Our leading public intellectual criticises the Congress equally harshly
GN Bureau | April 17, 2014
Good days are round the corner, says one of the BJP advertisements. Arundhati Roy, of course, disagrees. Her view? “I think that we are poised in a momentous and slightly dangerous space.”
In an interview with Siddhartha Deb for the Bookforum magazine [read it here], Roy has commented at length about the elections in India. Talking about the man widely tipped to become the next prime minister, Roy speaks of the 2002 Gujarat riots, and then adds: “And now people are saying, ‘Oh, why do you have to go on about that? Put it in your past. We need a development chief minister.’ Of course, now even that idea of Gujarat as being a state at the front of progress and development has been taken apart. Look at the human development index, the levels of malnutrition, it's all there on the Internet for anyone to see. But I think the reason he's been backed is that he shows himself to be a man who is able to be brutal. And the brutality is not going to be against Muslims. It's going to be against those who are resisting ‘development’ …”
Roy thinks “even today there are people who still can't believe that Narendra Modi is a prime ministerial candidate—that this is really happening. But now the Establishment—the corporations—are hoping that his ability to be ruthless will be turned against those who are fighting these big corporate projects in the villages, in the forests; this is what the corporations are backing Modi for.”
The other leading player in the fray, the Congress, too comes in for equally harsh criticism: “If you go back to the turn of the twentieth century, you had, in the freedom movement, two factions in the Congress known as the Naram dal and the Garam dal, the militant and the moderate. Now they just happen to be two different political parties; they're playing out the same trajectory. The BJP sells Hindu nationalism and the Congress sells secularism, though actually if you look at the wars that the Indian army has fought since 1947, mostly years of Congress rule, they are always fought against the ‘other’—Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Adivasis. It's an upper-caste Hindu state at war with the ‘other’.”
According to Roy, the only difference between the two main parties is that “one does by day what the other does by night”.
Out of all MPs and MLAs in office, 58 have declared cases related to hate speech. This includes union minister for drinking water and sanitation Uma Bharti along with 14 other Lok Sabha MPs. The list also includes 8 state ministers. A party wise analysis reveals that BJP has the highest numb
After its withdrawal from Meghalaya and Arunachal, is it time to review AFSPA in other areas too?
There is an uncanny similarity in the pathological opposition to prime minister Narendra Modi by two members of the right wing, Pravin Togadia and Yashwant Sinha. They come from a diverse social and political background; yet they share a common strand that shows an unmitigated hatred towards
Data is the new oil; and it needs to be protected. In an interaction with Governance Now, Lionel Baraban, CEO of Famoco, talks about how the French tech firm is developing secure business devices to safeguard data against going to other countries. What are the major roles o
Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) and MTU, Germany have agreed to cooperate in the local manufacturing of technologically-advanced MTU series 8000 engines in India. Under the agreement, which was signed at India’s leading defence trade show Defexpo-18, the companies will manufacture the 16-
ONGC sportspersons outshone other participants in their respective categories in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. ONGCians bagged 13 medals including 5 Gold, 3 Silver and 5 Bronze, contributing to the 66 medal tally of Team India. ONGCians Ragala Venkat Rah