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Contents
Memoir

Dangerous little things

An account of turning political

MY GRANDFATHER WAS once in jail.

As a kid, I’d pronounce this with a little flush of pride. My grandpa! Way back in 1941.

As a young man, my maternal grandfather became involved with student politics and wrote rousing poems, neither of which the British government cared for. A warrant was issued. He went underground, but was eventually arrested.

I know nothing of his jail stint except that he wrote more Urdu poetry and learnt the Hindi (Devanagari) script. I did ask once if his mother was mad at him for getting arrested. She was upset, he said, mainly on account of the family’s reputation. His marriage had been fixed, but after his arrest the girl’s side broke off the engagement. Clearly, not everyone thought it was such a fine thing to go to jail – not even in the name of the freedom.

My pride rested on the fact that Grandpa was a political... Read more

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From Griffith Review Edition 59: Commonwealth Now © Copyright Griffith University & the author.

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