Documenting 'Racist' Empire Writer Rudyard Kipling
A BBC team has been filming in Lahore for a documentary on the life of the famous poet, novelist and journalist Rudyard Kipling. Kipling spent five years in Lahore as assistant editor of the Civil and Military Gazette. Kipling became the first Englishman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.
The team interviewed several people on the works of Kipling, including Oria Maqbool Jan, Director General of the Archaeology Department of the Punjab government and himself a writer and journalist.
Asked if Kipling was considered a racist in Pakistan for his glorification of the British Empire and alleged racial prejudices in his 1899 poem The White Man’s Burden. Jan dismissed the notion.
Kipling openly mingled with the locals and observed them for his work, Jan said. In fact, Kipling was the first British writer to narrate tales of “pure Indian characters” as compared to other contemporary writers, who wrote volumes on “the magic of India” but nothing of Indian characters.
The BBC One team recorded scenes at Masjid Wazir Khan, Heera Mandi, Landa Bazaar, the Freemason Lodge near Lady McLagan School, Kim’s Gun, named after Kipling's famous novel, the Civil and Military Gazette office on The Mall, the Sheikhupura Bazaar, the National College of Arts and the Punjab Club building, which was then the Army Staff College.
The documentary team had earlier visited Mumbai, where Kipling was born in December 1865. His Father, John Lockwood Kipling, was serving at a local school of arts. The team also visited Allahabad, where Kipling stayed as a correspondent for the Pioneer. The team is also filming an adaptation of Kipling's 1894 classic The Jungle Book.