Banarsi Babu

Banarsi Babu is a retired officer of what Fair Observer’s Editor-in-Chief Atul Singh calls the heaven-born Indian Administrative Service (IAS). He hails from the same ancestral city as Atul and has put up with this not-so-young man’s acerbic wit for many decades. Banarsi is a caricature of a stereotype. He is a Brahmin, a member of the highest caste which traditionally performed priestly functions like the Cohens among the Jews. This IAS officer served in his native Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state with 240 million inhabitants. He has Brahminical contempt for the IAS because any job with the word “administrative” must be highly unintellectual. In an ideal world or another life, Banarsi would have liked to be an Oxford or Cambridge don quaffing fine red wine and savoring the occasional steak, much to the horror of his late parents — and his vegan granddaughters, one of whom is protesting for Gaza in Amreeka, as America is referred to in the Middle East and South Asia.


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