• kewal sethi

gulliver helps

gulliver helps

(relation to anti caa agitation is far fetched)


gulliver, the famous shipwreck landed on the lilliput island where many lilliputians stayed. over the period, he became friendly with them and even helped them win the battle against the kingdom of bleuse. then one day he could see a ship, swam to it and went back to his country united kingdom leaving the lilliputians to manage their own affairs.


he had many other adventures but after all the sea voyages, he retired and enjoyed his rest. so it would have continued but for the fact that one day, the postman knocked on his door. not being very social, he hardly received any letters. he did receive some bills for payment but with internet catching on, all those came on his laptop. so it was a matter of surprise when he found the postman on the threshold. “good morning”, said the postman, “finally you have also some friend who writes to you. here is the letter. hope it has good news of a legacy”. gulliver thanked him and closed the door wondering who could this friend be.

he noticed that the letter was from another country, whose name was not familiar to him, much travelled though he was. he opened the letter and read. it said,” we are not known to each other but i have to write about this message i have received. it was in a bottle which came to my notice when i was lying on the beach. it was a surprise to see a paper inside it. so i opened the bottle, took out the paper and read it. it was addressed to you. just the name was on it but your name is famous. i have read the books where your adventures have been published. i apologise having read your private letter but without that i would not have known what it is all about. it is still a mystery to me but someone needs your help. that is why i am forwarding this message to you. perhaps you know the language which i could not decipher”.

gulliver eagerly read the message. it was in lilliputian language. the word ‘help’ was the only one in english. no wonder that the sender could not know what was written. anyway, it was good of him to have sent it.

the message was for urgent help. it said that they did not know how to reach the world where giants lived but were hoping that it will reach some land where someone who knew his address would forward to him. it appeared that lilliput was in trouble. it was run over by foreigners but they did not know how to cope with the situation.

gulliver remembered the lilliputians were great help. they had foregone their food to keep him in good health. though he had paid them back by helping them win the battle against the kingdom of beleus but even so he always felt obliged. he decided to help. at the same time, he did not want his fellow humans to know about them and had kept their location secret. human beings were too intrusive to care about other races. they had mercilessly destroyed the natives in many lands and if some survived, it was not because of them. anyway, he decided to help.


he took a ship to the approximate area where his ship was wrecked on his earlier visit. but this time he took with him a floatable dingy and lots of food to spare his hosts the embarrassment of having to forego their food to feed him. on the ship, he kept to himself, not mixing with people on board. on reaching the spot where he thought, he had the best chance to reach lilliput, he quietly slipped away on his dingy. no one missed him and the ship continued on its way, one passenger less.


gulliver did not have much trouble in reaching lilliput but he was surprised to see buildings as high as five feet on the shore. further on there were even taller buildings. lilliputians had prospered after his previous visit. coming nearer, he could spot great activity, men working on various machines. he recalled that after the battle with bleuse, he had taught the lilliputians about the various gadgets which could help them live better lives. obviously the lilliputians, once put on the path to progress, had not halted and were marching ahead.


as gulliver landed on the shore choosing a place which was relatively quiet, some noticed him and also recognised him. they took him straight to the king where he got a royal reception. but gulliver was more anxious to know about the problem which they were having. the message had referred to it in mysterious words and he was not sure what it was really about.

after the usual mutual greetings, the main point of discussion came up. lilliput, once put on the way of material progress never stopped. with education came innovations and with innovations came prosperity. but the island of bleuse remained as it was. eyeing the prosperity of lilliput, a few of beleuse residents started coming over. first they came in twos and threes and then in dozens and now in hordes. there was no checking possible. the coastline was so big and landing points numerous. once they were here, it was difficult to check. they had the same features, the same height, same characteristics. it was difficult to find out who was who. since they were miserable in beleuse, they accepted any type of work and any amount as wages and thus depriving the locals of their livelihood. being at their wits end, they had sought gulliver’s help.


gulliver was nonplussed. where did he come in. if it was difficult for the locals to differentiate between residents of lilliput and bleuse, how could he, from another world, could do it. and then, even if you could isolate the outsiders, what would be done with them. bleuse may refuse to accept them back since they could also argue that they were not from bleuse. the suggestion came that being able to stand in the sea surrounding lilliput, he can put poles at regular intervals and tie a mesh to them. this could be a wall which would keep outsiders out. the next step would be to throw out the outsiders over the fence. in such a case they would not be able to come back even if they have mastered the language of lilliput.


gulliver considered the preposition but he did not like it. he had reservation. if outsiders could not come in, the insiders could not get out either. the island would be like a jail. no doubt big in size, but nevertheless, a jail. the king argued that lilliputians did not need to get out. they had all the wherewithal for pleasant life. gulliver could not buy this argument. men and women could not be restricted in their search for pleasure. many may just like to explore the surroundings. it also could be for economic reason – for getting a bigger catch of fish. who knew, what future might bring. the fence, once done, could not be undone by the lilliputians and gulliver had no intention of staying there for an indeterminate period.


the question remained - how could this trend of immigration be reversed? prosperity attracts. workers are welcome but there is a limit to how much the economy can absorb. could we not erect a wall around the island to keep outsiders out? but the walls can be breached. the real problem was how to check who were the outsiders. the problem was complicated by the people who were disgruntled with the regime. the same set of people were holding the important and advantageous jobs in the higher echelons for a long long time. those who were now aspirants having become prosperous and educated wanted to share the power. since they could not do it in the normal way, they resorted to subterfuge. they were helping the outsiders to weaken the economy, to create problems for those in power, to discredit them. gulliver could not propose democracy to give a chance to everyone to taste power and responsibility. it would just not fit in with the traditions of the land and that was something undesirable. traditions are sacred otherwise what is there in life. life means living in harmony, goodwill for all, and peace. gulliver knew that democracy is enemy of this ideal. it means dissention and airing of dissention which, quite often, takes people to extremes.

gulliver thought and thought and finally decided that whoever had come in had to stay in. how could he be turned out? but, on the other hand, the influx could not continue. then a brilliant idea came into his mind. let everybody in the island have a card which described him or her fully. the advisors to the king objected. everyone will apply for and get the card. true, said gulliver but every newcomer would be without a card and thus could be identified and promptly thrown into the sea whence he can swim back to where he came from. but the disgruntled men called it heartless. it was virtually taking life and death penalty had never been the custom in the island. they contrived to see that everybody had a card. in fact the outsiders had more than one card, just in case.


the king was also not satisfied. this did not take away the problem. the newcomers would still continue to be a burden. throwing into sea those without cards could be done but they could swim back. it would be a perpetual struggle between those wanted to come in and those who wanted to keep them out. something better had to be done.


so once again gulliver thought and thought. he hit upon further refinement in the card. get the name and place of birth of father and mother. this will check fraudulent people. with this, the disgruntled became more disgruntled. they even organized protests. women sat in front of schools, in front of factories, in front of palace, on the road and every where they could find a comfortable place. the insiders could not move freely. it was awful.


gulliver could not make up his mind. so he started talking to men on the street. maybe he could get some idea from them. he talked to the persons sitting in front of schools, sitting in front of factories, sitting on the road. he could not learn anything from them. some did not know why they were sitting there. they were sitting because they were told to sit there. some had some information but nine times out of ten, the information was either incomplete or totally wrong. gulliver despaired of getting anything out of them. next he moved into other categories of people. many of them were against the outsiders. in fact almost everyone was. but many kept their silence. the activists were active. why take up unnecessary panga with them. gulliver talked to the activists. they would beat around the bush. they would not come to the point. they had their pet words – sympathy. empathy, natural rights, and so on. not being able to get any solid response, he began suspecting their motive. he learned to read between the lines. he realised that they were as much affected as others by the influx of outsiders but would not admit it even to themselves. but he kept asking questions and observing. he wanted to get to the bottom of the problem.


finally gulliver came up with a novel argument and idea. the main problem was not the outsiders. if people cooperated, they could be easily identified and thrown into the sea. the main thing was to win the cooperation of the disgruntled ones. the only way was to let them share the power. that was the brilliant idea. he proposed that all officials should be temporary ones. all the people would be divided into four segments. each segment will get six months to be in power, manning all the administrative jobs. only the king and his immediately family could continue to be out of such rotation. no elections, no electioneering, it would be routine change of guards. it would solve the problem. knowing that if the situation worsened, those in power then would have to face it when the others took over. they would not like that and would see to it that situation improved and improved steadily. those, whose turn it was to man the posts, would not be oppressive because after six months, it would be their turn to suffer. those who were out of power would await their turn. they would not be disgruntled. all the people being involved would definitely be against outsiders joining in. even those who were already in would have share of the pie and the power and would not like to get it diluted. the chances of further illegal influx would be negligible. after discussions, the plan was adopted.

gulliver stayed for some time to see how it worked. it is satisfactory to note that he is back in his country and is enjoying his well earned rest.


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