Arundhati Roy speaks out against Indian rape culture

Channel 4 News, Friday 21 December 2012
The writer Arundhati Roy tells Channel 4 News she believes rape is used as a weapon in India and that women in the country are “paying the price”.

Arundhati Roy: “Indian capitalism fully monopolistic”

HYDERABAD, August 13, 2012

Staff Reporter, The Hindu

Dr P.M. Bhargava, Former Director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) releasing the Telugu translation of Arundhati Roy book Capitalism: A Ghost Story, also seen are are Prof. Haragopal, in Hyderabad on Sunday . Photo: M.Subhash
[The Hindu Dr P.M. Bhargava, Former Director of Centre for Cellular
and Molecular Biology (CCMB) releasing the Telugu translation
of Arundhati Roy’s book Capitalism: A Ghost Story, also
seen are are Prof. Haragopal, in Hyderabad on Sunday .
Photo: M.Subhash]

‘Nelson Mandela was not allowed to implement land reforms’

Noted writer Arundhati Roy has said capitalism in India is most unique as it tries to control the society in every possible manner by establishing monopoly on all key sectors connected to life, which is not seen even in most capitalistic western countries.

“Capitalism encourages everything that does not threaten its interests including the recent anti-corruption movement led by social activist Anna Hazare and his team. By encouraging social groups to take up different issues separately, capitalism will fragment social energy in a way that will deny a holistic struggle for justice”, the Booker prize winner said here on Sunday.

Speaking at a function organised to release the Telugu translation of her essay, Capitalism – A Ghost Story, the social activist said capitalism in the country would make people depend on them from commodities like salt to costly cars, communication to media and minerals to power. It would undermine everything to further its interests, she noted.

By employing perception management, capitalism would control public policy, resources and businesses as it would innovate itself continuously, Ms. Arundhati Roy stated. “It will criminalise the tribals and make them squatters on their own land. They fund human rights organisations but will never allow them to speak about pure justice,” she said.

Stating how foresighted and influential the capitalism would be, the writer explained how the capitalist forces made Nelson Mandela the President of South Africa in the name of ending apartheid and did not allow him to implement land reforms and nationalisation of natural resources. She also explained how the corporate philosophy would mould public policies to suit their interests.

Human rights activist Prof. G. Haragopal said the book was most relevant to the society at a time when the social conflict was on the rise. Former Director of CCMB P.M. Bhargava, Prof. Ghanta Chakrapani and others spoke. The original essay was translated into Telugu by one K. Suresh.

Arundhati Roy Advocates Buffer State Status For Kashmir

Kashmir Observer

New York, Nov 12: Internationally acclaimed novelist and activist Arundhati Roy has reiterated her support for an end to what she termed as “brutal” Indian occupation of Kashmir.

“I think that the people of Kashmir have the right to self- determination—they have the right to choose who they want to be, and how they want to be,” she said in the course of a discussion on ‘Kashmir: The Case for Freedom’ at Asia Society.

“Kashmir is one of the most protracted and bloody occupations in the world and one of the most ignored,” Roy said. Continue reading

November 9: Arundhati Roy’s reading in NYC

THE CENTER FOR PLACE, CULTURE AND POLITICS PRESENTS

** Walking with the Comrades **

Deep in the forests, under the pretense of battling Maoist guerillas,
the Indian government is waging a vicious total war against its own
citizens—a war undocumented by a weak domestic press and fostered by
corporations eager to exploit the rare minerals buried in tribal
lands. Chronicling her months spent living with the rebel guerillas in
the forests, Roy addresses the much larger question of whether global
capitalism will tolerate any societies existing outside of its
colossal control.

Arundhati Roy

David Harvey

A reading by Arundhati Roy
Followed by a discussion with David Harvey
Wednesday November 9th 2011, 7.00 PM – 9.00 PM
The Proshansky Auditorium,  Cuny Graduate Center
365 Fifth Ave at 34th Street

Free and open to the public

Arundhati Roy was born in 1959 in Shillong, India. She studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives. She has worked as a
film designer and screenplay writer in India. Roy is the author of the novel The God of Small Things, for which she received the 1997 Booker Prize. The novel has been translated into dozens of languages worldwide.

She has written several non-fiction books, including The Cost of Living, Power Politics, War Talk, An Ordinary Person’s Guide to
Empire, and Public Power in the Age of Empire. Roy was featured in the BBC television documentary Dam/age, which is about the struggle against big dams in India. A collection of interviews with Arundhati Roy by David Barsamian was published as The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile. Her recent work includes Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers, and a contribution to the forthcoming anthology Kashmir: The Case for Freedom. Her latest book, Walking with the Comrades was just published by Penguin Books. Roy is the recipient of the 2002 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Prize.

David Harvey, a leading theorist in the field of urban studies whom Library Journal called “one of the most influential geographers of the later twentieth century,” earned his Ph.D. from Cambridge University, was formerly professor of geography at Johns Hopkins, a Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics, and Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at Oxford. His reflections on the importance of space and place (and more recently “nature”) have attracted considerable attention across the humanities and social sciences. His highly influential books include The New Imperialism; Paris, Capital of Modernity; Social Justice and the City; Limits to Capital; The Urbanization of Capital;The Condition of Postmodernity; Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference;Spaces of Hope; and Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography. His numerous awards include the Outstanding Contributor Award of the Association of American Geographers and the 2002 Centenary Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for his “outstanding contribution to the field of geographical enquiry and to anthropology.” He holds honorary degrees from the universities of Buenos Aires, Roskilde in Denmark, Uppsala in Sweden, and Ohio State University.

Co-sponsored by the CUNY Committee on Globalization and Social Change and the Center for Humanities

• Link to the post: http://pcp.gc.cuny.edu/arundhati-roy-walking-with-the-comrades-followed-by-a-discussion-with-david-harvey/
• Link to The Center for Place, Culture and Politics: http://pcp.gc.cuny.edu

Interview: Arundhati Roy

By Dinyar Godrej, New Internationalist, Issue 445

Arundhati Roy is probably the most `do something’ public intellectual of our time. In her interview with New Internationalist she offers her take on market-friendly democracy, people power and the wealth that is fed by people’s lives.

Your writings have grappled with ruthless state violence which is often at the behest of corporate interests. Much of the corporate-owned media in India shies away from covering the civil war-like conditions in many parts of the country. The establishment tends to brand anyone who attempts to present the other side’s points of view as having seditious intent. Where is the democratic space?

You’ve partially answered your own question – newspapers and television channels do not make their money from subscriptions or viewership; in fact, corporate advertisements actually subsidize TV viewership and newspaper and magazine readership, so in effect, the mass media is run with corporate money.

Some media houses are directly owned by corporations, some indirectly by majority share-holdings. Some media houses in, say, Central India, have a direct interest in mining and infrastructure projects, so they have a vested interest in the push to displace people in the huge, ongoing land-grab in which land and resources are forcibly taken from the poor and given to the rich – a process which goes by the name of `development’. It would be foolish to expect objective reporting: not because the journalists are bad people, but because of the economic structure of the organizations they work for. In fact, what is surprising is that despite all of this, occasionally there is some very good reporting.

But overall we either have silence, or a completely distorted picture, in which those resisting their impoverishment are being labelled  `terrorists’ – and these are not just the Maoist rebels who have taken to arms, but others who are involved in unarmed, but militant, struggles against the government. A climate has been created which criminalizes dissent of all kinds. Continue reading

Candid Interview in The Scotsman: Arundhati Roy, Author

Click on thumbnail to view image20 June 2011
By Claire Black
A note slipped under a hotel room door. A boy with a Charlie Brown rucksack. Two unknown men on motorbikes. Hours of walking. That was Arundhati Roy’s route into the forests of central India, an area she describes as “homeland to millions of India’s tribal people, dreamland to the corporate world”.

This contested land is the backdrop to Roy’s new book, Broken Republic, the central essay of which is a fine piece of reportage detailing the three weeks she spent with the Maoist guerrilla movement and the tribal people, the adivasi, who are resisting the government’s plans to “develop” and mine the land on which they live.

Roy walked for hours each day, met with the most wanted guerrilla fighters, ate and talked with the insurgents, nearly half of whom are women, and spent her nights sleeping on a blue plastic sheet, a jhillie, in “the most beautiful room I have slept in in a long time. My private suite in a thousand-star hotel.”

The language is lyrical, but Roy’s critique is excoriating. This area, already ravaged by bloody battles, with guerrillas on one side and government paramilitaries on the other, is on the brink of becoming a war zone, she argues. The army is ready to move in and forcibly clear the adivasi from their land. For Roy, the stakes could not be higher – the fight is for the very “soul of India”.

From the thousand stars of the Dantewada forests, to the five stars of a London hotel, where, over a cup of tea, Roy proves no less passionate in person than in prose. Turning 50 this year, she looks much younger. Her hair, long and curly is flecked with grey but her skin is smooth. Her clothes are quirky and stylish: wide black trousers (“homemade” she smiles) and a tailcoat. Her diamond nose stud glinting.

Roy may be one of India’s most celebrated novelists, but as a political campaigner she’s an unapologetic thorn in the flesh of the Indian state. She argues that despite the headlines celebrating India’s stratospheric economic growth (until recently 10 per cent, but now revised down to 8.5 per cent) the country stands on a precipice. She believes that success is being bought at a heavy price: millions of displaced people and an unfolding ecological disaster, while the Maoist guerrilla fighters are simultaneously scapegoats for state violence, but also empowered by the brutality of the government forces. Continue reading