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Arundhati Roy: The God of Wrong Things?

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Kunal Anand:

A few months ago, Booker prize winner Arundhati Roy came up with a 20,000 words essay in leading newspapers and magazines of India and Pakistan. The essay generously praised the Maoists for taking up the cause of poor tribals and protecting them from the “Satanic” system called the Indian Democracy. She explained with great graphical details how the tribals, who have been exploited by the Indian state for decades, have found their Robin Hood in the Naxals and how in the Naxal-controlled areas the police move in plain clothes while the Naxals roam in uniforms! The article created a lot of public interest and our Home Minister was hardly pleased. Desperate Maoists got their much needed positive publicity and suddenly Indian government and security forces began to remind us of the Nazis. Tales of agony flowing from the pen of a Booker awardee were hard not to believe and a lot many people started cursing the government for not developing the tribal areas.

So far so good. The Maoists proposed to make Roy a mediator between them and the government. Arundhati Roy backed off. Reason: She thinks she isn’t “fit” for the job. Amazingly, she found herself fit to run down the entire democratic setup of a country which gives her the right to speak her mind! Then came the Dantewada massacre in which 76 CRPF personnel were killed. Roy remained silent. Maybe she silently celebrated the butchering of the “Demons”. This was followed by the Gyaneshwari Express derailment in which common civilians were killed. Roy, the messiah of the poor and weak was expected to speak up now. After all, hasn’t she given her voice to civilians who suffered during Gujarat riots? Roy did speak this time.” I support the Maoists’ fight against the state, but I don’t support their method.”

The recent killings of 27 CRPF jawans and other incidents of civilian causalities has failed to garner any response from the diehard activist. Naxal violence has claimed more civilian lives this year alone than what was lost during the last 5 years in terrorist attacks in Kashmir. Our jawans are routinely butchered by these fanatics. But maybe they are not humans for Ms Roy. For that matter, anyone who is not in the business of bringing down the Indian State (e.g.: Sabarmati Express carnage victims, Sikh victims of 1984 riots, Kashmiri pandits) is not worthy of mention in the itinerary of Roy’s literary sojourn. She keeps mum at the atrocities meted out to our brave, innocent soldiers who are just doing their job but rips through them if they kill the “innocent” Naxalite. Down with the Human Rights violating Zionist Indian forces! Even the heart wrenching footages of mangled bodies of babies being pulled out of Gyaneshwari Express did not move our great writer. “Revolution” demands blood and it doesn’t matter to Ms Roy unless the blood is of the “revolutionary”.

Arundhati Roy represents a large group of Pseudo intellectuals who derive aesthetic pleasure in criticizing the system which is liberal enough to allow any kind of discussion. It’s time people come out against such “intellectuals” who use the journalistic freedom given by our constitution to defile the constitution itself. If Arundhati Roy finds herself incompetent to broker peace between the warring forces (I completely agree with your personal assessment Ms Roy), the least she can do is stop hurting the feelings of the families who have lost their kin in this bloody violence by glorifying the Maoists.

The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.

You must be to comment.
  1. Sadhogopal Ram

    Excellent piece, Kunal.

  2. pratima

    WOW…. Kunal..veru well written..loved it..

  3. kunal

    Thank you Pratima and Ram.

  4. Krystall

    Hey nicely written! All I wanted to say here is that regardless of her own biases, some of the points she makes arnt all that untrue. The democracy we are so proud of does seem to be failing. It is a fact that quite a proportion of our population lives below the poverty line, and its been what 6o years since independence and nothing has changed for the tribals. True, violence is compeletely unjustified but is it hard to imagine WHY tribals have taken up arms against the state. Root cause problems must be resolved.

  5. sneha

    First of all, the article is awesome & apposite. N also , true indeed.. when it comes to criticism of democracy , we can see numerous hands…… but not one in moving forward & taking a step……Sory to say that , Miss Arundhati Roy is no exception to this..

  6. Devoneco

    Arundathie Roy is a Classic example of a person thriving on conflicts of the world just to get a little attention and cheap publicity. And she seems to go to any extent to get it – including supporting terrorism – because its her survival after all. Elements like her are nothing but the “cud” of Freedom of Expression that should be “vomited” instead of being swallowed again!

  7. WB

    “I support the Maoists’ fight against the state, but I don’t support their method.”
    That’s the statement most of the disillusioned intellectuals make most of the time. MS Roy, can you tell me how can be a fight justified if its methods are not right?????

  8. harshvardhan

    its very easy to call ms roy and pseudo intellectual in fact this term “pseudo” is very interesting ..the BJP know for its religious overtone uses it aganst all those who does not identify themselves with BJP band of secularism i.e. hindutva..this term is generally used for all those who do not confirm with dominant ideology..just look at the author of this pieces “use the journalistic freedom given by our constitution to defile the constitution itself.”..what is the problem with defiling the constitution if this right has been given the the constitution itself!! and by the way the political parties and midddle class people out of ignorance are themselves violate the constitution–the land for which maoist are fighting are being given to tribals which goes against the provisions of constitution…and plz constitution is not an end in itself ..we indians violated the constitution of britain….now tribals and kashmiris are violating the indian constitution because they don’t want to b a part of india..if indian had this right to choose then why not kashmiris or north easterns????? even a large number of white soilders died for protecting british rule..what about them??? tru to think on the same plane…

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