Atanu Dey On India's Development

Arundhati Roy is a Damn Nuisance

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Arundhati Roy is really — how should I put it delicately — an attention whore. Maybe she has a point or maybe she doesn’t. Her vile attacks on India are thinly disguised attacks on Hindus. The UPA, which normally would be allied with her united as they are in their hatred of Hindus, find themselves parting company since she is bringing attention to the disaster that is Kashmir — a disaster that Chacha Nehru created. That is not kosher. So what does the UPA do? Try to throttle her. Same as they do with anyone who speaks out against the vile stupidity of their misgovernance.

I am a free-speech fundamentalist. No one must be silenced. Period. Free speech is non-negotiable. The response to speech has to be more speech. If the principle of freedom of speech has to have any content at all, it must protect the speech of ignorant house-niggers like Arundhati Roy.

She’s special and has been peddling her wares for a long while. An article, “Damn Nuisance” in the Telegraph of the UK put it thusly in March 2002:

Nobody questions the rights of writers to express political opinions but when it comes to the bulk delivery of unsolicited guidance on the world’s shortcomings, Miss Roy’s currently in a class of her own.

Attention whores thrive on attention. The best way to deal with her is to ignore her. But the main stream media in India depends on her types to get their TRPs and GRPs. Unfortunately we are not going to see the last of her.

Related Posts: I have argued a lot for the freedom of expression on this blog. Note especially this, “Freedom to be Offended“, and this, “Forbidding Expression,” and this, “Ridiculing Religious Insanity“.

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  • Amit S

    Recently, she stated that India is colonizing Kashmir! This is utter nonsense. A colony is established when a group leaves their native country to form in a new land a settlement subject to, or connected with, the parent nation. This is usually done to exploit the new land for the economic benefit of the parent country.

    Isn’t India pumping money into Kashmir, and not the other way round? Don’t the Kashmiris have the same rights as rest on India, if not more? Then how is India colonizing Kashmir?

    However, I think she should still have her right to free speech. Hypocritically, these anti-India forces would still rather live in India than to live in an Islamic or Communist country, the two very ideologies that they speak for.

  • gajanan

    Is it a Freudian backlash ?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/jul/12/arundhati-roy-booker-prize-politics

    “Roy speaks a lot about her activist mother but her father disappears from her story. What became of him? “My parents separated when I was two, and I never saw my father until I was 24 or 25,” she says. “He was an alcoholic, completely. He died last year. I didn’t really know him but I was there at the end. My aunt used to look after him and I used to help sometimes but you couldn’t talk to him, not really…”

    She must have felt that as an absence? “I think that in some ways,” she says, “the fact that my father was missing from my life was not a bad thing”.

    She has a lot of hatred for her father , Mr Roy who was a Hindu. This probably coming out as a Freudian diatribe against Hindus. She has no sympathy for Kashmiri Pandits, which is again as a hatred for her patriarch. This is all inbuilt anger coming out to support and do , what the Hindus would not like. Under the current climate of bad media globally for Sanatanis, this Freudian follower could may end with a Nobel Peace Prize which you rightly mentioned as the Joke prize.

  • gajanan

    article in TOI , a bit of a surprise

    by Anshul Chaturvedi

    http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/clicklit/entry/don-t-pity-us-arundhati-not-yet

    “When Arundhati says that she speaks for justice “for Kashmiri Pandits who live out the tragedy of having been driven out of their homeland”, it is too ridiculous to even merit comment, given that she wants that justice to come while she shares a dias with Geelani. They were ‘driven out of their homeland’, Arundhati, by the brutal military occupiers of Kashmir, or by someone else? Driven out by whom? Why leave it to delightful ambiguities here? I do not know if Kashmiri Pandits give any weightage to her speaking ostensibly on their behalf. And the statistical chances of Pandits returning to Kashmir if the brutal military occupation ends tomorrow are slimmer than of Arundhati joining the BJP”.

    Golden lines from the above para here below.

    “They were ‘driven out of their homeland’, Arundhati, by the brutal military occupiers of Kashmir, or by someone else? Driven out by whom? Why leave it to delightful ambiguities here?”

  • http://AjitJadhav.wordpress.com Dr. Ajit R. Jadhav

    A related reading:

    “Why has the liberal/left formed a “gentlemen’s agreement” alliance with Islam?”

    Edward Cline ponders over the question, and comes up with a thesis that “both socialism and Islam are forms of political nihilism.”

    Read his article: “A Nexus of Nihilism” (17 August 2010) here: http://tinyurl.com/24gke5p

    –Ajit

    [E&OE]

  • dark lord

    “So what does the UPA do? Try to throttle her. Same as they do with anyone who speaks out against the vile stupidity of their misgovernance.”

    UPA is trying its level best to ignore her. Its the BJP which is demanding clamping down on Arundhati Roy.

  • larissa

    She is one of those Indians who make a living out of being a fake champion of vague causes, there are a lot of Indians like that, most of them working for NGO’s. She has to raise false controversies because her livelihood depends on it, otherwise those grants would not be coming to her from outside… If the West did not give her a prize out of affirmative action for a unreadable, mediocre book she wrote (could not read beyond the first 20 pages), she would be unknown today. I wish the Western world would stop giving affirmative action prizes for literature: there is another one in this category such as the White Tiger…

  • http://pulzinponderland.wordpress.com/ Pulkit

    “Her vile attacks on India are thinly disguised attacks on Hindus. The UPA, which normally would be allied with her united as they are in their hatred of Hindus, find themselves parting company since she is bringing attention to the disaster that is Kashmir — a disaster that Chacha Nehru created.”

    Smacks of a soft Hindutva hardliner or a BJP spokesperson, desperately trying to hide under the guise of a cool, ‘pro-progress’ image. Who cares whether that progress is equitable, non-discriminative or inclusive, right?

    I wish to make no remarks about the issue of Kashmir, yet. It’s too complex an issue to derive opinions on, without a very thorough, multi-faceted analysis. Unfortunately, most of us form those based on half-backed jingoism passed off as ‘nationalism’, without hardly any empathy for how the ordinary people live. This is no better than ToI ‘news’ in that regard.

    It’s also curious that the author bemoans about the mainstream media giving undue mileage to Roy, but keeps harping on her himself!

  • Anil

    What did you not like about the white tiger?

  • Sudhir

    Atanu,

    I do not agree with you on this particular issue

    Take a hypothetical case –

    I meet some youngsters and then bombard then with anti-India ideology. Say that they have been oppressed by India and they have to kill Indians in return (just using my freedom of speech). Finally these youngsters pick up the gun and go on a rampage. So am I culpable in the crime or I can hide behind freedom of speech .

    Sudhir

  • Amit S

    @Pulkit

    There are couple of prerequisites for progress that is “equitable, non-discriminative and inclusive”:

    1. All people that you want to benefit have to be included in the scope of the “progress”: This can only happen when they are citizens on one country (although still not guaranteed, see next few points). I don’t know your position on the issue, but Arundhati Roy is not for one country as far as Kashmir, other troubled areas of India and rest of India are concerned.

    2. There has to be “Equal and just treatment of all citizens”: Although, for the most part Indian Constitution guarantees this (unlike our neighbors, India does not treat minorities as second-class citizens), Indian Government has not done a good job of implementing this. People with power can get away with breaking the law, and those without power are either bogged down by numerous stupid laws or wrongly framed, if they rub someone powerful in a wrong way. In other words, lack of justice is a bigger problem in India than just Kashmir and the Maoist infested areas.
    Now, take the other side of the problem. Article 370 was supposedly introduced to protect Kashmiri interests, hence it made them more than equals. But, it has worked towards Kashmir’s detriment. Think of why would other Indian businesses invest in Kashmir if there are so many economic and property rights restrictions due to Article 370? Today, as an outsider, you can start a business in Mumbai (sure MNS will make some noise that you adopt Marathi), and you can buy or rent office space to run your business there, perhaps even buy a house (if you can afford it), but you cannot do all these things in Kashmir.

    3. There has to be peace, stability, and rule of law: Again, while most of India is benefiting from stability, with only occasional breakdown in rule of law (not sure who should get the credit for this), Arundhati & Co precisely support those who undermine the rule of law. Granted that some people in these areas have genuine grievances, but the answer to their problems is not in aggravating the problem by further breakdown of rule of law.

    4. There has to be freedom for economic activity (to ensure progress) that respects written and other social contracts such as not harming the environment: Again, India is progressing in this direction, but is not quite there yet. This problem is again not limited to Kashmir and Maoist areas.
    Not sure about you, but Arundhati & Co choose to not to work on larger issues of India (that would ensure true progress), but selectively point out India’s problems in areas where some people challenge the authority of the State, while absolving them of their own responsibility towards other people, such as not killing them for starters.

  • Amit S

    @Pulkit

    Please note if you just wish good to all Indians or humans, and start to think rationally about how their lives can be better, you can see there are problems with Arundhati’s stand and Nehru’s deeds (such as Article 370), and you don’t need jingoism or nationalism or Hindutva to arrive at this conclusion. The idea of India is inherently better than the idea of Pakistan (which is what an Azad Kashmir will become), because it is the idea of a (relatively) open society vs. a closed and radicalized society.

    Whether the idea of India is based on Hinduism is an open question that I will leave to the so-called religious scholars.

  • Sumitra

    Did you really have to use the word ‘house-N’? You’ve lived in the US for two decades, and didn’t get what that derogatory word stands for?

  • Kaffir

    I hate to say this, but it seems to me that women like Arundhati Roy – and Deepa Mehta – have suffered severe emotional trauma (in the first case, dad; in the second case, ex-husband), and their invective writings and films are an expression of lashing out at what they see as the problem – Hinduism/Hindu society/patriarchy. Their products are often illogical and contradictory, and not based in any reality (or on facts/rigorous analysis) – except the reality that exists in their own minds.

    What’s really mind-boggling is that these two women were not constrained by any social norms that usually apply to women in India, they had much more freedom than an average Indian woman gets, whether it is regarding education, choosing one’s partner, choosing one’s profession etc. – that is, these women experienced none of the patriarchal oppression which is considered the usual culprit – and yet, these women tend to blame the society and its norms/traditions for their own failings/trauma!!

    What these women need is some psychiatric help to cure their delusions, not space in newspapers or behind a camera where they can spread their personal rants as universal truths, adopted as dogma by starry-eyed idiots.

  • Amit S

    @Kaffir

    While I am no supporter of Arundhati & Co, I have to disagree with your thesis. It does not necessarily take an oppressed to recognize oppression. Most oppressed people are indoctrinated to accept their way of life, and turn into oppressors when they get a chance (think what a saas does to a bahu). On the contrary, perhaps it is someone who has tasted freedom or an outsider who can call a spade a spade. Think of how much easier it is for non-Muslims or Muslims who have lived a life of relative freedom to rationally criticize Islam than someone who has been indoctrinated to believe that the way of Islam is right. Same thing applies to Hinduism.

  • Amit S

    Main point in my last post was, a lot of people (if not most) oppressed by a culture or an ideology are indoctrinated to be its sympathizers and defenders, especially if they are born into it. Those who are relatively unaffected by it find it easier to analyze it dispassionately.

  • http://www.LifeMantras.com LifeMantra

    These pseudos are attention seeker sick yet skilled individuals. They are good at capitalizing such opportunities of drawing attention. She went on fasting for Narmada Dam.If she really believed for any issues, she could have sacrificed life by dying of fasting and become shaheed like our freedom fighters did in last century!

    She did not do this because she is sick and weak. Once sick pleasure of getting attention is over, she will move on. Once her sick pleasure of getting attention is over and she feels that everyone have started ignoring her, she will find another issue…will use her powerful skill of playing with words and “freedom of speech” umbrella and get attention one more time.

    Atanu,

    I second your value of protecting “free speech”. If one cannot live with poison shots like her speech, apply anti-dote.

  • http://pulzinponderland.wordpress.com/ Pulkit

    @Amit S: You have made a lot of blanket statements, many of which don’t bear a great deal of pertinence to the post. Nevertheless, here’s my brief response, on a similar, not-too-context-heavy plane.

    - History is replete with stories of brutal desolation being passed off as ‘peace’. It’s a bit analogous to eliminating the poor and then brandishing it as the eradication of poverty (the recently concluded CWG in Delhi a case in point). So, we have to deliberate hard on what kind of peace we seek, and how to bring it about.

    - One of my favourite quotes is that unjust law is no law at all. A blindfolded insistence on being submissive to the law would have deprived of all the liberties you currently enjoy – be it the abolition of slavery or the recent decriminalization of gay marriages. So, a discussion on oppressive laws such as AFSPA is critically important, regardless of what conclusion you ultimately reach.

    - “Not harming the environment”. I concur to the fullest, as environment is not a future or an academic problem; it’s already wrecking havoc in our lives. I heavily practice (and promote) individual green responsibility. But, in addition to that, we also need to turn attention to the corporations who brazenly violate all environmental norms, and flex their to mighty muscle sit comfortably above the law? It’s only because Ramesh’s splendid MoEF team that the EIA has assumed any importance at all. Otherwise, it was a rubber stamp. Yet, the middle class people would be routinely silenced under the pretext of ‘development’. Whatever happened to ecologically sensible ways of development? Why not adopt a tax/deterrent mechanism, like several ‘progressive’ countries have done that, that discourages detrimental elements like plastic, cars, indiscriminate water use and many more? Ultimately, we need to challenge the notion of development. It can’t be just roads! The HDI (Human Development Index), encapsulating various health/education parameters, is a good place to start with.

    My apologies for going on a bit of a tangent here, but I thought it was important to mention this to ensure a holistic perspective, esp. in light of the diverse points in your comment.

  • Kaffir

    Amit S., I’ll have to disagree with you. There are numerous examples of reformers and critics who grew up within the system, and were able to see the faults in the system. If you would like me to provide names, I can do that. But, Swami Dayanand Saraswati is one name that comes to mind.

    Also, check out mukto-mana and other websites where ex-Muslims, who grew up within their religious systems, talk about their experiences of leaving it after realizing the faults in it.

    Besides, the two names I mentioned, their take on the faults of the system is not even consistent, and their analysis is anything but rigorous.

  • Kaffir

    “Those who are relatively unaffected by it find it easier to analyze it dispassionately.”

    Amit S., and do you for a moment seriously think that your above point applies to people like Arundhati Roy and Deepa Mehta? You gotta be kidding me.

  • Amit S

    @Kaffir

    I agree with your statement that Arundhati Roy and Deepa Mehta are perhaps not capable of dispassionate analysis.

    I also agree that reform *can* come from within a system. In fact, I would extend this statement by conjecturing that a reform from within the system has a higher chance of being accepted by those in the system. However, reform starts with critique. And dispassionate critique from within the system is not easy to come by. Your examples of Mukto-Mana and other such as FaithFreedom.org are well taken. However, I would still conjecture based on my limited observation that more non-Muslims can critique Islam dispassionately than Muslims. I do not have statistics to prove or disprove it.

  • Oldtimer

    Are there similarities between pedophiles and Comrade Roy? I propose a theory: http://auldtimer.wordpress.com

  • Kaffir

    Amit S., please ask Arundhati Roy (and others of her ilk) to point out the ills of Islam. As an outsider, it should be a piece of cake for her to do that.

    You wrote:
    “However, I would still conjecture based on my limited observation that more non-Muslims can critique Islam dispassionately than Muslims. I do not have statistics to prove or disprove it.”

    I don’t disagree with that, but I’m not sure it applies to Hinduism, because there have been numerous reformers within Hinduism throughout the ages, and unlike Islam, Hinduism doesn’t have a tenet like blasphemy which would lead to self-censoring, or censoring/punishment by some authority for speaking out. Your point is also tangential to my point in the original comment.

  • Kaushik

    Apparently,
    For “progressives”, no progress is ever complete, till all human boundaries are broken. Progressives believe in
    1)Marriage, but only when it involves people of the same sex. Otherwise it is just a patriarchal institution.
    2)Equality, unless it involves special quota for the discriminated community of the week.
    3)Socialism, so long as it is not in their backyard.
    4)Science, so long as it does not clash with their beloved “lovely-dovey” worldview. Then suddenly it becomes patriachal and what not. Religion to them is opium, but they run away from the cold reality of science. They cannot get themselves to accept Dios, but run away when asked to embrace Darwin.
    5)They love to deconstruct but cannot construct. But when deconstruction is itself deconstructed, then they fall silent.
    6)Kashmir should be given freedom because many Kashmiris want it, but no temple at Ayodhya even if many Hindus want it. Apparently majoritarianism is right in one instance but wrong in another.

  • Jay

    house n****r? thanks for keeping it classy bro!

  • Kushagra

    Be nice? Keep it clean? Stay on topic? No spam?

    House n….r?

    Paedophile?

    Ah, the sheer class and intelligence of Hindutvavadam.

  • http://www.indianliberals.org Ashish Deodhar

    Atanu

    Agree with your steadfast support for freedom of expression.

    Agree with your assessment (I assume) that Arundhati Roy was wrong in her assessment of the Kashmir issue.

    Disagree with your attaching such colorful labels to her as attention whore and house-nigger. Very unbecoming of you. Such language is more suitable on the lips of the Thackreys and the Modis.

    “Her vile attacks on India are thinly disguised attacks on Hindus.” – errrrr???

  • http://honestlynagpur.blogspot.com/ kautilya

    how could you Atanu? how could you ever say such things to the messiah of the oppressed and the poor.. !!!! Kushagra got real angry, you know!!.. he even sent a complain letter to Mother and Saint sonia. your website is under scrutiny now. i heard manish tiwari, some sycopant dude from kaaangress is going to take some action..for calling roy with her real name..

    also, in protest he and his “liberal indian” friend.. will *never ever* visit your blog… and you will be left with just us, hindutvavadis visiting you…

    dang!.. and we have no class :/ sorry..

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  • notanon

    I still don’t get why some people who comment here don’t understand how apt the use of word house n**r is for her?

    She literally lives and breaths in the country, enjoys all the freedoms (well in her case she considers them slavery) the country provides and turns around to make seditious comments about India.
    Good for her that she lives in such a pusillanimous country.

  • Suhas

    For Ashish Deodhar.

    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/india-is-a-corporate-hindu-state-arundhati/130817-3.html

    Arundhati Roy: However, I believe that the Indian state has abdicated its responsibility to the people. I believe that. I believe that when a state is no longer bound, neither legally nor morally by the Indian Constitution, either we should rephrase the preamble of the Indian Constitution which says…

    Karan Thapar: Or?

    Arundhati Roy: Which says we are a sovereign, democratic, secular republic. We should rephrase it and say we are a corporate, Hindu, satellite state.

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  • Suhas

    “Of late, even sedition has become fashionable, thanks to the mobile, one-woman, republic of Arundhati Roy. She does not perhaps know that the original Booker was a slave trader in Guyana. So her hands are stained by cash from the slave trade. But she is weak in history and wants to alter geography. If her audience protests against her seditious remarks, they are at fault, not she….. ”

    http://www.dnaindia.com/opinion/main-article_so-many-lobbies-in-delhi-but-none-to-bat-for-india_1464044

    Prof Vaidyanathan at his best.

    Then information on the origins of Booker Prize

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booker-McConnell

    “Booker had a long history of exploitation of sugar workers through the indentured labour system during the 19th and 20th centuries. At its peak it controlled 75% of the sugar industry in British Guiana and was so powerful that a common joke was to refer to the country as ‘Booker’s Guiana’. In 1952 Jock Campbell took over the Chairmanship of the company and his Fabian social politics transformed it dramatically into a benevolent force providing major benefits for sugar workers. Jock Campbell was also instrumental in the setting up of the Bookers Author Division, which sponsored the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, now sponsored by the Man Group plc.”

    From malevolent origins to benovalent washing away of sins a la Booker.

  • SUHAS

    Whatever the outcome of this case
    Jethu ( Ram Jethmalani gives left and right to Sagarika Ghose
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpQNfLdAyg8

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  • larissa

    I saw an interview with this lady. It was quite pathetic. She was introduced as an “accomplished” writer! Oh my! The interviewer was being far too generous. How low our standards have fallen that such peevish ladies with nothing of substance to say are considered “intellectuals”.

  • larissa

    Here is a real activist. 10,000-15,000 women from Nepal alone are trafficked into India. How many millions is the women trafficked within India?
    Here is a real activist, as opposed to the armchair Arundhati type, this lady began this type work herself without any help until after several years it began to attract attention and people wanted to help her stop this heinous crime. She has put herself in danger. Look how reserved and humble she is!
    http://www.newsonnews.net/cnn/5693-anuradha-koirala-named-cnn-hero-of-the-year-2010.html

    http://www.amazingwomenrock.com/stories-written/anuradha-koirala-rescues-girls-women-from-sex-slavery.html

  • larissa

    the link for the post above.

    You see this lady began her work singlehandedly without help, and without much fanfare

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/11/21/cnnheroes.hero.of.year/?hpt=C2

    You see if a woman wihout money can accomplish so much imagine what determined individuals can do…

  • larissa
  • Paritosh Guha

    i stumbled on this beautiful commentry on arundathi roy.
    http://mindpad-scribble.blogspot.com/2010/12/run-dotty-roy.html#comments