The Animal Farm of the UPA

Animal Farm is an all time favourite book of mine. I first read it when I was 13 or 14 years old, and didn’t think much of it. The next time I read it, it was three years later and I could distinctly discern the parodying of the socialist/communist movements that it does extremely well.

You can read a synopsis of the book here, but some quotes from the book are *so* apt for the Congress party in India, that I am literally rubbing my hands with glee (and cackling evilly) at these ABSOLUTE gems.

Taking the liberty to modify (pun intended) a bit , I present the best quotes:


“The birds did not understand Snowball’s long words, but they accepted his explanation, and all the humbler animals set to work to learn the new maxim by heart. FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD  BHARAT NIRMAN! was inscribed on the end wall of the barn, above the Seven Commandments and in bigger letters.”



“All animals Indians are equal, but some animals Indians are more equal than others.”




Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure. On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon Soniaji that all animals are equal. She would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”


“Ah, that is different!” said Boxer  Manmohan Singh.“If Comrade Napoleon  Soniaji says it, it must be right.”


“Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer — except, of course, for the pigs and the dogs  the Gandhis and the Vadras”


“Whenever anything went wrong it became usual to attribute it to Snowball Modi. If a window was broken or a drain was blocked up, someone was certain to say that Modi had come in the night and done it, and when the key of the store-shed was lost, the whole farm was convinced that Modi had thrown it down the well. Curiously enough, they went on believing this even after the mislaid key was found under a sack of meal.”


“If she herself had had any picture of the future, it had been of a society of animals set free from hunger and the whip, all equal, each working according to his capacity, the strong protecting the weak, as she had protected the lost brood of ducklings with her foreleg on the night of Major’s speech.

She knew that, even as things were, they were far better off than they had been in the days of Jones AAP , and that before all else it was needful to prevent the return of the human beings NDA .

Whatever happened she would remain faithful, work hard, carry out the orders that were given to her, and accept the leadership of Napoleon  Sonia Gandhi.

But still, it was not for this that she and all the other animals had hoped and toiled.”


“For the time being, certainly, it had been found necessary to make a readjustment of rations (Squealer Chidambaram always spoke of it as a “readjustment,” never as a “reduction”), but in comparison with the old days the improvement was enormous.

Reading out the figures in a shrill, rapid voice, he proved to them in detail that they had more oats, more hay, more turnips than they had had in NDA’s days, that they worked shorter hours, that their drinking water was of better quality, that they lived longer, that a larger proportion of their young ones survived infancy, and that they had more straw in their stalls and suffered less from fleas.

The animals believed every word of it.

They knew that life nowadays was harsh and bare, that they were often hungry and often cold, and that they were usually working when they were not asleep. But doubtless it had been worse in the old days. They were glad to believe so.”

Needless to say, this can go on. Will stop now. Read the book, draw the rest of the parallels yourself. It will be worth your while.







7 thoughts on “The Animal Farm of the UPA

  1. It’s a brilliant book. So poignant. I will never forget Boxer’s fate. Orwell was a bit harsh on Boxer… in his fury against totalitarianism, he forgot to make room in his worldview for virtues in the face of adverse circumstances / evil.

    Enjoyed the analogies. But fail to see how AAP fits in. Maybe my memory of Animal Farm is rusty.


  2. First time on your blog 🙂 I always super agree with your comments on IHM’s blog so I hopped over here today.
    I read Animal Farm for the first time last month. It’s been on my reading list for a long time and I finally got around to it. I love the parallels you’ve pointed out. Interestingly, if you replace Modi or any other “strong leader” you’ll get the same results. We in India have a dysfunctional relationship with our leaders. We mistake inflexibility for strength. Perhaps that’s just human nature…


    • Animal Farm is one of my favourites too. I’m fairly certain you can take any large political party or even social movement (irrespective of ideology) and the allegory would hold true 🙂


  3. Some of our most innovative business leaders have drawn on principles that can trace their origins back to India, finding that yoga, meditation and renewal are a much-needed counterpoint to a Western workplace culture fueled by burnout, stress, sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Consider the book that Steve Jobs asked to be given out at his memorial: not a business manual, not a book about tech innovation but The Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, one of the people who helped popularize meditation in the West. As Yogananda wrote:

    Intuition is soul guidance, appearing naturally in man during those instants when his mind is calm. Nearly everyone has had the experience of an inexplicably correct “hunch,” or has transferred his thoughts effectively to another person. The human mind, free from the static of restlessness, can perform through its antenna of intuition all the functions of complicated radio mechanisms sending and receiving thoughts, and tuning out undesirable ones.

    Jobs had spent time in India and was particularly taken with the role of intuition in the everyday lives of Indians. “The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect like we do, they use their intuition instead, and their intuition is far more developed than in the rest of the world,” Jobs said. “Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work.”

    And this power of intuition and mindfulness is increasingly, and conclusively, validated by science. more here…


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