Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pride and Prejudice

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!


  1. Hello Sir.. u have ur own way of saying it..:) i love the criticism in ur language in all ur posts.. :)

  2. Sir,KP is right.The points r good and I like ur way of saying ur great Expectations of her.

  3. Satire and Sarcasm! One should learn from you.. Good read!

  4. Sarcasm is lost and bald post. Sorry. :(

  5. My first time here.
    Great post.
    Will turn up for more.

  6. Thanks KP, My Kitchen Flavors, Sahana, S, Sairam, Peenuts and Saru for your views.
    S-It would help if you could let me know why you feel the sarcasm is lost. I would like to correct/ improve.

  7. very good satire ... She has support from her cousin Mr. Prannoy Roy (NDTV Fame) to get noticed ... that is why she has been successful in Literary and social-issue field ...
    If someone has some friend in the media ... that person is bound to succeed even if he/she is the greatest pseudo-intellectual idiot this country has ever produced.

  8. Loved it!!!! I sometimes wonder if laying bare one's own life is sufficient to get the booker? She is nothing but a rabble rouser looking for opportunities. THE HINDU is probably the only newspaper that is giving this space...!

  9. All I meant is the sarcasm is lost in "me".

    I will cite reasons to hv thought so.
    I have respect for that female and I respect her views. She has eccentric views, I agree. But, come to think of it, she may be even ahead of her time. The day after and day before Roy wrote on Hindu, there was "anti-anna" editorials on Hindu. Which unfortunately nobody is reading. She indeed has a point about maoists. Also, on Kashmir, she like many philosophers, tend to think and undermine the whole concept of nation states. As for Afsal Guru, there are claims by HR grouos that the trial was flawed. But, I personally do not believe in the whole concept of capital punishment..

    I am not a "supporter" of Roy, but an avid reader mature enough to understand what Ms.Roy has to say. However, I am against modus operandi of Anna as well.. Politically I am a left leaning Liberal(though others call me hippie and anarchist)

    -S(sorry to have gone serious on your satirical post)

    P.S Saif ali khan may win national award by accident, but nobody wins Booker by accident..

  10. Interesting read...I have a difficulty following her views and seriously, do not expect much. But her not supporting Anna Hazare disappointed me.

    Looking forward to more!

  11. True Hari..one day when she passes away..millions of Indians will celebrate...I dont expect her to be patriotic...but to be critical in such a painful manner againt all things Indian is something i will never be able to digest..she will be at home in an Iftar party thrown by ISI chief in Lahore...

  12. Thanks Indranil, Meera and Shilpa for your comments.
    Thanks S for your comments. I understand. But I am afraid it is not the "anti anna" stand of Roy or of Hindu which is being criticized. The fact that she got personal (questioning his secular credentials, comparing with Naxals, etc) was being criticized. Remember so many people in Congress criticized Anna, but it was Manish Tewari's personal comments that were not tolerated by Public. What was desired of her was some decency.
    Regarding Afzal Guru's trial & Naxals- she is a social activist and not a Supreme Court judge. A judge has the luxury of looking at things strictly in accordance with law and convicting someone. As a social activist she does not have the luxury. She has to look at the human element of the other side viz victims.
    Finally just as a mature reader you can understand Roy's views, I hope you will understand my or any other writer's right to criticize her personal bias. Thanks.

  13. I just hope, big mouths should stop blabbering, and wait to see. People accusing anna and his movement and accusing him of corruption and non-patriotic should shut their mouths and look for facts and figures rather than showing themselves dumb.(manish tiwari and alikes amongst commons)

    I loved the post. A WRITER specially the acclaimed one has responibility to present a matured and well thought of content. And one is totally accountable for what one writes. In an attempt to present something different you wont give mud to others to eat. One should be educated if one is in litrary business..

    Well presented post sir. :-)

  14. Humorous post I must say :) ..

    While I admit, I haven't read many of Roy's articles.. I happened to see her interview on some tv channel on Kashmir issue. What she said did made me furious but some points did made me think. Every story has two sides. Not sure if her version was real. But 'nails were cut, men are tortured, women are raped in Kashmir'.. this comment did grab my attention. I am not sure how much truth resides in it, but if it is true, perhaps the Govt. should correct the social issues, give equal rights to people before simply claiming that Kashmir is ours. However, I apologise that I never researched on this and never followed as to what happened afterwards.

    But I do believe there are so many people who create news and try to be in the limelight. You have described it well enough to make it look sarcastic - which is your style of writing :) Nice post :)

  15. Interesting post sir..I like the way you have presented what everyone has been raving about.

  16. Thanks India's No. 1 blog, Shesha. I share your views.
    Thnaks Sunil- While there is merit in some of her points, the issue is she hops from problem to problem. She doesn't have patience to pursue to logical conclusion. Also as she enters a problem, she takes an extreme position. All these make us doubt her sincerity to the issue she is taking up.
    Tanks Anu- Many people have shared similar views with me.

  17. I normally have a thumb rule :
    if the communists support something then the issue should have been against India. Similarly when they oppose something, then that should be an issue favourable to India. Eg: Indo US nuclear bill.
    Similarly, if Arundati opposes something then I blindly support that issue as what ever she opposes should have been in India's interests.
    Though I have my reservations on the manner of Anna Hazare's protest and its implications on the Indian democracy, as Arundati has opposed it vehemently, then there should have been something in Indias' interests and hence started supporting Anna.
    My views on current affairs are available at :

  18. Thanks Amaruvi-Humorous and a good thumb rule!

  19. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u

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