by Manuwant Choudhary
NDTV.com, 26 June 2003
Motihari, India - What does the man who gave the world the idea of the 'Big Brother', the man who wrote Animal Farm and 1984 have to do with Motihari in Bihar?
Well, George Orwell was born there. In fact, Motihari has woken up to Orwell's Indian connection only recently and with the world celebrating his birth centenary, Motihari is doing its bit too.
Orwell's father was a civil service official in Motihari but left for England with his family within a year of George's birth.
But it's a strange coincidence that the house Orwell was born in resembles the animal farm he wrote about.
Till a few years ago nobody in Motihari had even heard about Orwell, let alone read his famous books. But when several academicians and foreign journalists landed there to research his work, local interest grew.
"From photographs we learned that this was his birthplace. The photographs show him with parents," said Brajnandan Rai, an English teacher.
Now locals are even hoping that that a memorial will be built for Orwell. But despite the renewed interest, in a state where English has been removed from the curriculum of state-run schools and colleges, the majority doesn't even understand the language the famous author wrote in.
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