Charles quotes her in his book, the more beautiful world (heading of chapter on hope)…
another world is not only possible, she is on her way. on a quiet day, i can hear her breathing.
more on Arundhati:
In a 2001 opinion piece in the British newspaper The Guardian, Arundhati Roy responded to the US military invasion of Afghanistan, finding fault with the argument that this war would be a retaliation for the September 11 attacks: “The bombing of Afghanistan is not revenge for New York and Washington. It is yet another act of terror against the people of the world.” According to her, US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair were guilty of a Big Brother kind of doublethink: “When he announced the air strikes, President George Bush said: ‘We’re a peaceful nation.’ America’s favourite ambassador, Tony Blair, (who also holds the portfolio of prime minister of the UK), echoed him: ‘We’re a peaceful people.’ So now we know. Pigs are horses. Girls are boys. War is peace.”
She disputes US claims of being a peaceful and freedom-loving nation, listing China and nineteen 3rd World “countries that America has been at war with—and bombed—since the second world war”, as well as previous US support for the Taliban movement and support for the Northern Alliance (whose “track record is not very different from the Taliban’s”). She does not spare the Taliban: “Now, as adults and rulers, the Taliban beat, stone, rape and brutalise women, they don’t seem to know what else to do with them.”
In the final analysis, Roy sees American-style capitalism as the culprit: “In America, the arms industry, the oil industry, the major media networks, and, indeed, US foreign policy, are all controlled by the same business combines.” She puts the attacks on the World Trade Center and on Afghanistan on the same moral level, that of terrorism, and mourns the impossibility of imagining beauty after 2001: “Will it be possible ever again to watch the slow, amazed blink of a newborn gecko in the sun, or whisper back to the marmot who has just whispered in your ear—without thinking of the World Trade Centre and Afghanistan?”
In May 2003 she delivered a speech entitled “Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy (Buy One, Get One Free)” at the Riverside Church in New York City. In it she described the United States as a global empire that reserves the right to bomb any of its subjects at any time, deriving its legitimacy directly from God. The speech was an indictment of the US actions relating to the Iraq War. In June 2005 she took part in the World Tribunal on Iraq. In March 2006, Roy criticised US President George W. Bush’s visit to India, calling him a “war criminal”.
In August 2006, Roy, along with Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and others, signed a letter in The Guardian called the 2006 Lebanon War a “war crime” and accused Israel of “state terror.”
Arundhati Roy suggests that the “most appropriate metaphor for the insanity of our times” is the Siachen Glacier, where Indian and Pakistani soldiers have killed each other on the highest battlefield in the world. The glacier is now melting and revealing “thousands of empty artillery shells, empty fuel drums, ice axes, old boots, tents and every other kind of waste that thousands of warring human beings generate” in meaningless conflict. And as the glaciers melt, India and Pakistan face indescribable disaster.
in Naomi Klein‘s this changes everything:
“The first step towards reimagining a world gone terribly wrong would be to stop the annihilation of those who have a different imagination—an imagination that is outside of capitalism as well as communism. An imagination which has an altogether different understanding of what constitutes happiness and fulfillment. To gain this philosophical space, it is necessary to concede some physical space for the survival of those who may look like the keepers of our past, but who may really be the guides to our future.” —Arundhati Roy, 20101
Capitalism: A Ghost Story – An Evening with Arundhati Roy and Siddhartha Deb
india’s 100 richest people hold accepts equal to 1/4 of the gdp
15 min – there hasn’t been a year since 1947 that the people of india hasn’t been deployed against its own people
29 min – govt wanting to move 500 mill people into the cities
32 min – even thinking as an offense
40 min – debt enters – turns to microfunding – turns to 250000 farmers’ suicides, then
44 min – after 20 yrs of “growth” 60% of india’s workforce is self-employed and 90% of india’s labor force works in the unorganized sector
46 min – what you have is jobless growth – with a few doing well – looks like huge growth – because india is so big.. but the rest – like medieval times. now – the show window isn’t even doing well
59 min – modernism in west came from colonialism… india doesn’t have that – so creating own colonies.. all other countries have a history of committing genocide (told to Arundhati by indians)
1:01 – the profound questioning is by people who’s bodies are on the line – rather than about who’s land is whose – but rather – about happiness
1:02 – what are these people supposed to do? can hungry people go on a hunger strike?
so while in tv studios and academia people discuss violence/non-violence – it’s actually strategic – the same person can be ghandi on the streets and a mouse in the forest (on how people are seeing Arundhati)
1:04 – most recent – annihilation of caste – dr and the saint – harsh on ghandi – his views on caste – what he did in africa was extremely disturbing
1:08 – we’re getting to the point where literature is being stifled – nobody can right about the other without being (ridiculed)
1:10 – book withdrawn because small pressure group thinks it’s offensive – fascinating that the more you legislate about free speech – free speech declines – it’s almost unbelievable how little you can say now
1:12 – it’s not like you’re living in a dictatorship.. the censorship has been outsourced to the mob – you’re left to the danger of being someone who censors themself all the time – ie: how do you know what i would like to say…
1:14 – called anti-american, anti-national – you have to ask who gets to decide what american and national is.. i tend to not think in countries. the elites have sent themselves to outerspace…
1:16 – how do we think in terms of countries – one woman here completely different than one 5 min away. i’m not anti american – but am anti policies
i’m very bad at taking advice – so i don’t have any advice
black people worship ghandi without knowing how he treated people in s africa with contempt
any advice for a struggling writer – never ask for any advice
1:24 – institutionalized violence against women – anyone resisting this can be called a maoist and go to jail… thousands die there.. yet – we are known as this great democracy — army pitting people against each other
seeking acceptability is not a good thing for a writer
1:30 – writers spend a lifetime trying to close the gap between thought and word
writers of policy – trying to mask thought
1:35 – there are other worlds – dreams in which failure is even worth striving for.. rather than recognition… the only dream worth having is to dream that you live while you’re alive.. and die only when you’re dead.
Arundhati Roy & Howard Zinn on Democracy & Dissent, Racism & Empire, and War & Peace (2003)
5 min – Roger Normand – traveled to see the truth of the war in iraq – because media was blinding us to it –
24 min – Arundhati – my message as a slave of the american empire
34 min – it’s an effective technique: this use of the urgent morality of the present to obscure the diabolical sins of the past and the malelovant plans for the future
37 min – securing of the oil fields – as they watch the people dying
38 min – the world’s free-ist country has the highest number of prisoners
49 min – more than 10 mill people marched against the war across the continents.. ignored
57 min – media control
58 min – who’s paying for the war? 75 bill dollar cuts to public – 80 bill spent on war – during bush – 2002ish
59 – who’s fighting the war? american’s poor. america’s volunteer army depends on a poverty draft in order to earn a living & get an education. african amer: 21% of armed forces 29% of the us army – and they count for only 12% of general population.
1:00 – prison – 4 mill of americans 2% of pop … 1.4 mill are african americans.. 13% of all voting age black people have been disenfranchised
1:14 – a revolution that must cross national boundaries – but must start here in america – you have access to the emperiel palace and the emperors chambers
you have a rich history of resistance – you only need to read Howard Zinn’s – a history
you are not a great nation – but you are a great people – history is giving you a chance – seized the time
1:21 – Howard – we need to reclaim the word – democracy
1:26 – Modi – indian govt has never been closer to govt of us – and also worse time for indians
1:35 – annoyed by – saving private ryan – when ww2 is paraded before us – to glorify war – ww2 – the “best of wars” and at the end 50 mill people have died. and has it ended…/ – Howard
1:37 – we have reached that point in human history that we can not tolerate the mass killing – for whatever cause – Howard
1:39 – defending the american people – so called anti -indian .. – we must disagree about what america is – it’s not the govt… govt are artifical constructs – when govt become destructive of those ends – it is the right of the people to alter or abolish the govt – the govt is being anti-american when it goes against the principals of democracy- Howard
1: 41 – i try not to participate in these categories – i’m actually not a nationalist of any kinds. it’s time for us to stop coming up short of these artificial boundaries.. – Arhundhati
the danger of nationalism -..- if all children everywhere have an equal right to live – then war is impossible.. because war is against children. – Howard
Published on Jul 26, 2014
Arundhati Roy Speech on Gandhi in Kerala University
Arundhati Roy Speech on Gandhi in Kerala University
changing our heroes
2:30 – ghandi’s words on indians in s africa – lie as a disease – no way to change that
3 – ghandi’s words on black people – cafers as a rule are uncivilized/savages
5 min – his basis was on the inhumanity of the caste system… but he says – my ideal scavenger..
at some point we have to stop being dishonest..
6:30 – 1936 – the ideal scavenger –
7:40 – modi – have to do this job bestowed on them by gods
12 min – i don’t believe there is a voiceless.. just the deliberately silenced..
17 min – capitalism and caste have combined to become the mother of all capitalism…
she read of tons of stats – showing the horrors
1947 on – we’ve been deployed against our own people – every day of the year.. an upper caste in its dna
so how are we going to change this..? it has to be done in 100 different ways..
Arundhati Roy on Obama’s Wars and other
Published on Mar 9, 2012
Copyright : Democracy Now
7:45 – line drawn between india and pakistan
14 min – operation greenhunt – taking control of places where they were pillaging for the sales of billions for oil et al.. emptying the forests for the corporates – moved to camps…
not a resistance that rose up against mining – was already there. but the miners weren’t used to waiting – so hastened along
we are not using this word genocidal war lightly.. the poorest people of this country – there’s nothing – and now there’s a siege – because they are seen as the resistance. cutting the off from their resources
23 min – the falsification of so many years of untold misery
26 min – the elections cost more than the american elections..
28 min – we need people who will resist – but not only on the weekends.. what does peace even mean..
Published on Aug 22, 2013
With a rare conversation between Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, and Amy Goodman at the end. This event took place at MIT (in 2010). Chomsky starts at 44:20
Noam Chomsky on “Democracy’s Endgame?” (with Arundhati Roy and Amy Goodman)
the nation on Arundhati’s excellent new book capitalism: a ghost story..
..a highly readable and characteristically trenchant mapping of early-twenty-first-century India’s impassioned love affair with money, technology, weaponry and the “privatization of everything,” and—because these must not be impeded no matter what—generous doses of state violence.
Arundhati’s film we (1:03:49) – via thought maybe site:
power and power less ness
can never be a single story
the paranoia ruthlessness – physics of power
relationship between citizen and state
nationalism of one kind or another was cause of most of the genocide of the 20th century
flags used to shrink brains, then ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead
to call someone anti-american – failure of the imagination
in order to see the world in terms other than one others have set out for you. if you’re not for us.. your’e against us.
i too made mistake of scoffing at post 11 rhetoric – 9-11 it’s actually a canny recruitment drive for a misconceived dangerous war. 3000 civilians. a strand deadly war is raging round the world
no war.. no revenge.. will blunt the edges of pain
yet – cynically manipulating people’s grief. the commerce of grief. a terrible violent thing for a state to do to its people.
9-11 – to say to america = welcome to the world. (9-11’s around the world)
guatemala, costa rica, ecuador, brail, peru, bolivia, fr, honduras, columbia – 100s of thousands of latin americans via culvert u.s. actions
countries in africa, asia, how many sept’s have billions.. been bombed/slaughtered at hand of u.s.
1922 – sept 11 palestine, 1937 – churchill – i don not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger. i do not admit that a wrong has been given. that a higher/stronger race has come in and take their place
1947 – 50% of palestine to zionists. u.s. helps israel. palestinian people become refugees.
1967 – israel occupies west bank and gaza strips
uprising, wars, 10s of thousands died. palestine still remains illegally occupied. they never know when homes will be demolished, children will be shot.
young palestinians that can’t control their anger – blow themselves up. solidifying both sides anger/hatred.
every year israel receives several billion from us.s
sept 11 1990 – bush – war against iraq. hussain razed many villages – his worst atrosities.. us and uk were closest allies. that year 500 million in subsidies. u.s. doubles to 1 billion. his sin wasn’t that he’d committed an act of war, but that he acted independently.
jan 1991 – longest sustained air attack since vietnam (iraq). u.s. – largest arsenal of nuclear in world and only one that has used them on civilians.
who is guilty for preaching peace while raging war (bush)
wars are never fought for altruistic reasons – the business of war —-> oil. middle east has 2/3 of world’s oil preserves. whoever controls oil controls the world’s market
freidman – craziness pays. u.s. will use force. hidden hand of market will never work w/o hidden fist
america’s other weapon – the free market. the task that never ends. america’s perfect war. free market. poor getting poorer. rich getting richer.
civil unrest – resistance against global marketization. corporate globalization. protestors labeled terrorists.
making sure it’s only money and goods that are globalized.. not people.. justice. as though even a gesture toward accountability would wreck the whole enterprise.
the american way of life is not sustainable because it does not imagine there is a world beyond america.
fortunately power has a shelf life. america’s corporate heart is hemorrhaging. international monetary fund, world bank, world trade organization
in conversation with Eduardo in 2006
Arundhati read from god of small things
20 min – along as the markets are open – fascism is fine
22 min – steal from the poor, subsidize the rich, and call it the free market… and thomas freidman calls india a democracy
25 min – Eduardo read from voices of time
38 min – perhaps to imagine another world we have to imagine another past… on immigration – columbus et al
44 min – it took him years to realize she was asking for someone to touch her..
1:03 – we have to stop that. we (you) have to find a way of stopping it..
1:05 – we are trying (by writing) to integrate all this dis integrated part of the world – Eduardo
1:08 – wars are factories for terrorists – Eduardo
1:14 – international run by 5 countries – Eduardo
world bank ruled by 8 countries.. i’m allergic to the world efficiency – Arundhati
1:15 – an incredible system – ie: anti-war supporting kerry – but he wasn’t saying he was going to pull out troops.. like comparing 2 brands of soap – created by same company – Arundhati
1:16 – divorce between words and facts – Eduardo
1:19 – it’s not worth just saying these are bad people.. because there’s a system in place.. Arundhati
1:21 – 3/4 of youth in chile didn’t vote… Eduardo
but when you have tide and ivory snow – what’s the point in voting… democracy is not democracy any more.. it’s becoming the ceremony of democracy – Arundhati
1:27 – Eduardo reads – the human condition is worth the trouble.. let’s be crazy enough to be called crazy.. who refuse to forget in times of obligatory amnesia.. and clever enough to be disobedient when we receive orders in contradiction of our conscience
1:32 – Arundhati reads – nuclear weapons – 1998
(probably could read 5+ times to do it justice. the non-linear ness of it all.)
Estha’s silence was never awkward. Never intrusive. Never noisy.
It usually took strangers awhile to notice him even when they were in the same room with him. It took them even longer to notice that he never spoke. Some never noticed at all. Estha occupied very little space in the world.
They provided the care (food, clothes, fees), but withdrew the concern.
reading this while leaning toward refugee camps. fitting.
She could hear the raucous, scrambled world inside his head.
She felt she spoke much better English than everybody else. This made her lonelier than ever.
Esthappen and Rahel thought of themselves together as Me, and separately, individually, as We or Us.
the arrangement suited mammachi, because in her mind, a fee clarified things. disjuncted sex from love. needs from feelings.
if he toucher her he couldn’t talk to her, if he loved her he couldn’t leave, if he spoke he couldn’t listen, if he fought he couldn’t win.
he grew to depend on margaret kochamma for not depending on him. he adored her for not adoring him.
he was deeply in love with his love for margaret kochamma and had no room in his heart for anyone else.
only that once again they broke the love laws. that lay down who should be loved. and how. and how much.
b) anything can happen to anyone.
lose your dreams and you will lose your mind.
as though her life depended on her getting there in time.
how his labor had shaped him…each thing he made had molded him. had left its stamp on him. had given him his strength, his supple grace…. his white sudden smile that he carried with him from boyhood into manhood. his only luggage.
they knew that there was nowhere for them to go. they had nothing. no future. so they stuck to the small things.
they chose him (dying ish spider) because they knew that they had to put their faith in fragility. stick to smallness. each time they parted, they extracted only one promise from each other: tomorrow? tomorrow. they knew that things could change in a day.
end of book interview:
It took me a very long time to understand what I was doing… I could sense a rhythm and I trusted it.
it’s uncomfortable to face the fact that all of us are complicit in what’s going on
1\ things that can and cannot be said:
AR – the United States is unable to understand how irrelevant it is, actually. And how wicked…. Your short-term gains are the rest of the world’s long-term disasters—for everybody, including yourselves. And, I’m sorry, I’ve been saying you and the United States or America, when I actually mean the US government. There’s a difference. Big one.
2\ we brought you the promise of the future
in 65 – Within weeks, the campaign called Rolling Thunder was announced. American jets began to bomb South Vietnam. Something like 175,000 marines were deployed in that small country on the other side of the world, 8,000 miles away from Washington, DC. The war would go on for eight more years. (According to the testimonies in the recently published book about the Vietnam War Kill Anything that Moves by Nick Turse, what the US army did in Vietnam as it moved from village to village with orders to “kill anything that moves”—which included women, children and livestock—was just as vicious, though on a much larger scale, as anything ISIS is doing now. It had the added benefit of being backed up by the most powerful air force in the world.)
By the end of the Vietnam war, three million Vietnamese people and 58,000 US troops had been killed and enough bombs had been dropped to cover the whole of Vietnam in several inches of steel.
3\ things that cannot be said:
ar – the revolution cannot be funded. It’s not the imagination of trusts and foundations that’s going to bring real change.
JC: So the term human rights can take the oxygen out of justice?
AR: Human rights takes history out of justice.
now if the “human rights” NGOs make a noise, or even whisper too loudly…this government will shut them down.
JC: Is Modi going to succeed long-term?
AR: It’s hard to say. There’s no real opposition, you know? He has an absolute majority and a government that he completely controls, and he himself—and I think this is true of most people with murky pasts—doesn’t trust any of his own people, so he’s become this person who has to interface directly with people. The government is secondary. Public institutions are being peopled by his acolytes, school and university syllabi are being revamped, history is being rewritten in absurd ways. It’s very dangerous, all of it. And a large section of young people, students, the IT crowd, the educated middle class and, of course, Big Business, are with him—the Hindu right-wing is with him. He’s lowering the bar of public discourse—saying things like, “Oh, Hindus discovered plastic surgery in the Vedas because how else would we have had an elephant-headed god.”
Anyway, then the cop says to me, “You know, Arundhati, I’ve told my seniors that however many police we put into this area, into the forest, we can’t win this battle with force—the only way we can win it is to put a TV in every tribal person’s house because these tribals don’t understand greed.” His point was that watching TV would teach them greed.
JC – She can disarm you at any time with her friendly hustler’s grin but her eyes see things and love things so fiercely, it’s frightening at times.
JC – The meeting between these two living symbols of American conscience was historic. It needed to happen. Seeing Ed and Dan together, trading stories, exchanging notes, was both heartwarming and deeply inspiring, and the conversation with Roy and the two former President’s Men was extraordinary. It had depth, insight, wit, generosity and a lightness of touch not possible in a formal, structured interview. Aware that we were being watched and monitored by forces greater than ourselves, we talked. Maybe one day the NSA will give us the minutes of our meeting. What was remarkable was how much agreement there was in the room. It wasn’t just what was said, but the way it was said, not just the text, but the subtext, the warmth, and laughter that was so exhilarating. But that’s another story.
Roy listened to all this without saying very much. In The End of Imagination, the essay she wrote after India’s 1998 nuclear tests, she had gotten herself into serious trouble when she declared, “If it is anti-national to protest against nuclear weapons, then I secede. I declare myself a mobile republic.” Dan, who is writing a book on the nuclear arms race, told me it was one of the finest things he’s ever read on the subject. “Wouldn’t you say,” Roy said for the record, or to anybody willing to listen, “that nuclear weapons are the inevitable, toxic corollary of the idea of the Great Nation?”
AR: And—I might as well say it now that I’m in the Red Square—to capitalism. Every time I say the word capitalism, everyone just assumes….
JC: You must be a Marxist.
AR: I have plenty of Marxism in me, I do…but Russia and China had their bloody revolutions and even while they were Communist, they had the same idea about generating wealth—tear it out of the bowels of the earth. And now they have come out with the same idea in the end…you know, capitalism. But capitalism will fail, too. We need a new imagination. Until then, we’re all just out here….
we need a new imagination..
JC – Suddenly she turned to me and thanked me formally for organising the meeting with Edward Snowden. “He presents himself as this cool systems man, but it’s only passion that could make him do what he did. He’s not just a systems man. That’s what I needed to know.”
4\ what shall we love
What the two of them clearly had in common was a strong, almost corporeal sense of moral righteousness—of right and wrong. A sense of righteousness that was obviously at work not just when they decided to blow the whistle on what they thought to be morally unacceptable, but also when they signed up for their jobs—Dan to save his country from Communism, Ed to save it from Islamist terrorism. What they did when they grew disillusioned was so electrifying, so dramatic, that they have come to be identified by that single act of moral courage.
The refugees fleeing from wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria to Europe are refugees of the Lifestyle Wars. But the thousands of people in countries like India who are being jailed and killed by those same Lifestyle Wars, the millions who are being driven off their lands and farms, exiled from everything they have ever known—their language, their history, the landscape that formed them—are not. As long as their misery is contained within the arbitrarily drawn borders of their ‘own’ country, they are not considered refugees. But they arerefugees. And certainly, in terms of numbers, such people are the great majority in the world today. Unfortunately in imaginations that are locked down into a grid of countries and borders, in minds that are shrink-wrapped in flags, they don’t make the cut.
We’re told, often enough, that as a species we are poised on the edge of the abyss. It’s possible that our puffed-up, prideful intelligence has outstripped our instinct for survival and the road back to safety has already been washed away. In which case there’s nothing much to be done. If there is something to be done, then one thing is for sure: those who created the problem will not be the ones who come up with a solution.
Arundhati Roy caught in the crossfire of Indian judicial power struggle telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews…
there’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. there are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard. – Arundhati Roy
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/Outlookindia/status/754526241588260864
.. the militaristic suppression of a people’s struggle for freedom. Kashmiris are not fighting for the establishment of the rule of law or an end to human rights violations. They are fighting for azadi.
If we really want address that crisis, if we really want to stop the endless cycle of killing and dying, if we really want to stem the haemorrhaging, the first step has to be a small concession to honesty. We have to have an honest conversation.…the subject of that conversation has to be azadi: What exactly does azadi mean to Kashmiris? Why can’t it be discussed? … Is the presumed “consensus” in India on the subject of Kashmir real or manufactured? Does it matter? In truth, it shouldn’t. What matters is what Kashmiris want, and how to arrive at that consensus in the most peaceful, democratic and informed way possible.
If there is to be a solution to this terrible, seemingly endless tragedy, we have to be able to think clearly, speak freely and listen fearlessly to things we may not want to hear. We have to find a new imagination. This applies to everybody, on all sides of the dispute.
Something beautiful could come of it. Why not? Why ever not?
WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) tweeted at 8:57 AM on Mon, Aug 01, 2016:
“I know why you’ve come – to radicalise me”, Snowden said. Arundhati Roy’s new book explores her meeting in Moscow.
Roy talks about the need to hold on to our seditious (inciting or causing people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch) hearts:
It was interesting precisely because we didn’t start out intending to do anything with it—some of it was recorded, some wasn’t. No-one was performing, posturing, or trying to outsmart the other. It was just beautiful and funny and human and un-hierarchical.
the idea that the same old propaganda contunues to work—after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the wars in Korea and Vietnam, coups that toppled democratic governments in Iran, Chile, all of Latin America—the war in Afghanistan… I mean how does history keep reinventing itself? How does the propaganda continue to work?
[..]also about what drove these wars? Ellsberg talked about how Americans are so indoctrinated from the time they’re children. Every school child has to take an oath to the flag—there was a wonderful riff about how the man who suggested the flag should be in every American classroom was the man who was actually making flags![..]The conversation about how human society should organize itself cannot come from a war zone. It’s a contentious question and needs to be debated by free people—who do not have to fear being shot by those who disagree with their views.[..]in the long run, the way the human psyche has been affected by this overload of information, the vanishing of the contemplative moment, the increasing need to make everything that used to be private, public–—these are very interesting and sometimes disturbing things.[..]I don’t think any side in these wars has any idea anymore of what they are doing – they are not in control anymore. The military-industrial complex doesn’t mind—permanent war helps them.[..]It used to be said that a journalist’s job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable – now, it’s just the opposite. So many of them suck up to the comfortable and afflict the afflicted. ……We must hold on to our seditious hearts.
Haymarket Books (@haymarketbooks) tweeted at 7:59 AM – 3 Oct 2016 :
“There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” –Arundhati Roy https://t.co/aIkImwoUxo (http://twitter.com/haymarketbooks/status/782943049454280704?s=17)
..maybe same as preferably
Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) tweeted at 6:00 AM – 4 Oct 2016 :
India’s most-famous author Arundhati Roy to publish second novel in nearly 20 years.
https://t.co/MsxJkbb6mr https://t.co/AtlnJrTFKm (http://twitter.com/WSJ/status/783275569324711937?s=17)
Nikhil Goyal (@nikhilgoya_l) tweeted at 7:03 AM – 27 May 2017 :
‘Fiction takes its time’: Arundhati Roy on why it took 20 years to write her second novel https://t.co/wnZKk2IqME (http://twitter.com/nikhilgoya_l/status/868452715017404417?s=17)
“To me there is nothing higher than fiction. Nothing. It is fundamentally who I am. I am a teller of stories. For me, that’s the only way I can make sense of the world, with all the dance that it involves.”
She began her second novel, she thinks, 10 years ago, but isn’t sure (“I don’t really remember; I mean, it’s so esoteric”) and allowed no thought to how long it took to complete. Her literary agent knew her too well, she grins, to waste his time trying to hurry her up. Her essays and articles have been written to deadlines precipitated by events – military action, court judgments and so forth – whereas “the fiction just takes its time. It’s no hurry. I can’t write it faster or slower than I have; it’s like you’re a sedimentary rock that’s just gathering all these layers, and swimming around. The difference between the fiction and the non-fiction is simply the difference between urgency and eternity.”
No one is too lowly to escape Roy’s interest or company; “I never want to walk past anyone; I want to sit down and have a cigarette and say, ‘Hey man, what’s going on? How is it?’ That is, I think, the book.
Running in tandem is another elaborate narrative, set in and about Kashmir. My preference would have been for the Kashmir story to have been a separate novel altogether, but for Roy the different strands are all congruent, because this is a book about borders. “Geographically, Kashmir is riven through with borders, and everybody in the book has a border running through them. So it’s a book about, how do you understand these borders? And how do you then reach out and say to everyone, ‘Come to Jannat Guest House’, you know? Everybody’s welcome!”
“Caste is about dividing people up in ways that preclude every form of solidarity, because even in the lowest castes there are divisions and sub-castes, and everyone’s co-opted into the business of this hierarchical, silo-ised society. This is the politics of making a grid of class, of caste, of ethnicity, of religion. And then
making the grid ever more fine is very much part of how you rule the world,
saying, ‘You’re a Muslim, you’re a Hindu, you’re a Shia, you’re a Sunni, you’re a Barelvi, you’re a Brahmin, you’re a Saraswat Brahmin, you’re a Dalit, you’re gay, you’re straight, you’re trans – and only you can speak for yourself, and there’s no form of solidarity being allowed.’
So what people think of as freedom is really slavery.”
“Ah, the contempt case.” She grimaces. “You see, the thing about this case is it’s not the punishment; it’s the process that is the punishment. One of the standard ways of harassing people is they’ll file cases in 100 towns against somebody and then it’s: ‘Appear here, go there, got to have a lawyer, have you filed this affidavit?’ This is their strategy with everyone [whom the state wants to silence]. Everywhere writers are being punished by mobs, by caste groups – so it’s just a very turbulent time in which to put the boat in the water, you know.”
“Well, if some idiot on the street files a case against me, he will become a celebrity.” When she had to visit a town to hear a contempt case against her, “The guys who organised the case came and gave me flowers. They were so happy, as if, you know, ‘Look! Here, we’ve got her!’ And it goes on and on.” Her lawyers won’t accept money from her, “because they love me. But imagine if I was a poor person: how would you do it? How do you go to this town, that town, appear here? You would stop writing. That’s what you do.”
She doesn’t have any sort of formal security, because “I find that more threatening. For me, everybody – the cab drivers, the cigarette sellers, the stray dogs – those are my security. There are many street dogs who sleep on my stairs” – she chuckles again – “who look very fierce, though they’re not.”
ps in the open ness
I was never a person who thought, now that I’m famous, I’ll go live in London or New York and live the dream.” She laughs. “I’m a social cripple in a cocktail party. My idea of a nightmare is people standing very elegantly dressed in a room with a drink in their hand. I’m just like, urghh!”
Asked how much money The God Of Small Things made, she becomes vague. “I don’t know. Whatever it sold, it sold, you know. I don’t know those calculations. But the money was a real problem for me at first.” She has been living off the royalties ever since it was first published, but has still given the vast majority of it away. Having never wanted to be a philanthropist, and feeling uncomfortable in the role, she “figured out how to do it” by delegating to others, who take care of the royalties’ distribution. “Yes, because giving it away can be a full-time job, if you’re not doing it just to feel saintly.” She won’t go into details, but says she’s devised a system whereby the money is never even hers in the first place. “I don’t even use the words, ‘Give my money away’, you know. We have a way in which it isn’t even mine any more, and then it’s just done, and it’s done in solidarity.”
Roy separated from her husband years ago, but the two have never divorced, and she says she considers him and his two daughters, now long grown up, “family”, even though she lives alone in Delhi. The couple had no children, a decision she has never regretted. “I don’t consider myself a wife, but I’m technically married.” She pauses and grins. “But then, even when I was married, I didn’t consider myself a wife. It’s all a bit random.”’
and caught up in the process .. of institutionalizing/punishing/violencing.. et al
Roy’s great gift is less in dreaming them up than in taking the trouble to see them all around her.
“When people say this business of ‘she’s the voice of the voiceless’, it makes me crazy,” Roy snorts. “I say, ‘There’s no voiceless, there’s only the deliberately silenced, you know, or the purposely unheard.’” Perhaps she has been able to survive without fiction for so long because the life she’s been living has resembled the fantastical richness of a novel. Roy may not be a hijra who lives in a graveyard, but the voice of Anjum is unmistakably hers.