Tag: Arundhati Roy

July 20, 2020 /

July 17 2020
To
Professor G.N. Saibaba
Anda Cell
Nagpur Central jail
Nagpur
Maharashtra

Dear Sai,

I’m sorry to disappoint you, but this is me, Arundhati writing to you and not Anjum. You wrote to her three years ago and she most certainly owes you a reply. But what can I say—her sense of time is entirely different from yours and mine, leave alone the speedy world of Whatsapp and Twitter. She thinks nothing of taking three years to reply to a letter (or not)…

March 2, 2020 /

A democracy that is not governed by a Constitution and one whose institutions have all been hollowed out can only ever become a majoritarian state. You can agree or disagree with a Constitution as a whole or in part—but to act as though it does not exist as this government is doing is to completely dismantle democracy. Perhaps this is the aim. This is our version of the Corona Virus. We are sick.
There’s no help on the horizon. No well-meaning foreign country. No UN…
What we need are people who are prepared to be unpopular. Who are prepared to put themselves in danger. Who are prepared to tell the truth. Brave journalists can do that, and they have. Brave lawyers can do that, and they have. And artists—beautiful, brilliant, brave writers, poets, musicians, painters and filmmakers can do that. That beauty is on our side. All of it.
We have work to do. And a world to win.

January 13, 2020 /

Over the last two days we’ve been hearing about the arrest of a senior police officer—Davinder Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) who was working with the hijack unit of the Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP), at the Humhama Airport, Srinagar. Last year he received the President’s medal for gallantry. More recently he was a part of the reception committee to welcome the fifteen members of the EU Parliament who visited Kashmir in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370 (and probably wanted to experience at first hand the spectacle of its locked down population and jailed leaders). Davinder Singh was arrested in southern Kashmir on Saturday (Jan 11th) in an operation by his colleagues of the JKP, who intercepted the car he was riding in with two very senior militants and a cache of weapons. The police have said his is a “heinous crime” and that they are treating him as a militant.
Most people may not know who DSP Davinder Singh is. But for many long years he has loomed over those who have studied and written about the December 13, 2001 Parliament Attack – a malign presence whose impunity knew no bounds. RAIOT republishes Arundhati Roy’s introduction to 13 December, A Reader: The Strange Case of the Attack on the Indian Parliament. It was published six years before Afzal Guru was hanged. And Davinder Singh has a starring role in it. Today, thirteen years later, the thirteen questions she poses in this piece remain unanswered.

May 13, 2019 /

#ArundhatiRoy
“I have never felt that my fiction and nonfiction were warring factions battling for suzerainty. They aren’t the same certainly, but trying to pin down the difference between them is actually harder than I imagined. Fact and fiction are not converse. One is not necessarily truer than the other, more factual than the other, or more real than the other. Or even, in my case, more widely read than the other. All I can say is that I feel the difference in my body when I’m writing.”

August 30, 2018 /

Recent analyses of real voter data as well the Lokniti-CSDS-ABP Mood of the Nation survey have shown that the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are losing popularity at an alarming pace (for them). This means that we are entering dangerous times. There will be ruthless and continuous attempts to divert attention from the reasons for this loss of popularity, and to fracture the growing solidarity of the opposition. It will be a continuous circus from now to the elections—arrests, assassinations, lynchings, bomb attacks, false flag attacks, riots, pogroms. We have learned to connect the season of elections with the onset of all kinds of violence. Divide and Rule, yes. But add to that—Divert and Rule. From now until the elections, we will not know from when, and where and how the fireball will fall on us, and what the nature of that fireball will be.

June 27, 2018 /

At a book reading in Kolkata, about a week after my first novel, The God of Small Things, was published, a member of the audience stood up and asked, in a tone that was distinctly hostile: “Has any writer ever written a masterpiece in an alien language? In a language other than his mother tongue?” I hadn’t claimed to have written a masterpiece (nor to be a “he”), but nevertheless I understood his anger toward a me, a writer who lived in India, wrote in English, and who had attracted an absurd amount of attention. My answer to his question made him even angrier.
“Nabokov,” I said. And he stormed out of the hall.

July 30, 2017 /

A. Have you read the new Arundhati Roy?
B. No. I’m not a fan.
A. Oh, OK. Didn’t you like ‘The God of Small Things’?
B. Um, it was OK. I felt like she was trying very hard to be different and clever.
A. Is it? In what way?
B. Her use of language for one thing. I found it too self-consciously inventive. And I also feel she tends to fetishize the tragic.