Arundhati Roy has been near perfect in presenting us with the rhetorics gripping our realities. I found Azadi: Freedom. Fascism. Fiction, a recently published novel by Roy quite engaging and inspiring. It has vivid display and illustrations of the social and political situation impacting and influencing the formation of our views, opinions and ideas, which are not our very own but rather spoon-fed. Those spoon-feeding are legitimately organising and mobilising us as active constituents of change and continuity by dividing us along the lines of caste, class, clan and community for effectively controlling and administering authority over us.
Literally, we are what we are being asked and persuaded to defend and not deciding by our own selves. Situating the sovereignty of our self becomes a tedious task as for the access of control in someone else’s command. Post Covid-19, the world order will be different, with countries contesting claims and counter claims for exercising dominance and hegemony in the world system, a theory propounded by renowned International Relations scholar Immanuel Wallerstein.
Already, the US is assisting and aiding Taiwan against China in what could be Biden’s best bet against China. Domestically, we have seen how farmer protests and movements have defied the legislative might of the right Hindu nationalist government of Narendra Modi at the Centre. How our goalposts have shifted over the years from social welfarism to free market capitalism by offering choice to a few calling the shorts from the sides.
There is no one to take guarantee of our rights and duties as post colonial states are for institutionalisation of power and a wilful obedience for loyalty and patronage. We as ordinary citizens find ourselves at crossroads. Don’t forget benevolent dictators, too, buy democracy for validating their sanction, as we have become prone to, over the years.
Let me admit, Arundhati Roy has been prolific for her consent and consensus in Azadi, which to me appears as one of the finest dramatic depictions of people’s pride and patriotism filling their pure heart with life and emotions. The novel also helps us make sense of who they are, what do they, why they do and why they should be doing what they are doing. Please take a lesson from the Covid-19 pandemic and do not take offence at confessing something.
Maybe, this realisation will make us more humane and humble if we are truthful in acknowledging it?