Arundhati Roy – Rebel of Small Things

Niraj has a link to Arundhati Roy’s address to the World Social Forum. Not being able to produce anything remotely readable since her prize winning novel (which I must confess I did’nt read) she has devoted herself to fishing for reflected glory from all causes great and small.

She said a lot of stupid things in her speech – about ‘New Imperialism, New Racism, New Genocide’ most of which is an public expression of her unbearable discomfort of being. And she does not propose any alternatives. I just want to take up what she said about foreign & security policy.

In spite of convergence of values and interests, she would like India to be ‘non-aligned’ with the United States and Israel. Non-alignment may have been in India’s national interest during the Cold War, certainly not in 2004. There is nothing to be ashamed of entering into an alliance with like-minded countries, and so what if one of them is a superpower? I would put Roy’s cry for non-alignment as having been born out of a lack of confidence in India. As George Perkovitch wrote, India is no pushover and is fully able to resist external coercion. The fact that India was able to protect its interests at Cancun is testament to this fact. And here’s this from the New York Times

In 1992 the United States pressed Russia not to give India the technology for a cryogenic rocket. Two weeks ago, on Jan. 10, Indian engineers announced that they had successfully tested an Indian-built cryogenic engine.[Full Article]

She also trains her sights on the anti-terror legislation, and points out that it has been abused by the state machinery to harass all kinds of non-terrorist protestors. And that supposes the state does not abuse other laws to harass innocent people…and that terrorism is a lesser evil than the laws framed (democratically, I might add) to combat it. Chemotherapy hurts, but Cancer kills.

Any call for India to detach from the path towards globalisation will cause India to miss the bus again. I think she should stick to writing fiction.

3 thoughts on “Arundhati Roy – Rebel of Small Things”

  1. I can’t beleive there is still people who think like you, Roy is a great activist and writter who is fighting the injustices of Capitalism. She doesn’t write about fiction, she writes about the reality of her people and the exploitation of third world countries. Your comments only show your ignorance on this issue.

  2. Liliana,

    I happen to be among the people whose reality she is writing about, and who are being exploited, and who are being dealt with the injustice of Capitalism. Hence I cannot be ignorant about the issues.

    And I think she is way off the mark.

    Now its up to you whether you want to believe people like me, or people like Roy. Just because she writes books that are actually published does not make her views any more real.

  3. Who is “The Acorn?” I imagine one puny little person, pontificating behind a huge computer. How dare you take on Roy without having read “The God of Small Things”. Do you always jump head first into topics without having a mastery of them?

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