Arundhati Roy on herself …. again

Sheesh, yet another Arundhati Roy interview. Its like the self-proclaimed democracy advocate never tires of dictating what a democracy should be or introspects. She plain refuses to ‘get it’

It is very wearing and frustrating to read a mind with such astute insight consistently make them useless by self-concluding and leaving out dissent – to put it her style.

On the fun side, the Arundhati Roy interview talks about other interesting, personal things about her that we rarely get to hear. We hear aout her childhood, her relationship with her “absolutely charming, unemployed, broke, irreverent alcoholic” father and her thankfulness that at least he wasn’t some “senior bureaucrat or golf-playing CEO”… We hear about the personal experiences that lead to her articles and try to believe her as she says she didn’t want to write any of them…. On the whole, my feeling was one of joy where in the absense of attacks on India, I could freely enjoy her as a person – warts and all.

Arundhati Roy of the God of small things fame has remarkable insight into the dynamics of the Indian inequity, the human rights issues in India, existential concerns of people, etc and then she takes those people and isolates them by calling their oppression intentional and “Indian”. Half of India has no clue on what she is talking about. They simply don’t know. If they did, like they do when they read her, they would care about what is right being done. But before that mental process is complete, they discover that the logic includes them being evil, which they absolutely know as false. Heck, they didn’t even know all this till now.

Reading Arundhati Roy is like being forced to stand in a sweet shop but not allowed to eat. It is sad, because then her insight, that is much needed by the country remains limited to those who already agree and know the “jargon” like “Hindu Brahmin India cannibalizing its own” etc enough not to be offended or worse, dismiss her entire writing by the standards of “truth” of the one fact they can conclusively claim for themselves. They KNOW they didn’t intend ham to those tribals like she says.

It is an art to narrate complex concepts so that anyone understands them. Arundhati does not bother with that. In the process, her thoughts remain limited to those who already think similarly enough to understand what she means.

I’m not left, right or center. I agree with many things she says and I think India needs to sit up and listen. On the other hand, I think Arundhati needs to speak like she actually intends for those injustices to be addressed rather than a war of accusations.

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About the Author

Vidyut
Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

8 Comments on "Arundhati Roy on herself …. again"

  1. It is so bloody frustrating! I admire her and hate her at the same time.

  2. It is so bloody frustrating! I admire her and hate her at the same time.

  3. Yeah, I know what you mean. As someone interested in social change, I find her insights to be a gold mine, and then she goes and wrecks things with her “hysterical shouting from the rooftops” (her description) style by allocating blame and making such strong accusations, that the whole thing becomes a war for dignity.

    It is sad, because what awareness could have been brought by her words is not just turned into defensive counter-accusations, but the outrage against her results in people refusing to align with her at all – essentially robbing the people she claims to advocate for of the opportunity that a saner voice would have meant.

    There is no possibility for dialogue. If she brings up something, she concludes it right then and there – in essence declaring herself to be the only person in the right (or those who agree).

  4. Yeah, I know what you mean. As someone interested in social change, I find her insights to be a gold mine, and then she goes and wrecks things with her “hysterical shouting from the rooftops” (her description) style by allocating blame and making such strong accusations, that the whole thing becomes a war for dignity.

    It is sad, because what awareness could have been brought by her words is not just turned into defensive counter-accusations, but the outrage against her results in people refusing to align with her at all – essentially robbing the people she claims to advocate for of the opportunity that a saner voice would have meant.

    There is no possibility for dialogue. If she brings up something, she concludes it right then and there – in essence declaring herself to be the only person in the right (or those who agree).

  5. When i first read her book, I liked her, however, hearing her over and over again, I find she contradicts herself again and again and she is not as open minded as I thought. At the same time some of her statements are actually divisive rather than bringing people together even though she is in a position of bringing everyone together.

    Thats why she irritates me now, even though I agree with some of the things she does say, but then I am not sure how much she has really thought through in regard to some of her own reactive statements.

  6. When i first read her book, I liked her, however, hearing her over and over again, I find she contradicts herself again and again and she is not as open minded as I thought. At the same time some of her statements are actually divisive rather than bringing people together even though she is in a position of bringing everyone together.

    Thats why she irritates me now, even though I agree with some of the things she does say, but then I am not sure how much she has really thought through in regard to some of her own reactive statements.

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