Developers In Motihari Are Threatening The Birthplace Of Novelist George Orwell

The compound where British novelist George Orwell was born is now facing threat of being encroached upon by die-hard Mahatma Gandhi followers.

Orwell, who was born in India’s Motihari district in Bihar on June 25, 1903, grew up in a small compound where his father worked as an opium agent for the British government.


Novelist George Orwell. Getty

Novelist George Orwell. Getty

Fourteen years later, Orwell’s home became the place where Mahatma Gandhi’s resistance to British rule began.

It was in the town of Motihari where Mahatma first launched his Satyagraha in support of the local farmers who were forced to grow opium for the factory that employed Orwell’s father.

Now, over a century later, the place is facing unlikely showdown between literary enthusiasts and die-hard Gandhians as competing bids are coming in to honour either of the town’s remarkable personalities.

Back in 2010, the state government had earmarked half of Orwell’s former colonial compound for an “Orwell Park” and the neighbouring plot to commemorate the independence movement.

But a local society is now reportedly claiming that local developers are attempting to secretly and illegally expand the “rival” Gandhian plot.


Birthplace of British novelist George Orwell. AFP

Birthplace of British novelist George Orwell. AFP

According to The Telegraph the alleged encroachment came to light on June 25 when George Orwell Commemorative Committee gathered at the site to mark his 113th birth anniversary.

While they were there they noticed that a new boundary wall had being constructed on the 12,000 square feet area which was set aside to conserve Orwell’s legacy.

The Committee intermediately notified the authorities and on District Magistrate’s order halted the expansion. An inquiry has since then been called into the matter.

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