How a White Man Became King of the Village in India

Barry Watson has been many things: teacher, bus driver, financial advisor ... but in a small village in India, he's royalty.

Here's what happened:

Among the Yanadi tribe of Andhra Pradesh, he is known as “King Bazza” and held in such awe that his “subjects” have been known to walk ten paces behind him, and children have feared to approach him.

However, at home in Chepstow, he is an ordinary father-of-four whose children constantly “take the mick”.

Mr Watson was given the title after helping villagers, who once lived on a rubbish tip and had a life expectancy of around 40, to make a new home for themselves – which has been named Barrypuram in his honour.

But he was regarded as special from the moment he arrived by the tribe – who are at the bottom of the caste system and are descended from ratcatchers to the local kings.
“They said there was an ancient prophecy one day a white man would come and build them a village,” he said.

John-Paul Ford Rojas of The Telegraph has the fascinating story: Link


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You may disagree; but the fact remains that I find the article utterly cringeworthy. As for the Telegraph - a more right-wing, imperial-nostalgia-obsessed paper you'd be hard pressed to find.
I just don't get what's so 'neato' about this story. Wouldn't a neater story have focussed more on the people who were living on the rubbish tip and what their lives were/are like; rather than on the great white man who saved them? Just sayin...
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There would be no mention on this site if the man doing the helping didn't get called "King Bazza," actually.

I disagree that the article at The Telegraph is colonialist in nature (either overtly or by ways of suggestions). In fact, it pokes fun at the man whose own children make fun of because he got made into royalty because he helped other people.

I re-read the article and found no evidence of "the old idea that the white man is required to help those at the 'bottom of the pile'" as you suggested.
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You and I both know that the terminology and style of this article serves one purpose only - and that is to gently reinforce that old idea that the white man is required to help those at the 'bottom of the pile'. That's the reason it made me cringe. There would be no mention on this site if the man doing the helping had been anything other than white.
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By all accounts, he *did* help the villagers, who are at the bottom of India's caste system and lived in abject poverty (they once lived on landfill). And they made him "king" because they were grateful.
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This article made me cringe. That good old fantasy rears its head again - white man does his best to save the heathens from themselves. Give me a break, this is 2013, not 1813.
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