The Algebra of Infinite Fundamentalism

308 Comments

A few years ago, I was having a telephonic conversation with one of my best friends from high school and the topic turned to Arundhati Roy. She asked me why I never said a kind word about her on my blog and told me to write a post explaining what exactly I found so objectionable about her, something she felt I never clearly articulated even though it was obvious I was not a fan.

So dear friend if you still follow the blog, this is it. The answer to that question asked. Many years ago.

The single line answer to why I do not like her is that Arundhati Roy is that she is a fundamentalist. And I have an aversion to fundamentalists. Of all forms.

Now normally when we think of “fundamentalist” the image that comes to our mind is that of a religious nut, foaming and frothing, preaching hatred, divisiveness and often violence directed at the “other”. A frail middle-aged woman, a Booker prize-winner of undoubted erudition who extensively uses rhetoric that could be classified as “pacifist” doesn’t quite fit that mental mold. However just the fact that she physically does not conform to the stereotype and her use of words and language, more cerebral than that of the garden-variety “hell and brimstone” demagogue should not divert from the fact that there is little that distinguishes her, in principle, from the fundamentalists whom we can easily recognize.

For one, fundamentalists like Ms. Roy are guided by a very rigid, unyielding ideology that becomes the prism through which they interpret all events. Anything that the prism does not illuminate is assumed not to exist.

The ideology of a fundamentalist is typically simple. Of course the fundamentalist, especially if he/she is also an intellectual, would like you to think that there are many subtle nuances and complications in his/her world view and it has been arrived after much deliberation, but that alas is all part of the game of delusion. The simplicity arises from a black-and-white identification of villains —-for the religious fundamentalist the villain is anyone who does not accept his God(s) as their savior(s). For Roy, the principal evil agents are the “oppressors”—— USA, UK, Israel ,India, and corporations (not specifically in that order) with her animus being directed specifically towards upper-class so-called “Brahminical” Hindus and the party that she thinks represents them—the BJP.

She does recognize other agents of malevolence like Islamic fundamentalists but their actions are implicitly justified as “reactions” to the depredations wrought by the oppressors. So the massacre at Mumbai is regrettable but is an inevitable result of “partition” (a legacy of the West–one of the “bad men” in her pantheon of villains), the oppression of minorities in Kashmir, Gujarat 2002  and supposed institutionalized prejudice against minorities in India. (things for which another of her “bad men” India can be blamed for)

In making this argument, she betrays another defining characteristic of the fundamentalist—–violence that damages the “evil men”/the “other” always has a justification, typically of the sort “The evil men through their evilness brought it upon themselves”.

A fundamentalist has tunnel vision in that he/she can only see the sins of those he/she hates. There is no concept of applying the same standards fairly to everyone. So while India is castigated ad nauseum as having suppressed and discriminated against its minorities , almost no attention is given to the far more egregious and unapologetic genocide of Hindus in neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh and in Kashmir (though if left to her, that would also be a neighboring country). If a few Hindus mirrored the crime of the Kasabs and sailed to Bangladesh to take “revenge” for the government-sanctioned rapes and murders of Hindus by killing innocents in Dhaka would Ms. Roy be so accepting of their motivations as she has been for the Pakistanis? Would she then just make a passing condemnation of Hindu fundamentalists and keep the lion’s share of her wrath for the government of Bangladesh for their treatment of Hindus?

The truth is simple. Terrorism against anyone cannot be justified. Never. Not in any sneaky round about way. Now if only the fundamentalists understood this simple truth.

A fundamentalist finds sinister conspiracies everywhere.  According to some, the Mumbai incidents were Zionist-Hindu plots to discredit Muslims. So was 9/11 except there the stupid Hindus were not part of the plan.   According to another class of loony fundamentalists, there is a grand conspiracy to alter the demographics of India by Muslims with every member of the community working in perfect synchrony to attain this objective. And according to people like Ms. Roy, most acts of terrorism in India have sinister shadows of government design where the culprits arrested are not the perpetrators, where every act of urban violence is suspected to be a wound intentionally inflicted on the self to further the oppression of minorities.  Questions always remain in her mind about every person picked up by the police if they belong to the rank of those she identifies as the “oppressed”. The reason for her eternal skepticism is not difficult to understand. The evil men/the other always lie. The “oppressed” never do.

Fundamentalists are typically hysterical. Not for them sober debate and reasoning. They like the sensationalism, the sweeping generalizations. A fundamentalist will never accept that their hysteria is  an inevitable consequence of the fact that what they say often does not stand the test of reason. Which is why they have to take recourse to shrillness of tone and the thumping of chests to transfer the hysteria to the audience.

Ms. Roy, in the true fundamentalist tradition, is hysterical.  And she is proud of it.

I am hysterical. I’m screaming from the bloody rooftops! But I want to wake the neighbours, that’s my whole point. I want everybody to open their eyes.

[link]

I think the mad Mullahs and the Togadias would say the exact same thing if asked.

Fundamentalists, once in the throes of hysteria, have no compunction in adhering to the truth. If an untruth needs to be said in order to make the point more dramatic, no matter. Addressing large crowds with voice trembling, it is easier to get away with half-truths. And lies. Not so when you write. In an article after 26/11, Ms. Roy writes:

So the man who presided over the Gujarat genocide was reelected twice, and is deeply respected by India’s biggest corporate houses, Reliance and Tata. Suhel Seth, a TV impresario and corporate spokesperson, recently said, “Modi is God.” The policemen who supervised and sometimes even assisted the rampaging Hindu mobs in Gujarat have been rewarded and promoted. [link]

Suhel Seth is a corporate spokesman. Which puts him firmly in the group of evil men. Which also automatically means he can be lied about. This is what Suhel Seth said in reality.

When I sat in the car, I asked my driver what he thought of Modi and his simple reply was Modi is God. [link]

and

After I finished talking to the YPO (Young President’s Organisation) members, I asked some of them very casually, what they thought of Modi. Strangely, this was one area there was no class differential on. They too said he was God. [link]

Very different from saying that Suhel Seth himself said that “Modi is God”–right? Accepted that Seth’s article was immensely pro-Modi but when one misrepresents an opinion (“Modi is good for the country”) with  an expression of blind idolatry (“Modi is God”), what one seeks to do is to disingenuously tarnish the opposition (in this case a member of the wicked corporate class with whom the Hindu Brahminists are in bed with) by painting him with the “crazy” brush in front of an audience who will not know what Seth actually said.

And the final characteristic of the fundamentalist is that he/she will have two standards—one for the self and one for everyone else.

While the Sangh Parivar does not seem to have come to a final decision over whether or not it is anti-national and suicidal to question the police, Arnab Goswami, anchorperson of Times Now television, has stepped up to the plate. He has taken to naming, demonizing, and openly heckling people who have dared to question the integrity of the police and armed forces.

My name and the name of the well-known lawyer Prashant Bhushan have come up several times. At one point, while interviewing a former police officer, Arnab Goswami turned to the camera: “Arundhati Roy and Prashant Bhushan,” he said. “I hope you are watching this. We think you are disgusting.”

For a TV anchor to do this in an atmosphere as charged and as frenzied as the one that prevails today amounts to incitement, as well as threat, and would probably in different circumstances have cost a journalist his or her job. [link]

So let’s get this straight Ms. Roy. According to you, calling you “disgusting” is sufficient reason for a journalist to lose his job. What’s Goswami’s crime here? Finding you disgusting? Expressing his opinion?

Well Ms. Roy, you regularly call the Indian government several uncomplimentary things, to put it politely.  You say that Kashmir should be given independence. So if we go by your line of reasoning about Mr. Goswami, what if some Indians start saying that your advocacy of the cessation of an integral part of India should be considered a “threat”, an incitement for the more violent “freedom-fighters”, reason enough to cost you your freedom ?

If people actually did that, then you would be on TV shouting how India is characterized by a tendency to “criminalize liberal space”.  Which in any case you do, even though noone in India would deny you your right to speak for Kashmiri independence. After all we are not the country of the “oppressed”—Pakistan or China for example.

But even a champion of free speech and dissent like you draws a line when free speech becomes too much. When it is directed at you.

As to openly heckling people who disagree with your point of view, let me quote from one of Ms. Roy’s own interviews if only to show things are done the “Arundhati” way.

He (Ramachandra Guha)’s become like a stalker who shows up at my doorstep every other Sunday. Some days he comes alone. Some days he brings his friends and family, they all chant and stamp… It’s an angry little cottage industry that seems to have sprung up around me. Like a bunch of keening god-squadders, they link hands to keep their courage up and egg each other on. [link]

Again, Ms. Roy is free to be vitriolic about Ramachandra Guha and his “smug friends”. But they, and anyone who is not impressed with Ms. Roy, should also be free to express their opinions and Ms. Roy should be man enough to take it without crying “Look look they are threatening me” as if calling someone “disgusting” is a threat.

Many of you would be wondering why are we devoting so much time to Arundhuti Roy, whose influence in India is marginal at best and non-existent at worst. The problem is that what she says does have an influence on the “foreign” audience because Ms. Roy, through clever marketing, has positioned herself as “India’s voice of dissent” helped no doubt by her undoubted ability to string together sentences into an entertaining paragraph, a quality that the Mullahs and the Saffron crazies sorely lack. [She currently is on the front page of Huffington Post]. While it may be argued that so extreme are her positions that much of her propaganda has marginal effect as she mostly “preaches to the choir”, some of her bluster does get into the international mainstream, gets quoted and then becomes part of “general knowledge” about India.

The battle for “international opinion” is a critical one in today’s world and Ms. Roy works long and hard to make sure that India is always on the wrong side of it. Hence the need to devote some time to deconstruct her methods if for nothing else but to provide a clean answer to the question “What do you find objectionable about Arundhati Roy” next time a good friend comes asking.

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308 thoughts on “The Algebra of Infinite Fundamentalism

  1. Maybe the world listens to her because there is “some” truth in what she says. Maybe she irritatingly comes in the way we want to “market” ourselves to the world as a “tolerant”, “secular” and “vibrant” nation.

  2. This one time Arnab, I don’t agree with you one bit. I have always thought that you were extremely harsh on her; comparing her to likes of Rakhi Sawant and all. She deserves better. Especially from someone as insightful as you. While I have not followed her social commentary closely to debate her opinions with you; she is just another person, maybe a little strongly opinionated.

    On a different note thanks for writing regularly off late. Mumbai incident seems to have thrown into this writing spree:-)

  3. I was always under the impression that both Suhel Seth and Arnab Goswami were outspoken quacks siding not with those who are correct but with those who are the most hysterical.

    Eloquent as they both are, if Suhel Seth and Arnab said what you are saying they said on National TV then I cannot but have a new respect for both of them.

    With regards to our continuous tolerance of Ms. Roy, I sometimes believe that our so called “freedom of speech” has become too much of a good thing. The so-called intellectuals, when they come on TV shows, always look at those who oppose them with such scorn and condescension as if writing a couple of books on social topics would have given them the right to comment on virtually everything under the sun.

    One cannot help but notice the lack of intellectuals who side with the majority. Whats with this chronic habit of anyone who writes a book on social issues to prove that they are swimming against the tide by maligning majorities ? What happened to good old unbiased book writing? Whatever happened to looking at both sides of the coin?

    Sad.

  4. You summed up a lot of thoughts in me in a way that I probably could not have. Seeing this in print is actually catharisis of my anger and indignation.

    I also find the article balanced, not just through mere mention of both sides of fundamentalism, but by laying bare the ideological dogma of the self- appointed vanguards of civil dissent.

    However, I think you will agree with me that it his not her chosen publicity platform of ranting and raving that irks me but the sanctimonious scorn pourded by her ilk at anyone who supposedly dissents from that world view.

    But as the saying goes I may not believe a word of what she says, but I support her right to say it. As I think you do too. Only thing is I am looking for equally erudite voices to expose her arguments for what they actually are -absolute B******T.

  5. In the huffington post article she touches upon the roots of the RSS and mentions that Hedgewar was a fan of Benito Mussolini, aiming to model the RSS movement along the lines of Fascism.

    But I think all the people who make this comparison, saying they were fans of Hitler or Mussolini fail to mention that India was under foreign occupation at that time. India *needed* an organized youth movement to overthrow the British and that is what they aimed to do. Non violence was of course the star of the show but the aim of this movement was mainly discipline and patriotism.

    And in anycase, being a fan of Hitler, whether in the ’30s or today, doesn’t mean you approve of all his actions. One cannot deny that he brought together a country that was left in shambles in no time and made it powerful enough to challenge the rest of the world. I don’t see anything wrong in trying to ‘be like Hitler’ from that perspective.

  6. @ Spark

    Sonny – if ‘marketing’ was all it took – pakistanis have been trying to market them selves as a broadly secular, pluralistic, ‘similar to India’ kind of entitiy for a long while now.

    The ‘world’ (western) listens to her because they (mostly the UK – which publishes her pop-psychology) are slowly realising that in 1947 they bet on the wrong horse. They thought pakistan would flourish and India with her multiple faultlines would collapse. UK therefore encouraged massive migration of Pakistanis to have a diaspora to support UK-Pak relations. We know how that bit has turned out for the UK. This is their third stage of their kubler-ross grieving process (denial, anger, bargaining, (depression) acceptance). They are suggesting that it is India which is at fault and if the Jihadis kept their attention focused on India – they would understand :) won’t work.

  7. @GB, this is the best post from you in a while. Then I saw JT’s comment that you called her Rakhi Sawant. I didn’t read that post but that would be appropriate too. They both have a target audience to cater to and can do anything to attract eyes and ears.
    The point that she is a fundamentalist is well made. The difference is, it is cooler to support Roy than religious folks. These are also the kind of people who come on NDTV talk shows and say something totally naive like “terrorism has no religion” or some such nonsense, that makes you want to gag.
    If Roy really thinks that partition is the cause of these kind of attacks, she is way stupider than I thought.

  8. Another piece of bullshit in her ‘article’ reads:
    “As tension in the region builds, U.S. Senator John McCain has warned Pakistan that, if it didn’t act fast to arrest the “bad guys,” he had personal information that India would launch air strikes on “terrorist camps” in Pakistan and that Washington could do nothing because Mumbai was India’s 9/11.”

    What John McCain actually said was:
    “If Pakistan did not act swiftly to arrest the people involved, the Senator said, India would be left with no option but to conduct aerial operations against select targets in Pakistan.”
    http://www.hindu.com/2008/12/07/stories/2008120757500100.htm

    Lord Arundhati very nicely twists his words and comes up with the ‘personal information’ bit. To put it mildly, she is disgusting.

  9. If all fundamentalists can be as articulate and entertaining as her, let’s have more such fundamentalists.

    As for Arnab Goswami, her point is, there was a time when the Indian media was dignified enough that such personal name-calling was frowned upon. I personally found it disgusting when I read in her article that Arnab had said those words on national TV. One more reason for me to not watch these news channels.

  10. I have been a regular reader of your posts, and i usually concur to your comments to any particular topic. Just when i was fuming about Arundhati’s (who?) audacity to talk crap sitting in one corner of the earth, i saw your post, and for a moment, it felt as if i wasnt reading it, but writing it. She truly [edited by GB] small things will she care for, always.
    Link to some more of the garbage:
    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20020930/roy

    Just when you thought that educated morons like her were countable in number, i came across one Farzana Versey, who is a writer based out of Mumbai, but her heart is still in Pakistan (poor her!). She posts in Pakistani and Indian newspapers alike.
    Link to her share of garbage:
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/editorial_detail.asp?id=151434

    Choose.

  11. Extremely well-written. I’ve recently begun blogging and I’d blogged about the same thing as well recently (http://akaashvani.blogspot.com/2008/12/dazed-tending-towards-confused.html).

    I agree that it is deeply troubling that she seems to commit the same mistakes she accuses other fundamentalists of making. Apart from anything else, what currently irks me the most is the sheer innacuracy in some parts of the discussion.

    She insists that the Indian army trained the LTTE, which is patently untrue. She states elsewhere in the same post that the ‘Indian elite’ are now glorifying the army and asking for a police state in Bombay, which is utter rubbish as well. I’m only wondering if this is merely bad research or whether this is a convenient ‘twisting’ of facts to suit the needs of the article being written.

  12. Beautfully written (though your style in the Guruji reviews appeals to me more :D )

    I guess the problem is not Ms.Roys viewpoints – for a healthy democracy to exist we need a variety of views and hers are but one such set. I don’t agree with a lot of what she says, yet I don’t disagree with everything merely because of the source of the statements.

    The issue is that everyone, including Ms.Roy, seems to be going way over the top with their opinions. You usually *expect* fundamentalists to have extreme viewpoints and no shades of grey – and be focused on sets of people rather than individual issues – but of late the media, the commentators and pretty much half the population seems to have taken hard stances for or against governments or parties or ethnic or religious groups – “come what may”. Reason ceases to exist and rhetoric and a complex construct of convincing sounding “arguments” built over selective facts is all that remains. Everyone’s so bloody convinced of their “truth” that they fail to see any reason in any other truth.

    For one, Arnab Goswami, Sardesai and their ilk have no business passing judgment on TV or passing off their opnions as news or analysis – this they seem to do for pretty much any and every piece of information that comes their way. Objectivity was probably last seen on TV news with the “World this Week”. Everyone’s pretty sure they are the opinion-drivers of the entire middle class, and merrily help spread cynicism as far and wide as they can.

    Are we all turning fundamentalist in our own little citadels ?

  13. I actually got so irritated by the constant featuring of Ms. Roy by Outlook that I stopped the subscription of the magazine altogether.

  14. I really wonder that If she is so much against the corporate profiteering then why her books are still so expensive? Why not just put the soft copy on the net for everyone to read “for free”!!!

    Leave the poor lady, She is just trying to become the Indian version of Noam Chomsky.

  15. Ms. Roy is undoubtedly the Goddess of Small Minds…mebbe the trauma of not following up her success with another crappy book…is wreaking havoc with her mind…[edited by GB]

  16. Arundhati Roy is amongst those pseudo-‘sickular’ self-styled intelligentsia who will cry blood-tears for the minorities if its a muslim minority… but not if the minority in question is Hindu…She made all the drama over 5000-odd refugees who were out of their homes for few months in post-Godhra Gujrat… but has been repeatedly turning that bloody-teared blind eye towards 500,000 Kashmiri Pandits who have been refugees in their own land since 1990… just because they are Hindus and victims of Islamic terrorism/Jihad…

    Its the same Roy…who was up in arms against India for going nuclear – and has no qualms accepting awards (Bookers) from other nuclear nations…

    – A soul in Exile.

  17. @ Shobit,

    It is not about us leaving her alone. It is about her leaving India alone and concentrating only on what she knows best – Writing Fiction.

    Because all her essays (The Algebra of Infinite Justice, The Greater Common Good, et al) are good works of fiction and deserve to be called FICTION. India definitely has a problem when people around the world mistake them for facts, for there are a lot of anti-India sentiments expressed there

  18. Spot on!!! I detest Arundhati Roy and her so called two-faced pseudo-intellectual friends…Apparantly, she and Medha Patkar take money from people/organizations to speak on their behalf…

    Talking bullshit and shouting from rooftops is a marketing ploy…She needs to remain in the public’s consciousness in order to sell her books…She has built a couple of houses (one in MP which ran into problems because she and her husband built on protected land) [edited by GB-->lets not give Ms. Roy what she wants, lets not give into things we cannot support with facts]

  19. Akshay – “And in anycase, being a fan of Hitler, whether in the ’30s or today, doesn’t mean you approve of all his actions. One cannot deny that he brought together a country that was left in shambles in no time and made it powerful enough to challenge the rest of the world. I don’t see anything wrong in trying to ‘be like Hitler’ from that perspective.”

    Perhaps you should have been in Hitler or Mussolini’s path in the 30s & 40s. From your name it seems you belong to an inferior, non-white race. For that crime, you would have disappeared inside a chullah at a death camp faster than Naina Sahni at the Ashok Yatri Niwas.

    I loved Arundhati Roy in “In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones”. Any leads on where I can get the video?

  20. Hey GB,

    Neatly analyzed. Quite nuanced too…. not an over the top anti-Arundhati Roy tirade… which i thought it would be before i started reading .. :-)

  21. (After a thorough read)

    Marvellous dissection of how Ms Roy’s mind work. I can picture you putting yourself in Arudhati Roy’s shoes and mindset and working up the frenzy and then pausing to exit her persona and observe the mind to figure out how it works.

    If ever Ms Roy gets into a lucid interval, she will perhaps quote exactly the same reasons for her current behaviour.

    Arnab, I rate this as one of your best posts

    cheers

  22. @Pankaj – You are right, I do belong to a an inferior, non-white race – as do you, presumably. What I was trying to say is that admiring certain qualities of a person does not mean you agree with all this actions.

    Because I admire Hitler’s leadership or oratory perhaps, does not mean I condone genocide. These two things can be seen separately. Somehow insinuating that one implies the other in totally unnecessary.

  23. Arnab, I think you summed it up well yourself when you said ‘Ms Roy’s influence in India is marginal at best and non-existent at worst’.
    We sometimes give way too much importance to people who don’t deserve it. She’s just an also ran in the growing list of modern India’s ‘pseudo revolutionaries’.

  24. A. Roy has always done everything to build her brand.

    Her first big act was appearing in a couple of movies. But this was the benign phase.

    The fundamentalist phase began mildly with the criticism of Shekhar Kapoor for Bandit Queen. She gained prominence and Outlook (magazine) gained a rebel without a pause / cause when she criticized the nuclear tests. By this time she must have realized that if she took contrarian positions on hot topics fame is guaranteed.

    After the nuclear tests she proudly declared herself to be an ‘independent mobile republic of one’. I think the Government of India should have acted fast, revoked her passport and set her free along with a note of thanks. The western media took notice because there was an articulate voice they could relate to saying what they wanted to hear.

    Thereafter was the ‘Aamir Khan’ phase when she associated with every cause that demanded attention (Medha Patkar became a fellow traveler for some time). But these small causes were not taking her far. Now she seems to have found her niche. She has jumped into the hottest cauldron and is merrily splashing about. Kashmir, Hindu-Muslim divide and terror. What better attention grabbing tool can you think of. The pattern is clear. Take the hottest topic and trash it. Do a good job of it and the rest will follow.

    Here is what a letter published in Outlook had to say:
    http://www.outlookindia.com/rants.asp?date=12/22/2008&type=magazine

    “Once the initial outrage over Mumbai dies down, I won’t be surprised if the families of slain heroes like Karkare, Unnikrishnan et al are made to run from pillar to post for their death benefits and if bribes are demanded from them for settlement. …….. My greatest dread now, however: a 10-page piece from Arundhati!
    Rajan, Chennai”

    And Rajans’ worst fears came true in the same issue. All 10 pages or more of it. Each of the issues she raises merits a discussion as an individual problem we face and not necessarily as a logical sequence of events – one leading to the other. Though one must say that some of the general points she makes in her latest article do make sense.

    She is a publicity hound. The more you give the more she will want. The only surprise to me is that she couldn’t take the slightest direct criticism in mainstream media.

  25. very well written article
    i think I’ve a different perspective wrt roy’s problem with her pen

    [edited by GB: Please let us leave the innuendo and suppositions which hard facts do not support]

  26. Akshay – to me it is morally reprehensible to admire a mass murderer like Hitler from any perspective.

    So you liked his oratory? Did it inspire you slaughter some Jews or gypsies? If it didn’t, I am afraid you were not the target audience (neither the target, thankfully). Watch Chaplin in Great Dictator instead.

    You think he was a great leader? He showed oodles of it in the winter of 1941 in the Russian front during Operation Barbarossa. At least by going to war he took care of Germany’s unemployment problem – almost 12% of German population died in the war. But I will give you that he employed some great organisers till at least early 1941 – imagine the speed & effectiveness of his blitzkrieg, or the chilling efficiency of his death camps. The blood runs cold.

    Sorry, I still don’t understand your admiration for a man who destroyed his own country & half the world. Hopefully, that is not what you want for India.

    But let’s go back to Arundhati Roy.

  27. ‘religious nut, foaming and frothing, preaching hatred, divisiveness and often violence directed at the “other”.’

    Funny. Sounds a little like you :D (No offense meant.. )

  28. I’m not a fan of Arundhati Roy but thanks to you, I read her take on all this madness. And then I read yours. Couldn’t say however, that I completely agree with either of you.

    But the basic problem with people like both of you is that Both completely fail to see the other’s point. (And then there are people like me who find faults in both of you… :P But that’s not the point).

    The point is that people have opinions and they should but they should also try and put themselves in the shoes of the other person. She undoubtedly fails to see the other side of the glass as you said, she believes all opressors are saying the truth while all of the police are lying whenever they blame someone from the opressed community.

    But that’s not the point of her argument. She exaggerates and so do all of us when we try to produce a strong argument. Of the various points she’s made, if You ask yourself these questions:

    Do you agree to the fact that we don’t need War and we cannot afford the cost of strikes?

    Do you agree that India as a country has made (at least a few) mistakes in treating its minority?

    Do you agree that our leaders are in denial of the fact that justice has not been served?

    If you have to answer in just a YES or NO, honestly, I’ll have to say a YES.

    But if you had to answer these questions in a lengthy post, then you could come up with arguments, perspectives and all of that.

    And I also agree to your argument that complete India bashing is certainly anti-national and to the fact that she infact is self obsessed and disgusting (to put it politely) and she thinks that her opinion is the only opinion that is right.

    The problem is everytime we see a post like this, instead of doing some soul searching, we start combating the arguments. But Life is not a debate where the one with the strongest argument wins. Life is about living and no community / country / religion can live alone. We despise the Islamists who believe they can live alone in the world. But we agree when we say that only Hindus should live in India. (Here I am… drawn into these discussions, exaggerating again).

    Finally, I also have to admit that in all the arguments and counters, I forgot the purpose of your post as well – It was simply “Why you hate Arundhati Roy”. But I’m sure that this is not exactly what you were answering.

  29. Interesting read.

    While I agree with you that Ms. Roy is a fundamentalist in that she’s bound strictly by an ideology, I’ll disagree when you slot her in with the mad mullahs, togadia et al.

    The latter are directly responsible for trying to violently enforce their views. Till now, I don’t think Ms. Roy has done the same. If she can convince people (firangis mainly) of the merit of her argument using only her pen, then well and good. The moot point here is that there’s nobody stopping anybody, say you GB from contradicting her.

    That her views are quite outrageous, impractical and more often than not wrong only makes her job a lot more difficult and makes life all the more easier for her detractors.

    Hades
    Jamat-ud-Dawah Bans Pak Govt.

  30. @GB: What do you think of her comments that US only has ‘agents’ not ‘allies’?
    But I somehow would like to agree on the following para of her essay (I hope I am not a fundamentalist. I would not liked to be called that):

    “It has always been a part of, and often even the aim of, terrorist strategy to exacerbate a bad situation in order to expose hidden fault lines. The blood of “martyrs” irrigates terrorism. Hindu terrorists need dead Hindus, Communist terrorists need dead proletarians, Islamist terrorists need dead Muslims. The dead become the demonstration, the proof of victimhood, which is central to the project.”

  31. Arnab da, I like arundhati as much as u do, but what arnab goswami said on TV was not right. But the way mrs roy is behaving like a crying baby on this is quite funny. i think after roy article on india’s nuclear test anupam kher discriebed her rightly that in india “Fame makes everone an expert in everything”. So here mrs roy has an expert comment on everything and that too one sided. you rightly said that in india there are very few people (usual suspect here sagrika, vinod mehta, teesta shelalwad)who agree with roy’s perspective.but yes we like it or not she has international audiece and western press who listen her. So we need some one whho expose her in international media.

    Dada i think one of her biggest stregnth og her is that she writes or speaks better queens english then most of the british(in this regard she is close to neerad c chudhary and JL Nehru) that is why when people listen to her or read her article they somehow lost in her english and very few thinks over her logic and i think you also have vey good writing skills. so pls keep fighting on behalf of us against these fundamentalist

  32. For starters, I do agree that to clearly define an ‘other’ in today’s scenario is problematic. There is a constant shift and crisscrossing of ‘who is to blame’ that defining an other is a meaningless task.
    Having said that, here comes the question. When we have a terror attack in Mumbai, how do we retaliate? Do we as a nation put the responsibility solely on a neighbour’s doorstep? Or, along with it, we also take a step to look within ourselves.
    We are a divided society. I am from Chennai and recently there was a caste based violence in a law college. The divisions based on caste, religion and whatnots are there and sooner we acknowledge it and try to do something about it, we will deepen the schism.
    Does this mean that we turn a blind eye to Pakistan’s problem? No. But, we should not turn a blind eye to our domestic problems too, which is what we do when we do not have a rational conclusion to the Babri Masjid aftermath and the Mumbai blasts. Alongwith a Kasab or Amir, we need to bring to book Thackeray too. And make true the comment that any form of terrorism will and should not be tolerated.
    I think Arundhati Roy’s contribution is be to present the other side of the debate, which is needed. But yes, we don’t need adjectives and rhetoric. We need ideas now.

  33. @ Rajesh

    You can include Kuldeep Nayyar in the list. Read the Dawn at http://www.dawn.com and you’ll find him there at least once a week.

    @ Shobhit

    Gen Mush published his biography (or was it autobio?) where he was very flexible with facts. I remember reading someone who suggested that lets give the Gen what he deserves and buy only pirated copies of his hideously expensive book.

    Nothing stops you :)

  34. Sorry, I was wrong. There *still* are a lot many folks with a balanced pov who’re ready to see reason on various sides of the lines. The comments here have given me cause for hope, and optimism :)

  35. One of the sanest pieces you’ve ever written, GB. Absolutely spot on. You’ve penned the thoughts of many of us who feel the same disgust against her opinions.

    That article in the Post was definitely infuriating and she should be asked to surrender her citizenship and be rendered homeless, purely on the basis of her pseudo-sec mindset and fundamentalist approach to anything and everything.

    Why the hell do people like her (and the others in the same garb -> Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai, Vinod Mehta, Sagarika Ghose) get a mouthpiece to offer their minimalist views to us?

    She hasnt mentioned a word about maybe someone like Hemant Karkare in her piece. It goes to show her approach, and her ignorance. Or rather, her blindness.

  36. While there are laws that have been designed to protect our fundamental rights = like the freedom of speech etc. , there should be laws that forbid a person to act in a way that violates his/her fundamental responsibilities and duties towards maintaining the sovereignity and integrity of India. I am not sure if such laws exist and whether there is any scope for them ? Can anyone enlighten me …

  37. GB,
    you’ve fantastically pointed out the definition of a fundamentalist.
    Though i do agree with her genuine causes (NBA andolans etc.), what gets to me is the fact that at any given opportunity, these “narrow minded” people immediately liken all such issues and events and everything else as something we have bot upon ourselves and so deserve them. These desperate, ADD afflicted, so called “intellectuals” do not even realise that by continuously panning your country, religion, society etc. you are actually painting a very pathetic, poor image of yourself. for all her corporate jingoism, these very people actually live off donations, events and charity from developed countries and such. Also i remember some time back ms roy and her husband were involved in a land graabing incident
    http://www.india-today.com/itoday/12071999/mp.html
    so much for her upright image

  38. A well written dissection of the A. Roy school of fundamentalism….although, I have always preferred to term her an opportunist, as in exploiting opportunities with little regard to principle or consequences, no different from a run of the mill politician.

    @Rajesh,
    Farzana Versey seems to subscribe to the view that the history of India began in December 1992, per her “I shall always remember November 2008 and never forget December 1992. Surface scratches irritate, but don’t last. I still have the anger from old wounds.”

  39. This Farzana Versey chick……just read one of her articles….WTF!!!!!democry etc is fine…but i guess beyong a limit ppl like her and Ms roy should just be ostracized!!!!SERIOUSLY WTF man!!!!

  40. GB,
    I have been following your blog for comic relief for some time now.
    And these recent political blogs have been extremely insightful and amazing well written.
    My only issue is that if you continue to write both genres in the same blog, it might take away the seriousness of your writing and leave you open to ridicule from parties adept at manipulation.
    Please consider writing the political articles at a separate blog.
    Just a thought.
    Cheers, Prasanth

  41. GB,

    I have said it many times that you are the voice of conscience of the current century and that I firmly believe that you should be the president of the United States someday. This kind of an article is not just good enough to be reproduced in paper and electronic forms and distributed to as many people as possible, but for excerpts of it to be displayed in ticker tape format from various vantage points in the Times Square area. You write the truth. You are the truth.

    1> Quote: “The ideology of a fundamentalist is typically simple. Of course the fundamentalist, especially if he/she is also an intellectual, would like you to think that there are many subtle nuances and complications in his/her world view and it has been arrived after much deliberation, but that alas is all part of the game of delusion. The simplicity arises from a black-and-white identification of villains —-for the religious fundamentalist the villain is anyone who does not accept his God(s) as their savior(s). For Roy, the principal evil agents are the “oppressors”—— USA, UK, Israel ,India, and corporations (not specifically in that order) with her animus being directed specifically towards upper-class so-called “Brahminical” Hindus and the party that she thinks represents them—the BJP.”

    Analysis of the highest quality. The language, the depth of analysis, the rigor, the exposition. Aha. Wow wow wow wow wow.

    2> Look at the spin [edited] imparts in that Huffington post article. A scintilla of a few fake encounters are projected as “All encounters are fake” and that whenever 2/3 Muslim youth have been arrested, the circumstance has always been “highly questionable”. So you are right. She is a high priest of pseudo-secularism. And pseudo-secularism, as you have so eloquently pointed out, is the same as fundamentalism.

    3> Getting a bit more serious, that article is very objectionable as it misrepresents so many facts. So what does she want? To hand over Kashmir, not to arrest any suspected miscreants BECAUSE THEY ARE MUSLIMS and put all VHP RSS leaders in jail. So whom does she want as the ruling party? Laskar- e Taiba?

    Her fallacy lies in her line of thought that terrorism will stop if we accede all the demands of terrorists. There is actually a tone of happiness that the terrorist activity happened. As if it was justified! She refuses to see beyond the cause and effect thing into ideologies of malice, hatered and bigorty. Because like all desuded left wing people, that would make her less left wing. So thats her theory- “If you are a victim of Islamic terrorism, then you deserved it as you hurt Muslims”. And she unifies the disparate events of Gujrat and kashmir to bolster her fragile argument.

    4> Quoting Roy: “We have a hostile nuclear-weapons state that is slowly spinning out of control as a neighbor; we have a military occupation in Kashmir and a shamefully persecuted, impoverished minority of more than 150 million Muslims who are being targeted as a community and pushed to the wall, whose young see no justice on the horizon, and who, were they to totally lose hope and radicalize, will end up as a threat not just to India, but to the whole world.”

    Typical ball busting left wing type comment. No rigor, no analysis, no desire to know how the sausage is made. Just sweeping philosophy in the name of intellectualism. So when a backlash happens against the minority, you are angry Ms. Roy. But when a misguided Mullah hands over to a gun to a young boy for “backlash”, you see it as justified, eh bitch? So in what ways has the 150 million been impoverished. They have the same opportunity to buy grocery and clothes, go to school and persue a career in any walk of life from cricket to presidency. The thing is….that straw man of “persecuted muslims” has to exist, otherwise she will have no argument to stand on.

    5> “While it may be argued that so extreme are her positions that much of her propaganda has marginal effect as she mostly “preaches to the choir”, some of her bluster does get into the international mainstream, gets quoted and then becomes part of “general knowledge” about India.The battle for “international opinion” is a critical one in today’s world and Ms. Roy works long and hard to make sure that India is always on the wrong side of it. Hence the need to devote some time to deconstruct her methods if for nothing else but to provide a clean answer to the question “What do you find objectionable about Arundhati Roy” next time a good friend comes asking.”

    So very true. It is because of these writers that any Indian view about Pakistan has lost gravity in US. So when a terrorist attack happens, the first reactions of some buffons on the TV channels here is “Heh. Pakistan. Knee jerk? You guys hate each other dont ya?” Then they read articles like these on the Huffington Post.

  42. I normally don’t comment on this blog, even though I read it all the same, but let me just point out a couple of things.

    Her point about AG was valid in the sense that news anchors are expected to be impartial. They’re supposed to provide news, not opinions, except when it’s on a forum – and certainly not in an instance where the person they were talking to could NOT respond immediately (something which even rabid channels like Fox allow). Hey, you want to accuse her, bring her on a chat show and say whatever you want. Don’t talk to her when she can’t talk back.

    I blogged about this same article a couple of days back, and I called her an idealistic nutjob. And she exaggerates, no doubt about it. But why so vehemently discarding every single point she made, and disregarding some valid points she made (about the case against war) – how are you being different to her?

  43. I am not sure I agree with you on all that you have said about Ms Roy…but I guess its your prerogative to voice your opinions. But, using that bumbling, spluttering, raving at the mouth, hysterical lunatic like Arnab Goswami as one of the examples to substantiate your thesis is somehow…dirty. Not one thinking being will be able to stand his violent tirade against whoever it is ‘breaking news’ is after at that particular point in time. Arnab Goswami represents the sewer pits Indian news media has descended into…sadly he is not the only one.

    ‘n c’mon, you can’t seriously take that pimp for Big Business ‘Suhel Seth’ seriously or can you really not see that ‘corporate’ india is not bothered really about ‘India’…except when it hits their bottom line…

    Am sorry for this aside on Arnab Goswami on this post, but had to get it out of the system..more so…cause you should be directing your vitriol and sarcastic anger against people of his ilk rather than people like Ms. Roy…cause, however caustic and ‘tunnel visioned’ her views…she at least makes some points that hold more than just ‘rabble rousing’ value.

    Mumbai 26/11 will be just one more statistic in a country that doesn’t think about discussing its endemic problems n raises their voice together only to spew venom and accusations against Pakistan (I am not saying Paki’s are innocent, mind you)..but largely ignores thousands of episodes like the Khairlanji massacre ’cause they don’t happen in the ‘shining’ part of India…

    Sad.

    Sorry for hijacking your post on Ms. Roy…

    Cheers,
    Rahul

  44. At last found some one who could post the thoughts which I had about her for a long time.I always loathed her tendency to nearly deny the terrorist activities or her holier than thou(or the entire population of Gujarat) attitude.
    Cheers,
    Dib

  45. Has anyone thought why she does this?
    I have some ideas:
    1. She has nothing better to do. If she is an author she should be writing books.
    2. She doesn’t have to fight for her survival.

    Basically she is an idle mind (not ideal mind as she believes :) ) and idle mind is devil’s workshop

  46. @Rahul,

    I beg to differ. Ms. Roy has been, and always will be, an attention seeker. A demagogue at the very least. I agree with free speech and all that, but please, someone shut her up :)

  47. Arnab,

    My request to you would be to try and get this article published in an outlet that gives it [the article] wide publicity.

    My earlier thought was that the best response would be to ignore her. The more we discuss about her the more she gets publicity and amps up her polemic.

    Rabi Thakur had said many years ago that non-cooperation is but another kind of violence – the passive-aggressive type, in my opinion – and positive cooperation is the solution. In other words, concerned people should continue the conversation with this woman (every time I mention her gender, I am giving her ammunition to take cover in feminism).

    And the conversation should continue in the same media outlets (or ones that have similar circulation numbers in those countries). That’s her medicine.

    Thank you.

  48. People may comment that you are exaggerating. But i do agree with you to the bone on this. I have read many of her views and her articles and exactly have the same view as you on this. I might not have put it so beautifully with such examples, should say very well written. These guys, somewhere in trying to portray themselves as the epitome of impartial views, just go overboard. They might be respected, praised internationally for all the India bashing they do on international forums. But they really are disgusting for having failed to be really impartial to their own country.

  49. Amazing Post,

    In fact I was myself thinking about writing a post on Ms. Roy. I can’t seem to think as to why our media pays so much attention to her. Her views on Parliament attack seem to be her figment of imagination of a conspiracy theorist.

    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/interview-arundhati-roy-rubbishes-potalike-law/80664-3.html

    Now in this article she is opposing anti-terror laws, saying that we don’t need them since those who commit it have no fear for bailable or non-bailable warrants. Very conveniently, she seems to forget that we also need to destroy the terror machinery for which these laws are absolutely essential. And in her true poetic rhetoric, she advocates that we should make sense of war. Pak is engaged in war with Afganistan and so India is pulled in this war because of this.

    I have never found any author’s political views so crass, defying logic as hers. So this post becomes my mouthpiece as well.

    Very well written. Kudos

  50. I do not subscribe to all of Arundhati’s stands but I do appreciate her as an essayist and columnist for various reasons.

    01. What I really appreciate about Arundhati is her ability to think independently and have an original take. This, in my opinion, is a great quality. Quite often we notice that the thought process of a person is not his/her own and has been doctored by media, magazine, groups, forums, etc. Such people are used as a medium to communicate someone else’s agenda. I chose to excuse illiterates, but very often, we have educated-illiterates who lend their tongue for someone’s else’s viewpoint. Arundhati is not on of them.

    02. In one of her interviews Arundhati said that she is only a writer. She said that she can write and it would be such a waste if she did only fiction and became immune to her environs. Unlike most celebrities, who give little time to the environment around them, I respect Arundhati because she stands up each time for the underdogs and makes us think. She doesn’t reserve the right to be right all the time…and I allow her this privilege. Moreover, she, almost always, is against the dominant coalition. This requires courage and conviction. She is not short of either.

    03. All of us have opinions, but few have respect of other’s opinion. Arundhati never disrespects other’s opinion. Her views are based on facts and reasonable assumptions. I respect Arundhati’s view even even though I do not subscribe to all of them. She might get overboard once in a while. So what?!

    04. What she writes about is not politics. It is Sociology. Sociology is basically about Society. Society has members. A healthy society requires erudite participation. Arundhati is a member and more erudite than many of us. To understand her essays one has to be patient and capable of intelligent interpretation. To ridicule a piece of art/work/opinion because one lacks the ability/resource to understand it in depth, speaks only of one’s limitation with regards to his/her own ability/resource.

    05. Those of us who read fiction would know that Arundhati’s GOST is absolutely superb. To write anytime half as close to her style will be plausible. It’s no fluke she got a Bookers. That she doesn’t write more fiction is because she believes that her next should be better than GOST…and this is a very difficult task!

  51. Dear Pankaj

    The problem with those of the Left like you, is that you resort to hyperbole.
    Akshay made a very valid point about context – about what the RSS et al were trying to do at the time. You of course deliberately chose not to understand it and went off on a guilt spree tagged on Akshay about evil Hitler. Then do tell me, what category does Subhash Chandra Bose fall into? Much more evil than the RSS for sure, because he started the Azad Hind Fauj with them Nazis, worked with the Japanese to invade India…
    Basically the point is thus – attacking folks for pointing out the nuance is silly, as long as they dont use it for propoganda. In this case, the RSS et al are attacked for their looking at the Mussolini camp etc because it makes for good propoganda for the Left. Period. The same as that stupid ruckus about some Gujarat textbook which mentioned casually in passing about Hitler. But it was held up as proof of Modi being a fascist, oh noes, doctor evil oh noes..

    And here is great Bong being politically correct even while lambasting Arundhati, eg references to Togadia, and demographic changes et al.
    I would invite GreatBong to visit SATP.org/net where “hindu nuts” etc like Major Gen Afsir Karim also point to the concsious decison made by the Bangladeshis to force demographic changes in the North East. And frankly, Togadia is anyday better than Arundhati Roy – at least he doesnt pretend to be a fence sitter and neutral. One can always ignore him, compared to this “lady” who is now a self proclaimed expert on all things Indian.

  52. Well, I think the post is funny… on one hand, you’re accusing Roy of being a fundamentalist and viewing everything through the lens that she wants to wear, on the other hand, you yourself are viewing all of Roy’s actions through your lens of choice and viewing them as universally negative.

    I don’t agree with a lot of Roy’s political positions (notably Kashmir, general Anti-US-ness, Narmada Bachao, etc…), but you’re oversimplifying some of Roy’s better arguments. Roy’s supposed “implicit justification” of Mumbai attacks is actually Roy’s opinion that islamic fundamentalism has a socio-economic cause which is (in part) a function of the colonial past of the region (middle-east, africa, south asia).

    Roy did, indeed, call Modi a monster, but most educated and peace-loving people would. The fact that he was re-elected after the Gujarat riots is a disgrace on democracy, in my opinion. The support he has received from industrialists is due to post-riot policies he has made that favor industry. Certainly, in his second term, he has done good things for the gujarat economy (including giving Reliance extremely favorable terms on land lease for refineries), but the fact remains that he stood by and did nothing while hindus (in somecases with the help of the state police) where murdering muslims in the streets. And, it is a fact that some of these policemen were awarded medals in the aftermath of the riots.

  53. @ nalbyuites

    i am 100% sure he has not. it is a copy and paste from another forum. irutsima’s “treasured prose” he wants to share with us all. it doesn’t matter what is the ongoing discussion – it is a core dump.

  54. Frankly :
    India is not a secular country..
    As long as people have wounds of partitions and frequent bloodshed..
    There will be divisive lines…
    and they will remain..
    The government may make policies even for all people but implementors do have biases and these biases are inherent and and they do reopen at every encouner such as 26/11
    And this is exactly what our enemies want.

  55. Arundathi Roy has always left a bad taste in the mouth. Thanks Greatbong for a detailed article as to what is objectionable about her. Here’s hoping that she has a response to the charges so that a proper discussion can happen.

    As to Arnab Goswami and TimesNow, I have watched all the english channels for some time now. TimesNow is an the most impartial of the lot. That’s where I go to obtain a unbiased opinion. I believe that Mr Goswami has absolutely done the correct thing in calling her words outrageous.

  56. What I don’t understand is that if Ms.Roy despises capitalism so much, why, then, does she allow the capitalist pigs to profit of her?
    If she has an honest bone in her body, she should, henceforth, publish her work online and allow free access.

  57. hi pankaj !

    you know what my questions to arundati roy would be?

    why do u just stop with opposing nazism or fascism of the past? is it because these are defeated ideologies and won’t slit your throat, dear?

    why do u not oppose a clear and present danger to the entire world today – a danger that makes nazism or fascism of yesteryears look like some kindergarten syllabus? are you afraid of a fatwa on your head, dear?

    arundati roy is a dhimwit (a useful idiot) and misanthrope. just ignore her.

  58. I have been following your posts regularly but there is a danger when a good writer, emboldened by the praise (just I must say till now) that always inhabits the replies section of this blog, mistakes his writing skills for a deep understanding of history, politics and socioeconomic conditions of a country. This obviously leads to oversimplification that I think this article can be accused of. For once I disagree with you. Arundhati Roy has the gumption to say the unpopular thing always no matter how much it might cost her. If you accuse her of distortion, I must say you have distorted her article 9 is not 11 to suit your purpose. The point she argues in her article is the need for context, that there is no absolute, that while what happened in Mumbai is terrible and nothing can take away the absolute evil and horror of it all, there is always a need to have a context so that we respond in the right manner. I am a Mumbaikar who has links with each of the places attacked and also knew people who were killed in the attack. Please read this reply in that context. While we need to do everything to root out terror, and while we need to take all necessary security steps, to don the mantle of being the good guys always that can do no wrong as a nation would be very counterproductive. That would actually be the fundamentalist thing to do and would not differentiate us from the fundamentalists you so hate. America did that post 9/11 to such horrendous results. If she argues that we need to realize that we have made mistakes as a nation, what is wrong with that. She has to be hysterical and scream from the rooftops because there are not many who in these emotionally charged times would say please introspect. Who in their right mind can suggest that what happened in Gujarat post Godhra was not reprehensible. That Modi has got away scot free and has been elected twice and is the toast of the corporate world, is something we need to think about. Can you legitimately argue that mass murderers like Baba Bajrangi getting away without justice being meted shows us a good light? Can you legitimately argue that the Indian army has not committed atrocities of its own in Kashmir and the North East? Have you been to Gujarat and seen the ghettoism there? Have you seen the conditions there to comment legitimately that those conditions can never be fodder for some islamists to indoctrinate some misguided gujarat youth who may have lost their near and dear ones in the riots and since then have only seen a life in the ghettos. why do you think has Mumbai not seen riots since 1993? Because the Mohalla committees there worked and brought Muslims and Hindus closer. I have seen it first hand at work. when you address huge wounds and see to it that justice is seen to have been done, you assuage a lot of hurt. Sense of injustice is the biggest weapon that we give these fundamentalists to turn impressionable youth against us as a nation. Can you possibly argue that conditions in most of the red belt of our country are not that bad that Naxals cannot find homegrown support for their fight. Can you possibly argue that Salwa Judum is not a state created Frankenstein that is not going to come back to bite us? Can you possibly argue that we have looked after the land rights of the adivasis well or given them adequate compensation for the loss of a way of life? Can you legitimately argue that the poorest of the poor in India do not face everyday unspeakable tragedies that donot even find a mention in our urban newspapers. Dont we need to introspect on why these tragedies donot raise our ire as much as what happened in Mumbai did. Why is it that when People like us get affected, it leads to such absolute sense of horror and not when people like them have to live a life of absolute horror day in and day out. Why is it that the continued incarceration of a true patriot like Dr Binayak Sen does not incite passionate discourse amongst the middle class?
    The worst thing we can do in these emotionally charged times is to turn jingoistic. And Arnab Goswami and the rest of their ilk are trying their darn est to do that. A context always leads to a considered response. What is wrong the belief that just because one is dealing with cases like attacks on the parliament etc, police ineptitude, lack of justice, lack of proper redress mechanisms to the accused can be condoned. How can you be so sure that Geelani and the rest whom the liberals spoke up for, did not deserve that? Do you have first hand knowledge of that? You assume and in that, you do the same absolute thing that you have accused her of. We are lucky we belong to a country that is so pluralist and we can speak our mind and people like Arundhati Roy who speak the uncomfortable things only add to the richness of debate in our wonderful country.

  59. Aditya – “but you’re oversimplifying some of Roy’s better arguments. Roy’s supposed “implicit justification” of Mumbai attacks is actually Roy’s opinion that islamic fundamentalism has a socio-economic cause which is (in part) a function of the colonial past of the region (middle-east, africa, south asia).”

    When read by reasonable minds her “better arguments” do a grave disservice to the very people she has thrown in her lot with: When she claims the much abused “socio-economic” cause, reasoned minds naturally query, why don’t the hundreds of millions of hindus and africans, who, too, are victims of the “colnial past of the region” go around massacring innocents in cold blood in the name of real or imagined injustices. The disservice part occurs when these reasoned minds look for the differentiating factor between the millions of socio-economically disadvantaged hindus, africans and the boy from pakistan, and discover that the factor is Islam.

  60. Aditya – If you believe the reelection of Modi a disgrace, imagine how Indians feel when Arundhati Roy sings hossanas of the liks of Yasin Malik, the man who deliberately killed dozens of Kashmiri Pandits, and then directly contributed t the circumstances that contributed to the ethnic cleansing of Kashmir’s indigenous people from the land of their ancestors. The largest internal displacement of people in modern India, btw.

  61. Pingback: Arundhathi Roy Decoded | DesiPundit

  62. Wait for a few days, Ms.Roy will write a book claiming that how kasav was denied justice in india and manipulative indians are regarding the 26/11.

  63. http://gulfnews.com/world/Pakistan/10267748.html

    On a slightly different note, check the above link about pakistani hindus rallying in support of the jamaat ud dawa, which is nothing but a manifestation of the stockholm syndrome. This is subjugation of minorities at its worst, where they feel so insecure that they cant even stand up for their religious/ other fundamental rights or protest against the atrocities heaped upon them by a rabidly fanatical majority.
    People like arundhati, teesta setalvad, barkha dutt, jyoti punwani et al ought to protest against this instead of defending acts of terrorism committed by religious fundamentalists in India.

  64. JB – It’s not the result of the stockholm syndrome, but pure, unadulterated fear, which compels these wretched Pakistani Hindus to demonstrate on behalf the JUD thugs.

    If Ms.Roy and her ilk were to live in Pakistan as Hindus for one month, the resulting experience would send then straight into the arms of the Shiv Sena.

  65. Hi. I meant to say “What is wrong the belief that just because one is dealing with cases like attacks on the parliament etc, police ineptitude, lack of justice, lack of proper redress mechanisms to the accused CANNOT be condoned.”

  66. @ aparna
    Have you seen the Islamic ghettos in Gujarat before the Godhra massacre and subsequent riots happened?

    If you had, I am sure you would not have written what you wrote before.

    It seems your source of information is nothing more than the multitude of pro-Islamist propaganda movies that do the rounds of AID and ASHA chai-samosa meetings in different university crowds around the world.

  67. Again assumptions. Anonymous, how are you so sure that my source of information is nothing more than than the multitude of pro-islamist propaganda movies that do the rounds of university meetings around the world. I am not a part of either AID or ASHA. How are you so sure I have not visited those places? How are you so sure my source of information is second hand? In dismissing summarily any contrarian opinion, arent you being as rigid as the fundamentalists that you so deplore? And what is so wrong in saying introspect at all times?

  68. @ Aparna H

    I always find it funny that in order to defend the likes of Arundhati (and her ‘arguments’) you are forced to choose a convenient historical timeline. So it is always ‘post-godhra atrocities in Gujarat’, ‘Indian-army atrocities in kashmir’ etc etc.

    The closest analogy that I can find is a book by Eric Margolis (a sort of Monica Lewinsky to the Pak Army) where he writes about the post-1971 professionalism of the Pak Army.

  69. GB,
    I do not agree with everything you said against AR.

    She may try to become popular using her unpopular opinions.
    But there is some truth about things she says.

    What took place in Mumbai is a total failure of our entire country of corrupt politicians, policemen and also common people.

    If someone has the courage to speak against unjust police brutality,

    where every Indian truly doubts our law and order system where those

    punished for crimes may just be innocent bystanders who were picked up

    at random, how can you not see the reality behind some of the things
    she says.

    If she has said that India needs independence from kashmir as much

    as Kasmir needs independence from India, well I feel she is right.

    We have spent a lot of money on kashmir neglecting our
    Northeastern states in addition to many other states.

    The center keeps giving financial and security aids to kashmir but we neglect our borders with China and Bangladesh. This will come to bite us in the near future.

    I think we need a person to look within ourselves too and tell the truth as it is.

    Instead of pointing fingers at Pakistan, you can suggest something positive for people who read your blog.

    You do not suggest a solution to any problem. Although you have a right to say anything in your blog, but you too market your blog through your fundamentalistic opinions.

  70. “According to another class of loony fundamentalists, there is a grand conspiracy to alter the demographics of India by Muslims with every member of the community working in perfect synchrony to attain this objective”

    Are you referring to this website?

    http://www.bengalgenocide.com/mughalistan.php

    Such websites must be banned in India for hate-mongering.

  71. Well, I think the post is funny… on one hand, you are accusing Roy of being a fundamentalist and viewing everything through the lens that she wants to wear, on the other hand, you are yourself viewing all of Roy’s actions through your lens of choice and viewing them as universally negative.

    Needless to say – I don’t agree with a lot of Roy’s political positions (Notably Kashmir, general Anti-US-ness, Narmada Bachao, etc… but you are oversimplifying some of Roy’s better arguments. Roy’s supposed “implicit justification” of Mumbai attacks is actually Roy’s opinion that islamic fundamentalism has a socio-economic cause which is (in part) a function of the colonial past of the region (middle-east, africa, south asia). Here is the actual article she wrote: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/12/mumbai-arundhati-roy

    Roy did, indeed, call Modi a monster, but most educated and peace-loving people would. The fact that he was re-elected after the Gujarat riots is a disgrace on democracy in my opinion. The support he has received from industrialists is due to post-riot policies he has made that favor industry. Certainly, in his second term, he has done good things for the gujarat economy (including giving Reliance extremely favorable terms on land lease for refineries), but the fact remains that he stood by and did nothing while hindus (in somecases with the help of the state police) where murdering muslims in the streets. And, it is a fact that some of these policemen were awarded medals in the aftermath of the riots.

    Roy has written some incredibly well crafted essays that you may want to read…

  72. @Arnie: How is Aparna’s timeline convenient? She’s simply stating facts. One act of violence doesn’t justify another.

    I’m also intrigued by the vitriol people here have heaped on Farzana Versey. What is so bad about what she writes? I grew up reading her columns in Bombay & I do recall her political “awakening” after the post-Babri riots. She started writing about Muslims & her own Muslim identity for the first time. If anything she’s being ignorant — 1992 was hardly the first time there were communal riots in post-Partition India, though of course it was the most widespread. What is so bad about acknowledging, as she does, that things are a little bit different for Muslims in India than they are for Hindus?

    I agree that Arundhati Roy exaggerates when she calls Indian Muslims an oppressed community — that’s only true in some places & at some times, like during riots when the fact that they are so outnumbered means they get slaughtered. But you cannot deny that there is small-scale, day-to-day discrimination — it’s just that much harder to get a job; impossible to buy a home in certain parts of town; listening to snarky underhanded comments every now & then; & all the while being treated as a vote bank come election time, expected to be happy with a few token sops…nothing that constitutes oppression, but hardly privileged status.

  73. “But you cannot deny that there is small-scale, day-to-day discrimination — it’s just that much harder to get a job; impossible to buy a home in certain parts of town; listening to snarky underhanded comments every now & then.”

    @Wafa. The cribbing of victimhood once again. As a Bengali in Chennai, I found it difficult to get accomodation for months as people would say, in my face, they hate the smell of fish. Being strict vegetarians, I would pollute their house. When I told them I would stay vegetarian, the overwhelming consensus was that Bengalis all say that to get in and then smuggle in meat, eggs and fish !

    Another incident. My wife’s father who is from Bihar and was a scientist at one of Indian government’s top research labs used to be called a “Bihari” again to his face by his South Indian colleagues, all of whom were scientists. According to him (and I have no reason to mistrust him), he never got the promotions he deserved because he was North Indian amidst a bunch of South Indians.

    Discrimination, let me tell you, is not confined to Muslims. In a country as diverse as India it happens to everyone. I am sure if a South Indian stays in the north, he/she will have similar tales of woe. Biharis can be as clannish as anyone else once they are in the majority. The only difference with everyone else is that Muslims, even educated and balanced people like you, always play up your victimhood as if you people are the “only” ones getting bad treatment. Grow up and smell the daisies.

  74. Well, if I was to compare the ‘fundamentalism’ of the ppl who are mentioned fundamentalist in this blog and the comments then it will be like this:

    Algebra of Fundamentalism –

    (‘Islamic Terrorism’ ~ ‘Saffron Brigade’) >> (Arundhati Roy(s) > Great Bong(s))

    GB
    I won’t say that any of your allegations on her are wrong but you made the same mistake that you accuse Arundhati of i.e. to see only one side always.

    True that I have always read a ‘anti Indian State and Corporate’ Arundhati and you are right to put her in the fundamentalist bracket. But then who’s gonna say that she is saying? (as what Aparna has written in her comment)
    I compare her to Michale Moore in US and believe that for a healthy democracy we do need these type of critics in addition to people like you who are critics of critics.
    So maybe a little bit of fundamentalism is good.

  75. A clarification of the above comment. You might say what’s so wrong about calling a person from Bihar a Bihari? The problem was that the use of the word “Bihari” as the only label to identify a person, as opposed to a name, was a way to define my father-in-law solely in terms of a stereotype, more specifically a negative stereotype in South India of a ‘Bihari’ who is considered to be uneducated, unclean and generally lacking in social graces. My father-in-law’s PhD from Stanford and his research did not matter to his South Indian colleagues; he was just a “Bihari”.

  76. @ Wafa –

    On the contrary A Roy is definitely trying to justify the terrorism by resorting to a arguments like corrupt politicians, police, sowing vague doubts about police procedure and of course the ubiquitous Kashmir, Gujarat etc etc. Good old Yechury even thought the Nuke deal was possible for the terrorism.

    If there are so many ‘root causes’ for terrorism – why would they bristle at the suggestion that Islam might also be responsible? Let her be an equal opportunity critic – that is all that we ask.

  77. @ Wafa

    Aparna’s time line is convenient because she looks at the promimate causes of ‘injustice’ against Kashmiris, muslims whatever. If one keeps going back in time one could easily argue that the ‘community’ with so many greivances have actuallly also caused a lot of grief. So who decides where exactly the timeline for atrocities should commence? Some can argue that it might start with Bin Quasim.

    So moral of the story – if we keep providing excuses for unforgivable actions we will only get into this cycle of ‘he did, she did it first’.

    similarly – yes we have corrupt politicians, corrupt cops, discrimination and an unjust society, but to claim that action against terrorists can only be taken AFTER all these other issues are sorted out seems ridiculous. Sounds like Amitabh Bachhan from Deewar snarling – pahele uska sign leke aao :)

  78. Good Article..pretty much sums up what every other Indian feels about Arundhati Roy. Yes, we choose to ignore some of her “valid” arguments because this article is about “Why we hate AR” not otherwise.

    AR should be sent to Saudi Arabia where she can get a first hand experience of what it feels like to be subjugated. Maybe she can learn how it feels to be a minority who is discriminated against. She can see clearly and learn what the “freedom fighters” of Kashmir and the world’s Jihadists really want to enforce.

    She is not very much different from Rakhee Sawant except that she caters to a different audience.

  79. Yes I know they had built on protected land, which is why I kept that part of your comment. It was something else in your comment which I felt I was not comfortable with as in I wondered whether that can be supported. What exactly it was I am sorry I cannot remember. I am being careful here because I do not want comments like “She is being tarnished on the basis of innuendo” or “The attacks are personal” being used to attack the discussion here. My objections as articulated in this post are purely based on her opinions or more specifically on her biases and not on specific things which she may or may not have done.

  80. I also read her article and thought as to why I abhor her so much. your article has pretty much articulated my feelings. I would like to add something just for the naysayers. Another peice of evidence that she is a fundemantalist is the way she advocates unilateral way of thinking and percieves everybody through one piece of glass. When she advocates that Kashmir should be given away she forgets to talk about, firstly, about POK (the kind of rule that pervades over there) and second and most importantly she forgets about whether terrorism will stop, once its given up and terrorist won’t ask for more of our soil. Most importantly she has again vaildated the theory of retribution, which is used time and again by ‘religious’ fundamentalists and terrorists to bring upon even more of the same stuff.

  81. By going against the grain, she manages to get that unique writer’s space that is not wanted/desired by others. She is clever and spotted long back that this kind of rabble rousing shall bring her the moolah. It does, just see as to how many media fellows are pursuing her or that shitty 10 page / 5000 word stuff she does. It is her bread, butter and malai. Oh! and people like this shall even make a bundle off an arrest if it may come to that.

  82. @ yourfan 2

    I re-read the entire piece after reading your comment where you mention:

    “Her fallacy lies in her line of thought that terrorism will stop if we accede all the demands of terrorists. There is actually a tone of happiness that the terrorist activity happened. As if it was justified!”

    I will not agree with the first part of the statement. Does she really have any solution to offer? or would she ever be pacified?
    If we were to:
    Hang Modi
    Put LK Advani behind bars
    Ban RSS
    Free Kashmir
    Have a Muslim PM, among other things…

    would terrorism be contained as she says or less importantly would Ms Roy suddenly start praising the country? I really doubt it. All the above would shut her shop, she would have to do ‘business development’ to stay in circulation. That she has nothing to offer other than to (try to) mesmerize with her writing skills is apparent from the last paragraph in her article.

    “The only way to contain (it would be naive to say end) terrorism is to look at the monster in the mirror. We’re standing at a fork in the road. One sign says ‘Justice’, the other ‘Civil War’. There’s no third sign and there’s no going back. Choose.”

    Justice for all as a general idea is what should prevail at all times. 48 words is all it takes to give a solution to a problem mosaic woven in 20,000 words. Two general and extreme positions. A hypothetical situation. This is it, there is no going back and there is no third sign. Go crack this puzzle.

    The latter part of your comment is very apt. There is a tone of admiration when she writes about how the terrorists were able to hold on for 60 hours.

    Besides some of the nonsense pointed out by you there was another gem:

    “On November 25, newspapers reported that the ATS was investigating the high-profile VHP chief Praveen Togadia’s possible role in the Malegaon blasts. The next day, in an extraordinary twist of fate, Hemant Karkare was killed in the Mumbai attacks. The chances are that the new chief, whoever he is, will find it hard to withstand the political pressure that is bound to be brought on him over the Malegaon investigation.”

    WTF! Why would the new guy not be able to withstand pressure? Karkare, last heard was a product of the same system. He had not landed from Mars.

    @ To all those who feel Ms Roy has an independent opinion

    My first (would be) boss during my first interview told me – opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. She has hers and she is entitled to them. The only problem is that when Simi Grewal comes on TV and airs her loony views we all laugh, but when Ms Roy writes an equally loony piece we want to grant her the space and not be too harsh on her. Why?

    Both have a right to air their opinion and I have a right to strongly criticize their opinion.

    Time spent at an architecture school, an awarded work of fiction and good writing skills does not make one a scholar on all matters under the sun. People with independent opinion do come up with constructive ideas as much as they criticize. I have never seen that with her and that is my biggest doubt about her intentions.

  83. Since the arguements always invariably veer to “because of injustice done to muslims by hindus/christians/jews/other religions in kashmir/gujrat/mumbai/israel/US/UK etc etc.”, should Hindus start justifying because ” Muslim raiders/invasion came to peaceful HINDU India in 11th – 17th century, Rajput kingdoms usurped, hindu kings defeated/killed, thousands of rajputnis sati or forcibly maried off to muslims kings/kept in harem and converted to Islam, Aurangazeb’s ghettoisation and cleansing of Hindus etc. etc..” ?
    After all that was the starting point right?
    Do i hear “how can that be used in this context, oh god but that all happened ages back…”

  84. I love you. For saying ALL THAT I ever thought about Arundhati Roy. And I fail to understand what makes her opinion worthy of being published in news magazines and papers. She’s an author and that doesn’t give her the authority to comment on anything and everything of national importance in our country. Why should her opinion matter at all?

  85. What angers most people is that Arundhati holds a mirror to their faces and shows them something they dont like. What angers you is that she makes her point with an eloquence you cant muster, hence she gets the observer and you are lost in cyberspace.

    You have taken elements of her splendid essay out of context and wrought your post around around the lie that she “implicitly justified as “reactions” .. the depredations wrought by the oppressors”. To buttress this point you have linked her entire article!

    The day people who support Modi also begin to like Arundhati will be the one when she loses relevance, so continue hating her.

  86. Arundhati Roy suffers from the same syndrome that most liberals suffer from, the think that all the problems in this world are because of poverty, They romanticize, villains like Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and call them revolutionaries. They are cultist, just like followers of others cults, they thinking is unidirectional and biased.
    Hence anybody who takes this lady seriously is basically deceiving himself. Arundhati Roy, is a Christian posing as a liberal. Of course this lady has an agenda, which is to bash the Indian state and all those who believe in patriotism and standing for the rights of those who suffer.
    She is one of those intellectual dwarfs who love the Islamic terrorists in Kashmir and call the those died at their hands as collateral damages.
    History has proved that it is self criticizing, stupid imbeciles like this lady who have been the reason for the fall of a great many civilizations. If people wont come out and force the governments to rein in Cultists like her, perhaps we could kiss our freedoms goodbye!!!!

  87. I wish I could get everything I write pubished. I guess I have to get a Booker prize first. I dont blame Ms Roy. I balme the journals that publish such rants. The only criminal that she didnt defend was the Kanchi Acharya. I guess he was not sufficiently attractive.

  88. Comparing Arundhati Roy to Rakhee Sawant is extremely unfair to Rakhee Sawant.
    What is her crime? All she has done is bring immense joy to millions of people across the land — particularly horny guys.

    She comes from a poor background, had no sugar daddies, and has made the best of herself that she could with what she had. How many of us can say that? I never had a sugar daddy either, and personally, I resent it.

    It’s true that Rakhee expresses bizarre opinions on subjects she knows little about, but if people keep thrusting a mike into her face and asking these questions — what’s a girl to do?

    I thought her offer to parachute into a terrorist camp, do an item number, and dance them into a stupor was commendably patriotic — would you or I have the guts to do that?

    The only thing common between the two ladies is that both appear to be certifiably insane, but this is more grounds for compassion than condemnation.

    Really, I must protest.

  89. you are a bastard. never wrote to any fucking blogger ever, but your piece is so sexist,damn. infact used to like your stuff. i have been around Roy during protest rallies and stuff. always thought she was a bit starry mannered but she is the only sane voice we have in this country. you don’t like her because deep down, you are a sanghi and patriarchal.

  90. Needless to say that the article was awesome…very factual. The irony is that she is not alone. There is a horde of so called intellectuals and liberals in our society who will go to any lengths to prove their secularism and liberalism. Then there are human right activists clad in JNU style kurta and jhola. Listening to their arguments is hilarious to say the least.

    You have written enough about the Indian News channels. It always appears to me that the news channels especially the english ones have a personal vendetta against Hinduism and the related parties. They make it a point to pitch one so called saffron terror incident against millions of islamic terror attacks.

    There are some very fundamental problems giving rise to terrorism in India it needs a lot of serious effort and time to change things provided we are even willing to accept what the problems are.

  91. abhimnayu,

    on behalf of GB,thanks for your comments. With your language, you just showed what kind of people arundhati is surrounded and hobnobs with adn who is a bigger, violent fundamentalist.
    here we are debating on her views with our views adn language adn here you come, her own ilk, coterie and how beautifully you put your thoughts in her defence.
    GB, please do not delete abhimanyu’s comments. Let others who visit this blog see, read and compare how arundhati’s staunch supporters work..

    abhimanyu, you may go ahead and call me names as well

  92. BTW Ms. Roy still have a court case pending against here in M.P. where she encroached a big piece of tribal land to build a farm house cum resort for her family…. so much for social welfare.

  93. I’m curious about the various continents the comments above have originated from. It’d make a good study – the colour of views from Indians in various parts of the world.

  94. Why we love to hate Ms Roy
    – Saba Naqvi Bhaumik is Bureau Chief, Outlook.

    Arundhati Roy certainly has a stomach for controversy. By writing several articles (including Who needs Reality TV? in HT, Dec 23) and providing an introduction to a book defending Mohammad Afzal Guru (December 13, A Reader The Strange Case of the Attack on the Indian Parliament), the main accused in the December 13, 2001, attack on the Indian Parliament, she has stuck her neck out again.

    Ever since the lady made her views on the matter public, many furious friends have called. Who does that woman think she is? they have thundered, accusing her of passing off conspiracy theories as investigations. As far as they are concerned, Roy should be the first citizen in their rogue’s gallery of anti-national elements. No other writer inspires as much anger and mountains of hate mail to publications where she writes as this petite woman.

    So when a foreign journalist recently asked me how Roy is perceived by Indians, the best reply I could come up with is that we have a love-hate relationship with her. I then checked the Net and found an old essay in the Observer, London.

    Is India just jealous of Arundhati Roy, asked the paper which profiled her under the headline The Dam Buster. The same day the Sunday Times carried a full-page article that somewhat absurdly equated Roy with Victoria Beckham, both described as role models for young British women.

    Ridiculous as the comparison between a sexy footballer-wife-pop-star and a serious novelist-essayist may be, it does reveal that Roy has been an icon in the West for some years now.

    But what of her status back home in India? She’s certainly not the sort of role model that utters platitudes and makes us feel good about ourselves. On the contrary, she manages to ruffle many Indian feathers. Deconstructing the complex Indian responses to Roy reveals layers of prejudice.

    First, there is the macho male response to a woman who is not just brilliant and beautiful, but is also blessed with a talent for turning out powerful prose. Roy would be adored by the Indian male if she had been content to sit prettily on a pedestal.

    Instead, she has repeatedly asked for trouble challenging the big boys when they are playing with their favourite toys: the Big Bomb, the Big Dam, the Big War and now the Big Terrorist.

    Even more intriguing is the Indian response to Roy at a personal level. Despite her waif-like appearance, she does not fit the stereotypical Indian woman. If Indian men feel threatened by her, the average woman would probably be deeply confused by her personal carriage.

    Roy’s sartorial tastes are like a bucket of cold water to a cash-rich middle-class pursuing polyester dreams. Ethnic chic, new-age hippie, Western vogue, all rolled into one. Her mix of colourful peasant style skirts with the casual Western T-shirt is devastatingly trendy, but also very individualistic.

    Her haircut, too, is a case in point. Some years ago she changed to a close-cropped style to expose her slightly protruding ears. In one stroke, she challenged the conventional stereotype of beauty. The hair has now grown, but so has Roy’s appetite for courting controversy.

    The trendy style, impeccable articulation and high profile causes have certainly made Roy a romantic heroine in the West. In an article titled “Grassroots gamine” The Guardian’s Madeline Bunting wrote: The next time someone asks you what happened to feminism, you know the answer. It moved south in search of the sun.

    But an Indian summer is not a sun-bathing vacation. It is a long, hot, miserable ordeal. Roy’s causes have all landed her in conflict with the Hindu Right that freely bandies the phrase “anti-national”. It also portrays her as a lost soul in search of a cause; an individual who is raising issues that an emerging superpower cannot afford to engage with. To some extent, they have succeeded in projecting this image.

    Self-absorbed as we are, most Indians are oblivious that Roy’s forceful post-September 11 essay made her an icon not just in the West but also in West Asia. Yet, most of us still think of Roy as a Booker Prize-winning author of a novel we have never read, who inexplicably seems to enjoy slumming it with anti-dam activists and now “Muslim terrorists”.

    Indians would probably like Roy better if like VS Naipaul and Salman Rushdie, those other great writers they claim as their own (despite both of them living in the West), Roy made grand statements about Islam or Indian civilisation in rarefied writers’ fora and then swiftly retreated from the public stage. Besides, shouldn’t she learn some lessons from Naipaul and Rushdie, both of whom are now on the right side of the great “clash of civilisations” debate?

    Yet, Roy seems to prefer clashing with those who believe they know better. But Indians are a forgiving people and her critics would absolutely adore Roy if she moved to the West, where they believe people like her actually belong. Then every Indian heart would swell with pride whenever they recall their great galaxy of English language writers.

    But if Roy insists on staying on in India, there are a few things she could do to soften the hatred she often inspires in some Indians. Wear saris, shut up, stay at home, have babies, grow her hair long and start plaiting it.

  95. Abhimanyu seems to suffer from the same mental tragedy which other cultists do. I think I should start writing a book on cult mentality. This is so typical of cultists. They can be Muslims, Communists, followers of Asa ram Bapu or whoever. No sooner than you show them the mirror or criticize their leader they will use the worst possible language possible. They will call you names and chide you. Poor Abhimanyu seems to be badly brain damaged. He thinks that Arundhati’s is a sane voice. Makes me laugh at people like him, who smoke Malboro lights and drink Blue label’s and then talk about the corrupt Indian Government and how it is fleecing the poor. Though I have my doubts if Abhimanyu has yet reached the social status where he can afford these luxuries, he sure sounds like a wannabe.
    If someone criticize his Goddess of small brains, he calls him a sexist, Sanghi ( I am really sure what a sanghi is)…. This man is sure a bigot who would rather sell his nation to the wolves in order to get a Hooker sorry a Booker. Anyway All the best Abhimanyu I hope you get your Hooker soon.
    (The mind of bigot is like the pupil of the eye, the more light you shine on it the more it contracts)

  96. I have never seen a more snobbish, haughty, cantankerous lady like Ms. Roy.

    For her everything about India is bad.

    Every Hindu is bad. She should better stay in Saudi or in Pak to know what freedom is all about.

    This ranting and raving by her..is just adding to her innumrable foes and maybe she does that so that her articles will be published in Outlook..any way she has that bedfellow like Vinod Mehta beside her.

    She should really be taught a lesson and then she will know the meaning of disgusting.

  97. Arundhati Roy has an exclusive arrange with Outlook, and Outlook uses her regularly to create controversy and sell more copies.

    So, of course, Saba Naqvi Bhaumik, Bureau Chief, Outlook, is the ideal person to offer an objective assessment of the lady.

    Nevertheless, this seems to be her basic argument :

    1) All Indians expect women to wear saris, shut up, stay at home, not cut their hair (for Christ’s sake!) and wear plaits

    2) Arundhati Roy does not do these things. Hence all Indians hate her.

    Honestly, when it comes to self loathing, there’s no one to beat us.

  98. For past few years I have followed her name in news articles.I truly believe this lady has gone blind to the public sentiment this time.She is always against which is good for India or its development.She is like a leech which feeds on India’s sorrow because that is how her books are sold in the West.How else can sell India’s tears to the foreign missionaries ,how else can she can cry herself hoarse in front of foreign missionaries to take care of India as its shabby,uncouth sons are bound to doom this country.
    She is basking in glory of writing one piece of filthy literature which was awarded the Booker prize because of its anti left standing and incest.
    In fact she doesn’t even believes India should stay as a country,I don’t find any difference in Hafiz Saeed of LeT fame and her ideology.They both want to break India into pieces.
    Keeping in mind the recent shoe hurling at Dubya,I feel the least we can do to this nebulous load of filth and lies is to hurl a barrage of shoes at her.

  99. GB, I believe your post is very sane. Even for people who do not read the blog regularly and are not your fans, they should admire every word written in this post. I would call this one of your best posts ever. If not the best, in the context of this topic.

    You are spot on about everything that Arundhati Roy is and what people believe she isn’t. Why do such people believe they are experts in topics so sensitive to India? Why do such pseudo-Indians exist? Why are they given mouthpieces to voice their filthy opinion?

    I believe Roy, in her article, just stopped short of accusing the right-wingers and initiating a repeat of the conspiracy theories that the Pakistan media is circulating. Are the likes of Roy, Barkha Dutt, Teesta Setalvad, Vinod Mehta etc keen on progress of minorities at any cost?

    PAIN IN THE ASS -> that’s all they are. Adding to the confusion of our loss of Indian-ness every damn day.

    And so are your critics of this piece. God give us some sense.

  100. Now, now let us look at Ms.Roy in a different light-with a holistic view of Ms. Roy’s personality. Her hatred should not be traced to “the empire” and what-not. To me, she is a plain iconoclast- one who opposes just for the heck of doing so. One who tries to eke out matters of secondary importance and project them as ones of extreme subtelty. When the nation is focussed on 26/11, she chooses to sensationalize the difference in coverage of the Taj and the station by the media. It is like a cancer patient in his last throes trying to put a band-aid on a small abrasion. Someone ought to make her shut up… she is WRONG.

  101. @Radicalbong, point taken and comparing Roy to Ms. Sawant is doing disservice to the latter, exactly due to the points you mentioned.
    Ah, I was about to post about Saba’s brilliant defence of Roy and you posted first! Saba is to feminism is like Godzilla is to Tokyo. Sure you are protecting it from enemies but you would end up stomping it more than the enemy. I didn’t think short haircut, Fabindia kurtas make one intellectual. Or maybe that passes for intellectualism in some circles just like Saba passes for an essayist. Now I know why some people hate Modi, they just can’t stand his flowery oration. That explains it. Why should we laugh when some RSS guy justifies his actions based on Babar, Ghauri or Ghazni. He should be an intellectual too and he already has earthy colours in his wardrobe.

  102. Nice article. I compliment you on writing this. I am surprised at the comments put forward (in defense of Ms. roy) by some of the folks.
    I just want to say one thing: Folks just wake up. There will be no safety in numbers when the right one walks out of that door !

    Admit the truth, but more importantly be truthful to not what you see, hear or read; but to the idea of india.

  103. To all the Roy-hating demented minds, ponder on this quote:

    “If the majority of people were right, we’d be living in paradise.”

  104. Interview on CNN-IBN of Mrs Roy
    “If we want to follow the American model, their Homeland Security is twice our GDP” http://ibnlive.in.com/news/interview-arundhati-roy-rubbishes-potalike-law/80664-3.html?from=search

    complete lie …she goes to any extent to prove her point

    its 0.5-0.8 % of a 14 Trillion economy so roughly 100 B, India’s GDP is arond a trillion
    (http://www.newyorkfed.org/newsevents/news/research/2007/rp070314.html)

    “I am not prepared to believe anything. On the other hand, I am prepared to believe anything.”
    well her english beats me…lemme try to rephrase

    “I am not prepared to believe anything (from Govt/Corporates). On the other hand, I am prepared to believe anything(From all other conspiracy theorists).”

  105. Best of all the posts! Just amazing post.
    For those who think that Greatbong is being a fundamentalist himself, just read the post again and understand what’s he saying there.
    AR might be right, very rarely. He never comments on what he thinks of her views. He clearly exposes major flaws in these hypocritical, attention seeking opportunists like AR.
    She quotes people out of context. She quotes them wrong.
    She lies. She has two different stands one for herself and one for others.
    She can’t tolerate people who write against her. Nowhere has greatbong said that what she says is non-sense.
    So, that rubbishes all these claims of AR supporters. Moreover, when our country is in danger from terrorists from outside and legendary intellectual terrorists like her we need a rude awakening where people must be united to combat this terror first! So, greatbong deserves a million thanks from this country for this act.
    Thanks a lot!

  106. Ibrahim Lone,
    You show up on this forum as well.
    A apostate like you who quits Islam and becomes a Hindu has no right to talk about issues concerning Muslims. You are obviously biased and carry hatred towards Islam.

    Why do you try to fool people by still using your Muslim name? You think nobody will cath you.

    To be fair, Arundhati Roy has been a impartial and brave writer all along even though I personally dislike her. She even supported a apostate and Islam-hater like Tasleema Nasreen.

  107. @alphaq:

    “would terrorism be contained as she says or less importantly would Ms Roy suddenly start praising the country? I really doubt it. All the above would shut her shop, she would have to do ‘business development’ to stay in circulation.”

    Actually she knows that this is not plausible. Therefore she projects that it is her desire so boldly. I am aware of the fact that she has carved out a niche business by repeating this “A Muslims is always victim” angle. She is btw not the first one to venture in that arena. Several pseudo-secular bloggers and other media people have tried to make a living by selling that pov to the western media. Some failed. Some like Roy seem to have profited from it. So my exclamation was arrived at by idly tracing her “logic”, even though I was fully aware of her business intentions.

    “Justice for all as a general idea is what should prevail at all times. 48 words is all it takes to give a solution to a problem mosaic woven in 20,000 words. Two general and extreme positions. A hypothetical situation. This is it, there is no going back and there is no third sign. Go crack this puzzle.”

    Heh. True. You see this was my bane too. I have no problems there is a logical flow from the 20,000 words into the conclusion, but that was not what has happened in this essay. There are so many disparate threads in her essay and there is no coherent binding of all these purportedly dependent threads. So parts of her writing are redundant, do not fit the context and are often opinions bordering on skepticism, not facts. I understand she is a good fiction writer with great and innovative use of language. But this was not fiction. This was real. But at this stage you must read what Irustima said, “To understand her essays one has to be patient and capable of intelligent interpretation. To ridicule a piece of art/work/opinion because one lacks the ability/resource to understand it in depth, speaks only of one’s limitation with regards to his/her own ability/resource.”

    So we are impatient and not capable of intelligent interpretation of this great sociological work. :))) So how dare you belittle those 20,000 words!:) In other words, our mistake was to play the ball, and not the woman (pun not intended).

    “Time spent at an architecture school, an awarded work of fiction and good writing skills does not make one a scholar on all matters under the sun. People with independent opinion do come up with constructive ideas as much as they criticize. I have never seen that with her and that is my biggest doubt about her intentions.”

    Very well said alphaq. That’s a very very good point. In fact that is exactly what GB tried to pontificate through this magnificent analysis.

  108. gb: “She does recognize other agents of malevolence like Islamic fundamentalists but their actions are implicitly justified as “reactions” to the depredations wrought by the oppressors.”

    Really? When she explicitly says “though nothing can ever excuse or justify it”, does it mean she is implicitly justifying it? How?

    As for Suhel Seth – ok, he quotes (approvingly) other people saying Modi is God and she probably mistakenly attributed it to Suhel Seth himself. If that makes her a fundamentalist (one little sentence in a 20-page article), I guess we are all fundamentalists. Like you above accusing her of justifying terrorism when she has explicitly said nothing can justify it.

    And I am surprised anyone can defend what Arnab Goswami reportedly said about her on Times Now. That kind of behaviour isn’t even worthy of being on some local cable channel, let alone on a national news network. To compare it to Roy’s criticism of Guha in that Hindu interview isn’t quite correct either. There, upon being questioned about Guha’s repeated attacks on her, she just says what she thinks of his criticism and does a masterful job of ripping him apart without having to call him ‘disgusting’ or whatever.

  109. sajjad umar !

    why do you want to shout down and muffle a real, honest voice? your anger shows that you are shit-scared of ibrahim lone’s message of freedom. no wonder you threaten ibrahim that someone will “catch” him. don’t hold your breath until that happens. in india, nobody can “touch” or “catch” ibrahim and stone him to death for apostasy. hehehe :)

    you must be very jealous of ibrahim as he is a free man – just as birds locked in cages are jealous of birds flying freely in the skies. you are a living proof of ibrahim lone’s pithy observation – “the mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye, the more light you shine on it the more it contracts”

    who better than ibrahim to write about islam. after all, he has been a muslim for a long time and so, he has a very unique, a very rare, a very honest perspective on the subject. as an insider to the story, ibrahim has as much right as anyone to write about islam. he is not blindly biased in favour of a religion, but he is very open-mined, honest and critical of all that he has seen, read and experienced.

    ibrahim is a brave man who does not mince his words. he is the voice of reason. he is an inspiration to me and other ex-muslims, as our voices are seldom heard in this islamic-dominated world.

    i am quite honoured that a famous writer like “ibrahim lone” has shared his frank thoughts and experiences with us. readers can google his name “ibrahim lone” to read his thought-provoking, and sometimes satirical, articles.

  110. @Mohan: Yes that one sentence acts as like the surgeon generals warning on cigarette packets and cigarette ads when the tone of her piece/cigarette advertisements is EXACTLY the opposite. Its like the “I dont like to gossip but let me tell you what X is doing with Y behind Z’s back”…. Even the head of the LET says he opposes violence against innocents. Hence by your logic he has nothing to do with the massacre and really opposes violence against innocents even though virtually everything else he says can be summarized as Hindus need to be wiped out and the world united under Islam. Yeah right !

    And what I say is nothing like attributing something to someone who has not said this like if I say Mohan says “Arundhati Roy is God” even though it is very clear you are acting like a fanboy here. No problem there with me, you are free to be anyone’s fan.

    And I know you only watch DD. But if you tried to expand your scope, you would see internationally anchors are allowed to express their opinions, very strong opinions, as long as its clear its not news and opinion. BTW Ms. Roy here isnt talking about the ethics of Indian press, she thinks Roy should lose his job because he has the gumption to call HER disgusting on TV. Oh my the impudence !!!

  111. gb: ok, point taken. but still just that one wrong attribution alone doesn’t make one a fundamentalist. As for tone of her piece being exactly the opposite – how? I had read it before your blog post and I didn’t get the impression that she was justifying terrorism. Sure, she is also questioning the terrorism of RSS, Bajrang Dal etc and I did wonder why does she stop at partition and why not go back to the terror unleashed by Jinnah before that, but that is not quite same as saying she is justifying terrorism. Of course, you are free to attribute it to me being a “fanboy” or whatever, but that would be just lazy.

    hmm. so calling someone “disgusting” counts as civilised expression of opinion these days?

  112. @Mohan: “As for tone of her piece being exactly the opposite – how? I had read it before your blog post and I didn’t get the impression that she was justifying terrorism”

    I have several hypotheses to these but trying to speculate as to “why you got the exact opposite idea” would lead me to make some statements which you and others might say is unsubstantiated innuendo, which in any case you will deny. So whats the point?

    What would be not lazy? Analyzing why you are a fanboy and unable to see anything objectionable when as you can see many people other than me feel the same thing? Sorry Mohan. I dont have the time to go into how your mind works. If thats laziness so be it.

    I dont think Ms. Roy was being civilized calling Guha a stalker when there was just a difference in opinion. I am sure you would be frothing if I called you a stalker who comes to comment at RTDM only to berate a blogpost, though *most of the time* it is true that you comment only when you have something negative to say. Mind you I have no problems with that, I only mention that to show that calling a critic, even a habitual one, as a stalker does not particularly show an openness for contrarian opinion.

    Whether Arnab’s comment is civilized or not is a matter of opinion. You found calling Guha a stalker to be part of a “masterful job of ripping him apart” (allow me to laugh for a second here)–which I would disagree with to put it mildly.

    I wouldnt call “disgusting” as masterful but at least its brief.

  113. To all those suggesting or demanding that the Govt. of India ban Ms.Roy’s writings, I ask – Are you serious?
    As much as I dislike the way she exploits her talent to string complex sentences together, I can not help but feel proud of the fact that she can say all these lies and half lies without worrying about the Government or some fundamentalist Hindu trying to muzzle or harm her.

    And I am sure Ms.Roy is well aware that, had she been unfortunate enough to be born as a minority in Pakistan, she would have been unable to write against Islam or Pakistan, anything remotely close to what she writes in India.
    Unless of course, she chose to live in exile. That, too, not in London.

  114. gb: unfair! I respond to one comment and you go and edit the comment later :-)

    The LeT chief analogy doesn’t quite hold does it? If Roy also goes and says the same thing like he does about wiping out the Hindus, then of course, her disclaimer about terrorism not being justifiable doesn’t hold and there won’t be any debate. But has she done that?

    I didn’t get the impression that she was saying Goswami should lose his job for calling HER disgusting specifically. Calling anyone disgusting on national television should be enough for an anchor to lose his job, if nothing else on the basis that he should be able to find better words to express his disagreement.

  115. Wait. She does say many times that India and US bring attacks on themselves because of their mistreatement of various peoples. This is a justification for terrorism no matter that line she chooses to preface her justifications with. I moderated my comment and edited it. You answered it while I was editing it. I didnt expect you to be back so soon to reply. Stalker-like? :-)

    Well you didnt get the impression. Wonder why the only example of “anchors acting in a way that should lead them to lose their jobs” entails calling her disgusting? Again was the piece about the ethics of media outlets in India and how they call people “names” on airwaves? No it wasnt. It was 26/11. Arnab Goswami comes in because he is part of the corporate press who dare call her disgusting for which he should lose his job ! If this is something that you are unable to see, there is nothing more to say.

  116. Abhi – “Roy did, indeed, call Modi a monster, but most educated and peace-loving people would. The fact that he was re-elected after the Gujarat riots is a disgrace on democracy in my opinion.”

    Is it any more of a disgrace than a majority of Americans reelecting George W. Bush in 2004, after the he personally caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslim, women, children and men?

    I shouldn’t single out Bush when even the Western Leftists including Mr.Messiah aka Barrack Obama ardently supports the attack on Afghanistan, a nation which had been torn asunder by the power games between the West and Russia; games that continue to this day.
    How were the dirt poor Afghans, who were blown to smithereens by daisy cutters, to blame for 9/11 is beyond me, and If you or any other Indian resident in America can explain that I would be very grateful.

    The following is a rant against Indians living in America – I am disgusted by the blatant hypocrisy practiced by the thousands of Indians who proudly signed the petition demanding the cancellation of Narendra Modi’s visa to the United States because of alleged complicity in the death of one thousand to fifteen hundred Gujarati Muslims during the 2002 riots, but these very same concerned desis do not have the guts or decency to demand that the Govt. Of India revoke the Visa for Condelleza Rice, Colin Powell, Dick Armitage, George W. Bush, The Clintons, or the entire U.S. Congress including the President elect who, as I mentioned above, supports the Afghan war. Indeed, he is planning to increase the number of troops and resources currently dedicated to the extermination of Taliban who, as Ms.Roy so eloquently pointed out, are the victims of a cruel socio-economic circumstance perpetrated by the Western Capitalist and of colonialism.

    So, If you are an educated Indians who moved to the states by choice and consider Modi to be a disgrace, you should protest against the Iraq and Afghan wars, which so far, per conservative estimates have resulted in the deaths of more than one million ONE MILLION Muslims.
    And the best way to protest would be to deprive the United States of your talents.

  117. @Anonymous Dec 17th, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    “… and comparing Roy to Ms. Sawant is doing disservice to the latter, …”

    Amen to that :)

    Ms.Roy being able to sell her product successfully means one of 3 things, may be the economy is not that bad or people dont realize its bad or its so bad that people dont care. Hmm…

  118. “A fundamentalist has tunnel vision in that he/she can only see the sins of those he/she hates. There is no concept of applying the same standards fairly to everyone. So while India is castigated ad nauseum as having suppressed and discriminated against its minorities , almost no attention is given to the far more egregious and unapologetic genocide of Hindus in neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh and in Kashmir (though if left to her, that would also be a neighboring country). If a few Hindus mirrored the crime of the Kasabs and sailed to Bangladesh to take “revenge” for the government-sanctioned rapes and murders of Hindus by killing innocents in Dhaka would Ms. Roy be so accepting of their motivations as she has been for the Pakistanis? Would she then just make a passing condemnation of Hindu fundamentalists and keep the lion’s share of her wrath for the government of Bangladesh for their treatment of Hindus?”

    She is an Indian. So she chastises her own. If our neighbors want to save themselves, let them find their own voices of dissent.

  119. @Anonymous & Arnie: In case I need to be extra clear about where I stand, _nothing_ justifies terrorism & targeting civilians. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Not poverty, not oppression, & it’s especially heinous in a democracy where there are plenty of legal ways to make your voice heard.

    Now that that’s out of the way — I was not denying that other communities are discriminated against at all. In fact I think the SC/STs who are too poor to take advantage of reservations have it much worse than most Indian Muslims. But I do think the discrimination against Muslims is a bit worse than the linguistic/regional discrimination you speak of. If you can’t justify terrorism because of poverty etc, you can’t justify government-approved wholesale slaughter of innocents in the aftermath of a train burning either. The fact is that Bal Thackeray, Advani etc have spent much of their careers calling for Muslims to be killed or sent off to Pakistan & there is no getting away from that fact. They stand directly opposed to the secular ideals in the Constitution. So does Congress’ absurd pandering, but at least when Congress panders, no-one dies.

    In fact, tell me something — given your obvious disdain for Islam, when you meet & interact with Muslims in your day-to-day life, what runs through your mind? Are you able to objectively see them as an ordinary human being? Or is there a sort of soundtrack playing in the back of your mind telling you that this person is a Muslim & somehow different, dangerous, traitorous, or whatever? Be honest.

    Anyway, my point was about Farzana Versey — I have very little sympathy for Arundhati Roy & I thought GOST was overrated, incoherent tripe. India’s nuclear weapons have not resulted in the end of imagination or anything else for that matter. Arundhati Roy has managed to turn herself into a talking-head media darling through excellent PR & minimal talent. For those in the US, she strikes me as a left-wing Ann Coulter.

  120. @Harsha:

    She is an Indian. So she chastises her own. If our neighbors want to save themselves, let them find their own voices of dissent.

    So why does she protest over the US invasion of Iraq? None of them are her “own” by your logic.

  121. Everybody is entitled to express their opinions on USA and our neighbors. Nobody can deny her that right. In her case, the harshest criticism/protest is always directed towards her own country.

  122. gb: Guha thing – she said he has become like a stalker, which was a reference to him using four successive weekly columns to attack her (supposedly – I haven’t read those). I don’t find it offensive. But the masterful part wasn’t that but what followed. I really enjoyed the relative analogy part. Now, Guha himself is a highly intelligent and respected columnist and for him to be caught like that was quite enjoyable.

    “Arnab Goswami comes in because he is part of the corporate press who dare call her disgusting for which he should lose his job”

    Arnab came in in the context of whether it is anti-national to question the government and the police. That was the general point she was making and not that “oh he attacked ME, hence he should lose the job”.

    “US and India bring attacks on themselves because of their policies”

    If she said that, that sounds suspiciously like justifying terrorism. But at least, she didn’t do it in this particular article.

  123. @wafa

    “In fact, tell me something — given your obvious disdain for Islam, when you meet & interact with Muslims in your day-to-day life, what runs through your mind? Are you able to objectively see them as an ordinary human being? Or is there a sort of soundtrack playing in the back of your mind telling you that this person is a Muslim & somehow different, dangerous, traitorous, or whatever? Be honest.”

    No Wafa. When I interact with Muslims in my day to day life, I have varying thoughts, depending on how they interact with me.

    For example, when I speak to my “Indian” Muslim friends, I feel pity for the deep ignorance and denial they project about themselves.

    I feel sad that inspite of being aware that their forefathers were raped and bludgeoned into Islam, publicly, they hope and pray that they are actually the progeny of those 1% perpetrators who came across the Khyber Pass to perpetrate those crimes.

    When I meet my “Egyptian” islamic friend, I feel aghast at the eagerness with which he wants to call himself a Arab. His disdain for his past and his forefathers and his hatred for Sikhs tells me of the massive propaganda that is fed to him at his mosque by his Indian and Pakistani Muslim friends.

    When I meet my Bangladeshi and Indonesian Muslim friend, I feel sorry for myself. Because it was the laziness of our forefathers that alllowed these innocents to fall victim to Islam.

    So thoughts vary, but in a nutshell it is mostly disdain for Islam, not for its victim.

  124. @ Wafa

    I do not think you owe any explanations to anyone about where you stand wrt to terrorism. You asked me why I labeled Aparna H’s timeline as ‘convenient’. That is what I explained. Similarly I do not think you know me adequately to suggest that I have ‘disdain’ for islam :)

  125. What Roy does is what an activist does — it’s the nature of the beast. All that political activists have is speech and the least they can do is shout hysterically from bloody rooftops. If they believe in their cause so much, what can they achieve by whispering within the confines of their living rooms?

    In a free world overflowing with the right to free speech, your post is a most welcome piece of opinion. However, it projects you as nothing but the fundamentalists you rave against. You’re not being helped by the rabidly sycophantic comments you seem to have attracted. Very depressing.

    Great Bong His Loyal Commenters = The Algebra of Infinite Dementia?

  126. Jeez the fanboys of ‘she_who_must_not_be_criticised’ are now resorting to name calling. Yes, yes everyone has a right to free speech – even Hitler and Goebbels – but atleast we recognise them for what they are.
    ARoy has an agenda – some people belive in it and others don’t. She does not believe in her cause enough to go to jail for it. She certainly paid up her fine to avoid going to Jail and she called the Supreme Court of India her ‘old enemy’. How much more delusional can one get?

  127. @Anonymous,

    Such a friend you are that you have such feelings of compassion for your Muslim friends! You’ve definitely answered Wafa’s question that you do have a soundtrack playing in the back of your mind telling you what to think of the person based on his background not for who he is. I’m sure you enrich their lives immeasurably. Here and now, you could’ve at least come out of the cloak of anonymity and signed your name so we know who we’re admiring!

    @Arnie,

    Ah, so going to jail is the only way to show commitment to a cause. Calling a court that sentenced her an “old enemy” is delusional. By disagreeing with your view I become a fanboy of Roy. Any other rules, regulations, terms and conditions to keep in mind?

  128. One clear sign of a fundamentalist is that his / her followers tend to be blindly faithful and extremely homogeneous and regimented in their thinking.

    Case in point. Both David and the ‘The Algebra etc etc’ have responded to cold logic with a cocktail of personal attacks and pithy sound bites. (Hmm? Who else uses a technique like that?)

    David refutes GB’s post by stating that he is a fundamentalist (Yep, if he thinks so, it’s got to be true) and surrounded by sycophants (totally unlike the behaviour being shown by the followers of the Divine Ms R)

    “The Algebra etc etc’ gives us a lovely quote on the majority and rightness. Dude, in the UK, the supporters of the Monster Raving Loony Party are in the minority, and some people love ‘em. Doesn’t mean everyone else is wrong and they’re right.

    The problem with some of you activists / Roy Fans / Not-sure-exactly-what, is that you’re so secure and smug in your own rightness that you never even try to understand someone else’s point of view, let alone debate it. You are always right about everything, and anyone who disagrees is a bastard, or a fundamentalist, or a sycophant.

    That sounds pretty fundamentalist to me.

  129. By disagreeing with your view I become a fanboy of Roy

    Just as GB and the others who detest Ray become victims of “infinte dementia”. Considering the language used by your fellow Arundhati supporters (look through comment thread), we already have a high enough idea of you.

  130. Can anyone please produce the video or the transcript where Arnab Goswami actually said Arundhati Roy was disgusting? I just googled it http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=arnab goswami arundhati roy disgusting&btnG=Search and it turns up only links containing Her allegations that he did.

    In any other country, maybe Arnab Goswami would have lost his job for having called Her disgusting. But in any other country, She would also be required to furnish some evidence that he actually called Her that.

    Saba Naqvi’s article is as hilarious as it is condescending. Roy’s clothes, attire, her “beauty” (really?) and hairstyle have nothing to do with people’s disgust for her. Saba Naqvi is indulging in that favorite tactic of those who don’t have an answer – personal attacks. On what basis does she conclude that the criticism of Roy is due to her appearance?

  131. @David
    Just like Ms.Roy would do, you welcome GB’s piece as decent opinion and then go on to dismiss it in the defence of your own demented righteousness with your holier-than-thou comments.

    Maybe we all are sycophants in some way or the other. Who’s the better sycophant is the question. And your replies would certainly please the likes of Ms.Roy who is definitely as positively accepting of adulation as her over-the-top rejection of criticism directed towards her.

    Fundamentalist, indeed.

  132. From her article in Huffington Post/ Guardian

    “The only way to contain (it would be naïve to say end) terrorism is to look at the monster in the mirror. We’re standing at a fork in the road. One sign says Justice, the other Civil War. There’s no third sign and there’s no going back. Choose.”

    Is it just me or does anybody else find the lines about Civil War extremely incendiary and provocative?

    And notice that she herself admits that it even if “Justice” as she calls it is rendered, it is naive to say it would end terrorism. So she indirectly admits that she does not care if more lives are lost to terror even if the “Justice” she is talking about is rendered. But ofcourse, she knows that some lives are more important than others- if you can connect it with the rest of the article, what she is indirectly saying is this- hang Afzal Guru and their likes, then you will face civil war- don’t hang Afzal and who knows, you might be fortunate save a few lives. Choose!.

    The element of glee that she feels can be noticed when she says one cannot prevent terrorism triumphantly and warns people to “CHOOSE”!

    What a pathetic female!

  133. My responses to some of the comments above:

    1> “If Ms.Roy and her ilk were to live in Pakistan as Hindus for one month, the resulting experience would send then straight into the arms of the Shiv Sena.”

    That was a real rib-tickler. :)

    2> Arnie: “@ Wafa

    Aparna’s time line is convenient because she looks at the promimate causes of ‘injustice’ against Kashmiris, muslims whatever. If one keeps going back in time one could easily argue that the ‘community’ with so many greivances have actuallly also caused a lot of grief. So who decides where exactly the timeline for atrocities should commence? Some can argue that it might start with Bin Quasim.So moral of the story – if we keep providing excuses for unforgivable actions we will only get into this cycle of ‘he did, she did it first’similarly – yes we have corrupt politicians, corrupt cops, discrimination and an unjust society, but to claim that action against terrorists can only be taken AFTER all these other issues are sorted out seems ridiculous. Sounds like Amitabh Bachhan from Deewar snarling – pahele uska sign leke aao :).”

    Beautiful. Its the search for context you see. Lets take it way way back…all the way back to Mohenjo Daro Harappa. Notice the similarity between this kind of argument and the one presented to support reservations based on caste. So Roy is telling us that we are paying the “price of historical wrongs”, with history beginning at 1947.

    3> bunty Dec 17th, 2008 at 8:01 am

    “What angers most people is that Arundhati holds a mirror to their faces and shows them something they dont like.”

    Oh Really! And what kind of material is that mirror made up of? Certainly not regular glass. Its the kind of material which makes us see what she wants us to see. Perhaps that is not an accurate reflection of what we are.

    “What angers you is that she makes her point with an eloquence you cant muster, hence she gets the observer and you are lost in cyberspace.”

    See, even you agree that there it is eloquence and filibuster more than credence and impartiality which makes her views sell.:)Its good marketing right? The brand and not the product!

    “You have taken elements of her splendid essay out of context and wrought your post around around the lie that she “implicitly justified as “reactions” .. the depredations wrought by the oppressors”. To buttress this point you have linked her entire article!The day people who support Modi also begin to like Arundhati will be the one when she loses relevance, so continue hating her.”

    :)) Umm. So what kind of a great essay is one which cannot withstand a little bit of strong analysis of one of its extracts? As you said, he has linked to the ENTIRE article, right? So he cant cheat. So what exactly are the portions in her essay that have not been analyzed which can lend credence to her arguments. Can you answer that question? NO.

    4> “you are a bastard. never wrote to any fucking blogger ever, but your piece is so sexist,damn. infact used to like your stuff. i have been around Roy during protest rallies and stuff. always thought she was a bit starry mannered but she is the only sane voice we have in this country. you don’t like her because deep down, you are a sanghi and patriarchal.”

    And you are a pure moron. Do you even know the meaning of the word shh shh shh sexist? Where on this post was a criticism made of her feminine attributes? Name one single gender related comment. Wheather she is a female or male or transsexual/transgeneder is not important in this “context”. Oh wait …it is perhaps important. It serves as an over-encompassing dismissal of GB’s analysis. “Oh that guy…who cares what he says….hes a sexist” Right? :) You are a retard.

    5> And finally Harsha: “Everybody is entitled to express their opinions on USA and our neighbors. Nobody can deny her that right. In her case, the harshest criticism/protest is always directed towards her own country.”

    Umm no. Go and read the article again. Do you know what he main grouse in that article is? :)))

    It is something which came to me just now after reading it again. It is not the fact that Modi is still there and Muslims are being persecuted. It is the fact that this event got a lot of publicity in every corner of the globe thru CNN and twitter and suchlike. The fact that this may draw a negative image on her beloved terrorists, the fact that the world saw another example of such an atrocity, the fact that this may be construed as a global attack on terror irked her. The world has concured that this was not just a run of the mill blast and this may have opened a few eyes. She is uncomfortable with this consequence. So let us assume for a moment that the terrorist attack was due to a retribution of the Kashmir controversy and Gujrat. So why did the terrorists deliberately search for people with foreign and Israeli passports? Why not filter out Gujju Hindus and kill them? Do you know why? Because the reason for this attack is much complex than Roys simplistic action(perceived) and reaction theory. So such topics were skillfully ignored. She was careful not to project this as another link in a big chain in global terror.

    She insists and almost implores that this is an exclusively Indian issue. She makes full use of 2 of the weapons in her arsenal, the Gujrat riots and the Kasmir issue and stretched that to the outrageous generalization that all of the 150 million Muslims are harassed, marginalized and oppressed.

    “Why are the TV channels showing all this in vivid detail? Why why why? Why cant they just say that this was like any other bomb blast? And that TV anchor said something bad about me. I will show him my heinous rattle snake self. Will pound him in my column. Only I have freedom of speech”.
    “Oh my god. Look at that! Suketu Mehta is a bit like me and has written a well known book. Even he has not belittled the attacks and condemned the blasts in his NYT oped. I planned to project contrary views amongst my target demographic!!! So let me do this…let me project Suketu as someone who is far from ground realities”. Heh, but no no. Anyone who has read Maximum City will know how Mehta has criticized Bal Thackaray. He is very well aware of the realities.:))

    She will attack the US, but her leitmotif is to project them as very very different events which will diminish the scale of atrocity in foreign eyes. “Its not 9/11. Those are India’s problems…you know Hindus fight the Moslems over there and so on. It a backlash. Arunduti Roy wrote that. Smart Girl” is exactly the kind sentiment that she wants to imbue in her target demographic. This sentiment kinda fits their warped belief that Pakistan is an ally (sic) in the war on terror. And this primary agenda of trying to project these as disparate events, even though skillfully camouflaged, makes a surprising appearance in the title of her post, “9 is not 11″. Because if this is 9 is 11, a lot of straw men that she has successfully and painstakingly built over the years will be blown away like hurricane targets.

    @GB- I re-read your post. It is really a gem. And I have to say, echoing what at least 7 other persons have said above, that by design or accident, this would rank as one of your best posts. What an analysis!

  134. keep it up folks…
    great bong, no offence, but not taking anything i said back either. i detest your views but you are a good writer.
    and yeah, relax about the language a bit folks, don’t take words so literally.
    if anyone’s interested, check out my stuff on the hindu(metroplus/friday review)website.
    peace.

  135. “i detest your views but you are a good writer.”

    Ho ho ! Abhimanyu dearie you do know that the use of the word “detest” is according to your guruji grounds for losing one’s job on air. You have used the exact same language as Goswami did for Roy but directed at GB. You have gone ahead and confirmed one of the points GB raised in the piece about the double standards. Bravo !

  136. Yeah, Ms Roy fits perfectly into the definition of a fundamentalist by not looking at any criticism and developing her ideas to suit the politics.
    I agree mostly with this article.

  137. @yourfan2: Spot on! No-one else seems to be talking about how the specific targeting of foreigners means this really was not so much about Hindus as such, but India & the West in general. Those from Bombay will note that the big old Anjuman Islam mosque is diagonally across from CST station, on DN Road, which probably also accounts for the high numbers of Muslim casualties. Proof undeniable that this was not your garden variety Indian terrorist.

    @Arnie: If disdain is the wrong word, what would you say the correct word should have been?

    @Anonymous: And you think these people you meet don’t find your “pity” a little bit offensive? Even if you try to hide it, you think they can’t tell?

    Besides, many Indian Muslims really do have Pathan ancestry somewhere in their family tree. And many don’t. This is hardly someone longing to be something, it’s just a fact.

  138. GB,

    After reading Suhel Seth’s article on Modi, I have to disagree with the distinction you make between ‘Seth saying Modi is good for the nation’ and ‘Seth saying Modi is God’.

    Now of COURSE there is a difference between the above two statements. But the tone of Seth’s article isn’t that of a corporate spokesperson giving a politician a thumbs-up – even a giant one.

    Rather, it’s positively worshipful.

    Seth’s writing – like the statements about Modi rushing to get a coffee table book “almost like a child”, or the one about the “joy” with which Modi recounts data on Gujarat – seems to suggest not just a deep admiration for the man’s policies but also for his personality.

    Seth is smart. He’s savvy. He knows he can’t say ‘Modi is God’ outright – so he says everything but the actual words, and then quotes people saying the words.

    To my mind – that IS saying it. And I think that was the whole point of his article.

    If I was a writer – I’d have done the same.

    I think you need to pick a better example of Roy quoting people out of context.

  139. @Jay

    “Just like Ms.Roy would do, you welcome GB’s piece as decent opinion and then go on to dismiss it in the defence of your own demented righteousness with your holier-than-thou comments.”

    Let me make this clear – in all my demented righteousness, my holier-than-thou comment never indicated that GB’s post was a decent opinion, I only welcomed it in the spirit of free speech. My defense of Ms. Roy is, again, in the interest of free speech and the voice of dissent however shrill it might be. Think Voltaire. If GB, or for that matter, you, find yourselves in a similar situation, I’d defend your right to it.

    And as an aside, I even have a dogtag that says WWRD (What Would Roy Do) to remind me to abide by Her guidelines in every thought, word and deed. Clearly, this race for the “better sycophant” is over, so quit trying!

    @Anonymous

    “The Algebra of Infinite Dementia” — in case you didn’t get it, it was a tongue-in-cheek comment referring to the title of the blog “Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind.” It’s even indicative of how this post got its title, isn’t it? Take a chill pill on this one, please!

    @RadicalBong

    “David refutes GB’s post by stating that he is a fundamentalist…”

    By subscribing to his RSS feed I haven’t been able to figure out enough about GB to determine if he’s a fundamentalist or not. But his post, by his own definition, portrays him so. I only felt it needed to be called out.

    My issue is – by all means dislike her, hate her. But how far do you go in order to express your disgust for a person? Reading just a sample of the comments here is chilling. Where is the scope for civil discourse?

  140. Greatbong, once again a great analysis! And you will be happy to know that Salman Rushdie has opined her essay as plain “unintelligent” “disdain towards Taj as disservice to people who died there and to mean that 9/11 was ok because people working in twin towers were well off”. just saw that on news. Now we have marketing on both sides of the story!:)

  141. @ Charakan
    Since you rbrought this up, we should have a Bandh in Orissa on Christmas.
    The vicious Christians fundamentalist/Naxal collaboration must be protested.

    Hope the law abiding Christian community will join their Hindu brothers in making this Bandh a success.

  142. @ David,

    come come old chap – here we are forced to hear her shrill moralising shouting from the rooftops. here is a woman who is ‘convinced’ that she knows what is wrong with the world. She supposedly ‘condemns’ terrorism and purports to understand the ‘root causes’ behind it. She thinks nukes are bad and has said she would travel to pakistan in the event of a nuke war between India and Pak. As GB has eloquently written, she is convinced that her favourite bugbears (US, Israel, India, Corporates) are responsible for all the grief in the world – and after asking every one to ‘rage against the dying of the light’ she wimps out of going to jail despite the righteousness of her cause? She suggests that the Supreme court (which was asking her to follow the rule of the law) is her ‘old enemy’ – then in the same breath condemns Modi for not following the rule of law?

    you know one should thank god for small things like she is a ‘frail middle aged lady’ whose only weapon is a pen. One gets the feeling that if she had access to stronger and committed thugs (instead of whiny internet warriors) she might have achieved her final solution.

    Now if GB is a fundamentalist for poining out Roys fundamentalism and you are a fundamentalist for pointing out that GB is a fundamentalist because he said that Roy was a fundamentalist..whew ..what was your point again? Oh I know – free speech – but then you find our free speech chilling. Well we find her speeches chilling :)

  143. @ Youfan2

    “She insists and almost implores that this is an exclusively Indian issue. She makes full use of 2 of the weapons in her arsenal, the Gujrat riots and the Kasmir issue and stretched that to the outrageous generalization that all of the 150 million Muslims are harassed, marginalized and oppressed.”

    These that you have written are the words that must be shouted from rooftops. This is the same trick that Ayrn Baker in her Times article uses. I wonder who exactly these ladies are shilling for? Is there once again a concerted effort to distinguish between good terrorists and bad terrorists ? Don’t some people ever learn from their mistakes?

    @ Wafa

    I do not have any significant feelings for ‘muslims’ as a collective group. I have often walked into Jama Masjid in Delhi. I have had beef kebabs outside the Haji Ali Dargah. I have had food in Bade Mian behind the Taj where 8 kg of RDX was discovered. My wife felt a bit uncomfortable when walking in the by lanes of Cairo, but she could not exactly define why she felt that way. I have muslim friends. My child goes to a childcare run by a muslim lady. I have never met anyone nicer or more genuinely caring as she is. Hope this helps.

  144. @@ David
    >> My defense of Ms. Roy is, again, in the interest of free speech and the voice of dissent however shrill it might be.

    Freedom of speech is not really the point of discussion here. She is free to say whatever she wants to. It is her opinions and the train of logic she has followed that is being discussed here.

    >> My issue is – by all means dislike her, hate her. But how far do you go in order to express your disgust for a person? Reading just a sample of the comments here is chilling. Where is the scope for civil discourse?

    Civil or not, discourse it is. Besides, you should not expect all discourse to be on the lines of what you think is civil. That would be contrary to the Freedom of Speech.

  145. Wafa – All Afghans including the Pathans were Buddhist or Hindu until not too long ago. Ever heard of Bamiyan, Taxila, Gandhar [Kandahar].
    Do you know what Peshawar was known as pre – Islam?

  146. Hi Arnab, I have been a regualr reader of your blog for quite some time and I really like your style of writing.

    Looks like this blog of yours must have created the following records
    1. Maximum number of comments
    2. Maximum number of comments in the shortest possible time – you put this out on the 16th and by 19th, you have close to 200 comments…..

  147. Disclaimer – I’m no fan of Ms Roy. In fact, I’ve stopped reading her columns due to her leftist leanings and her refusal to address certain issues at a deeper level. I hadn’t even read the article under discussion. But now that I’ve read that article, I think GB’s article is in bad taste, inaccurate in representing Roy’s views, prone to generalizations and also guilty of deliberate misinterpretation.

    Let me deconstruct GB’s article para by para..

    “She does recognize other agents of malevolence like Islamic fundamentalists but their actions are implicitly justified as “reactions” to the depredations wrought by the oppressors. So the massacre at Mumbai is regrettable but is an inevitable result of “partition” (a legacy of the West–one of the “bad men” in her pantheon of villains), the oppression of minorities in Kashmir, Gujarat 2002 and supposed institutionalized prejudice against minorities in India. (things for which another of her “bad men” India can be blamed for)”

    Has she defended terrorism or are you reading it that way because its convenient for you to believe that she defends terrorism? There is no implicit justification of terrorism, but a gentle reminder of other forms of terrorism which we prefer not considering as terrorism (using less-emotionally loaded terms like riots, caste-violence etc). She is reminding you of the double standards of an average Indian who prefers to ignore the terrorism perpetuated by the likes of Babu Bajrangi who continue to roam free despite confessing to mass-murder.

    “In making this argument, she betrays another defining characteristic of the fundamentalist—–violence that damages the “evil men”/the “other” always has a justification, typically of the sort “The evil men through their evilness brought it upon themselves”.”

    This is another outrageous interpretation which bears no resemblense to anything she has written in any of her articles and ultimately displays your own fundamentalism. Like all fundamentalists, you misjudge her words in accordance to your own beliefs and prejudices about what she represents.

    “So while India is castigated ad nauseum as having suppressed and discriminated against its minorities, almost no attention is given to the far more egregious and unapologetic genocide of Hindus in neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh and in Kashmir (though if left to her, that would also be a neighboring country).”

    This is a very standard tactic used by fundamentalist generally against human right activists. To give an example, whenever amnesty international presents a report castigating our security forces for violations, fundamentalists demand why AI is silent on human right violations of the terrorists conveniently ignoring that the job of human rights group is to present the facts of violations by the state and not by non-state actors like terrorists.

    My point – We already know about the discrimination of minorities in Pakistan or genocide of hindus in Kashmir. I don’t read Ms Roy to know about the plight of hindus in Pakistan or Bangladesh, but rather to know about the injustices perpetuated by our society and our people, that we prefer to not talk about because we do don’t like the ugly face shown to us by the mirror.

    “And according to people like Ms. Roy, most acts of terrorism in India have sinister shadows of government design where the culprits arrested are not the perpetrators, where every act of urban violence is suspected to be a wound intentionally inflicted on the self to further the oppression of minorities.”

    So according to you, one should never question the possibility of governments engineering violence against their own population for larger purposes like staging wars for control of oil or opium fields. Half of the population of the world including senior professors, scientists and serious researchers have questioned 9/11 and come to the conclusion that US government was aware of 9/11 plot and allowed it to happen (or even collaborated in the attacks) because it needed a false-flag event which would allow it to attack Afghanistan and Iraq. People like you who never read beyond the bullshit propagated by mainstream media have absolutely no awareness of how the world is run.. Do you even know that an organisation called “Project for New American Century’ (PNAC) which had senior-level politicians as its members, demanded a false-flag event ‘like Pearl Harbor’ which will allow US to expand militarily in middle-east and south-asian region? For people like you, who don’t bother to research things in depth, the word ‘Zionist’ is just a fantasy term concocted by Arabians and Islamic fanatics as an outlet for venting out muslim hatred for jews. I could provide you with hundreds of links educating you about numerous false-flag events through history, dangerous plots engineered by US government to provoke wars (Pearl harbor, reichstag fire, operation northwoods), but it will be of no use since people like you have already made up your mind that people who question government version of events are fundamentalists or conspiracy theorists

    “Questions always remain in her mind about every person picked up by the police if they belong to the rank of those she identifies as the “oppressed”. The reason for her eternal skepticism is not difficult to understand. The evil men/the other always lie. The “oppressed” never do.”

    Again you make a very broad generalization which is very typical of fundamentalists. Do you have any specific cases, where she has expressed skepticism which later turned out to be a case of needless skepticism?

    “Fundamentalists are typically hysterical. Not for them sober debate and reasoning. They like the sensationalism, the sweeping generalizations.”

    Hahaha…If hysteria is the character of fundamentalism then everyone in this country who reacted to Mumbai terror events with hysteria and hyperbole should be declared fundamentalist – the jingoist media, the elites who never cared much about terrorism or caste/communal violence before it hit them, hare-brained bimbettes demanding carpet-bombing of Pakistan, the hysterical rants against all politicians. The entire country was in the throngs of unparalleled hysteria for nearly a week. In fact Roy brilliantly points out the sweeping generalizations and sensationalism with which the entire country was infected during the week that followed the attacks..

    <>

    “Fundamentalists, once in the throes of hysteria, have no compunction in adhering to the truth. If an untruth needs to be said in order to make the point more dramatic, no matter.”

    The only example that you managed to find of Roy’s lies was her slight exaggeration of Suhel Seth’s comment? Exactly what is the difference between saying – ‘India needs Modi’ and ‘Modi is god’.. Seth could have been just using the driver’s ruse to plant the thought into the minds of his readers that Modi is like god.

    TBC

  148. Hi GB,

    A very good read. You are absolutely spot on about pseudo intellectuals like Arundhati Roy (on a lighter note I count Mahesh Bhatt in that category too) who believe in voicing an opinion on anything and everything just to get some air time. Time the media started ignoring people like these.

    Cheers,
    ACAG

  149. The para from Roy’s article that was not displayed in my above comment..

    In fact Roy brilliantly points out the sweeping generalizations and sensationalism with which the entire country was infected during the week that followed the attacks..

    “Dangerous, stupid oversimplifications like the Police are Good/Politicians are Bad, Chief Executives are Good/Chief Ministers are Bad, Army is Good/Government is Bad, India is Good/Pakistan is Bad are being bandied about by TV channels that have already whipped their viewers into a state of almost uncontrollable hysteria.”


    Continuing from my previous comment..

    “The battle for “international opinion” is a critical one in today’s world and Ms. Roy works long and hard to make sure that India is always on the wrong side of it. Hence the need to devote some time to deconstruct her methods if for nothing else but to provide a clean answer to the question “What do you find objectionable about Arundhati Roy” next time a good friend comes asking.”

    Its unfortunate that for our educated middle class, the truth about the nature of the world is less important than concerns about how our country is represented internationally. This is another characteristic, a mentality typical of jingoistic nationalism of the right-wing brigade.

    Why are India’s educated classes so uncomfortable with dissent? Instead of worrying how India is presented to Americans who read Huffington Post, you should observe how brutally honest are Americans (who read Huffington Post or Counterpunch) about the criminal nature of their government. The Americans who read Huffington Post are not stupid or gullible and don’t believe the propaganda of mainstream media about ‘War on Terror’ or the Fox news type of generalizations about Muslims.

    Blind haters of dissenters like Roy, need to read more, learn a lot and shed their double-standards before pronouncing their half-baked judgement on the nature of fundamentalism.

  150. @Algebra of GB’s Fundamentalism or “TBC”

    For whatever your half-baked argument is worth – here’s where you lose the plot (and perhaps your marbles as well) :

    “Half of the population of the world including senior professors, scientists and serious researchers have questioned 9/11 and come to the conclusion that US government was aware of 9/11 plot and allowed it to happen (or even collaborated in the attacks)….”

    Half of the world’s population? Yeah right.And Arundhati Roy believes Hindus are humans….
    And what does the other half believe O diligent researcher of Humanity’s world view? well I guess that doesnt count in your balanced and oh-so-fair view.
    And I’m sure most of these “senior” professors,”serious” researchers are the ones who indulge in serious topics like “The RSS : Hindutva Agenda or Communal Praxis ?” .(and here’s a tip – merely adding a cliched adjective before someone whom you palm off as your mouthpiece doesn’t make your assertion any more authoritative.)

    And Roy has leftist “leanings” ?! My dear friend – Mani Shankar Aiyar has leftist leanings . Roy is full blown communist/naxal sympathizer who has done more “lal salaams” than Harkishen Singh Surjeet (RIP) at the funerals of slain Naxals.

    “We already know about the discrimination of minorities in Pakistan or genocide of hindus in Kashmir”
    Yup. And we have been hearing about the Gujarat ‘Genocide’ ,the “alienation” of Muslims,Babri Masjid ad nauseum.(And as long as Ms Roy is alive we shall be hearing about it ad infinitum). So if we apply your twisted logic – of ignoring what we supposedly know – to Roy’s article and delete her staple regurgitations – we’d be left with one single line – “I’m a fundamentalist hypocrite who hates India.”

    I dont know what’s sadder – Arundhoti Roy’s existence or her small band of intellectual dwarves.

  151. “Half of the world’s population? Yeah right”

    For whatever its worth, here are google statistics”

    147,000,000 for 9/11 conspiracy.
    205,000,000 for 9/11
    5,580,000 for 9/11 osama

    I understand this is not a very scientific method and doesn’t prove anything, but from these statistics, any idiot with half a brain should be able to deduce that if out of 20 crore references to the term 9/11, almost 15 crore references also include the word ‘conspiracy’, it surely means that over half the population on the web have seriously considered 9/11 to be an inside job.

  152. Ah yes,the not-so-subtle shift from “half the world’s population” to “half the population on the web”…..the fearless crusade against the fascist bigots continues…

    Listen pal – do yourself a favor and stop pretending that you even have an argument.Merely because a link contains the word “conspiracy” doesnt even remotely imply that either the author of the page believes it was a conspiracy or its readers believe it was a conspiracy.
    I have the uneasy feeling that I’m wasting my time here but for the sake of the argument : a page on 9/11 could also contain a line “some conspiracy theorists have opined that…”.So that does not make it an approval of the loony assertion that 9/11 was a conspiracy.

    Forget your specious google-gallup-poll reasoning.The scale of the operation was such that even one leak would have compromised the entire action.So you’re saying that the conspiracy was so watertight,that it managed to brainwash every single person associated with the Pentagon,NORAD,USAF and multitudes of state organs to the extent that not even a single person felt that killing 2000 fellow americans for achieveing a questionable policy objective, was not wrong ? Wouldnt even a single person among tens of thousands have found it objectionable ? No siree bob,apparently.

    For a country that has been strongly isolationist (pre-Pearl Harbor) to its misadventure in Vietnam,the US is extremely wary of sending its forces abroad and would much prefer someone else do its dirty work (Pakistan during Soviet Occpn of Afghanistan) you think the US would even want to go to Iraq in the first place ? Not only do you think that it wanted to go to Iraq – but it also orchestrated the largest attack on the homeland post-WW2.Bravo !

    I must say,the logical leap from a Holocaust denier to a 9/11 conspiracy theorist to an India-hating terrorist sympathizer is apparently a rather small one to make.
    Get your head out of your posterior buddy.Im sure the sunlight and the fresh air may hurt but they’ll do wonders for your IQ.

  153. “Yup. And we have been hearing about the Gujarat ‘Genocide’ ,the “alienation” of Muslims,Babri Masjid ad nauseum.(And as long as Ms Roy is alive we shall be hearing about it ad infinitum). So if we apply your twisted logic – of ignoring what we supposedly know – to Roy’s article and delete her staple regurgitations – we’d be left with one single line – “I’m a fundamentalist hypocrite who hates India.””

    Tell me dear friend, do you know anyone in this world who champions the cause of every oppressed group. If you do not shout from rooftops about genocides in Darfur and keep barking about Kashmiri pandits, does that make you a fundamentalist? No, it doesn’t! Everyone has a pet cause which they like to champion and no one is under any obligation to do any balancing act for the sake of fruitcakes who think that if championing one cause is not balanced by championing an opposite cause, it makes that person fundamentalist. By your twisted logic, everyone who doesn’t talk about oppression of every oppressed group in the world deserves to be called a fundamentalist.

    Frankly, I think this whole discussion is hilariously ridiculous. The world is full of fundamentalists of all type – there are christian fundamentalists who are waiting for Jesus to come and save them, there are scientific fundamentalists who believe that what cannot be observed under a microscope doesn’t exist, there are fundamentalists who claim there is god though they have no evidence to back up their claim, there are fundamentalists who claim there is no god though they have no evidence either.

    If we were to apply socratean standards of reasoning to determine how many people do not have a fundamentalist mindset, less than 0.1% of world’s population would qualify and all of them would also qualify to be called iconoclasts.

    If Ms Roy is indeed an iconoclast as someone pointed out, she should be the last category of people who deserve to be called a fundamentalist.

  154. I wonder why Jihadis dont shoot Arundhati Roy for wearing jeans and t-shirts when she visits Kashmir to champion their cause.

    They shoot innocent Kashmiri girls when they refuse to cover their head.

    What double standards.

  155. 1. A fundamentalist and an iconoclast are not mutually exclusive categories. A fundamentalist is always an iconoclast of a competing ideology.

    2. Your statistics of 9/11 are so specious so as to not even warrant a response. I would beseech you to watch the response given to 9/11 conspiracy nuts by Bill Maher, an inveterate liberal and US critic, who is much more erudite and definitely funnier than that nutcase whom you worship.

    3. If Modi can be Hitler for not stopping the murder of Muslims and get the censure of your God of a little brain then Pakistani establishment by the same token is guilty of watching silently as Hindus were killed after Independence. Its obvious you are an ignorant chap who does not know about enemy property laws (laws are passed by state) that made all Hindu-owned property (Hindus=enemy) in Bangladesh enemy property and hence fair game to be acquired by Muslims. Needless to say, this does not fall under your definition of state repression. This is in response to:

    “This is a very standard tactic used by fundamentalist generally against human right activists. To give an example, whenever amnesty international presents a report castigating our security forces for violations, fundamentalists demand why AI is silent on human right violations of the terrorists conveniently ignoring that the job of human rights group is to present the facts of violations by the state and not by non-state actors like terrorists”

    4. Roy’s entire piece was all about blaming India for being the victims. GB points that out. To be honest and it’s a point I wish GB had made was that she just copies Chomsky word-for-word just like Mukesh Bhatt copies Hollywood when Chomsky blames US for 9/11. If only she had a little bit of originality.

  156. Really appreciate Arundhati’s article.At lease some who goes to the root to solve the issue and not just looking at the symptoms.

  157. @Sudeep

    >>Freedom of speech is not really the point of discussion here.

    That’s the point I’m trying to make. If everyone acknowledges that she is allowed to speak her mind, then you would see people merely discussing her opinions on their merit. Not calling her a female dog, how repulsive she is as a person, wishing she was murdered, etc.

    >>Civil or not, discourse it is. Besides, you should not expect all discourse to be on the lines of what you think is civil. That would be contrary to the Freedom of Speech.

    Continuing from my point above, in whose book would such language be civil? Probably not even on Jerry Springer. I don’t want to get into discussing what is Freedom of Speech. I’m sick of repeating it as much as you are sick of hearing me say it. But let’s agree that house rules don’t impinge on freedom of speech. Otherwise, you’d have to accuse our pal GB here of doing that to a certain Sid above your comment who said “I hate that [female dog]” where he edited out the expletive.

  158. >>>> That’s the point I’m trying to make. If everyone acknowledges that she is allowed to speak her mind, then you would see people merely discussing her opinions on their merit. Not calling her a female dog, how repulsive she is as a person, wishing she was murdered, etc.

    Any discussion on the internet will have these kind of random comments.. GB is not guilty of it and same with the majority of the comments on this board. So its more than a little specious of you to go around banging the freedom of speech drum.

    By ignoring the (really strong and logical) critique by GB and others and pegging your position on a ‘bitch’ here and a ‘she should be shut up’ there, defeat of Arundhoti supporters is pretty obvious.

    There is no way her verbiage can be defended by you guys so you are beating about the bush and talking about freedom of speech, which simply is not at stake here.

  159. Pingback: Taking on Ms Roy | Retributions

  160. S Yusouf,

    And what may be those roots? Please explains 10 thugs sitting in Pakistan to murder a pregnant Jewish woman in Bombay? Please explain in detail.

    I am more than willing to listen.

  161. As a quote goes ” Never try and reason prejudice out of a man. It was not reasoned into him, and it cannot be reasoned out”.
    We have had enough of terrorists being defended and given the benefit of doubt on account of reasons which dont concern india in the least.

    And so it is with our pseudo secularists and left leaning so called intellectuals. They will never accept the fact that islamic fundamentalism is the biggest threat facing india, so much so that the majority population in india is now living in threat of 15% of the population. Muslims terrorists, from outside india, with plenty of support from locals, commit acts of terrorism with imounity and the compulsions of vote bank politics ensure that the congress, the leftists, RJD et all will never act against them.

    The only solution is to support Narendra Modi and his tough stance and robust measures against terrorism. Only his policies can ensure that terror attacks are minimised and that average indians can go about in their daily life without fering about when the next terror attack will happen, and whether they/ their family members will be next on the casualty list.

  162. @itallcomesaround, Shoaib, S.Yousuf

    Ha ha ha. Someone who goes to the roots?? Or someone who just makes a plain, biased CHOICE.

    Prejudice is opinion without judgement. Arundhati Roy proved it. Her supporters went one better.

  163. @Trilok: And so what if they were? I know my ancestors were Hindu Rajputs before they converted. And so my Pathan ancestors were probably Buddhist a few centuries ago. How does that affect anything?

  164. Much as I disagree with Arundhati Roy’s positions on many an issue, I will always stand up for her right to say what she says.

    And I do think it was wrong for Arnab Goswami to term Arundhati Roy “disgusting” (as reported here). While he may disagree with her positions, its wrong for him to involve Arundhati Roy the person, as opposed to her position.

    And finally, if you believe in the Wisdom of Crowds (James Suruwiecki), then its good to have both sides of opinion makers in a democracy. A lunatic left winger balances out the lunatic right wingers in our democracy.

  165. @Nerus, If Roy can call Guha a stalker, Roy can be called disgusting by Goswami. See point 1 in your own post.
    The main trait of a fundamentalist is to occupy a far extreme fringe position in their chosen ideology, so that nobody from the same ideology can do a flank attack on them. The byproduct of this is the holier than thou attitude and from here arises the screaming from the rooftop mentality. Lot of religious sermons have been delivered from mountaintops and other high rises and no wonder Roy wants to climb one. Her positions are practically religion now, if it is the opium of the masses, it is more like algebra of infinite supply.

  166. I like Arundati Roy. She aims to show the world the true face of India. About time somebody did that. Hating someone just because he/she is a fundamentalist is naive.

    Narendra Modi would undoubtedly be called a “Hindu fundamentalist” by a majority of Indians, and yet a majority would also proclaim him as the best CM in this country today. Different people have different flaws. Nobody is perfect. What we need to do is look at the flaws, then look at the good facets, and then decide on the character of the person. Arundati Roy and Narendra Modi are two sides of the same coin.

  167. Arundhati Roy said the plainest truths., but the Hindus are on a high ride. They will not rest until they destroy India under the Safforn Leadership of the RSS. Peace is somehow dull and boring. So the Hindu adrenaline is flowing faster, and he wants some action to his life. Sports like rape, killings, mob violence are giving the Hindu… the warm identity.. the macho image.. that he has alwaya sought (from Savarkar to Advani via Golwalkar and M.K. Gandhi).

    RSS is India’s biggest enemy and will destroy India from within., but Hindus are NOT willing to listen one word against RSS. Fascism has arrived. God help India. The “Idea” of India., the vision of Nehru is dead. Now it is Savarkar’s India., and of course this will lead to unforeseen consequences.

  168. @Anonymous: I don’t know why I’m dignifying your comparison of Islam with Nazism, but…Islam is a matter of beliefs, not ethnicity or racial heritage.

  169. Pingback: In which Arundhati Roy gives herself those ones « Mumbai lives 26.11.2008

  170. I do not think Arundhati Roy is a fundamentalist, though I grant that the writer above has made a good case. In my opinion, she’s a self-delusionist. She tries to assume a high intellectual ground, and indulge in ivory-tower-opinionism, thinking that it’ll impress people. Except that it doesn’t. Her manner of expression is impressive; her content is practically buffoonery.

    While I fully concur that re-electing Modi who presided over the Gujarat genocide was a blot on the people of Gujarat, I do not think that Modi is personally a communalist. In all the interviews I’ve heard him speak in, he has always come across as personally secular and even-handed. But there is no doubt that he lives in the den of communalists. And, being a politician, he’s also a crook. Who manipulates very cleverly. And at every opportunity. But that’s hardly exclusive to him. It’s a characteristic of the whole class. Modi’s manipulation is no different from that of Arjun Singh, despite being on opposite banks.

    Modi being the “God of Hindus” is no different from Jinnah being the “God of Muslims”. They both have pandered to the same sentiments. Both are personally secular, but have made a career out of exploiting communal feelings. Except that Jinnah was more sophisticated, and Modi more brute. Jinnah himself envisioned the state of Pakistan very differently — but left to his successors, you can see the condition. And a similar fate will await India too if people don’t see the danger of Hindu Jinnahs like Modi and Advani, and subscribe to their ideologies.

    But every dog has to be given his due. And Modi has excelled as an administrator, despite his omissions. He is able to deliver the goods, and that ultimately benefits everyone, including Muslims. And it’s in everyone’s interest to move ahead, and behave pragmatically. Poetic justice may exist in the realm of Booker winning poetry (or prose!), but certainly it has no currency in the world of realpolitik. It’s foolish to keep chasing such poetic justice.

    Arundhati Roy caters to a clientele whose motto is to illuminate seminar rooms and feel good about themselves. They have never felt any need to *do* anything. Their job is to *undo*. That’s how they can remain smug in their high-falutin intellectualism. It can give one a very good high. And that’s what these folks are after.

    Arundhati Roy is not a fundamentalist or an attention-seeker. She is an addict. She uses her intellectualism for the same effect as the next guy uses his cannabis or Ecstasy for. To hallucinate and get a high..

  171. @ Proloy

    A 10% minority (Muslims) caused between 20% to 30% of the total casualty (depending on what numbers you beleive) during the violence in Gujrat.

    Is that a genocide?
    Whose “genocide” was it?

    Gujrat was a pogrom against Hindus, if you go by the death toll and the percentage breakdown.

  172. Given the difference in national narratives and the way justice is conceived and dispensed, within the geographic and logical boundary of a nation,it is ridiculous how someone can assume that people across national boundaries can hold the same opinionperception about the justness of a particular society,specially when those two nations are India and Pakistan.
    In the context of prevention of terrorist attacks on India,her idea that India should look inwards is incredibly moronic.
    Since she probably would have difficulty in understanding anything else than Hindu fundamentalism,lets word her argument differently in a hypothetical situation.
    Suppose there is sufficient evidence pointing to Bajrang Dal to plan and carry out an attack on Pakistan.A Pakistani version of Arundhati Roy says that Pakistanis have to treat their minorities fairly and actually convince Babu Bajrangi of Bajrang Dal that they are doing so for the attacks to stop.The bottom line is it totally depends on Babu Bajrangi’s mood and perception.Does this sound stupid enough?

  173. @Anand Rao

    We are disappointed in you. Think of all the amount of time which swayamsevaks and pracharaks spent on you. You have forgotten ‘vande mataram’ and namaste sada vatsale mathrubhoome’ and utter such filth in public.

    Just because you left your hometown and now sit amongst the beef-eaters, you have forgotten your culture, your country and have done a Vamah-vrittha. I don’t hink you believe you are a brahmin anymore.
    [edited]
    We plead you to remember your roots in Sanatana dharma. Do not corrupt young minds. Even if you don’t subscribe to the theory of Akhanda Bharata, atleast help us prevent further divisions.

    Anand Rao, remember Guru Raghavendra Swami. Be Pround that you are an Indian

  174. she resembles Taslima Nasreen in viewing the world as a single cause battle ground – probably the finger print of a fundamentalist – i shudder to recall obsessing about her book ‘God of Small Things’ as an engineering student. Her whole ‘free form’ style had seemed so appealing then. I know its not fair to incorporate that part of her persona into the present discussion – but overall she is weird

  175. Poochandi,

    I disagree with your assessment. Calling someone a stalker is different from calling someone disgusting. Its like the difference between calling someone an idiot and calling someone a murderer (one is an opinion, the other is based on an action). If Goswami calls Roy a protester, or a left-wing radical etc, those would be based on facts. By mixing facts with his personal opinion (“disgusting”), Goswami erred in his professional responsibility and journalistic ethics.

    Secondly, Roy and Goswami are not the same. Arundhati Roy belongs to the lunatic left. She is not the Editor of a popular news channel that is watched by millions. Roy is not a journalist or an Editor whose first responsibilities are for the unbiased coverage of news. By mixing his personal opinion of Roy the person, as opposed to providing a critique of Roy’s actions, Goswami abused his position as a journalist. He did not fulfill his responsibility for unbiased news coverage.

  176. @Nerus

    I understand what you are trying to imply. It is not a fact that Guha was a stalker. Guha wrote a rejoinder to Roy’s “article” and that does not make him a stalker. Was the stalker tag based on idealogical leanings?! It is name calling.
    As for your second point, you are willing to confer greater responsibility on Goswami than Roy, just because he is part of establishment, as the lunatic left calls it. Since Roy is a mobile republic of one, she does not have to meet the rigorous standards. That is hogwash.

  177. @sameer

    Did you even read what Anand Rao said?

    “Peace is somehow dull and boring. So the Hindu adrenaline is flowing faster, and he wants some action to his life. Sports like rape, killings, mob violence are giving the Hindu… the warm identity.. the macho image.. that he has alwaya sought (from Savarkar to Advani via Golwalkar and M.K. Gandhi).

    RSS is India’s biggest enemy and will destroy India from within., but Hindus are NOT willing to listen one word against RSS. Fascism has arrived. God help India. The “Idea” of India., the vision of Nehru is dead. Now it is Savarkar’s India., and of course this will lead to unforeseen consequences”

    Is this paranoia or what? I have no doubts that RSS in itself losing its strong base – at least the Knicker-wearing, lathi-wielding activism – from among the urban middle class, where it drew its maximum support in the Golwalkar heydeys. Of course, the right-wingers are on full-throttle but you can easily see that not all of that gusto is brought on directly by RSS itself. Hence, it is not so easy for RSS to switch-on and more importantly, switch-off violence by groups like Bajrang Dal or even VHP. RSS insiders are increasingly wary of these facts.

    I’m perfectly willing to see where the ambit of religion (as in ‘personal religion’) ends. But then you must ask if a. Anand Rao and b. LET/ISI or why most religion-based govts (you know which religion I’m talking about) understand the difference between religion and political posturing.

    As far as I’m concerned Anand Rao made some dumb statements. He deserved what I said.

    By the way let me point out that he shares initials with the person on whom GB has written this blog: so the fundamentalism in both their rants is not coincidental but numerologically plausible?

  178. @sameer
    Ah! By the way. Just for your information, my exhortation to Anand Rao was a sarcastic response matching the IQ level of his comments. So you please chill!!!!!!

  179. @Sanghi

    – Why do you think the RSS’s “regimented”, “selfless service” type of volunteer is losing his appeal?

    – Do you think that VHP and Bajrangdal’s less disciplined but cadre based approach is more appealing to the “bold” and the “restless”?

    – Is the urban middle class not interested in the self-sacrifice approach of the Swayamsevak? Is for-profit professionalism the new Mantra?

    – Is RSS and its lifestyle finding more appeal amongst the rural underpreviledged?

  180. @Maydivash
    This kind of hijacks the discussion away from the point of the blog.
    Nevertheless, you have already answere parts of your questions. Joining and continuing to work for RSS means a kind of lifestyle, which will not find favor with today’s youngistan. Why, in 1985 when I went to a professional course, I realized I will never be able to wear Knickers and attend processions wielding lathis. In that sense you could say, profit-professionalism spells the doom for an urban base for RSS.

    But the malaise that dogs RSS is more deep rooted. Though it is loftily said in it’s principles and heard it it’s meetings RSS is never seen as doing anything for the country. Imagine, what RSS could have done for the society, with the kind of active manpower and support base it has. For example, I don’t think RSS ‘officially’ sent its ‘selfless’ swayamsevaks to help out people in trouble in let’s say the Tsunami victims etc. If something palpably patriotic was done by this organization regularly, I’m sure there are enough youngistan guys who will identify with the social relevence of RSS.

    Actually that’s what it is: in trying to single-mindedly going after the Hindu cause, and trying to play the right wing politics, RSS lost a wonderful opportunity to become a socially relevent organization. That I think is a more important reason for the present day urbaniite not identifying with RSS.

    What do you think?

  181. I’m not a fan of Roy’s ranting style, but all the points she’s raised have been validated by many sources incl the govt. itself. What she’s saying is nothing new, even Amartya Sen’s said it. You might have an issue with her style (so do I), but I didn’t find an iota of fact in your attack – it’s an emotional ‘jai hind’ type of outpouring at best.
    Dude, the thing is we need more Arundhatis in our system. India has more depth, more acceptance than what the greatbongs of the world think. Or don’t think.

  182. Shubho Sengupta,

    Even Amartya Sen said it ! Where? I am sure you find Salman Rushdie’s criticism of Roy to be “Jai Hind” style too. By the way, if you go through GB’s post you will find that he is not providing facts but merely criticizing Roy’s doublespeak and rhetoric.

    As an aside, I wonder why all of Roy’s fans here are so frothing and foaming and have to take recourses to lies and ad-hominems to support their puppy love.

  183. @ Sanghi
    Damn…and I thought RSS swayamsevaks show up the first during all natural calamities. I was so wrong.

    I saw those knicker-clad junta clearing rotting bodies during Orissa cyclone and Gujarat and Uttarakhand eathquakes. I guess they were just government Babus.

    As for Arundhati Roy, she is representative of the intellectual class of India. RSS should hire her to improve its image amongst the educated urban middle class.

  184. @maydivash

    About RSS’ image & Roy: well said.

    But of course most people who signed up into RSS thinking that joining its ranks will swell up their patriotism and that they will immediately start repaying Mother India her dues get disillusioned fast.

    Sometimes, social work is carried out by certain local RSS units in enthusiastic fervor. However, these ‘misguided’ units are not encouraged by the higher RSS command chain and slowly the main-brains involved in the service operation realize that these kind of acts are not what the RSS is meant for. It dawns on them that raising rubble over issues like ‘forced’ conversions by oriya churches, fighting violently over self-respect issues with kerala communists etc are much more important missives for the cadre.

    When once this realization comes, the well-meaning volunteers leave, while the hindutva-kind frustoo cadre with somewhat low IQ and who are amenable to brainwashing rhetoric on issues like Ramjanambhoomi or jargon like ‘akhand bharat’ will stay on.

    If RSS has to improve its image at all, it has to re-think its social role: both in the Hindu society as well as the Indian society. It has to shed its KKKesque garb and actually get onto issues like untouchability, corruption etc. Then people will sympathize. Mere hiring of ARoy may not help.

    One last point: The other organization which wears khakhi and involves in calamity elated work is NSS. If I’m wrong about RSS not doing enough and if you have real information that its cadres were really out in the forefront with ‘official’ order from its bosses, I will be too glad to correct my observations

    @GB: Sorry for this side chit-chat. Don’t ask me to take my discussion to my website, because you probably know I can’t!

  185. Spot on sir! She is a nuthouse with commanding English.

    Otherwise, I kind of failed to understand how can you put Mullahs and Saffron people in the same bracket?

  186. gb, your post was interesting, but what fascinated me were the virulent reactions that arundhati provokes. whether her point of view is right or wrong is another matter.Hardly any people in the public sphere are subjects of such intense discussion and differing opinions.her opinions are extreme enough to be called naive.anyway,one thing rather strange is how people defend an atrocity by countering it with another one.every person in a democratic country has a right to freedom of speech and safety of life and limb.people (including me) have great sympathy for those affected in the godhra riots or the kashmiri pandits who have lost their homeland (and in a way, their identity). many of them have not got any tangible help – just sporadic ‘relief’ from welfare agencies and the govt. these people need concrete help to start their lives again – but what they get are armchair patriots like most of us or rooftop champions like ms. roy.

  187. The only reason why Arudhati Roy’s name provokes such discussion and anger is that she dares to talk what is usually not talked about.

    That’s why there’s this call for ‘limit on freedom of speech’. When you can’t argue with her solid reasons, you try to silence her instead.

    That’s also the reason why her POINTS are never debated.. instead some just try to attack her personally and viciously.

    Arnab has every right to call Arundhati Roy ‘disgusting’ on National TV.. but at a great loss of his journalistic credibility. Journalists and reporters are supposed to be OBJECTIVE. (Can’t say that about a single Indian TV News Channel)

    Arudhati Roy’s a commentator – not a reporter or Newsperson. Arnab could have aired his views with a clear declaration that these were indeed his PERSONAL views.. but instead his was an attempt at heckling and rabble rousing, and very unbecoming and unprofessional, considering his choice of profession.

    Leave Arundhati Roy alone.. or at least display her levels of intellect when debating her. Most of the people here who ‘hate’ Arundhati Roy are simply incapable of thinking beyong ‘us’ and ‘them’ or take a pacifist, humanist approach.

    That’s YOUR failing. Not hers.

  188. You have to admit one thing – Arundhati Roy makes us very uncomfortable. The reasons why she does this is manifold of course, and that’s why we see such a plethora of reactions to her in the comments section. To some, including me, I suppose, she is the worst kind of activist – the rich, glamorous one, who does not have to worry about where she gets her next million meals, and can thus afford to look cool and hep and aggravate people. To someone else, she is a pest, raising questions we might not have answers to always. To others she is downright dangerous, always attacking her own country – an anti-national personality, almost a terrorist.

    Funnily enough, what is common to all is that there is always a reason to dislike her. That is where I have ended up as well. I began as an admirer, and I liked her essay on the Narmada dam. But as time went by and her essays piled up, her objectivity, the ability to take a nuanced view was replaced by shrillness and noise. BUT, I still think she is important. She is important because we all need someone who makes us uncomfortable. Because for every 5 irrelevant, or one-eyed statements she makes, she will raise one point that will give us pause. For that alone she is important. We live in an age where intellectual debate is abhorred, intellectual dissent is called anti-national, morals are policed. We need people to question stuff – right or wrong.

    So I try to be even handed about her. I certainly do not want to associate myself with those that call her a bitch or say Indian needs a Modi. So I read her essays in Outlook (which BTW, is doing yeoman’s service in giving varied people a platform to write, along with Tehelka) and then try and form my own opinion about her.

    I disagree with most things she writes, but through my feelings I also admire her ability to write so cohesively, so persuasively, so cogently. That lady can really write English well. I am sure even her most virulent haters admit that.

    And most of all, I like her ability to stir things up and make people think. That is rare, and therefore, precious.

  189. “BUT, I still think she is important. She is important because we all need someone who makes us uncomfortable. Because for every 5 irrelevant, or one-eyed statements she makes, she will raise one point that will give us pause. For that alone she is important. We live in an age where intellectual debate is abhorred, intellectual dissent is called anti-national, morals are policed. We need people to question stuff – right or wrong.”

    Best comment of the lot (applause). If this lady was less of a shrill, less noisy and more objective, it is doubtful whether she would have received the attention she is currently receiving. By provoking the intellectually-complacent majority of India, she is at least succeeding in putting across a point of view that is routinely ignored in the cacophony of belligerent chauvinism that passes off as intellectual debate in India.

  190. To the last three commentators,
    Try as you might to portray her as the lone voice of dissent, sorry. There were always more saner and more eloquent voices on both sides of any issue in India. The difference is these people use logic, facts and reason to put forth their argument. One can argue with them using your logic, facts and reason. AR just puts a lot of words on paper just for the sake of provoking and titillation. Will you go and argue with anybody on the street corner preaching that the world is coming to an end? It is not as if people are awestruck at the marvelous arguments and unable to take her on facts. Mostly it is the lack of facts and logic, makes one wonder where to even begin. But the lady is savvy in marketing, especially to the western world.
    To repeat, she is not an intellectual. Being on the left or in the minority doesn’t make one by default.

  191. Eeeeou!!
    I wonder if Arundhati Roy would have behaved differently, had she been one of the guests at the Taj, during the Jiahd attack.

    Would she ahve written the article in the same way she writes usually?

    …which makes me think….
    Can fundamentalists like Roy (and her chummies) be made to change their views with facts and evidence?

  192. @stewie!

    The tragic irony of the Mumbai terror attacks is …. hypothetically, if Suzanna Arundati Roy had been eating dinner at the Taj Hotel on 26/11, then there is a good probability that she might have been slaughtered by the very Jihadis whom she supports wholeheartedly and defends daily.

    As a secular Indian, I pray that God/Almighty/Allah grant Suzanna Arundati Roy a very long life, just so that she can keep defending more brave Jihadis going forward.

    mera bharat kahaan?

  193. Once I overheard a Jewish Rabbi tell a important politician from India-
    “You Hindus want to be everything to everybody and end up being counted as nothing to anybody”.

  194. @poochandi:

    “Try as you might to portray her as the lone voice of dissent, sorry. There were always more saner and more eloquent voices on both sides of any issue in India. The difference is these people use logic, facts and reason to put forth their argument.”

    A few examples? Otherwise this statement is just more hot air from you. You haven’t read my entire comment obviously. I am not defending her beliefs. I am defending her right to question. And whether you admit it or not, she is pretty logical frequently. And she is an intellectual by any definition of the word. You want an example of a non-intellectual? Prakash Karat is a non-intellectual. The entire Thakeray clan are non-intellectuals.

    “One can argue with them using your logic, facts and reason.”

    And you should be able to argue with her using all those things. The fact that you choose not to do so, instead trying to dismiss her as a pest speaks about your lack of intellectual rigor, not hers.

    “To repeat, she is not an intellectual. Being on the left or in the minority doesn’t make one by default.”

    I agree, but she is not an intellectual because she’s leftist of a Christian. She is an intellectual because she is erudite and articulate. We have to oppose her at this level. Otherwise we will be be seen as illiterate yokels raging against an evidently superior brain. Do not go down that road.

    Arundhati Roy is wrong in a multiplicity of ways. But to call her a bitch is not the answer. We have to evaluate her points objectively – reject the irrelevant / inapplicable ones and address the valid points. Making obviously exaggerated comments like about Roy like “she supports (jihadis) wholeheartedly and defends (them) daily” or wishing she were in Taj when the terrorists attacked, just paints the commentators as a stupid rabble rousers or angry, impotent persons.

    Dismissing her points in toto does no one any favors and in fact exposes us as blind to all differing opinion. That would make us fundamentalists too right?

  195. @ Stewie
    “Once I overheard a Jewish Rabbi tell a important politician from India-
    “You Hindus want to be everything to everybody and end up being counted as nothing to anybody”.”

    Oh God Stewie!! thats so true.
    BTW, who was this Indian politician?

  196. @Shan,
    From your previous post, I can see that you are trying to be even handed about her. That is laudable and patently lacking in AR. You also say she might get four things wrong but there will be one thing that will make you think. That is not a sign of an intellectual. That reminds me of algebra of infinite monkeys pounding keyboards.
    Ok let me give me an example of her “facts”. In her “essay” about Gujarat riots, she evocatively writes about how the daughters of a certain Jaffrey have been stripped, and burnt alive by a mob. This was utter nonsense pulled out of thin air. When it was pointed out to her she wrote a non-apology blaming the police(!) for misinformation. When an issue is and was sensitive, where was the rigour and cross checking of facts? If you want more facts just on that one particular essay, I will be glad to give them.
    But are her essays really about reciting of facts or is it about engaging the emotions? How is it different from a religious rabble rouser telling the followers that their sisters are stripped and burnt alive? Are they intellectuals too?
    How about logic and reason? No dams, no nuclear power? Comparing the mumbai carnage to die hard? Or this is really about Kashmir, Gujarat and Babri Masjid? It is not intellectual rigour, it is intellectual laziness and intellectual dishonesty.
    When I meant minority, i didnt mean religion. I meant being the minority viewpoint. There is a lot of gray area in calling a person an intellectual or an ideologue. Frankly it is easier to earn a intellectual tag from your come from left or liberal arts. When was the last time you heard about somebody from the right called an intellectual? It is not always about erudition, then Thackrays’ clearly are, in Marati atleast. Am surprised that you said Karat was nonintellectual. I find him internally consistent logical, unemotional and fairly articulate in his beliefs.
    Right to free speech is an easy strawman argument. I don’t think anybody muzzles her in this relatively free country. Her defence of free speech is akin to Anu Kapoor grandstanding in the studio. See how easy to is to prove a point while making asinine comparisons? That is what AR does. I may not agree to calling her names, but hey that is free speech too. And another facet of free speech is those don’t agree with her can cite their own reasons.
    Am all for differing opinions. It makes for a rigourous analysis. But in my opinion AR is not a source for that.

  197. @poochandi, the above comment
    Spot on. The terms intellectual neglect and intellectual dishonesty better represent her intellect than the so-called intellectual awakening she provides us with.

  198. Quite a well written piece!

    Anyone who has read The Algebra of Infinite Injustice and some of her other essays on the War on Terror, US Foreign Policy, and the like will agree that she is extreme in many of h views so much so that, as much as they are almost beautifully expressed, they do tend to come across as narrow minded and overly simplistic as theoretical arguments. For someone who elucidates her views in such a lucid, clear manner, I initially found it hard to comprehend this defining quality in all of her writing. My views though have changed slightly. Arundhati Roy still irritates me at times with her blind, blatantly one-sided opinions, but I think there lies a simple purpose in antics.

    She has stated recently that one cannot be both an activist and writer without being closely scrutinized. Under this concept, she seems to have chosen the former and is using writing as an expression of her protests. While many of her views ARE quite simplistic and fail to go beyond mindless rhetoric, it has also become quite clear to me that her purpose is not deliberate on intellectual argument that provides logical reasoning or answers to the issues she addresses but simply to raise awareness amongst the masses that injustices exist; injustices that in recent times have been largely perpetrated by superpowers such the United States and the multinationals on a global level, and governments (like India ) against minorities ethnicities, social classes, and religious groups – in doing this, some generalizations have to be made, and stereotypes are inevitably utilized, at t

    My only gripe now is that she calls these commentaries, political essays, when really they’re more like protests, not very different from those you see on the streets…not once have I heard protesters at the WTO talks, or the drones that turn out in against the Japanese government at World Anti-Whaling Conferences, or the CPI and CPI (M) who fiercely criticized the Indian government on Indo-American nuclear deal being branded “fundamentalists”.

  199. “it is intellectual laziness and intellectual dishonesty.”

    Very true poochandi..she does sacrifice intellectual rigour and honesty..which is rather pathetic..but the difference between someone like her and say the Shiv Sena, the Neocons, the Israelis, or the Palestinian suicide bombers is that she advocates for things that are inherently good…non-violence, mainstream justice, improved rights for the marginalized etc…Under the manner in which the word fundamentalist is most widely used (How a word is used is ultimately what defines it), she then is not a fundamentalist but a protestor..an activist..

  200. Nishadh,

    The Shiv Sena leaders/activists in Mumbai received an official letter of thanks from the NSG Commandoes for assisting in the logistics of “Operation Black Tornado” at Nariman House.

    The Shiv Sena leaders/activists in Mumbai also received a very belated media acknowledgment (in Rediff) for the Shiv Sainiks’ fearlessness, guts and patriotism in not caring for their own lives and for trapping the 2 Jihadi terrorists inside the Nariman House (and keeping them inside until the NSG commandoes arrived) and taking prompt steps to limit the death-toll to civilians outside (irrespective of their religion).

    Its a 6-part series and it changed my opinion of the Shiv Sena – in it, you will find Shiv Sainiks (who are Hindu, Muslim and Christian) doing their bit for their Matrubhoomi.

    Here’s the First part:
    http://specials.rediff.com/news/2009/jan/07slide1-a-account-from-nariman-house.htm

    Second part:
    http://specials.rediff.com/news/2009/jan/07slide2-a-account-from-nariman-house.htm

  201. Is Arundhati Roy a Goddess of Big Lies?

    http://exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=6487&IBLOCK_ID=35

    Great Literary Frauds of Our Time

    By John Dolan

    FRAUD #1 Suzanne Arundhati Roy: The Goddess of Big Lies

    She was voted one of the “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” by People Magazine. That was in 1998; she’s officially “in her late thirties” now, her age blurring like her prose; but it will always be her very young self which stares out from the book jackets of her one and only novel. Her face is turned toward the camera with a sleepy, pouting expression straight out of Playboy, her winsome curls as damp as her big brown eyes, her reassuringly Aryan features conveniently enclosed by demonstrably non-white skin.

    Her interviews, usually conducted by a trembling, menopausal Commonwealth zhurnalistka, slither toward softcore when describing her: “An explosion of curly black hair…showcases nearly childlike, saucer eyes and cheekbones that erupt the moment she talks or smiles.”

    She is “the first Indian citizen to win a Booker Prize and a million-dollar book deal.” She copyrighted the whole high-culture section of the “intercaste lovemaking” market — and remember, that’s the biggest market of all, the basis of bodice-rippers like Mandingo, She Was A Pirate’s Booty, Barbarian Concubine, and Captive Princess. Her novel is praised around the world by dotards like John Updike, who drove the populist ball straight onto the green by calling it “a Tiger Woodsian debut.” But most of her fans prefer to praise her writing in terms like “luscious,” “sensual,” and “extravagant” — the rhetoric of high-priced ice-cream bars.

    She is also a saint, the latest great Aryan hope from the land which gave us Gandhi, Nehru and the Baghwan Shree Rajneesh — virtually all of the most tedious saints of the last century. She is said to have left home at 16 to live in a squatter’s colony in Delhi, earning a living collecting beer bottles. Our Lady of Recycling, who even in starvation made a career of high-profile virtue. She is supposed to be the pure product of the fertile soil of Kerala, site of her one and only novel. Like all Indian saints, her dream is to scold the rich and successful countries for their lack of…their lack of…something or other. Virtue, poverty, skin diseases, flies around the eyes…something. She put her nobel-prizewinning life on the line to oppose a dam which would displace thousands of villagers.

    And she is a fraud. A literary careerist who has parlayed an overwritten melodrama into unearned fame; a child of privilege whose early experiments in poverty were no more than a smart career move; a Yuppie whose real job was aerobics instructor, not slum bottle-recycler; a world-travelled, overeducated dilettante posing as a regional writer; and a fake saint who fucked her way to fame and survives, in spite of her complete lack of talent, because her crude scolding warms the heart of old British lefties who love it when their tame Indian slaves get up on their hind legs to denounce the bloody Americans, who oppress the world so much less skillfully than they used to.

    Her most public, most embarrassing slip came in her noble struggle against the dam. She was given a three month jail sentence for obstructing the builders. Gandhi-like, she went to jail…then slunk out after 24 hours, opting to pay a 75-rupee ($1.50) fine rather than show solidarity with the humble prisoners. It seems she found an Indian prison much less spiritual than she had imagined. Rather dirty, in fact. 24 hours was just time enough to be photographed behind bars, looking fierce and defiant; after that there was no point in staying in such an unsanitary place.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Arundhati Roy, moral crusader.

    At least some of her fans are honest about why they love her: “I like Arundhati Roy more because of [her articles] than the fiction,” admits the owner of a fansite. Roy herself is very nervous about when, or whether, she will produce any more novels (“I don’t believe I must write another book just because I’m a ‘writer'”); obviously, she would prefer to drop the pretense of literary writing and focus on the production of moral essays.

    Try to read her Booker-Prize winning novel, The God of Small Things, and you soon see why Roy is so cagey about whether she’ll ever risk writing fiction again. There’s a pattern to overpraised first novels: they all begin with a big, neon sign announcing the “theme” which will be thrashed out in the rest of the book. Roy’s novel is a classic of the breed; by the end of page one, even a mongoose could figure out the thesis: “Roy’s juxtaposition of the wonderful fecundity of the Indian landscape, contrasted with the cruel and arbitrary rules controlling how people can love.”

    It’s all there, in the first paragraph of the novel — poppin’ off the page like an aerobics instructor sweatin’ her Danskins off to a hot Bollywood beat:

    “May in Ayemenem [pronounced "Eminem"] is a hot, brooding month…But by early June…the countryside turns an immodest green. Boundaries blur as tapioca fences take root and bloom. Pepper vines snake up electric poles. The wild, overgrown garden was full of the whisper and scurry of small lives. In the undergrowth a rat snake rubbed itself against a glistening stone. Hopeful yellow bullfrogs cruised the scummy pond for mates. A drenched mongoose flashed across the leaf-strewn driveway.”

    Poor old D. H. Lawrence, trying to get all Freudian with that freezing Yorkshire climate! If the poor bastard had just gone to Kerala, where pepper vines snake up electric poles and rat snakes rub themselves against glistening stones while drenched mongooses jerk off into scummy ponds, he would’ve realized how much easier it is to sex up a landscape where the temperature is a steady 120 degrees in the shade.

    It might seem a tad derivative to do D. H. Lawrence seventy years after Lawrence; but that’s the beauty of claiming a new provincial landscape for yourself, as Roy claimed Kerala: you can do the old tricks all over again, and still get full credit! You’re a primitive artist, not a plagiarist!

    And if you weld the old Laurentian horny-landscape rhetoric onto a classic middlebrow ideology — ie, “Love is good, while anti-love rules are bad” — well, you da big Bombay dotheaded nuke BOMB, baby! The next big thing at the Starbucks Book Club! Poisonwood Bible with a tabla beat! The Shipping News with extra masala! Hold the dahl and pass the adjectives!

    That’s the recipe for Goddess of Small Things, and it cooked up very nicely for Roy. Her babbling tale of innocent nature vs. evil prejudice worked because, far from being a primitive work by a third-world novelist, it was simply an Indian version of that tedious high-school tearjerker, To Kill A Mockingbird.

    Roy herself was unwise enough to admit her debt to the Mockingbird in an early interview. The acknowledgment slipped out while she was bemoaning the tedium of being compared to the great novelists of the past century. Ah, how tiresome! The poor kid! Her complaint has to be read in full to get an idea of her astounding vanity:

    “It’s not just Rushdie that I’m compared to. There’s Garcia-Marquez, Joyce…and Faulkner. Yes, I’m compared to Faulkner the most. But I’ve never read Faulkner before! I have, however, read some other writers from the American South — Mark Twain, Harper S. Lee [author of To Kill A Mockingbird] — and I think that perhaps there’s an infusion or intrusion of landscape in their literature that might be similar to mine.”

    In acknowledging her debt to Harper Lee, Roy admitted more than she knew. To Kill A Mockingbird is the true ancestor of The God of Small Things. Like Roy’s novel, it reduces an intricate and accursed landscape, the American South, to a simple clash of patronizing middle-class virtue and trashy local prejudice solved with a grand courtroom drama. Roy takes the even older and more vicious landscape of Southern India and subjects it to an equally simple cleansing via the redemptive power of hot intercaste fucking.

    The God of Small Things is a hit with coffeehouse book clubs now for the same reason that To Kill A Mockingbird was a hit with Reader’s Digest types fifty years ago. Both affirm the dim simplicities: Children are innocent; grownups are bad. Love is good; prejudice is bad.

    So why has this one-hit wonder become such a prestigious essayist? And that’s where Roy’s second career comes into the picture. If you want a really reliable career as a vendor of pious lies, the essay is the way to go. It’s good to have that first novel on your CV for ballast, but for a steady career it’s better to become a professional denouncer of evil.

    Roy was in position when 9/ll happened, ready to scold on front pages all over the world–or at least the big chunk of it that used to be British. Within a few weeks, she produced an astounding article called “the Algebra of Infinite Justice,” originally printed in the Guardian but since disseminated by email through all the laid-off countries which once produced the middle managers of the British Empire.

    From Canada to New Zealand, you hear Roy’s article quoted with glee by grumpy old white men who usually respond with bitter letters to the editor when the local aboriginals get stroppy. Yet these bilious old racists simply melt when Roy’s big brown eyes appear. The paradox is not really so hard to understand. Roy, for the old Anglos, is a convenient little brown stick with which to beat the Americans, whom the grumpy old Anglos hate even more than they hate the Abos. The Americans put these guys out of an Empire-managing job, and they will never forgive that or lose their conviction that the world was oppressed far better under the Union Jack than the Stars and Stripes.

    Roy’s article has as its touchingly simple thesis the gloating notion that — and this is a direct quote — “what goes around comes around.” It would be difficult to think of a more self-evidently false assertion about the world. If what went around ever actually came around, Roy and her sponsors would not exist — because if ever a culture inflicted horrors on the world, it was Victorian Britain. Yet no divine lightning ever struck that lucky, bloodstained Empire.

    Karma schmarma; Roy’s real argument, the one which makes her so beloved of the grumpy old Brits, is much simpler: ha ha on you upstart Americans. She made this much clearer in one of her most recent nag-essays, this one on nuclear war. (She’s against it.) She paints the usual picture of nuclear horror, a tableau perfected 50 years ago, then assigns blame:

    “But let us pause to give credit where it’s due. Whom must we thank for all this? The Men who made it happen. The Masters of the Universe. Ladies and gentlemen, the United States of America! Come on up here folks, stand up and take a bow. Thank you for doing this to the world. Thank you for making a difference. Thank you for showing us the way. Thank you for altering the very meaning of life.”

    Isn’t that lovely? It almost justifies the notion of Arundhati Roy as true moral crusader — because with enemies like that, nuclear weapons begin to look pretty good. After all, why has no one spoken up in favor of nuclear winter? It would certainly silence Roy. In particular, a nuclear war between Pakistan and India has a lot to recommend it, above all the extinction of God knows how many plaster saints on the Gandhi/Roy/Baghwan model.

    Perhaps she will go down in intellectual history as a true Kali, the bringer of destruction — the mother of the Great Winter. It would be the antithesis of all that Roy represents: a cold silence, a complete answer to the fecund heat of her animate Kerala landscape.

    So scold on, Arundhati! Preach against the nukes till we all long for them, and the inclusive answer they offer to the terrible prospect of you, and your successors, remaining at the podium for another eon. Hail the Winter that has no Spring!

  202. @Bengal voice – Is Arundhati Roy a Goddess of Big Lies?

    Whats the point that this idiot is trying to make? He has used thousands of words to say what could have been written in one sentence – I hate this fucking brown bitch!

  203. @ Algebra of GB’s fundamentalism

    Can you come out of your small little dry well of ill-informed prejudice and try to understand what Bengalvoice is trying to say.

  204. @Algebra of pseudo secular intellectuals – fyi, bengalvoice is not trying to say anything. He has only posted a diatribe by some John Dolan who keeps saying that he hates her coz she has written only one book, he hates coz he doesn’t like the book she has written, he hates her becoz she doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life inside a 10*5 feet Indian prison (who would?), he hates her because she talks about poverty and starvation – issues which beautiful ladies with beautiful minds shouldn’t bother with), he hates her bcoz she was inspired by great classics written by great writers, he hates her coz she pointed out the role of americans in creating the taliban-alqaida terror network in afghanistan when the need of the hour was to support Bush’s wars for oil and opium, he hates her coz she hates nuclear weapons…blah blah blah!!!

  205. @Algebra of GB’s fundamentalism:
    “he hates her becoz she doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life inside a 10*5 feet Indian prison…”

    What’s being pointed out here is very simple. It is called hypocrisy. Which is something that Ms Roy has come to personify over the last couple of years.
    And which, from your posts, you are quite blind to.

  206. @AlgebraForDummies, do you understand the meaning of the word ‘hypocrisy’?

    1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
    2. An act or instance of such falseness.
    3. An expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction
    4. Insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not really have

    Did she ever say that she would gladly serve 3 months of jail sentence for a cause? Has she ever pretended to be a gandhi-like messiah who would be willing to suffer any punishment for the sake of her beliefs?

    Get real! Three month prison-sentence is not a joke. At least she checked in there a day for a cause, not for possessing machine guns, killing endangered animals or running over pavement dwellers like our much-loved bollywood celebrities like Sanjay Dutt or Salman Khan.

    How many of you hate Sanjay Dutt or Salman Khan? Its considered acceptable by media and the general public if these superstars commit punishable crimes. After all they are only humans and so we should look at their good qualities and forgive them for their ‘minor’ deviances. Can you imagine Arnab Goswami using the words ‘You are disgusting’ for these criminal bollywood stars, many of whom are hand-in-gloves with the D company? These media moghuls would gladly shell out millions to get sound bytes from the mouths of these celebrities.

    So lets not talk about hypocrisy. Okay?

  207. @ algebra of GB’s fundamentalism

    Yes yes….Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan are no less down the hypocrisy chain.

    Arundhati Roy thoug, I must say, beats them by miles when it comes to claiming moral superciliousness.

  208. @algea bra of intellectual pseudo seculars,

    Salman & Sunjay’s are beyond hypocrisy. They are criminals who in star-crazy and hypocritical country like ours are hero-worshiped. I was talking about hypocrisy of media and general public which finds it easier to forgive big crimes of bollywood stars but reacts with shock when an arundhati roy decides she prefers her home to a prison cell.

    And don’t use big words whose meaning you don’t understand..

    superciliousness – The trait of displaying arrogance by patronizing those considered inferior

    Whom does she considers inferior and arrogantly patronizes?

  209. @ Algebra of multiple identities

    I think what is being pointed out is ARoy’s penchant for choosing her ‘enemies’ carefully ( read hypocrisy). The ones which maximise her rah-rah status. She belongs to that variety of protestors who would wear ‘George Bush is an International Terrorist’ type of T-shirt knowing full well that she is immune from such ‘targets’, whereas she would never wear a T-shirt saying ‘Dawood Ibrahim is an International Terrorist’ because she knows that such acts of courage would get her throat slit :)
    Hence she raves and rants against ‘america and corporates’ much to the adulation of the jholawalas and concurrently cuts backroom deals with the folks who can actually cause her harm (Supreme Court for e.g). Hence we see her for what she is – a guttersnipe.

  210. http://outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20081219&fname=abhinav&sid=1

    An Open Letter To Arundhati Roy

    To call the foreign funded insurgency in Kashmir and the terror attacks across the country as justified blowback for the failures of the Indian state and civil society is both false and callous. It implies a failure of the imagination and the intellect and the complete abdication of moral responsibility by you.

    ABHINAV KUMAR ON ARUNDHATI ROY

    Dear Ms Roy,

    For many years now you have enriched the public life of our nation. First, as a Booker winning novelist with a meteoric debut on the literary firmament, and then as an essayist, persistently pricking the conscience of a sometimes indifferent and ignorant nation, highlighting wide ranging issues of urgent concern. Over the years your provocative essays in the pages of Outlook magazine amount to a substantial intellectual achievement in their own right. One has not always agreed with you, but from big dams to the nuclear bomb, from the vagaries of capitalism to the dangers of American Imperialism, your writings on these important issues have left no one in any doubt about where you stand. Disagree with them as one might, your views occupied an intellectually coherent and morally compelling space in our public life. Until recently, when one read your two pieces on Kashmir and Mumbai with a growing sense of shock, anger, pity and dismay.

    As a literary device, self loathing has its uses; the God of Small Things was a splendid lesson in the use of this sentiment. However I am not sure that nations and civilizations can organize their policies around this self indulgent mood. Your two pieces, ‘Azadi’ and ‘9 is Not 11′ see you as usual in top form as far as style and rhetoric are concerned, but as far as substance goes, I think you have fallen into the trap of being in love with the sound and significance of your own voice. It is still a powerful voice, a seductive voice too, but because it chooses to amplify only those other voices that are prepared to sing in chorus, it is a voice bereft of any sense of moral responsibility. I am sure once again your latest writings will bring you further international recognition as a writer of conscience and conviction, striving tirelessly to expose the monstrosities of the Indian state and civilization. Dare I suggest that the Magsaysay and the Nobel Peace Prize, the Holy Grails of the seemingly rootless international intellectual might not be too far behind? But Madam, despite your great charm and greater intellect, this is a Faustian bargain. For in doing so you are doing irreparable harm to the very idea of the intellectual as a defender of virtue and morality in public life who too, like the problems you write about, much as he or she would want to, cannot be removed from the context (your favourite word) that created her, nurtured her and accorded the civic and intellectual space for her to articulate and propagate her views.

    As someone who for the past 12 years has worn the Khaki uniform, as a servant of your favourite object of hate, the Indian state, I confess to a persistent sense of ambivalence and despair about the manner in which I am expected to serve. At the same time I cannot deny an equally abiding sense of pride in the importance of what we are supposed to do and of the importance of institutions in general in giving meaning and protection to what would otherwise be a society ruthless and brutal, beyond even your considerable powers of comprehension and description.Therefore, I am offended and disgusted by your incomplete, incoherent and therefore immoral portrayal of the recent upheavals of Indian history. I used to think that you articulate the pain of the silent, marginalized, oppressed masses of our country. I had no idea that you held a brief for all those who never felt anything at all not just for India in particular, but who also actively profess violent rage at the shared values of the entire human race.

    According to you, everything that the police and security forces do or say whether in Kashmir, or in the war on terror, or against Naxalism, is a falsehood, where as everything that is said by ‘Kashmiri Freedom Fighters’, or by the harmless theologians of the Lashkar-e-Toiba and their ideological cousins of the Al Qaeda, or by the peace loving disciples of Marx and Mao living a bucolic existence in the jungles of central India, constitutes sufficient grounds to indict the Indian state and civil society in perpetuity. The people of India have always had a tradition to look up to men and woman of the arts and culture to serve as their moral compass. One really wonders what lines of logic and ethics shape your sense of moral direction.

    You seem to passionately believe in and defend the ‘right’ of the Kashmiris to ethnic, cultural, religious and geographical exclusivism. If this is correct than why should we vilify Raj Thackeray or any other chauvinist who seeks to preserve the purity (however defined) of his people (however defined) from outsiders (also however defined)? If the Kashmiris are justified in picking up the gun to safeguard their exclusive identity, then every part of India is justified in doing so. I do hope you have taken the trouble to examine the fundamental assumptions underlying all such movements based on an assertion of a cultural identity. The creation of a hated outsider, in the case of Kashmir, the Indian; in the case of Raj Thackeray, the bhaiya of UP and Bihar; and in the case of the jihadists, anyone and everyone who does not subscribe to their virulent strain of Islam, including Muslims, is common to all these ideologies but you seem to pick and choose the bigotries you will demonize and the bigotries you will defend. Is it possible to freeze identity to a moment in time and on the basis of this demand recognition, retribution and rights for all time to come?

    In your world view, the wrongs of Indian security forces of the last twenty years, and the failures of Indian state craft before it, are sufficient justifications for Kashmiri grievances, just as the wrongs of Babri Masjid, the Mumbai riots of 1993, the Gujarat riots of 2002, will justify Islamist terror against India, and the wrongs of corrupt governance and poor administration will justify Naxalite violence, in all perpetuity. Why should only these events be accepted as justification for settling scores by shedding the blood of innocents? By this logic, the Crucifixion of Christ amply justifies the Holocaust. We non white societies must all be allowed eternal rights to slaughter the Europeans for the sins of colonialism and slavery. Islam itself had a long history of violent conquest and forcible conversions, perhaps that should justify an eternal crusade or dharmyudhh against Islam? The Greeks and Romans have their own scores to settle with the Christian Church. The Latin Americans have their own grievances with Spain and Portugal.Seen this way, human history is merely a parody of the eternal theme of perpetrators and victims, and all present violence, no matter how barbaric or senseless, can be justified with reference to some past grievance, and we must allow these grievances full expression no matter what. Only then would we return to a state of original purity where all historical sins of the past and present have been fully avenged and the moral ledger as you see it stands perfectly balanced. The only thing is that after this bloody book-keeping, there may not be anyone left to enjoy the fruits of such a ‘just’ society.

    The Indian state, whose sworn servant I am, is by no means a perfect entity. It is certainly corrupt, it is sometimes brutal and it is often indifferent to the sufferings of the weak and the powerless. But it does have a vision and aim based on certain civilizational values that are uniquely Indian. Demography and history dictates that these values have a prominently Hindu flavour. It is undeniable that these values have come under attack at times from the Hindu right as well. But even the most rabid of the Hindutva forces do not see the world united under the saffron flag by force of arms, as is the Islamist project of one world under the Green Crescent, or the Naxal project of one world under the Red Star. It would take a pretty breathless and brainless leap of logic to equate violent, local outbursts of Hindu chauvinism, abetted by the sins of commission and omission of the state apparatus, in themselves however repugnant and indefensible, with the atrocities on a global scale that were inflicted by Communism in the 20th century or the outrages that are now threatened across all parts of the world by jihadi Islam. To call the foreign funded insurgency in Kashmir and the terror attacks across the country as justified blowback for the failures of the Indian state and civil society is both false and callous. It implies a failure of the imagination and the intellect and the complete abdication of moral responsibility by you.

    One could indeed forgive you, Ma’am, if you were purely an artist. Art has at the best of times a complicated relationship with truth and life. But in your avatar as a public intellectual, you cannot abandon your commitment to the demands of truth, accuracy and the ability to discriminate between the varieties of human experience and action. The liberties you have exercised in the past and continue to do today, however gratuitously and offensively, do not exist in a vacuum. I am not sure if any of these liberties would have a place in a Naxalite Utopia or a Jihadi Caliphate or even in a self-determined Kashmiri paradise that you eloquently espoused. As visions of human perfectability they are far more flawed than the vision of India that you love to denigrate. In any case, the liberties that you have recently taken with the sensibilities of proud Indians too exist in a cultural, political and constitutional context, a context that is ultimately safeguarded by men such as Hemant Karkare and Major Unnikrishnan with disregard for their own life. Remember that the next time you use your poisoned pen to vent your twisted logic on a polity that deserves better from its intellectuals.

    Warm regards
    Abhinav Kumar

    ——————————————————————————–

    Abhinav Kumar is a serving IPS officer. Though these are his personal views, he hopes that they also reflect the anguish of an entire fraternity of proud Indians in uniform

  211. We are eagerly waiting for Arundhati Roy to HELP the Hindus of Medenipur town.

    Three Hindus have been butchered in the last 12 hours (since the last I posted a comment on the Medinipur Muharram riots).

    A lot of educated Bengali Hindus read these posts. Please help spread information on the situation here.

  212. @Arnie- Well said.

    So it took Rushdie and GB, two great minds, to expose this fundamentalist. Roy’s biggest defense was so far was her English language credentials. But I dont think that even the biggest fan of AR would say that she is a better writer than SR.

    SR:

    ” …. But I do not believe that the terrorists such as these — I do not believe that their project has anything to do with justice.

    … Ask yourself the question that if the Kashmir problem were resolved tomorrow, if Israel-Palestine reached a lasting peace, do we believe that al-Qaeda would disband? Do we believe that Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad would put their guns down and beat them into plough-shears and say we would now be farmers because our job is done ?”

    Bravo Salman Rushdie. Bravo!

    BTW, I liked the way the Roy defenders beat about the bush to defend her. :) Quite funny reading some of the tenuous defenses. But there was an unmistakable tone of disturbance in their writings as this was an exposure of a grand scale. Probably like the exposure of a big corporate scandal. So hats off to GB and Rushdie for showing to the world the real fundamentalist.

  213. “I think what is being pointed out is ARoy’s penchant for choosing her ‘enemies’ carefully ( read hypocrisy). The ones which maximise her rah-rah status. She belongs to that variety of protestors who would wear ‘George Bush is an International Terrorist’ type of T-shirt knowing full well that she is immune from such ‘targets’, whereas she would never wear a T-shirt saying ‘Dawood Ibrahim is an International Terrorist’ because she knows that such acts of courage would get her throat slit :) Hence she raves and rants against ‘america and corporates’ much to the adulation of the jholawalas and concurrently cuts backroom deals with the folks who can actually cause her harm (Supreme Court for e.g). Hence we see her for what she is – a guttersnipe”

    What an idiotic argument! Screaming that “Dawood is an International Terrorist’ is like shouting ‘The sun rises from east’ DUH!!! Aren’t you already aware who Dawood is? And what exactly would be the point of wearing ‘D is terrorist’ t-shirt? Wearing ‘GB is a terrorist’ is political activism, while wearing ‘D is terrorist’ is an exercise in futility since no sane person would disagree with you..

    As far as her rants against american corporates is concerned, hasn’t she been proved right? Google “THE SECRET WARS OF THE CIA:
    by John Stockwell” and get some education.

    Fyi, John Stockwell is former CIA Station Chief in Angola in 1976 who working for then Director of the CIA, George Bush. He spent 13 years in the agency. He gives a short history of CIA covert operations. He is a very compelling speaker and the highest level CIA officer to testify to the Congress about his actions. He estimates that over 6 million people have died in CIA covert actions, and this was in the late 1980’s.

    6 million!!! Did you get that? Read the transcripts of his entire lecture and if you have brains you might began to understand why she sees America as the root all violence and terrorism all over the world

  214. @ Algebra of whatever

    Sir/Madam:
    We Hindus have been ravaged over the past 3 days by rioting Muslims, after the Muharram processions.
    We request Ms Arundhati Roy and other activists come here to Midnapore Town. Its 40 kilometers from Nandigram. It will help put media focus on our plight here.

    There are no Bajrang Dal people to protect us here. We need your help.

  215. @ Algebra of whatever

    This is funny – since ‘everyone’ knows that D is a terrorist, ARoy tries to increase our general knowledge by telling us GB is a terrorist? So by her logic since ‘everyone’ knew Godhra happenned, she would focus on Gujarat riots. What happened to ‘root cause’ here? Oh I get it – Babri Masjid. But we should stop here – going beyond Babri would make me a hindu fundamentalist :)

    You don’t need obscure CIA station chiefs to tell us that US used economic policies and other unsavoury mthods for its strategic ends. It is called Geopolitics. USSR engaed in it, so does China (see China’s trade with Sudan and its blocking of UN actions against Sudan). Even IMF / WB are used to meet geopolitical ends (read Diary of an Economic Hitman). The point is everyone or atleast most folks who do some reading know this already. So she has nothing to ‘prove’. Infact she never uses data to prove anything – if anything, she is often economical with the truth (creative license)!!

    What folks here are accusing ARoy of, is her penchant for dragging irrelevant issues in every aspect of terror and thereby attempting to muddy the issues. Only her lame assed supporters don’t get it. To claim that mumbai terror was justified because it targeted the ‘elites’ (See Rushdie’s response to this) is the kind of pathtic attention grabbing exercise that only she would undertake. Her ‘courage’ as I said is limited to identifying vague ‘root causes’ while absolving the proximate causes. In other words – she is not an ‘equal opportunity critic’. And her ‘political activism’is limited to identifying her pet peeves as a reason for every atrocity.

  216. “What folks here are accusing ARoy of, is her penchant for dragging irrelevant issues in every aspect of terror and thereby attempting to muddy the issues. Only her lame assed supporters don’t get it. To claim that mumbai terror was justified because it targeted the ‘elites’ (See Rushdie’s response to this) is the kind of pathtic attention grabbing exercise that only she would undertake. Her ‘courage’ as I said is limited to identifying vague ‘root causes’ while absolving the proximate causes. In other words – she is not an ‘equal opportunity critic’. And her ‘political activism’is limited to identifying her pet peeves as a reason for every atrocity.”

    Excellently expounded, Arnie!

  217. ——–“This is funny – since ‘everyone’ knows that D is a terrorist, ARoy tries to increase our general knowledge by telling us GB is a terrorist? So by her logic since ‘everyone’ knew Godhra happenned, she would focus on Gujarat riots. What happened to ‘root cause’ here? Oh I get it – Babri Masjid. But we should stop here – going beyond Babri would make me a hindu fundamentalist :)”

    Are you such a numbskull that you can’t see the difference between criminal activities of outlaws and state-sponsored terrorism? To deal with recognized criminals you have the state law and order machinery. But when the state itself becomes criminal, you need political activism to educate people about the dangers of state-sponsored terrorism. When criminals kill people, violence doesn’t get legitimized, but when a chief-minister unleashes violence and is rewarded with another term instead of being punished, it legitimizes violence and terrorism. Get it? Has Roy ever defended Godhra violence? To provide justice to victims of Godhra attack, you have the entire government machinery of Gujarat. It would make sense to scream and shout about Godhra if the government was not acting to capture the criminal involved in the attacks or shielding them. Do you get my point?

    ——-“You don’t need obscure CIA station chiefs to tell us that US used economic policies and other unsavoury mthods for its strategic ends. It is called Geopolitics. USSR engaed in it, so does China (see China’s trade with Sudan and its blocking of UN actions against Sudan). Even IMF / WB are used to meet geopolitical ends (read Diary of an Economic Hitman). The point is everyone or atleast most folks who do some reading know this already. So she has nothing to ‘prove’. Infact she never uses data to prove anything – if anything, she is often economical with the truth (creative license)!!”——-

    So you are saying that killing 6 million people is right because Russia and China did it too? How about calling a spade a spade? Genocides in the name of geopolitics is just another form of terrorism and while Roy focuses more on american terrorism, it doesn’t mean she condones or pardons what the Russians or Chinese do. Why do we demand zero-tolerance for non-state terrorism, but tolerate state-terrorism by using emotionally-dead words like ‘geopolitics’.

    -Paki bastards killed 200 people in Mumbai? Lets go and nuke the bloody Pakis..

    -CIA killed 6 million? Too bad, but that’s just geopolitics! We need green cards, american dollars and outsourced jobs so lets not call it terrorism and pretend that it doesn’t exists..

    That’s the type of hypocrisy that Roy exposes making you feel uncomfortable and that is the reason all of you hate her.

    ——-“What folks here are accusing ARoy of, is her penchant for dragging irrelevant issues in every aspect of terror and thereby attempting to muddy the issues. Only her lame assed supporters don’t get it. To claim that mumbai terror was justified because it targeted the ‘elites’ (See Rushdie’s response to this) is the kind of pathtic attention grabbing exercise that only she would undertake. Her ‘courage’ as I said is limited to identifying vague ‘root causes’ while absolving the proximate causes. In other words – she is not an ‘equal opportunity critic’. And her ‘political activism’is limited to identifying her pet peeves as a reason for every atrocity.”—-

    To claim that Roy defended mumbai terror attacks is like saying greatbong defended Ramalinga Raju’s 7000 crore stealing by pointing out how everyone from college students to grocery shop owners indulge in creative dupery.

    She is providing the context in which terrorism is born, not justifying it, doofus. The proximate causes (jehadi brainwashing, ISI support etc) of terrorism are so damn obvious that they don’t need to be repeated endlessly. But what is little known is the algebra and geometry of global terrorism – how it is linked with Saudi oil money, Afghanistan opium, CIA & MI5 drug trade, international mafia, black money stored in tax havens. What is not understood by most is how the so-called ‘geopolitics’ actually works at the ground level and how it uses jehadi terrorism for its own ends. The jehadi terrorists, ISI etc are mere pawns in the global chess game, who are used by the kings and the queens of the world to reshape the world.. Roy understands this, most of you are too thick-skulled to connect the dots and understand that global game of resource control.

    To put it in context of the Satyam saga, if you see what the top IT honchos like Murthy are doing is that they are trying to paint Raju’s misdeeds as an one-off aberration, when the reality is that almost every second company cooks its books. If you point out how the rot starts right at the top of global corporate hierarchy (right from the big four accounting firms) does that mean you are trying to justify Raju’s actions? Or are you trying to provide a larger context to how the Raju’s of our world manage to get away with such malpractices for so many years?

  218. @ Algebra & Geometry of Hypocrisy and Ignorance

    Inspite of using words like ‘numbskull’, ‘doofus’ etc, you actually write very well in ARoy’s defense. Only, she doesn’t seem to deserve that defense.

    “To put it in context of the Satyam saga, if you see what the top IT honchos like Murthy are doing is that they are trying to paint Raju’s misdeeds as an one-off aberration, when the reality is that almost every second company cooks its books. If you point out how the rot starts right at the top of global corporate hierarchy (right from the big four accounting firms) does that mean you are trying to justify Raju’s actions? Or are you trying to provide a larger context to how the Raju’s of our world manage to get away with such malpractices for so many years?”

    Excellent analogy. Unfortunately the analogy is to a non-existent original. It seems that in your justification to Aroys rants, you have given us a glimpse of your own (good) thoughts and expressed them (well). But my friend, I’m sorry to say that ARoy herself doesn’t seem to have such ideas. She comes across clearly as a person crying shrill into attention-dom. By projecting your ideas on to her you can’t try and defend her.

    However, I wish whatever you thought ARoy thought was for real. Go back and read her essays again. You might change your mind….

    Unless, you are ARoy herself posting under a pseudonym…then this would all be hilarious!

    Cheers. And don’t call names please. It mars the clarity of your written thought.

  219. @laborer, thanks for your intelligent criticism. In future, I will use words like ‘numbskull’ or ‘doofus’ only for those who use words like ‘lame-ass supporter’ for me.. Fair enough?

    ——Excellent analogy. Unfortunately the analogy is to a non-existent original. It seems that in your justification to Aroys rants, you have given us a glimpse of your own (good) thoughts and expressed them (well). But my friend, I’m sorry to say that ARoy herself doesn’t seem to have such ideas. She comes across clearly as a person crying shrill into attention-dom. By projecting your ideas on to her you can’t try and defend her——–

    Well, actually you are right. I hardly read Roy’s articles and the only reason I’m defending her is because I understand where she is coming from. Maybe she doesn’t present her ideas in a calm, rational, well-argued and logical manner way that I do. Even though I’ve not read everything she has written, I don’t think I need to read her essays again since I already share her world view and beliefs.

    But yes, I do agree that she needs to present her point of view in a more balanced way taking into account her critics who are not as well-read as her or too prejudiced, narrow-minded and hypocritical to understand her point of view.

    Just because the presentation of her ideas is flawed doesn’t make her point of view invalid. There are hundreds of other writers like her who share a similar outlook, yet don’t come across as shrills or attention-seekers.

  220. @Algebra & Geometry of Hypocrisy and Ignorance

    “I hardly read Roy’s articles and the only reason I’m defending her is because I understand where she is coming from.”

    I hope you are not sarcastic. If not,while I appreciate your honesty, now we are entering the realm of belief and faith. Logic has got nothing do with that.

    Maybe you can do a quick read. The devil is also in the details.

  221. @ Algebra etc

    This is really strange. Your argument is that Aroy has a ‘point of view’ which she trots out at every event of terrorism in the country which essentially says – “hey this is bad, but do you know what is worse? America and the Corporates !!” As I said – irrelevant.

    CIA killed 6 million, Pakis killed 3 million in bangladesh, China killed 30 million during the cultural revolution, Stalin killed 10 million in his purges, Christians killed x during crusades, Islam killed y through jihad. So what does this litany serve in the context of the bombay terrorism? Your silly argument that 200 deaths do not deserve any action because of the ‘larger context’? Who exactly is the numbskull here? You really need to do some more reading here instead of leaping to defend her ‘freedom of opinion’.

    Abuse is a weapon of the stupid and the ignorant. If you have any factual arguments – do make them, else spend you time on doing a bit of reading of Aroy’s works.

    Incidentally she laid the blame of the Godhra train on the victims (they allegedly abused people in the station and people responded in anger)

  222. Sorry missed this one

    Algebra etc’s comment:
    “She is providing the context in which terrorism is born, not justifying it, doofus. The proximate causes (jehadi brainwashing, ISI support etc) of terrorism are so damn obvious that they don’t need to be repeated endlessly. But what is little known is the algebra and geometry of global terrorism -”

    No she is not. This is only part of the story which she wants to sell. LET (the group which carried out the Bombay terrorism) has not been spawned by any of that list which she trots out. Read up a bit more on the LET inspirations and source of their ideology. Don’t think ARoy would have the ‘courage’ to tackle that.

  223. oops missed this one too :)

    “thanks for your intelligent criticism. In future, I will use words like ‘numbskull’ or ‘doofus’ only for those who use words like ‘lame-ass supporter’ for me.. Fair enough?”

    My my – a perpetual sense of righteous injured innocence and victimhood.

    Presumably you forgot your gratuitous remarks about ‘stupid comment’ and ‘get an education’ in theprevious posts.

    Ain’t ‘root cause’ a bitch :)

  224. Algebra etc who supports Arundhati Roy:

    A large number of Hindus were injured due to a communal clash created by a Muslim mob at Asansol in Burdwan district of West Bengal. Please tell Ms Arundhati Roy to help get our voice heard.

    On January 9 2009, four Muslims attacked a Hindu female devotee returning from a Kali Temple, and attempted to molest her in the Masterpara locality of Asansol city.

    Local Hindus were outraged by this incident and beat up these four Muslim hoodlums. The four soon came back to the same location with a mob of around 300 Muslim activists, armed with swords and sticks, and attacked and vandalised Hindu owned shops, looted them, and beat up many members of the local Hindu populace.

    As the besieged Hindus attempted to protect themselves and retaliated, joined by other Hindu residents of adjoining areas, a clash ensued. A large contingent of policemen from seven area police stations went to the area and resorted to baton-charge to separate the two groups in order to de-escalate the tension. Two companies of Rapid Action Force, an elite armed unit, were also patrolling the area.

    It would help us a lot, if Ms Arundhati Roy pushes the mainstream media to not blackout news of atrocities against Hindus.
    We need your help.

  225. @ Labourer
    “Excellent analogy. Unfortunately the analogy is to a non-existent original.”

    Very true – if Ms Roy were writing about Satyam she would blame it all on CORPORATE GREED and ‘American style capitalism’ :) and other such wonderfully actionable inputs (though undoubtedly true).

    Best thing to do with ARoy is to read her stuff, admire the prose and file it under the “if my auntie had a pen1s, she would be my uncle” type of arguments.

  226. @poochandi – “I hope you are not sarcastic. If not,while I appreciate your honesty, now we are entering the realm of belief and faith. Logic has got nothing do with that. Maybe you can do a quick read. The devil is also in the details.”

    Nah, I’ve read her earlier long essays (on nukes, narmada etc) & and for me those essays are enough to get a good peep into how her mind works. If the details are as damning as you claim, then please provide those details before indicting her, instead of interpreting her words as per your own prejudices.

    @Arnie

    “This is really strange. Your argument is that Aroy has a ‘point of view’ which she trots out at every event of terrorism in the country which essentially says – “hey this is bad, but do you know what is worse? America and the Corporates !!” As I said – irrelevant.”

    These are your words, not hers, my friend. We could end this pointless debate if you back up every accusation you make against her by providing her exact quotes, not approximations of her words misinterpreted to fit in with your beliefs about her.

    “So what does this litany serve in the context of the bombay terrorism? Your silly argument that 200 deaths do not deserve any action because of the ‘larger context’? Who exactly is the numbskull here? You really need to do some more reading here instead of leaping to defend her ‘freedom of opinion’.”

    This is the exactly the kind of mental laziness that many of you suffer from which prevents you from understanding her views. Go back and read my words carefully and s-l-o-w-l-y and also the commentary thereafter. I was speaking about the hypocrisy that inflicts people like you who react to different types of violence differently. But you have very conveniently twisted my words to suggest that I was saying there should be no action taken against Pakistani terrorism.

    By deliberately distorting my words, you have not only proven that you are indeed a numbskull, but also proved that you are a dishonest liar.

    “No she is not. This is only part of the story which she wants to sell. LET (the group which carried out the Bombay terrorism) has not been spawned by any of that list which she trots out. Read up a bit more on the LET inspirations and source of their ideology. Don’t think ARoy would have the ‘courage’ to tackle that.”

    You are absolutely clueless if you think an organization like LeT can carry on such kind of terror attacks without the backing of ISI & Pakistani government. And you are exceedingly naive and ignorant of real ‘geopolitics’ if you believe that US & UK are serious about exposing Pakistan governments role in 26/11. If they are really serious, why did both US & UK give clean chit to ISI by saying that the terrorists were not connected with any Pakistani agency?

    Read up a bit more on CIA-ISI connections, read up a bit more on what LaRouche (American presidential candidate) has to say about the role of MI5 in funding Islamic terror network, read up a bit more on how Saudi oil money funds the jehadi terror networks with full connivance of Bush administration. Read up a bit more on how Saudi royalty is protected by American government despite countless evidence of Saudi money financing global terrorism. Read up a bit more about how Bin Laden was repeatedly allowed to escape by Clinton & Bush administration even when FBI was closing on him. Read up a bit more on how the ‘golden triangle’ drug trade network not only funds jehadis or ISI but also CIA, MI5 and many western corporations. The more you read on the hidden networks, the more you will realize that terror outfits like LeT exist because they are allowed to exist by globalists who are using these organizations for their own benefit.

  227. @ Algebra & Geometry of Hypocrisy and Ignorance:

    Hang on…hang on. This chakravyuh of logic is making many of us dizzy. I mean, you’re no run-of-the-mill conspiracy theorist saar.

    So, the CIA, MI5 and many ‘western corporations’ (of course, how can we leave them out) are all involved in this nefarious funding of global jihadis, who in turn are taking potshots at their own armies across the Afghan-Pak border, thus achieving what exactly, saar? I’m kind of lost here.
    Bin Laden was repeatedly ‘allowed to escape’ by successive American presidents so as to achieve what again? Of course! So that he could help them plan the 911 attacks against their own country, as has been proved beyond a shadow of doubt by legions of tireless and fearless internet investigators. Friends of yours?
    Do the ‘military industrial complex’ villains figure here somewhere?
    Are they selling arms to the Taliban by any chance? You know, to keep the jehadi fires burning and all. I guess you and The Goddess (PBUH) have also figured out how India is now part of this enormous conspiracy, which surfaced in the form of the dastardly attack in Mumbai against its own citizens. To keep the jehadi fires burning, of course. But I guess Zaid Hamid beat Her (PBUH) to it with that vital piece of information.
    Does She (PBUH) also know that MMS is a CIA mole? And that the first shots at the Mumbai CST crowd were actually fired by Hemant Karkare? Those Navy commandos you saw on tv? CG…

  228. @Algebra & Geometry of Hypocrisy and Ignorance,
    For starters, you could check my earlier post(Dec 29th, 2008 at 4:09 pm) on one of the devil-in-the-details. Or you could check outlook site on that saga, that’s where I picked it up.
    The point about LeT. There are cross purposes. ISI can prop up or allow LeT to exist, for various reasons. But LeT, by itself, claims to operate for different purposes. Solving the various problems which AR trots out, will not turn their guns into plowshares. That is disingenuous argument or AR is out of depth/clueless.

  229. @Mr.Ostrich,

    I posted dozen links which if you will read would make you even more dizzy. But great bong in his infinite wisdom has deleted my post. As such all I can do is to ask you to google these terms

    “THE BUSH-CHENEY DRUG EMPIRE”, “CIA, Drugs, and Wall Street”,
    “The Crimes of Citibank… More CIA Connections”
    “Deep Events and the CIA’s Global Drug Connection”
    “Fulcrum of Evil : ISI CIA AL-Qaeda Nexus – By Maloy Krishna Dhar”,
    “The CIA-ISI axis: India should have no illusions of US support – By C. Uday Bhaskar”,
    “Mumbai Attacks – Likely Gangland, CIA, ISI Turf War”
    “Political Destabilization in South and Central Asia: The Role of the CIA-ISI Terror Network – by Andrew G. Marshall”

  230. @ Algebra etc, who supports Arundhati Roy

    Since you brought up reference material from Maloy Krishna Dhar, I am sure you, and possibly Arundhati Roy, trust his integrity and experience in the field of covert operations and intelligence.

    I would request you, read through his material at http://maloykrishnadhar.com/

    It will be interesting to know Arundhati Roy’s opinion about Maloy Krishna Dhar’s writings.

  231. @ Algebra etc

    “This is the exactly the kind of mental laziness that many of you suffer from which prevents you from understanding her views. Go back and read my words carefully and s-l-o-w-l-y and also the commentary thereafter. I was speaking about the hypocrisy that inflicts people like you who react to different types of violence differently. But you have very conveniently twisted my words to suggest that I was saying there should be no action taken against Pakistani terrorism.”

    err – if you can provide me a link where folks argued for nuking the pakis as revenge for 200 deaths. Or should creating and knocking down strawmen be the exclusive purview of ARoy and her ilk ? Why start whining now when paid back in the same coin?

    Re LET – I was asking you about the ‘root cause’ of where exactly they derive their ideology from – not their proximate helpers – the ISI. Think ARoy would have the ‘courage’ to talk about that?

  232. @Aswagosha & Bhavabhuti

    “Looks like Algebra etc, is reading up on Maloy K Dhar’s material.”

    Are you trying to be funny? You fail!!

    What makes you guys think I haven’t read Maloy Dhar’s material before? There’s nothing on his website that I wasn’t already aware of. In case you have not noticed, in his book, The Fulcrum of Evil, he has also etched out the role of CIA in promoting terrorism all over the world in collaboration with ISI, Al-qaida and Saudis.

    “The Fulcrum of Evil concept has not been borrowed from President George W. Bush’s Axis of Evil rhetoric. The concept is a part of civilizational evolution. In wider global context the author has traced the intricate connectivity between the ISI, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Royal Saudi intelligence and Al Qaeda al Sulbah Inter Services Intelligence’s collaboration with Pakistan’s Islamist organizations and Al Qaeda in promoting terrorism in the name of Jihad in India, Afghanistan, USA, UK, Bosnia Herzegovina Kosovo Chechnya Tajikistan Uzbekistan Xinxiang Uyghur Autonomous region the Philippines Indonesia Malaysia Myanmar and Southern Thailand have been succinctly portrayed.

    Now read this bit from Uday Bhaskar’s article. Bhaskar, in case you don’t know is well-known strategic analyst and is not known to have connections with ARoy and her ilk..

    “The LeT is a product of this covert Pakistan-US support structure and consequently the linkages between the intelligence agencies is deep and abiding. Given the turbulence that engulfed Afghanistan soon after the Soviet withdrawal and the end of the Cold War, it was evident that many of the earlier covert linkages that had official state sanction became non-state operations with tacit state support.

    “It is instructive that a very insightful article in the forthright US web publication – Foreign Policy Journal – titled: ‘Role of Alleged CIA Asset in Mumbai Attacks Being Downplayed’, authored by the editor Jeremy Hammond, draws attention to Dawood Ibrahim and the D-Company in relation to the Mumbai terror outrage. Hammond adds: “Yoichi Shimatsu, former editor of the Japan Times, wrote last month after the Mumbai attacks that Ibrahim had worked with the US to help finance the mujahideen during the 1980s and that because he knows too much about the US’ ‘darker secrets’ in the region, he could never be allowed to be turned over to India.”

    Now you have this Miliband character who comes to Mumbai and advices us not to insist on extradition of Pakistan terrorists involved in Mumbai attacks. Why? Ask him about Israel and he will insist that Israel has right to kill thousands of civilian palestinians and even bomb UN offices in palestine in “self-defense”. But we Indians don’t even have the right to demand that Pakistani terrorists be handed over to our investigative agencies.

    If you guys had any brains you would have begun wondering what the hell is going on? Understanding the global war for resource control is beyond the ambit of your peanut-sized brains..

  233. Algebra who supports Arundhati Roy wrote:
    “Understanding the global war for resource control is beyond the ambit of your peanut-sized brains..”

    Response:
    Hmmm

    Algebra who supports Arundhati Roy wrote:
    “the author has traced the intricate connectivity between the ISI, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Royal Saudi intelligence and Al Qaeda al Sulbah Inter Services Intelligence’s collaboration with Pakistan’s Islamist organizations and Al Qaeda in promoting terrorism in the name of Jihad in India, Afghanistan, USA, UK, Bosnia Herzegovina Kosovo Chechnya Tajikistan Uzbekistan Xinxiang Uyghur Autonomous region the Philippines Indonesia Malaysia Myanmar and Southern Thailand have been succinctly portrayed”.

    Response:
    and what “root cause” is the CIA supposedly using to develop this collaboration?

    See Algebra who supports Arundhati….thre are no permanent enemies nor permanent friends, when it comes to geopolitics. That is understood. What you (and possibly Arundhati Roy) need to understand is that these games are played along faultlines. Some of these these faultlines could be a century deep and some a millenium. While countries and conglomerates exploit these depths to achieve their strategic goals, their thought process are not immune to these chasms themselves.

    To give you a example, whatever geopolitical games you play and whatever intelligence agency you involve, you will not be able make a India and Saudi Arabia work towards a common geopolitical goal.

    Can you guess.. why?

  234. @Bhavabhuti,

    Defending Roy from venomous and vicious attacks by misguided missiles doesn’t make me her supporter. Wokay? Lets cut out Ms Roy from our discussion and focus on the subject we have meandered into. I’m defending Roy only because I believe she gets the bigger picture more right than most of her detractors who have a tunnel-view understanding of the world, and not because I’m some blind and foolish fan of Roy who hangs onto her every word like some dim-witted follower of a bearded guru.

    Lets also cut out use of terrible cliches like ‘root causes’ which only prevent you from getting a deeper insight into the nature of our world. Reality as I understand is multi-layered with every layer acting as a veil covering up a darker, hidden layer. No human has managed to peel off every layer which is why most of us have an imperfect understanding of the world. So lets give Roy some slack. Okay? She’s also just a human who has peeled off some layers but not all of them and so her view may not be perfect but from the vantage point from which I observe the world, she has a better understanding of how our world functions than most of you.

    Now to the details. I’m sure many of you have started realizing that the world economy powered by petrodollars is a sort of a ponzi scheme. Now every ponzi scheme needs an instrument and a product. United States of America is at the center of the world’s gravity because it has the power to print the instrument – the almighty dollar – without any limits. The product that this ponzi scheme needed was obviously OIL which unfortunately for the money masters of our world lies outside the boundaries of their geographical control.

    The money-masters of our world – the bankers who control Federal Reserve Bank also control US and have used its agency CIA for gaining control over mineral resources of hundreds of third-world countries in Asia, Africa & Latin America through military coups and covert operations. But without control of middle-east region which is home to over 50-75% of global oil fields they wouldn’t have been able to successfully run the ponzi scheme for so long. Now prior to WW2, the British empire controlled most of the middle-east region and also the surrounding countries.

    After the war, the British empire came to its inevitable end. As such overt control of the middle-east region needed to be replaced with covert control of the oil-rich region. Here is where US & Israel come into picture. American & British governments were two primary countries who used every trick of trade to get UN mandate for the creation of Israel in the Palestinian region. (Here in South-Asia, the Britishers first partitioned India, created the mess that is Kashmir and used it to create permanent divisions between India & Pakistan and also Hindus & Muslims)

    I’m sure everyone knows the history of the middle-east region – how US engineered coups in Iraq & Iran, how the house of Saud is controlled by US, how US managed to install puppet regimes in countries like Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Oman etc..(For those who are aren’t aware, google “US Empire and the Middle East: Zionism, Puppet Regimes and Political Allies By James Petras”) I’m sure you are also aware that US attacked Iraq because Saddam, who was once a CIA puppet, was threatening to jettison US dollar and sell his oil in Euros.

    Once you begin to understand that everything that is going on in middle-east region is a global chess game to gain absolute control of its oil fields and to preserve the dollar from collapsing, everything starts making sense including the never-ending conflict in Gaza which can be resolved in minutes if the Zionists and Hamas leadership were seriously interested in resolving the conflict.

    Am I making sense? Islamic fundamentalism & consequent terrorism doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It has been fostered by gangster globalists who are using it to create a new “Clash of Civilizations”. Was Iraq sponsoring terrorism? It wasn’t, yet US through use of its propaganda machinery managed to convince majority of Americans that Saddam was also responsible for 9/11 and successfully managed to overthrow him and replace him with a puppet government. For the globalists, terrorism is just another strategy, an excuse they can use to preemptively remove any non-compliant regime.

    That of course doesn’t make Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism any less dangerous, but once you start peeling off the superficial layers through which we observe reality, you realize that those who are claiming to have declared a war on terrorism are also the ones who are flaming it.

  235. @ Algebra etc…

    What beats me is this:

    You seem to be well-read fellow. I have no prejudice so I have no qualms in granting that you had this knowledge even before all this verbal warfare started on RTDM between you and several others. Despite knowing so much and being able to so logically argue your position, how is it that you tried to defend ARoy? The ARoy who simplified this whole terrorism issue into a ‘proximate cause’ equation and ‘you deserve what came unto you’ kind of sh*t.

    It seems to me that you don’t share her opinions at all: then why are you defending her against the people who are criticising her this viewpoint?

    There has been a whole other set of arguments as to whether her freedom of speech should be criticized and whether any foolish argument can be put forth in the name of freedom of speech. That argument is over there beyond that distant fence buddy. If your problem is that ‘someone’ attacked ‘someone else’ for saying ‘something’ then you need to shift your battle there.

    As I see it the main turf of this argument here, is that India is a victim in – what you call – this global chess game. People like ARoy in their infinite wisdom and perhaps a hunger for popularity, ramble mindlessly and this discredits India at least among people who read her and take her seriously. Many who disagree with her viewpoint have criticized her here.

    As I previously pointed out, you jumped midway into the argument trying to defend her. With each of your responses it is getting clearer that you don’t agree with her at all. In fact you said ‘Defending Roy from venomous and vicious attacks by misguided missiles doesn’t make me her supporter’

    If you have opinions about what is happening in the world please post that here or elsewhere as such. There are enough intelligent people in this blog who are capable of reading and appreciating what you say (On the other hand have you seen the general IQ of people who post responses on Failblog or SWPL?). You don’t need to enter the fray criticizing the ‘misguided missiles’.

    Just be yourself buddy, I think you are good hence welcome here.

  236. damn man..you jump topics like crazy.

    Your last speech was a part 001 on Geopolitics.

    But, you have very little understanding of faultlines and how geopolitcs works. Historians who factor only post industrial revolution events, are doomed to end up this way.

    I wont be surprised if the person in CIA, who proposed US backing of ISI-Mujahideen in the Afghan Pakistan theater, thought on the same lieks as you.

    But history is not the graveyard of the past. It is the mother of present and womb for the future. So look at it in its entirity. Cotrol of “resources” is only of the goals. The tools that are used to achieve them as well as the definition of “resources” change.

    “Root causes” will start making more sense to you once you zoom out a little further.

  237. Suzanna Arundhati Roy is best described as an erudite and charming trouble-maker.She is the toast of overseas media and in Pakistan but for me she will become credible when she lets go of her anto Brahmanical,anti-Hindu view point and writes about all that ails India and not what she thinks ails India.

  238. Everything aside, what’s with the “Suzannah” that some people are putting in front of Roy’s name suddenly? I presume that’s her full name. But I had never actually heard anyone mentioning it before these controversies.

    Is this deliberate addition a method to portray her as a Christian, and therefore, somehow inherently anti-Indian? That’s would be rather reprehensible in my view. The only two other examples I can think of in the same vein are both by rabid right wing fundamentalists – 1. The deliberate us of Sonia “Maino” to emphasize her foreign origins, and 2. The use of Barack “Hussein” Obama, by Fox News and evangelists, to emphasize his supposed religion.

    Just sad.

  239. I think we could refer to her by her initials S.A.R. (not to be confused with her comrade-in-arms S.A.R.Geelani).

    If that’s her full name, why is she hiding the Suzanna part? Is she ashamed of it?

    Or is she trying to pass for a Bengali Hindu when she attacks India?

  240. @shan,
    Right, What is the world coming to? Calling somebody by their full name, that is nefarious! I guess you are overworking the prefix and I don’t know why you think that if her name sounds christian, she is anti-Indian? Nobody here made that connection except you.
    BTW, whether one adds Maino or not, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is from Italy, and for the Hussein part, even Barack is cool with the fact.
    Alls well!

  241. As Arun Jaitley pointed out, the week before 26/11, everybody in the English language media was crying hoarse about “Hindu Terrorism”. the suddenly came the Islamist variety in Mumbai, and they changed over to their other favourite line “Terrorism has no religion”!

  242. @ poochandi : “Right, What is the world coming to? Calling somebody by their full name (Barack HUSSEIN Obama”, that is nefarious!

    When Obama was sworn in as the President of the USA, he was sworn in as “Barck HUSSEIN Obama”. The person accepting his oath called Obama by his full name.

    Hmm. That person must be in a deep conspirqcy to malign, defame and ultimately assassinate Obama. The swine.

    Ghor Koli. Charidhaare ondhokaar. Ghor Koli !!

  243. @ A roy’s fans,ok so you support her world view where the West and India are the real culprits to be blamed.Fine so does that mean you have got another alternative?Does any of you really believe that the Islamist forces really offer a better world order?Would you feel more liberated when the Shariah law is the order of the day throughout the world?Has she ever spoke against the doctrines of Qutb and Madaudi as vehemently as she has done against Modi?Wait, has she ever spoken against the threats to Ayan Hirsi Ali or the murder of Van Gogh?How can one claim credibility when all she can associate with extremism is Modi-Bush-Israel while at the same time neglect the bigger scourge that is threatening us? Just think rationally about the alternative world order and answer whether or not you would have enjoyed this liberty there

  244. Ms. Roy declared that she would be a republic of one when India did Pokhran-2. This,after we made it clear that ours would be a no-first-use policy on nukes.I feel such vehemence of comments are another mark of extremism

  245. I loved this post. I have/had no idea about Ms Roy, or her doings, or even whether what you say is correct. What I loved was the idea/definition of fundamentalist you used and potrayed throughout the article. :)

  246. Pingback: The “Invisible” Civil War | Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind

  247. I remember reading a piece somewhere else, that called her “the Communists’ favourite pin-up girl” but calling her a “Rakhi Sawant with a laptop and a Booker” itself smacks of attention grabbing sophistry.

    Secondly, any activist can be accused of being an attention-seeker. Anyone who stands up for a particular view you don’t agree with can be called a fundamentalist. You kinda need to be careful while calling people fundamentalist lest you bundle the crazies who want to kill you for your views with genuinely concerned dissenters who simply disagree with your views.

    Thirdly, while I don’t agree with many of her views, to put her thoughts about Maoists in perspective, I suggest any of the pieces by P.Sainath or his book, “Everybody Loves a Good Drought”. He is not a Commie apologist but a respected rural affairs expert who highlights the complete breakdown of any semblance of State authority in such impoverished regions. Where present, State authority is tyrannous rather than helpful.

    Then again, one has to remind oneself that its easy for us cocky young laptop wielding bloggers, who sitting in a CCD or Barrista with an Irish Coffee and a Wifi connection, to dole out wisps of our insights on such matters, hoping that commenting on such names as Roy’s would give their blog a more intellectual dimension to an otherwise collection of wry potshots at the aforementioned Rakhi Sawant, all the while pretending that rural India with its impoverished and brutalised denizens are all an elaborate concoction of ‘Ms. Roy’.

  248. @Dib: I think none of us have the right to give ourselves the responsibility of keeping the world order, the white’s man burden is still very strong till day even followed and adopted by once colonised country like India. Giving ourselves the right to take civilizing mission and trying to keep order to other countries is slowly destroying the culture and life of the weaker sections…

  249. Pingback: The Algebra of Infinite Fundamentalism

  250. Pingback: Truth hurts (follow up to the Open Letter to Arundhati Roy) | Blog of Pagal Patrakar

  251. Pingback: Sudhir – On Centre Right India » Blog Archive » “The Harm Principle”

  252. Too long, greatbong, and too damn solemn. Not appreciated. Your subject is not deserving of it. Why not just say she is an idiot and be done with it. Indians are much too intimidated and deferential towards people who write and speak “good english,” enough to throw all standards to the four winds.

    All “convented” children should come with a warning attached: “ability to write English like a white person is no guarantee of actual brains.”

    She needs to be ridiculed like the buffoon she is, like old man Thackeray in this respect. Except that it is a lot safer to lampoon Arundhati, she doesn’t have goon squads guarding her ghairat like that old vicious fool.

  253. “And I have an aversion to fundamentalists. Of all forms.” ….says a person whose blog image reflects a fundamental disdain for anything pakistani ? interesting!

  254. NVIP,

    Someone who sees out of my 8 blog images, only the one disdainful of “Pakistan” and not the ones disdainful of Advani, Mithunda, Thackeray, Salman Khan, SRK, Amar Singh, Shakti Kapoor, Mandira Bedi, Jyoti Basu, Mamata Banerjee and many others betrays the strongest possible form of fundamentalism-driven tunnel vision. Better luck next time !

  255. Sorry to digress from the main topic, but I really couldn’t help it. Came across your blog via another to read about Arundhati Roy.. But now, all that’s consuming my mind is Haseena Atimbum. Which movie can I see her in?

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