I want to talk a bit about Suzanna Arundhati Roy. She is Indian. Many people think she speaks for India. A little about her. She justified the riots in 2008 that killed many Indians. She was against our nuclear program at a time when Pakistan already had nuclear weapons. She has attacked Mahatma Gandhi, and not in a thoughtful way, but saying he was a racist- God knows what she means since India is one race. She has called for the removal and renaming of all tributes, buildings etc. named after Gandhi. Can you imagine this? She justified the terrorist attack on the Indian parliament in 2001. She has argued that India should give up Kashmir.
She is not a thoughtful critic. Some may find fault with Noam Chomsky but his arguments are well-researched; they are based on factual argument not bombast, and highly decorated prose instead of reason.
Now let me discuss a little bit about Roy's report on the Naxalite insurgents. By the way this group is responsible for many murders of innocent people in India. They've murdered a lot of people. You can argue whether that's justified, but they're not saints.
Maybe they have some ideology but they are not noble in any sense. It is one thing to try to explain their ideology, it is quite another to *romanticize them. Everything about these insurgents is "beautiful" and she's totally uncritical of them. So I read her piece; here are her own words:
“Waiting for us on the other bank, in a lime-green shirt that said Horlicks!, was Chandu. A slightly older security threat. Maybe twenty. He had a lovely smile, “
(she is referring to a Naxalite insurgent; she is sarcastic by saying this young man is a "security threat" when he's just a young man; this "young man" shows he can fire every weapon except one of their missle launchers)
“Three beautiful, sozzled men with flowers in their turbans walked with us for about half an hour, before our paths diverged. “
“The village seems spacious, the houses far away from each other. The house we enter is beautiful. “
“The lady of the house calls me inside and gives me chicken curry cooked in green beans and some red rice. Fabulous. Her baby is asleep next to me, her silver anklets gleam in the firelight.”
“ I can hear cowbells, snuffling, shuffling, cattle-farting. All’s well with the world. My eyes close.”
(nothing is wrong about the insurgent's village; not cattle farting, nothing)
"We stop at a village for lunch. Chandu seems to know the people in the house. A beautiful young girl flirts with him.
We take a nap in the gazebo. There is a spare beauty about the place. Everything is clean and necessary."
"It’s the most beautiful room I have slept in, in a long time. My private suite in a thousand-star hotel. I’m surrounded by these strange, beautiful children with their curious arsenal. "
(the children are child soldiers and the curious arsenal are firearms they've been forced to carry by the insurgents)
“Why are all the government village schools built like concrete bastions, with steel shutters for windows and sliding folding steel doors? Why not like the village houses, with mud and thatch? Because they double up as barracks and bunkers. “In the villages in Abujhmad,” Chandu says, “schools are like this....” He scratches a building plan with a twig in the earth. Three octagons attached to each other like a honeycomb. “So they can fire in all directions.” He draws arrows to illustrate his point, like a cricket graphic—a batsman’s wagon wheel. There are no teachers in any of the schools, Chandu says. They’ve all run away.”
(Roy is uncritical of the fact the insurgents have turned the school into a military fort. They are jeapordizing the children but oh well. Teachers are gone too - too bad).
”About 20 young people arrive, girls and boys. In their teens and early 20s. Chandu explains that this is the village-level militia, the lowest rung of the Maoists’ military hierarchy. I have never seen anyone like them before. They are dressed in saris and lungis, some in frayed olive-green fatigues. The boys wear jewellery, headgear. Every one of them has a muzzle-loading rifle, what’s called a bharmaar. Some also have knives, axes, a bow and arrow…..One boy carries a crude mortar fashioned out of a heavy three-foot GI pipe. It’s filled with gunpowder and shrapnel and ready to be fired…. They have just finished a day’s work, helping to build fencing around some village houses to keep the goats out of the fields. They’re full of fun and curiosity. The girls are confident and easy with the boys. I have a sensor for this sort of thing, and I am impressed. ”
(No criticism of child soldiers- insane. She is too busy praising them to critique this practice).
Do you begin to see what Roy is? Many Indians are seduced by her prose; she is gifted with words. However, she abuses them, and takes extreme, unsubstantiated positions that if followed would harm Indian people immensely. I don't know why she does this; in any case, be forewarned about her agenda.