Arundhati Roy calls Modi upswing "slightly dangerous"

Our leading public intellectual criticises the Congress equally harshly

GN Bureau | April 17, 2014


even today there are people who still can`t believe that Narendra Modi is a prime ministerial candidate—that this is really happening, says author-activist Arundhati Roy.
even today there are people who still can`t believe that Narendra Modi is a prime ministerial candidate—that this is really happening, says author-activist Arundhati Roy.

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”.

Comments

 

Other News

SAIL to leverage domestic growth potential

Steel authority of India (SAIL) chairman PK Singh expressed confidence on improving the performance of the Maharatna PSU in the current fiscal because of a host of initiatives in almost every area of operations. During 45th annual general meeting of the company, Singh said the world steel as

TRIFED to scale up marketing of tribal products

Ministry of tribal affairs’ PSU— tribal cooperative marketing development federation of India limited (TRIFED) is contemplating to scale up marketing of tribal products through increase at its retail outlets throughout the country. TRIFED plans to scale up the retail marketing ac

Facebook and post-truth

It is not very often that Facebook advertises in newspapers. Last time it did was a year ago when it was promoting `free basics`— a limited internet service provided for free to subscribers of partnering telecom service providers. The internet platform’s reach is unparalleled vis-a-vis to tradi

IOCL pays VAT of Rs 2,935 cr to Odisha

In the resolution of the issue of VAT deferment for Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOCL) Paradip refinery in Odisha, IOCL has made VAT payment of Rs 2,935 crore to Odisha government. The refinery had commenced commercial operations in November 2015. The recent meeting between Odisha Chief M

Muddy makeover of the Taj

Patch by patch, the lucent dome of the Taj Mahal is being plastered with a mixture of Fuller’s earth. It’s a treatment other parts of the monument of love – minarets, walls and pathways – have received over the years. These mud packs, of two millimetre thickness, are believed to tak

NALCO aims at making country country self-reliant in strategic minerals

In its bid to make the country self-reliant in the areas of 12 strategic minerals that are either not available in India or not available adequately, National Aluminium Company (NALCO), HCL and Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL), the CPSEs of ministry of mines have inked an agreement.



Video

PM Modi in varanasi

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter