My name is Arundhati Roy.
I was a non entity till 1996. I was doing all and sundry jobs. I acted in a couple of “no viewers” “no release” movies.
By an accident I wrote a novel, my only novel, The God of Small Things in 1996. By another accident the novel received Bookers Prize in 1997. Those beautiful two years! I started assuming that I was a cognizable, even an indispensable person in Indian politics and society.
But these ungrateful Indians ….
They ignored me. They sent me to political/social oblivion. I never pardoned them for this heinous crime.
I moved away from India. I filled the world with my opinions on 9/11 attacks, American invasion of Afghanistan, Palestinian issue, etc’. Except “The Guardian”, no one took notice of me. What the hell has happened to the world? I learnt my first lesson- foreigners are no different from Indians.
Enough of international problems. I decided to turn back to Indian issues. After all, they are my fellow Indians….
I thrust myself into Narmada Dam issue. I participated in agitations I penned a series of inflammatory articles. I forced the Supreme Court to initiate contempt proceedings against me. Again ungrateful media- except the friendly Hindu and Frontline, no one gave a damn to these histrionics of mine. I could not take the place of Medha Patkar- Narmada Bachao Andolan was always associated with her name. I learnt my second lesson. Never work along with another social reformer, especially when the reformer is a genuine one.
Life was again miserable. India was moving forward without my help. I could not stand this. I had to force myself into some important issue. Some ungrateful Indians may call this the “attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome.”
I decided to focus on terrorism and naxalism. I had to say something which would catch media attention. I poured my wisdom on Afzal Guru matter- that he should not be hanged when the families of the security personnel who were killed in the Parliament attach were eagerly awaiting justice. What about the loss these families? Who cares? That’s not going to get me the eyeball.
Obviously this was not enough. I had to get more attention.
I turned to Naxals. I eulogized them as “Gandhians” and “patriots” while criticizing Indian Government action against them as terrorism. Who will sympathize with the victims of Nzaxals, some serious-types questioned. I was simply rejoicing- Gosh, people have started taking note of me! At least they are taking my opinions seriously and responding.
I decided to venture into other terrorist related subjects. I argued for the Independence of Kashmir. Kasmir was never a part of India- another piece of wisdom from me. A howl went up from nationalists! Seditious speech! There were demands for my arrest. The government as usual was clueless. Why no action against Arundhati? Somebody woke Chidambaram out of his usual slumber and he uttered his wisdom “No action also is an action.”
This was towards the end of 2010. I was laughing my way to glory.
Little did I expect that this old man called Anna Hazare and his team would trample upon my new found fortune. They shot into limelight; more than that they continued to hog the limelight for over a year now. The media dropped me like hot potato. Has media become ungrateful again? I have to do something now. I bit my nails. Medha Patkar, my previous associate has joined “hail Anna” chorus. I bit my nails. Prashant Bhushan, again one more previous associate, has joined Anna’s Team. I bit my nails. Is every one ditching me?
I called The Hindu. At last one old friend who would stand by me. They confirmed that they had all the space in the world for my seditious, anti-national, communal views.
I poured scorn over Anna Hazare and his team. I questioned his secular credentials. Just as I saw the patriot in naxals, I managed to see the communal side of Anna- such a microscopic vision, which none of the 1.2 bill Indians can boast of! I compared Maoists armed attack with Anna Hazare’s drafting of Janlokpal Bill. Just because he has not said anything about Singur, Nandigram, Posco, etc, he doesn’t have any right to talk about corruption, I argued- a logic only a national newspaper like Hindu can appreciate!
I am happy with the result. There are hundreds of comments in the net, most of them critical of me, again most of them questioning my credentials.
I am still happy. I am being noticed!