Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gulliver in Dilliput

When Gulliver chose Dilliput from the list tourist destinations offered by the online operator, he was prompted by fervent Lilliputian nostalgia.  He could never forget those miniature creatures with so much national pride and cultural fervour.  He had read that Dilliput is inhabited by people with similar pride and fervour though they are far from being diminutive like the Lilliputians.

The King of Dilliput was on yet another foreign voyage when Gulliver visited.  But the Prime Minister was happy to receive Gulliver.  He explained to Gulliver the achievements of the King within a year of his coronation.  He boasted about the tremendous achievements of the King in turning around the plummeting economy of the country, Make in Dilliput programme which has given employment to millions of citizens, land acquisitions to take development to the villages, creating bank accounts for every Dilliputian with subsidised insurance against accidents as well as death, cleanliness drives, academic reforms, improving relations with neighbouring countries, rediscovering Dilliput’s past history and its glorious culture, and so on.

Gulliver walked through the streets of Dilliput in search of proofs for what was claimed by the Prime Minister.  He saw poverty and misery on the faces of people who begged or performed antics or sold knick-knacks at traffic signals, people sleeping on pavements or under flyovers, garbage spilling out of dumping places bearing slogans about Swatchchta, policemen closing one eye and shutting the other at the sight of crimes, women crying out for help from fleeing vehicles, children slogging in sweatshops, ragpickers, overcrowded hospitals... 

But what the Prime Minister said was also true.  There were signs of luxury and opulence in spite of all that murkiness.  The Big-Endians and Small-Endians coexist in Dilliput.  That’s Dilliput’s real greatness, thought Gulliver.

Unlike Lilliput, Dilliput does give a lot of freedom to walk, realised Gulliver.  He remembered the Lilliputian controversy about which end of the egg should be broken for cooking it when he heard about the restrictions on certain food items in Dilliput.  There were six rebellions in Lilliput on account of that one law which stipulated that all Lilliputians should break the small end of the egg since the Emperor’s finger was cut while breaking an egg at its big end.  Many books were written by erudite pundits of Lilliput about the new law.  But the books written by the Big-Endians were banned in Lilliput.  11,000 thousand people became martyrs for the cause of the liberty to break the egg at the end of their choice.  The neighbouring country of Blefuscu aided and abetted the revolutionaries.

Walking through the wide roads and narrow lanes of Dilliput, Gulliver became increasingly and acutely conscious of his own smallness though physically he stood a few inches taller than most Dilliputians.  Even the little children made Gulliver feel strangely diminutive. There’s an aura of mystery about this country, he decided.  Maybe the King himself will be able to dispel the mystery.  The King was the greatest orator of the country, he was told.

But the King was too busy visiting the world.  He had already visited 18 countries within a year of his coronation breaking the records of the best travellers in human history.  Telling the world that people of Dilliput felt proud to be called Dilliputians after he became the King whereas before his coronation people wondered what sins they had committed in their previous birth to be punished with a life in a country called Dilliput.  

“I’ll return,” decided Gulliver.  “When the King has finished convincing the whole world about the newfound greatness of Dilliput under his regime.”

Inspired by Amit Shah’s interview to the Times of India


  1. What a take Sir.....I could not stop smiling at the satire and how I wish that this is read by the Prime Minister as a speech, since he is the 'greatest orator in the country'. I am so awed by the way you connect everything in your writings....literary allusions, politics, humor, satire....Just great....

  2. I think one year is too little to solve problems in a country our size and one with deep rooted problems. I am no fan of the Congress or the BJP but I think there is hope with this government. The big mistake they will make is to be intolerant of other religions and views. Having said that, I enjoyed reading this - great satire:)

    1. Glad you enjoyed the satire. Satire, like the cartoon, is meant to provoke thoughts in a playful way rather than attack anyone. I had high hopes in our present PM. You are welcome to read what I wrote exactly a year before this:

      Perhaps, high hopes lead to deep disappointments.


Utmost Happiness

Book Review The world today resembles the macabre settings in the gothic novels: horror, death and a little romance. Unlike in...