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article imageOp-Ed: Let me introduce you to Arundhati Roy

By R. C. Camphausen     Apr 16, 2013 in World
In Western media, you don't often hear about Arundhati Roy. Understandably so, because she's an outspoken writer and activist concerning modern India as well as corporate control everywhere: a female version of Christopher Hitchens & Chris Hedges.
There's a DJ article featuring Arundhati Roy, from 2006, but unfortunately the accompanying video seems not available anymore. For a bit of background on the lady in question, I quote that article here as far as it concerns her biography:
Arundhati Roy (born November 24, 1961) is an Indian novelist, activist and a world citizen. She won the Booker Prize in 1997 for her first novel The God of Small Things.
Roy was born in Shillong, Meghalaya to a Keralite Syrian Christian mother and a Bengali Hindu father, a tea planter by profession. She spent her childhood in Aymanam, in Kerala, schooling in Corpus Christi. She left Kerala for Delhi at age 16, and embarked on a homeless lifestyle, staying in a small hut with a tin roof within the walls of Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla and making a living selling empty bottles. She then proceeded to study architecture at the Delhi School of Architecture, where she met her first husband, the architect Gerard Da Cunha.
The God of Small Things is the only novel written by Roy. Since winning the Booker Prize, she has concentrated her writing on political issues. These include the Narmada Dam project, India's Nuclear Weapons, corrupt power company Enron's activities in India. She is a figure-head of the anti-globalization/alter-globalization movement and a vehement critic of neo-imperialism.
The idea for this op-ed engaged my synapses when I read the latest edition of Outlook India, surprisingly dated in the future (April 22, 2013), in which said web-publication asked her some questions and claimed that her answers were somewhat cryptic.
Well, the way she answered the questions is not cryptic to me, nor will it be to many readers. Here's a small excerpt from that so-called interview which, modern style, was conducted by email.
Considering that the corporate sector’s worldview is so unidirectional and self-serving, why is it being accepted so blindly by the media and in turn by the people?
Because the corporations own and control the media. And the media controls the imagination of the people. RIL, for example (Reliance Industries Limited; ed.), owns controlling shares in 27 TV channels. Logically, RIL’s political candidates are going to be promoted on those channels.
What gives the corporates the strength to force such views on the people?
Let me guess ... could it be money? Lots of it?
In the US, the corporate sector plays a key role in the selection of the president. The corporate sector here seems to be pushing in that culture — individual-based politics as opposed to issue- or party-based public debates....
This election the Corporate Candidate will be the person who is seen as being able to ‘deliver’ ... and that will include being able to put down people’s rebellions across the country by deploying the army if necessary, in places like Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, where, in the corporate view, massive reserves of cold cash are languishing in the forests and mountains — not quite the US model, but getting there.
Do you consider all this to be good for India’s democratic system and values?
Yes, it’s excellent for Indian democracy. We should be run by corporations. The army should be deployed. Nothing should come in the way of corporate need. The poor should be moved into concentration camps outside large cities. The surplus population should be exterminated.
What I see is not someone cryptic, just a bit cynical about the strange questions asked, and her answers don't apply merely for India, but for most of the world. Should you've not known her, and/or should you've become curious about Mrs. Roy, there are several interviews with her on Democracy Now; where else?
Also, A.R. does not merely speak or write, she's has actually been going into the Indian jungle in order to speak to / stay with the so-called 'Maoist rebels', or 'Naxalites', the Indian government is trying to suppress — i.e. eliminate. A dangerous mission, and much criticized, but she's come away from that encounter and went back to her PC to write about it.
Most becoming for the acclaimed 'largest democracy in the world', Arundhati Roy has faced arrest and prison sentences for her views by the Indian authorities — especially over her outspoken stance on the Kashmir conflict.
Fortunately, she's still among us.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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