucide. The named looked very familiar, mentally I tried to locate where I had heard the name, thinking about any suicides that had been featured on CNN-IBN. Was he some music band guy or something, no movie star as well, perhaps a political guy.

I blurted out in class "Kaun Robert Clive yaar?",

"How did you pass out, Robert Clive, who established British Empire in India?",

Ooops, everything came back, Battle of Plassey, Siraj Ud Dullah, and so on. And he committed suicide, I did not know that. The guy who I would assume, had everything name, fame, money. He killed himself !!!

As the story goes, (I did not know most part of this story, maybe you all may know it), he was the spoiled brat, was expelled from multiple schools. He was sent of to India at the age of 18, to get rid of him, because at that time survival rate in India was only about 50%. He was posted at Madras as a clerk. It is said that he was totally depressed there and made a failed attempt to suicide.

He was considered lowly character by his fellow British, because he spent lot of time with locals, boozing, and doing all kinds of shitty things. But this is where, he developed lot of those contacts with locals, and where he discovered the way of getting things done by bribing.

It is also said that the "Great battle of Plassey", (that I used to imagine was a big fierce battle) hardly lasted for more than an hour. There was no attack from the opposition, Clive had bribed Mir Jafar (head of armed forces of Siraj Ud Dullah), and in the final battle, Mir Jafar refused to move. And the battle got over. Siraj Ud Dullah, fled, but was later captured and killed. Mir jafar became a puppet Nawab of British.

Clive returned to England, with all the glory, but was severly criticized for making lot of money in unfair ways, and he was as it seems in state of depression. He was levied with charges of corruption.

At 48 he commited sucide. It seems there was even a controversy over his burial. And after a life of establishing a British empire in India, his grave was unmarked and remains so.

The gloriouis Robert Clive, abandoned by his family, and almost like expelled to India, looked down upon by fellow people, ended up changing the face of history, but personally had rather a sad life. Almost feel sorry for him.

What you see is now always what it is!!!

I guess before you start cursing me, of this uninvited history lessons, I will sign off.

PS: Wikipedia says that "mirjafar" in Bengali is still used as synonym to traitor. Wonder if it is true.

One more PS: What I wrote above is as narrated by our film making instructor, but verified from wikipedia, seems true.


satyajit said...

imagine our life stories condensed in 200 scary! sympathy is the feeling now..

Chander Dogra said...

Hmmm nice history lesson. Not something taught in CBSE history classes for sure. Well learning about the architect of modern india's i decided to venture the fate of another nemisis General Dyer, well the wiki gives a good account of that as well. Its strange isn't it the forces which are so moral about the happenings in Iraq and Afghanistan ..and even germany ..and who scentenced peple as war criminals never punished there own folks. But I guess history is written by victors .Who knows if Ravan had won the war against Ram ..we would have been reading an entirely different Ramayana ...

GeekBeyondRedemption said...

Chander, if you want to read Ramayana as written by Ravana/Lankans, you can!

There are also mentions of Jain texts which praise Ravana..


Reema Banerjee said...

Whoa, it took me time too to remember robert clive...
well, i heard this sumwer...those who commit suicide do not hate life...they love life so much that they cannot bear to see it seemingly so wrong...these people actually truly want to them see for thought?

Vaidehi Dongre said...

interesting story. cool, u are taking filmmaking classes! do u aspire to direct one or something?

Goli said...

@satyajit... I guess most of us may not even get that luxury of 200 words..

@chander... I think it is just perspective. Dyer did unthinkable, but I guess there were hundreds of other indian kings who did the same thing.... but somehow we never seem to crib about them.

PritS said...

General Dyer: I read about him once. His is a nice story too. :)