Ngugi wa Thiongo Wizard of the Crow put side by side with Salman Rushdie Moor's Last Sigh
European explorers, missionaries, and traders when it came to economic development, equated Africa to India, until India tested a nuclear weapon in the 60’s, and the recent astronomical economic development of 8% GDP.
Although, India is said to be the largest democracy in the world, but there are many pitfalls in the way it treats its general populace. The Moslems are constantly, segregated upon, and at times killed in huge numbers, especially in the troubled state of Kashmir and State of Gujarati, and the country in general.
India has class system entrenched in its constitution, Hindu religion allows the abuse of the Dalits(the untouchables), for example if the shadow of a Dalit should accidentally fall on a Brahmin, he can beat him at leisure, at times even kill him, and he is obligated by Hindu laws, to cleanse himself, of the sin by dipping himself seven times in river Ganges.
So it is not a wonder when, Ngugi and Salman, in their books play around with the people’s beliefs, and show the struggle between, indigenous values, and exotic values introduced in to the country by the British colonial rulers.
Abraham Da Gama, a central character in Rushdie's book, is a trader of spices. Historically, Europeans, travelled all the way from Europe, to India, in search of spices. These were a very important components in preparation local of local dishes of the day, they were also used to preserve foods, you must remember refrigerators had not been invented.
Rushdie shows how the inhabitants of Bombay were willing to fight the exotic values, the Europeans had introduced in the education system, but as they challenged these new ways in areas of art, language, music, culinary, religion and dance, corruption continued to eat at the core fine aesthetics of their culture-especially - humanity(Ubuntu) amongst community members.
The same thing was happening in Ngugi’s country of Abururia, human lives became cheap, killings became a daily occurence, smell of death in Abururia was like the aroma of spices, that polluted the streets of Bombay.
The Hindus for very flimsy reasons, could easily take the life of Dalits (the Untouchables), conversely, in the Rift Valley pastoralists, were ready to kill the agriculturalists, over clean water, or just because they were from Marafa.
Abraham, the main character in Rushdie’s book, Moor’s Last Sigh ,used all sorts of crooked business methods to get rich, he underpaid his workers, he was involved in money laundering, he peddled drugs.
His friend and rival Mainduck Fielding operated vigilante groups who terrorized his business rivals, all of the local merchants were in one way or other short changing the state, by hiding their actual earnings, so they paid less tax.
In Moor’s Bombay the dust of hot chili burned the nostril linings of the street walkers, the air was polluted with the smell of all sorts of spices, especially pepper and cloves. The largest, hottest curry dish ever cooked had come alive in India. Feudalism mingled with postmodernity with ease.
Similarly, in Aburiria the bad odor of rotting heaps of garbage, made walking in the street unbearable. Poisonous fumes from burning tires, a daily occurrence in Gikomba-polluting the air of Abururia.
The Gamas were at war with Lambajan, the corruption Portuguese had introduced in India, were tearing the societies apart, the local Chowkdar’s were at logger heads with the exotic Goans, when they interacted at Camoens and Belle’s family business.
Huge number of Goans were deported from Cochin, while Camoen as an individual was jailed for fifteen years for instigating the workers, to go at each others throat. As result of Camoen inciting words the two groups attacked one another with all sorts of crude weapons. Then came the national upheaval 1947 in which Moslems and Hindus fought and thousands on both sides lost their lives.
Global Bank monies also very common in Rushdie’s Bombay, were turning, the local elites into a crazy societies of “man –eat man societies.” Kaniuru equivalent of Miranda, corrupt to the bone, Titus Tajirika , Sikiokuu, Machokali, Aires, Mariko, Maritha, Njoya, and Kahiga, all by products of corruption.
The British administrators in order to cultivate local puppets, they glorified the use of force-the barrel of a gun became the best psychological tool of instilling discipline, in the indigenous peoples of the colonies.
When they handed power to their cronies, in the newly independent states, the new rulers, just perfected the misuse of power, as they had learnt from their former trainers and masters.
In his controversial book, Wizard of the Crow, Ngugi paints a vivid picture of what the neo colonial states turn out to be;
“ We should volunteer Aburiria to be the first to be wholly managed by private capital, to become the first voluntary corporate colony, corporony, the first in the new global order. With the privatization of Aburiria, and with the NGOs relieving us of social services, the country becomes your real estate. You will be collecting land rent in addition to the commission fee for managing the corporonial army and police force. The corporonial powers will reward as modern visionary. You will enjoy the irony that just as Gabriel Gemstone has stolen your intellectual property you have appropriated the intellectual property of the corporate west.”
Kamiti- a prison, nimuti (that is a point), herbs, Moor- Black African, Berber, both of them, antidote to their country’s ailments, belching of the Ruler, the cry of the he goat, the anger of wife, inability to articulate words, getiing rid of Mainduck Fielding and Miranda, colonization (colere) robber of indigenous languages, robber of indigenous memories, breeder of robbers, thieves, prostitutes, cheats, urchins, tourists, moneylenders, mucus filled noses, and fly invested eyes-long spells of drought-global famine, global warming, killer of children,old women, and pregnant women.
Ephafania replica of Mariko and Maritha, worshippers of western ways of life, they prayed their people to stop glorifying their old values and instead adopt the new ways-Nadia Wandia, and BabyD.
India the wars of the in-laws Lobos and Aires, was a daily thing-Lugardized Cochin, never got corrupted by the coming of the British-Brahimins looth for Dalits, irrespective of Nano innovations still reins supreme.
Anger, curse, infidelity and greed also never went away with the coming of Judeo-Christian ways in Aburiria. As for the inner calmness of the locals, British indoctrination, trampled them all. Instead left behind behind nightmares and depressions, molding of British Kambas and Kanjis, the western ideologies threw different ethnic groups in turmoil and disarray.
Camoens promoted public ownership in Bombay, against Auroras market economies tailored in British conservative beliefs. The British rule left behind an imperial India, where the judiciary, Baby D and journalists all worked in cahoots to short change the populace.
Words manufactured innovated milled with ingredients of perception, conception, intuition, in the factory brain-mind, output words raw words in the beginning, but with time and with objective universe around the thinking subjects weave them together to form sentences, and in the graft shibboleth earth the labyrinth of uncertainty, fear, paranoia, and death, language evolves to explain mortality.
When ideas and ideals formulated in the mind, in order to be heard , understood and shared by the individuals of the community, signs, symbols and sound are weaved together, and thoughts are born, and immediately they are shared by the individuals in a society, for the simple reason of trying to survive the harsh, cruel, uncertain, fearful environment called earth. In search for shelter, food and clothing and an explanation of finite existence, sentences become imperative, and as result a language evolves –all to in pursuit to accommodate being.
Mortality and immortality is a central theme in Ngugi’s book and Salman’s India. Individuals are in search of power constantly in these two worlds, Aburiria and Bombay. Wealth a variable of power, is what makes communities tick in Vasco corrupt world and Titus’s world.
They were all seeking assurance from the gods and sorcerers, all the cows and the mirrors. They wanted to be sure there was enough food, big houses and designer suits-postmodern sorcerers. Money could buy love, buy all the three basic human requirements-and so assure Aurora and Moor longevity and after life in the underworld; Assertion.
Empathy, kindness, generosity, love, feeling, and concern foundations peace and justice all milled in perception, conception, intuition, imagination important ingredients matter of mind-brain. Ngugi and Salman in Kamiti and Moor travel the universe to see where the British did most damage, to bestow Aburiria the likes of the Ruler and Miranda(Aurora).
In these works it becomes very clear that the colonizers had strangled all the essential ingredients, necessary for the formation of Ubutu. They had retarded all the essential organs necessary for the formation of emotional intelligence, in the nerve wiring of the thought system, for core values of the indigenous communities. All over the societies of the two worlds, everywhere mutants, Moraes abnormal manhood, one arm bandit, shit-point Tajirika-stinking Sikiokuu, body swelling Ruler-witchcraft and statecraft.
Perverts incestuous Elephantiasis Goanized lot, Tajas stealing nanny, pedophilias, child abusers, wife abusers, bisexuals, manhood in their world is defined simply-woman beating-were all common values of the former colonies.
Mungari, Kamiti’s mother, named after the leopard family, like many Kikuyu women. Like many mothers she wanted the son to be married- have a family, by so doing perpetuate the specie, was prime in her thinking, but the girl son planned to marry died of AIDs, while the people of Eldares are ailing of body, mind and heart disease-mainly corruption invested society.
Moraes grandmother, is not very different, she also wants an heir, but the daughter in-law, is so annoyed that her son had been traded for a loan, by Abraham his father.
Kamiti who inherited the skills of his grandfather, a medicine man, who knew the ways of the forest in Eldares, in Aburiria, a holy seer, a spiritual leader, he went around the community settling differences and he also cleansed those that had engaged with the enemies.
Kamiti travels to the United States of America, to help cure the ailing Ruler, of Self Inflicted Expansion (SIE)-IF syndrome in which the only word which came from his mouth was korwo. Kamiti after forty years of independence from the British, the only development he can show to the rest of the world, is the use of traditional medicine. The art of reading messages from the surface of mirrors.
Moraes people are engulfed in corruption, the difference with the two peoples, is that one has entwined the past and the future, in going digital in all that they did. India had traditional ways living together harmoniously with their indigenous values, such that the hybrid cars, travel on the same roads with sacred cows and motor scooters.
Moraes finds himself in prison, conditions are equivalent to hell, human excrement spattered everywhere, rats of all sizes mingled with humans at leisure feeding on the flesh of those too weak to defend themselves.
Floors wet from human defecation, cries all over the place, emitting, from those being tortured by the guards. Tajirika trembling with fear, when he is thrown into dark dungeon, flung into the unknown, where man eat man is the order of the day.
Tajirika for defense he hauls a pale of shit, and starts chasing those near him, with very traditional weapon, a pale full human excrement. Titus shouted out to those near him that he was infected with the deadly virus HIV, this scared to death those who he chasing with the shit weapon.
In 1957 Ghana became the first nation in Africa to shade the chains of colonialism from the British, in the same year Moor was born, and India by the time Ghana attains its independence, was ten years old.
Moor’s conception, while on tour of the cave, a child born twice his age, later to grow at an astronomical speed, to stride over two eras, yet still in the past, feudal-postmodern child, born with a stiff erection-from very tender age enjoyed the warmth of the thighs of their family maid.
He involves them in a long interrogation, to uncover where the money was hidden. to achieve his plans he uses divisive techniques, the Lugard philosophy of "divide and rule," is very much alive in governance technique of Aburiria.
Sikiokuu and Machokali, are kept in darkness, they are made to walk the road of secrecy on what the Rulers regime was involved in, they are full of fear of what was to happen to them as leaders of different institutions. The Ruler uses the technique of half barked information, trickling to them, as result of which they cannot use the distorted information, to make any sensible , logical and reasonable decisions.
Moraes does away with Mainduck Fielding by sneaking privately into his residence and revenging the death of his father. In colonial India the acceptance of British rule was done using the barrel of the gun, fear and uncertainty was the weapon of choice.
In making the indigenous people submit into British ways, by the power of the gun, in return the locals, acculturated in British values, also glorified force, as a weapon of choice when it came to daily governance.
Abraham the patriarch of Zogoiby empire, had perfected the art of using force, in running his business empire, Lambajan the parrot carrier, was gun for hire for Abraham, he took care of his dirty work.
Abraham desperation, and greed of how far he can sacrifice himself for wealth, is realized when he is caught utilizing the deformed body of his own blood, to run his industry.
After some years her life is all in ruins and returns to Bombay, to die of cancer. The other sibling is attracted into the solitary life of the monastery, the other is in difficult life of fighting for the civil rights of the workers, she goes against the established norm of the communities of Cochin, looking the other way when evil is doing its work. Her boldness is depicted when she takes on her father Abraham, and his cohorts, to defend the working class of Cochin.
While in this side of the world the ghost of dictator Franco comes to haunt him, the Ruler is all over where the former colonizers are found; Franco an authoritarian who usurped all powers of the Spanish people, for almost seventy years, is covered by Salman Rushdie in discussing Erasmo and the town of Benengeli, Falagists against the republicans.
Miranda, representative of the western powers in the sixties, when the developing countries of India and Japan were coming of age, to catch up with the industrialized societies of Europe and the US, Miranda played Russian roulette, with Moraes and Aoi Ue, this was meant to discourage them from developing nuclear weapons. The Japanese lady is shot by mad Miranda, and in the process Miranda dies mysteriously.
Ramayana-Ra the sun, Ma-truth , Ram( "Rama we have known you for long," says Salman Rushdie) the science of digital world, in stroll through the streets of Aburiria, immediately after Tajirika takes over, and the voice of the Imperial all powerful reins supreme, Nyawira and Kamiti see hope in the struggle of the people.
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