George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” is one book which had escaped my attention until a few years back when a friend recommended a read. Now, it seems apt to reproduce the short summary I had penned back in 2014/2015. It is relevant even today as we realize how we move from one mess to another.

Animal Farm is the very familiar setting of any society, a race, or a creed who after being oppressed for long enough decide to fight against the odds. A leader or a group of leaders, visionaries come to the rescue and the common man believe in these new set of leaders and a movement takes place.

So happened in Animal Farm where inspired by Old Major, two pigs Snowball and Napoleon rise to the occasion and spend time, effort, energy and thought; and revolt against their human master Mr. Jones ultimately chasing him away! The new breed are full of hope, hope for the future and with their enthusiasm are capable of turning dreams into reality. They succeed initially and with a bit of beginner’s luck and support are actually able to make progress.

But power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely; Animal Farm was no exception. Napoleon, in his arrogance, pride and some bit of insecurity plots a story against Snowball, eliminates his political rival very cleverly and spreads all sorts of rumours and lies. The followers are left in a state of confusion, fear and not able to decide right from wrong. Sometimes they trust blindly and sometimes in a state of helplessness. This goes on and on and hardly does anybody realize that the original values have been compromised for, the trust has been misplaced and self interest has taken a priority over everything else so much so that their initial commandments are abridged to just one phrase:

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

So Napoleon of Animal Farm has not only managed to dismiss Snowball from the followers’ memories but in his arrogance has taken the role of a dictator. He enters into partnership with his original rivals, for this game of politics and power is such that one becomes his/her own slave, distinguishing between what one is, to what one was, and what is right is clouded. Benefits take precedence and values take a back seat. Flatterers are favored, hard work is ignored and those little struggles are banished. Honest opinion and sincerity are not respected, not appreciated and the honest die their natural death. So, no care was taken when the hard worker Boxer was sick and eventually got killed.

“It had become usual to give Napoleon the Credit for every Successful achievement and every stroke of good fortune. You would often hear one hen remark to another, “Under the guidance of our leader, Comrade Napoleon, I have laid five eggs in six days” or two cows, enjoying a drink at the pool, would exclaim, “thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon, how excellent this water tastes!”…

The onlookers watch in silence!

But nothing lasts forever and in the battle for power, no one wins and at the end one can’t just distinguish between who was what!

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

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