We need Arundhati Roy like a hole in the head

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Oracle, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

    Mar 31, 2010
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    Bangalore, India
    Nandini Krishnan | 2010-06-07 10:25:15

    I would begin with a quote if I cared for Arundhati Roy’s speeches or fifty-page essays. But I don’t.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people do.

    Even more sadly, they believe the approval of someone who is in the public eye counts as universal validation of their actions.

    More than a decade after her first (and probably last) novel received a Booker for exotifying India, Roy is more famous for her anti-government activism than anything else - be it declaring independence from India, defending militancy and terrorism in Kashmir or sympathising with Maoist violence.

    “I am on this side of the line. I do not care…pick me up, put me in jail,” she declared boldly, referring to her espousal of the Naxal cause, at a lecture organised by the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights last week.

    Yeah, right - jail another self-proclaimed activist and stir up a storm of support in the media, which is at present largely disgruntled with her rants.

    She has been forced to backtrack on several comments and issue clarifications like “I never called them ‘Gandhians with Guns’. What I meant was…” and “while 99 per cent of Naxals are tribals, 99 per cent of tribals are not Maoists”.

    This from the woman who saluted the ‘people of Dantewada’ after 76 CRPF and police personnel were ambushed and killed by Red Rebels.

    Did she stop to think that these 76 men were risking their lives and making do with terrible conditions for a monthly salary that those of us who have the privilege of access to forums of expression might very well blow up on a few dinners? That these men defending the country’s land are not agents of the industries that mint money from the projects they run on this land?

    What people like Arundhati Roy and Mahasweta Devi, who have marketed themselves well enough to find an audience wherever they go, often forget is that anger - their own and that of the people they erect pedestals for - can be misdirected.

    The innocuously named People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) is being increasingly associated with activity of this kind. Sources from investigation agencies have spoken about their likely involvement in the Gyaneshwari Express derailment that killed 150 people on May 28.

    Media reports quoted PCPA doing an "oopsy-daisy!", saying their intention was to derail a goods train and not murder people. Maoists claimed they were attacking the state apparatus (twenty Special Police Officers) when they blew up a passenger bus in Dantewada on May 17.

    Resentment against the government has been finding an outlet in the torture and death of citizens of this country, whose only crime is that they haven’t joined a band of guerrillas. Or that they don’t like them.

    They’ve beheaded a policeman (Inspector Francis Induwar) and several villagers (the last incident happened in Munger on March 2, when Naxals kidnapped Kamleshwari and Kailash, whom they claimed were police informers.) The name Daniel Pearl ring a bell, anyone?

    Strategy expert Bhaskar Roy has spoken of how Maoist leader Koteswar Rao expressed his admiration for the Mumbai terror attack.

    How long before the Maoists decide to follow suit? How difficult could it be for them to hijack a plane or blow it up? How much time before they break into corporate offices and luxury hotels and hold hostages to ransom?

    Ill-informed ‘activists’ like Arundhati Roy quote statistics about profits companies are raking in, and invite Indians to join the Maoists in their war, claiming they have stopped these corporates in their tracks.

    But which corporate honcho was travelling in that train or that bus? Most of the passengers were returning home to see their families, after months away. Are these the industrialists drinking the blood of the poor villagers whom circumstances have purportedly forced into Naxalism?

    Roy seems to believe the likes of Chhatradhar Mahato and Kishenji are Indian versions of Robin Hood, fighting with “bows and arrows” against the “sophisticated weapons” of the security forces.

    Ummm…seen video footage of the arms the Maoists have surrendered, Ms Roy? Some might well be of a higher grade than those used by our armed forces. Ever thought about who’s funding these poor, downtrodden innocents who’ve been forced to fight the armed version of the Gandhian battle?

    And yet, the verbose Ms Roy couldn’t answer the question of what would happen if the Maoists were to gain control of the areas that house the mining industry.

    Why not look for an antecedent in the birthplace of ‘guerrilla’? The rather cutely-named ‘Little War’ in Cuba went on to produce an iron-fisted regime that controlled and suppressed the rights it had fought for against General Batista.

    Why not look at the LTTE? A liberation army that was vanquished after 30 years of governing its territories like a kingdom-unto-itself, and at irreparable cost to the people it claimed to be protecting.

    Yes, why not arm the Maoists? Didn’t the state support the Salwa Judum? Hasn’t every powerhouse created its Frankenstein’s Monster? Weren’t Saddam, Osama and Prabhakaran the darlings of some government or the other before they were branded terrorists?

    Perhaps these Voices of the Maoists do have a point about the neglect of the people. Perhaps they are right about the Memoranda of Understanding that have looted tribal habitats of minerals and wealth. Perhaps they are even right in speaking of the Home Minister’s links to Vedanta (and not the philosophy).

    But while Home Minister P Chidambaram and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee are engaged in a tug-of-war over passing the buck, surrounded by their security men, the guerrilla force is not attacking the government. They’re waging a war against people even more hapless than they themselves once were.

    Is an “armed struggle” the solution to government apathy? If every poor person in India decided to become a Maoist, where would this country be? If they were all to be given weapons, whom would they shoot and kill?

    The Maoists have consistently turned down invitations to hold talks. India doesn’t have the best record where ‘talks’ are concerned - we’ve been ‘talking’ to Pakistan for half a century - but is killing non-Naxals a solution to this?

    It may have been Abraham Lincoln who famously quoted the Bible and said “a house divided against itself cannot stand”. But the adage hasn’t been proved true as many times in any other country as in India. It is this quality which saw parts being swallowed whole by the Mughals and then raped by the British.

    We can debate about a government attacking its own citizens, but how can those who claim to be exempt from the law qualify as citizens? We live in far more dangerous times than the Colonial Era, and the world is watching as the big candidate for the United Nations Security Council struggles with ‘internal security threats’.

    In an age of neo-colonialism and terrorism, with far too many vested interests to keep track of, what are we opening ourselves to in providing forums for Maoist sympathisers?

    The author is a journalist based in Chennai. She blogs at http://disbursedmeditations.blogspot.com

    mehwish92 likes this.
  3. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

    Aug 17, 2009
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    Why not put this so called supporter of moasit in house without an ac/fridge/mobile connection . And what kind of developments this people had done for tribal s. Instead of taking every other case to court why not just seet with multinationals and have good contract that will benefits tribal s . Let multinationals or even indian company provides compensation to tribal s directly instead of involve any indian politician because whenever u involve any poltican then u are sure nothing is going to move except his comission

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