Arundhati Roy: Broken Republic

The danger behind Arundhati Roy’s new book, Broken Republic: Three Essays, was reported on in The Guardian online on Sunday. I read Simon Moss’s article with great interest to learn more about the woman who I have admired for many years.

Some call her a political activist, campaigner and Maoist ideologist, but from everything I have read about Roy, she defies all of these terms. She fights for the people whatever or whoever they are. She sees the world in a very different way to most of us and the ruin of natural habitat in the aim of progression is not part of her agenda.

One of the most poignant statements made in this interview was “the violence of bullets and torture are no greater than the violence of hunger and malnutrition, of vulnerable people feeling they’re under siege”.

Roy’s essays are based on her experience with Maoist guerrilla group resisting government reform to develop and mine land lived on by tribes in the forests of Central India. The launch of her book in India has already caused much furore. As stated in this article, journalism in India is not allowed to paint vile pictures of a country full of mini wars and in local political turmoil. India is at the centre of foreign investment. Bad press just won’t do. It seems that by writing this book, Roy is in danger.

Danger is not foreign to Roy who has been part of many uprisings both peaceful and violent. My husband recalls his time spent on the Narmada Dam project which she was actively a part of. He describes her as an inspirational force that instils passion and drives results.

Roy calls herself a “natural born feminist”. For me, her work doesn’t begin or stop with the plight of women, but with the plight of humankind.

Bunty

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