Oct 282010
 

How many people in India have the ability to bring people from various parts of the political spectrum together ?
One and only one, Arundathi Roy.

After putting me off the Narmada Bachao Andolan, feeling sorry for tribal development or lack of it, in Naxal infested areas – she has made me question my doubts about the role of the State in a modern world. If she supports any view that are even 3 light years close to mine – then I must be wrong :)

But, it is not just me that she has impacted. People from all ends of the political spectrum are coming together on common ground…

Sanjay Jha – writes in Hamara Congress. Obviously the name of the blog tells you his political affiliation:

Before condemning the Indian state and government ( always our perpetual soft targets ) for its “ brutal ways” and mocking India’s freedom and democracy in a public platform , Ms Roy needs to do some serious introspection on her much-postured predilections on Kashmir’s Azaadi . A lesson in history might help, including contemporary politics Or may be it is time to take a long sabbatical in Kerala’s backwaters perhaps, and write a book titled The Goddess of Nothing !

Kanchan Gupta – the acerbic right wing commentator – writes

Nor is this the first time that Arundhati Roy has questioned the quality of democracy in India; she has done so repeatedly. Invited for a book-reading session at New York’s Town Hall, she had stunned the gathering by suddenly launching a vitriolic attack on democracy in India. “The biggest PR myth of all times is that India is a democracy. In reality, it is not… There is no real democracy in India. Several States in India are on the verge of civil war… In Iraq, there are 1,50,000 military personnel, whereas in Kashmir Valley there are some 7,00,000,” she had said. Not surprisingly, she got a standing ovation. Who is to tell the Americans who applauded her that had India not been a democracy she would have been frog-marched to Tihar Jail immediately upon arriving at Indira Gandhi International Airport on her return?

Srinivas Ramani - of EPW, considered left wing – has this to say on FB

Arundhati Roy.. People either go gaga about her or Gag-Gag. I am mostly “ugh-ugh” and move on. …Arundhati Roy now seems to have taken her carpetbagging a step further from Medha Patkar/ML-Lib to the Maoists and Islamic Fundamentalism. One wonders, what next.

Manish Tiwari – Congress loudmouthspokesperson, who suffers from acute footinthemouthitis, had this to say :

“I do not understand why exaggerated importance is given to her who is not in the political mainstream. It is erroneous and uncalled for. Is she an MP? Is she a political leader. She is an author,”

if you do a search on twitter for arundathi roy – you will again find people from all sides of the spectrum uniting on how much of a self publicist she is

@Mirzairfan76 says

arundathi roy is a chameleon.I have no problem with your anger,your voice s against injustice and oppressive military prsce ..an angry kashmiri is not a seditionist,but arundathi roy speaks the language of the enemies of india on fragmentation.

@freaks007 says

Seems she has stayed out of limelight for quite some time and is intent on changing that! The nation doesn’t need your pity!

@GreigAbraham

Heard Arundathi Roy is forfeiting her passport and moving to Afghanistan. Moving to a greener pastures to fight for rights.

The Reuter’s blog has the best take on this issue

Indeed, after winning the 1997 Booker Prize for The God of Small Things, Roy has become a serial controversy-inciter. Whether it’s stirring the ire of India’s nationalist right with an over-zealous defence of the insurgent left, or standing shoulder-to-shoulder with displaced residents in criticism of the industrialist central government, stirring debate is her current raison d’être.

India appears to have treated her remarks as such.

I haven’t included the BJP’s official comments on this because they seem to be hell belt on making a self publicist into a martyr – thereby, perpetuating the myth of her importance and relevance. and, another view which is quite relevant in this context :

@psyco_baba

BJP wants the gov to take action against Arundathi Roy for being a separatist. i wonder what they were thinking when they demolshd /t masjid

When discussing Indians and our opinions I am often reminded of an old Jewish Joke -where there are two Jews there are three points of view :) Indians are pretty much like that … and to get most people to agree, on a more or less similar view, takes an act of genius :)

So, the National Integration Award for 2010 – goes to Arundathi Roy :)

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(seriously, stop paying that woman attention – have you noticed that she only visits an area or a cause when it is hotting up. Medha Patkar did the hard work,  Arundathi Roy piggy backed on Narmada Bachao; The Naxal movement has been on for the last 20 years; it is after the media discovered ‘backward’ areas that Arundathi Roy discovered the same; Kashmir has been simmering from when I was in school – yet it is after the current bout of highly publicized outbursts of violence that Ms.Roy has discovered Kashmir.

If tomorrow morning, the media goes mad about Irom Sharmilla – Ms.Roy will find a new cause to piggy back on … she is a media groupie and the media in turn is her groupie…. kind of a vicious cycle, isn’t it?