Talk:Rudyard Kipling

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Former featured article Rudyard Kipling is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on July 22, 2004.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 19, 2004 Refreshing brilliant prose Kept
October 6, 2008 Featured article review Demoted
Current status: Former featured article

Migration status[edit]

Those born before 1949 in any part of the Empire, are British subjects, which includes anyone born in India. If he isn't considered an Indian person, then many of those in the category, including native Indians, should also be removed.
Also, by the standards of many articles on the Wiki, the place in which an individual is born, is considered vital part of the identity, and the relevant categories are added. Kipling obviously moved to the UK with his family, which would technically make him an immigrant, the same even today, regardless of their legal status currently. Uamaol (talk) 00:49, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

He may have been born in India, but he definitely wasn't ethnically Indian. Can you really be considered an immigrant to the country of your parents and ancestors? If someone was born while their parents were on holiday or working abroad as Kipling and many others were and still are, I don't think that they really should be considered as immigrants when they come back. Dabbler (talk) 20:33, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I concur. Two British subjects go to India to work and have a son there. That does not make him an Indian, and when he returns to the country of his nationality, it does not make him an immigrant. However, I don't really know the technicalities of this stuff, specifically not late Victorian usage (although I suspect they were a lot more intent on such offspring remaining capital B British than we would be today).-- Elmidae (talk) 08:26, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Ethnicity doesn't make a difference. If it did, then that would mean that the many diaspora communities throughout the world would have no right to associate with the countries which they happen to be and raised in, especially the majority of the population of the USA.
Kipling was born in India, spent the first 5 years of his life growing up there, then spent 12 years schooling in Britain and went back aged 17, spending another 7 years there, which meant that by the time he returned to Britain in 1889, he would have already spent half of his life living in India; the land of his birth. The Wiki definition of Emigration is "the act of leaving one's resident country with the intent to settle elsewhere". By this definition, and the aforementioned, he must therefore, be an "Indian emigrant to the UK". Uamaol (talk) 13:41, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I doubt this definition is accepted on WP. For example, I have never seen Doris Lessing (who was born in Iran to British parents) been described as an immigrant, nor do I expect to. How about George Orwell (born in Bengal)? Can't see any immigrant categories on these pages, and I highly doubt you'll get far trying to add them... --Elmidae (talk) 16:02, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
If someone is ethnically descended from a particular nation, such as an Irish descendant born in the US, then it is quite normal to expect that they would have the right to be more interested and feel connected to that country and its culture rather than one which they have no such connection to. It has nothing to do with citizenship or immigrant status so your comment that "Ethnicity doesn't make a difference." is manifestly untrue. In the days before easy world travel, many people lived overseas for decades before returning "Home" to their mother country and they taught their children that that home country was theirs not the one they happened to be living in. The very fact that Kipling was sent away from his parents at the age of five for education in a British school and milieu is evidence that he and his family were considered British not Indians. Dabbler (talk) 16:51, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
You've misunderstood my point but have also agreed with it; I assume unintentionally. If Ethnicity mattered then the many people in the USA of Irish or German decent would not be able to integrate with society as they will only feel associated with their own people. Kipling must have had some association with India, otherwise he would not have returned and got a job at a newspaper. Kipling returned to India for 7 years to work when finished schooling aged 17. If he felt no association with the place, why would he have returned? Regarding your removal of the "Anglo-Indian people" tag, he meets the definition perfectly for the term. "Anglo-Indians can refer to at least two groups of people: those with mixed Indian and British ancestry, and people of British descent born or living in the Indian subcontinent". He and his parents were technically Anglo-Indian, by the latter definition. Do you mean to say that Anglo-Indians of today are outsiders? Read below regarding my definition of the term "British". Technically Gandhi, and everyone born in the Empire before 1949, is "British". Uamaol (talk) 14:17, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
The Category:Anglo-Indian people says "This page lists citizens of India, Pakistan or Bangladesh or inhabitants of colonial India of mixed British and Indian descent, or people whose ancestry is such." Kipling is not such a person. DuncanHill (talk) 14:40, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Then the category is therefore incorrectly representing its definition. Kipling is an Anglo-Indian. Uamaol (talk) 00:37, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Emigrant, not immigrant. On WP, the term "British" usually refers to the citizenship, rather than the geographical idea, except when dealing with soldiers. Kipling is not referred to as "British", but rather "English", which is what he assumingly identified as. Wiki definition of "British people": "are the citizens of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies; and their descendants". As he was born in India, that would technically define him as being Anglo-Indian. The definition again for those who did not fully read what I wrote: "Emigration: "the act of leaving one's resident country with the intent to settle elsewhere". And again: "Kipling was born in India, spent the first 5 years of his life growing up there, then spent 12 years schooling in Britain and went back aged 17, spending another 7 years there, which meant that by the time he returned to Britain in 1889, he would have already spent half of his life living in India; the land of his birth." By this definition, and the aforementioned, he emigrated at least 3 times in his life before the age of 25. Again, "emigrant" not "immigrant". Uamaol (talk) 14:17, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
He was not an immigrant to the Uk, though he came close to being one to the USA. Johnbod (talk) 17:15, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Not an immigrant, but instead an emigrant three times before his was 25, which is what this is about. Uamaol (talk) 14:17, 9 February 2016 (UTC)


I think we are mixing up two things here. One is "Anglo-Indian", the other "Indian emigrant to the UK". These are not the same and need to be addressed separately.

I do agree that Kipling was an Anglo-Indian. This is an uncontroversial description that you will often see applied to Kipling and other white Raj British subjects living in India. Our article Anglo-Indians states in the lede: "can refer to at least two groups of people: those with mixed Indian and British ancestry, and people of British descent born or living in the Indian subcontinent" - the latter is the sense often applied to Kipling. - Note, I still ask that User:Uamaol not re-add the category until we have reached consensus about this.

I do not agree that Kipling was an Indian emigrant, simply because this term is not used for people of British descent, born as British subjects. I have given examples above and would like to know whether Uamaol would consider these to fall under the category as well. -- Elmidae (talk) 19:10, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

As I mentioned above the Category:Anglo-Indian people says "This page lists citizens of India, Pakistan or Bangladesh or inhabitants of colonial India of mixed British and Indian descent, or people whose ancestry is such." Kipling is not such a person. DuncanHill (talk) 21:46, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
The usage of Anglo-Indian to mean a British person born or living in India was abandoned more than a century ago. Current usage is only to refer to people with mixed British-Indian ancestry as Anglo-Indian. I used the definition given in the category description to determine that Kipling did not belong in that category.
Kipling went back to India after he left school because his parents were there and he had an opportunity to earn a living there using their connections, as did many other people. He may have felt some nostalgia for his childhood but as soon as he started gaining some fame and fortune from his writing, he left again to go to the US because his wife was American. He then went to Britain when he found he preferred to live there. He never returned to India even though he had the means if he had the wish. Dabbler (talk) 01:11, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
The term may not be used, but it is incorrect to say he wasn't an emigrant to the UK, which he was twice before the age of 25. I shall repeat. All those born in the Empire before 1949 are British subjects, regardless of their ancestry. Thwta would mean all those in the category born before 1949 must be removed. The only examples I ihave found above relate to "immigrants". This discussion is in relation to a tag which is disputing whether or not he emigrated from India, which he did, twice before the age of 25. Uamaol (talk) 00:37, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

You do not seem to be able to convince anyone here that Kipling should be considered an immigrant from India to the UK. So you will not achieve consensus for the change. Also you definition of Anglo-Indian is completely out dated and has not been in use for more than a century. The category considers the modern definition and to try and bring in Victorian concepts to a modern category is just confusing and not encyclopedic. Dabbler (talk) 01:23, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Of course Kipling was Anglo-Indian. Ethnicity is irrelevant as people can go to any country in the world. (165.120.157.157 (talk) 17:11, 2 April 2016 (UTC))

Anglo-Indian in the original, non-ethnic, sense is rather a vague term. It happens that I have often heard it, and continue to do so, since it is by no means obsolete, whatever the dictionary says. I do not think the Anglo-Indians I have known would have applied it to Kipling or his parents. They were not committed to an Indian career like members of the ICS, say. Nor was there any Indian tradition on the family, of the sort he described in his story "The Tomb of his Ancestors". I don't think he would have called himself an Anglo-Indian. Nor does it make sense to call him an immigrant from IndiaSeadowns (talk) 22:06, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

What do reliable sources say about the subject of the thread, specifically regarding Kipling? That's what wikipedia should reflect. (Hohum @) 22:28, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

The scholars look on him as criticising Anglo-India from the outside, that is, not as Anglo-Indian himself But this is not really aquestion of fact. If you choose to call him Anglo-Indian nobody can refute you. As one myself, I feel he wasn't one! Regret can't sign this properly because computer won't type tilde. Seadowns. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Seadowns (talkcontribs) 20:08, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

I would add that people of mixed blood used to be called Eurasians, but in an early piece of PC the term Anglo-Indian was officially applied to them. This left the other sort of Anglo-Indians, such as described in the story I mentioned, without a separate name of their own, thus causing some confusion. Seadowns (talk) 12:43, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Kiplings's view on Jallian wala bagh massacre.[edit]

I have been researching several places about Rudyard Kipling's point of view regarding the massacre. I found this in several news papers. Here are some links. http://www.firstpost.com/politics/a-sorry-apology-david-cameron-at-jallianwala-bagh-632541.html http://www.telegraphindia.com/1130221/jsp/frontpage/story_16587696.jsp#.Vxu0szArJhF http://www.historyinanhour.com/2013/02/20/amritsar-massacre-summary/ https://books.google.com/books?id=yzzlCgAAQBAJ&pg=PT506&lpg=PT506&dq=kipling+dyer+morning+post&source=bl&ots=EISShgiBD7&sig=3i-0UE7cYMx1W6DCcSz1DKRnSeY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiKl62lqKXMAhVFx4MKHe4rAhsQ6AEIRDAF#v=onepage&q=kipling%20dyer%20morning%20post&f=false http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2013/02/21/cameron-in-amritsar-apologies-for-a-colonial-massacre and many others you can search on google.

All of the links mention that Kipling supported General Dyer's order to open fire on unarmed people. It also claim that he donated 50 or 100 pound to fund to honor General Dyer. When I edited Kipling's page with above mentioned links as citation, it was removed. I would like to know why it is removed ?

Please Note: I am not regular contributor on wikipedia. I do not mean to hurt anyone. All I think is, it is important to mention such a view of a person. Ripplejb (talk) 19:00, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

I shouldn't wonder if good sources can be found for this; I've heard about it before and it rings true (Kipling took his colonialism straight, at least intermittently). However, the issue is that socking this into the article without any thematical connection, or even as a 'controversy' section of its own, is quite WP:UNDUE. This is a biographical article, not an examination of colonial mores, and frankly this particular stance is not more "controversial" than Kipling's inventively vindictive rants about "the Huns" - which, you will notice, are covered in context. If you can find a good place to add a one-sentence mention of his response to the massacre, I'd be all for it, but I can't see one at this point, and I'd be strongly opposed to manufacturing some UNDUE hook just so this tidbit can go in.-- Elmidae (talk) 19:09, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Point taken. I am sorry for inconvenience and thank you very much for the reply. Ripplejb (talk) 00:47, 24 April 2016 (UTC)


There is a commonly-repeated story that Kipling started the fund for Colonel (acting Brigadier-General) Dyer's retirement, that he was the first contributor and gave a large sum, and that he called Dyer 'the man who saved India'. This does not seem to be true. The fund was started by the jingoist newspaper The Morning Post, and it was the Post which called Dyer 'the man who saved India'. Derek Sayer of the University of Alberta, in 'British Reaction to the Amritsar Massacre 1919-1920' (Past and Present, No.131, Oxford University Press, May 1991, pp.130-164), notes (p.158):-

'Rudyard Kipling sent £10 (with the laconic and, I believe, thoroughly accurate observation, "He did his duty, as he saw it").'

http://www.academia.edu/4297399/British_Reaction_to_the_Amritsar_Massacre_1919-1920

Kipling was probably more of a Times person than a Morning Post person, and the Times was anti-Dyer. But he was likely to sympathise with the British community in India who felt physically threatened by Indian nationalism. Many of them made small contributions to Dyer's fund, often less than 10 rupees each because most of them were not well-off. The fund ended up with more than £26,300, so Kipling's £10 was not very significant, and his comment on Dyer is guarded and double-edged. Khamba Tendal (talk) 18:01, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

'Peak of career'[edit]

I had considered putting a request quotation template into a disputed paragraph, but I feel simply reverting to my own previous edit would more quickly generate discussion and resolution. I have not seen the cited source.

From my perspective, my edit correlated with the previous sentence, which states, "Kipling had no sympathy with or understanding of Irish nationalism".

My edit was the following: "The British scholar David Gilmour wrote Kipling's lack of sympathy about nationalism could be seen in". Fellow editor Elmidae suggested that Kipling didn't lack sympathy for nationalism. Perhaps my change wasn't specific enough - Kipling had a lack of sympathy for Irish nationalism in particular, even if he had sympathy for nationalism in other contexts.

Even if the source explicitly suggests "lack of understanding of Ireland", I still maintain that this is an over-simplification or a lack of clarity on the author's part: lack of understanding of Irish nationalism does not equate to lack of understanding "of Ireland" per se. Kipling was clearly not ignorant of Ireland. It is merely a lack of understanding for a specific political outlook, and possibly more likely to be lack of sympathy rather than of understanding.

I will alter my edit to reflect this. --24.182.92.247 (talk) 19:37, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

I'm sorry, that still is a misrepresentation. Gilmour's point is that Kipling made an actual misjudgement in treating John Redmond as someone trying to actively damage UK dominion; while it is generally agreed that Redmond had no such intentions and was working for what he considered the good of Empire. Thus Kipling lacked not only sympathy for but, more fundamentally, understanding of the political realities underlying Home Rule. - Or such is Gilmour's reasoning; which neither of us has to agree with. However this is what we report and reference (i.e., Gilmour's argumentation), so the wording can't justifiably be watered down here.
I have reverted to the original again. But if you wish to add some other sources that discuss a different interpretation, please do feel free to add the respective material. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 11:22, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Colourised picture[edit]

"Rudyard, Rudyard Kipling. Why do ya look so sad? I know it's rather a silly name. But it's really not that bad."

Hey, I recently colourised a picture of Kipling and I was wondering if it could made it up to the infobox. I believe it looks better than the one which leads the article and other wikis such as the Spanish one already have this version. --Macesito (talk) 12:57, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Hmm. Dunno, I quite like the current box image :) --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 13:40, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
Iam one of those who believe in authenticity rather than improvement, besides as we should all know, the world was black and white back then. See explanation of black and white photos Dabbler (talk) 19:38, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
@dabbler The comic has brought me a tear :). And I share the same opinion than you. I colourise because I believe it brings a closer glimpse of history, but I understand it can never be accurate enough and I swear I would never colourise art, such as films. That shall remain untouched.--Macesito (talk) 08:07, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

I personally prefer the current image... -- Director (talk) 13:24, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

Sacrilege! You deserved to be fried at dawn. What's that in his hand- a folded pair of Ray-Bans?? Martinevans123 (talk) p.s. maybe you could add colour to just a third of the film?

Two Comments[edit]

1. I think the article understates the sadism of Mrs Holloway, as well as failing to mention her foul son, who took part in tormenting the child Kipling. Captain Holloway seems to have been comparatively decent, but weak, and I believe he died while the Kipling children were there. 2. I also think a bit more could be made of Kipling's later adult stories, such as They, The Wish house, or Friendly Brook. They stand very high in literature. Seadowns (talk) 13:19, 10 November 2017 (UTC)