Arundhati Roy’s Suicidalism

As the eminent Arnold Toynbee pointed out, “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder”. Here, Arundhati Roy carries her Far-Left Post-Modernism to its logical suicidal ends -

…the longer you stay [in places like Iraq], the more you’re enforcing these tribal differences and creating a resistance, which obviously, on the one hand, someone like me does support; on the other hand, you support the resistance, but you may not support the vision that they are fighting for. And I keep saying, you know, I’m doomed to fight on the side of people that have no space for me in their social imagination, and I would probably be the first person that was strung up if they won. But the point is that they are the ones that are resisting on the ground, and they have to be supported, because what is happening is unbelievable.

So, it seems she’d rather cast her lot with the barbarians who’d “string her up” than implicitly support the Western hegemony responsible for her material well being, freedom of speech and physical security. So be it.

(hat tip – DesiDudeInGotham whose submission to the News page roused me from my blog slumber)

[previous SM coverage on Roy - "Back the Resistance" and "Tunku vs. Arundhati"]

186 thoughts on “Arundhati Roy’s Suicidalism

  1. KESH: ‘Whenever there is a large presence of an army in any region Human rights abuses are bound to happen.’

    That may be true, but there is a LOT more to the story than the presence of the army. That is the tip of the iceberg. It wasn’t the army that killed thousands of young sikh men in fake, staged encounters in Panjab. There is more information on this than I can possibly summarize here. Amnesty was not allowed into Panjab for over a decade. Democracy eh?

    SCOUT: I really enjoyed your rants…for some reason your hysterical theatrics reminded me of Bill O’Reilly. And once that happens, it’s hard to take what you are saying seriously.

  2. Terry S, your post about the research on political amnesia was most informative.

    There is a documentary entitled ‘Advertising and the End of the World’, by Sut Jhally, that speaks to the same issue. It really drives the point home and is very evocative. Chomsky’s ‘Manufacturing Consent’ is another one, though it covers a broader ground.

  3. KM,

    I come from an Indian Army family – dad, uncles, big bro – all Indian Army officers, past and present, and will probably end up joining the army or airforce myself after my graduation. So the Indian Army is very much a part of my identity.

    Thing about Indian Army is , if you shoot at us, we will shoot back. If you strike at us, we will strike back. We make no apologies. We know lot of you people hate us, so be it. It is in our blood to give up our life for our country if required…. (although of course , needless to say we would much rather prefer to kill than be killed.)…..so bring on your hate , its no big deal to us. Our loyalty is towards our country, towards our regiment, towards our families , towards our fellow soldiers. We for fight them , we fight for ourselves. We fight so India exists. We kill so Arundhati Roy exists and is free to shower her hatred on us. Thats okay. No big deal.

  4. Wow. Looking over the comments, I had no idea that Arundhati Roy had been so reviled and detested.

    Her book “God of Small Things” wasn’t as impressive as the accolades. Perhaps part of the reason why the book recieved a great deal of acclaim had to do with the fact that she was an “ethnic” writer whose subjects were South Asians; and both “ethnic” writers and South Asian literature were hot on the market in those times. This is not to detract the fact that the book did handle certain important issues. But I think those topics could have been handled with much more force. In any case, I just wasn’t able to appreciate her prose in that book. Her fictional writing is not my style, I suppose.

    However, her non-fiction writing-that is, her political and social commentaries– is absolutely fantastic and right on the target. She has given voice to the opinions that many people around the world think, but do not have the means or access to express them. Granted, her discomfort at being labeled as a “writer activist” somewhat perplexes me, but this is certainly a minor and inconsequential detail to the concepts, facts, and arguments that she puts forth.

    If only more writers similar to the likes of Arundhati Roy were widely read and appreciated.

    Arun:

    Also, why doesn’t Arundhati Roy advocate Gandhian resistance to the American occupation in Iraq? Why is suicide bombing an acceptable form of resistance according to her?

    I wasn’t able to read all 152 comments, so forgive me if I am reading this incorrectly, but you’re joking here, right? About Gandhian resistence to the American occupation in Iraq? Tell me you are being facetious.

  5. Kesh:

    However what i find lacking is an appreciation of the sacrifices made by Indian and American soldiers to terrorism.

    Oh please, give me a freakin’ break. American soldiers are NOT making any sacrifices for “terrorism”, that elusive, phantasmic enemy everywhere and nowhere. If anything, they have been engaging IN terrorism. Not only in Iraq, but elsewhere. And not just of late, but for a long time now.

    I won’t get into the situation of what Indian soldiers in Kashmir have been doing. The Indian government is not innocent of having participated in boiling the cauldron of what is otherwise known as Kashmir.

  6. Scout:

    Have you been listening to Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh a little too much?

  7. CAD : “I won’t get into the situation of what Indian soldiers in Kashmir have been doing. The Indian government is not innocent of having participated in boiling the cauldron of what is otherwise known as Kashmir”.

    Oh no – please do. Please dont feel shy to say exactly what you think Indian soldiers are doing in Kashmir. I would love your perspective. You know – half of my family was/is stationed there at one point or another. I would love to know what you think my folks were doing there.

  8. Amit wrote:

    I would love to know what you think my folks were doing there

    Amit, I appreciate your decision to join the army. Your family members stationed in Kashmir are doing their service to the nation. Armies don’t make decisions..its the government who makes these decisions. If someone is anti-war, then it doesn’t automatically mean that he/she is against their own army.

  9. CAD:

    I won’t get into the situation of what Indian soldiers in Kashmir have been doing. The Indian government is not innocent of having participated in boiling the cauldron of what is otherwise known as Kashmir.

    The GOI and the Indian Army are, regrettably, not without taint in J&K. Indeed the GOI itself acknowledges this–witness the PM’s recent statement while in J&K during the 2nd roundtable conference, urging the Army to hold to the highest possible human rights standards.

    However, this doesn’t entail that Kesh is mistaken in urging that the contribution of the Indian Army in the fight against terrorists in Kashmir be recognized. One can well disapprove of (and condemn) human rights violations by the Indian Army, while yet recgonizing the valuable role they play in holding the line against jihadis in J&K.

    Certainly I, a Kashmiri Pandit, am grateful to the Indian Army (Thank you to Amit’s family members and others like them serving in J&K). Our community was forced from the Valley in J&K by jihadi violence. If the Indian Army were asked to retire to the barracks in J&K before the jihadis are defeated many other patriotic communities (both Hindu and Muslim) are likely to suffer a similar fate (here, I am thinking of communities in the outlying regions of Doda district).

    Regards, Kumar

  10. Kumar:

    However, this doesn’t entail that Kesh is mistaken in urging that the contribution of the Indian Army in the fight against terrorists in Kashmir be recognized.

    I understand your viewpoint. However, I do think Kesh is mistaken in urging that we “recognize the sacrifices” that these soldiers are making. Personally, I sympathize more with people who are living under military occupation rather than the soldiers themselves (soldiers who are ordered by their governments, as brown_fob rightly points out) who are facilitating and maintaining military occupation. To be honest, I do not have any sympathy for Israeli and American soldiers and their respective governments. I just don’t.

    One can well disapprove of (and condemn) human rights violations by the Indian Army, while yet recgonizing the valuable role they play in holding the line against jihadis in J&K.

    Whether “they are playing a valuable role in holding the line against jihadis” is purely a matter of opinion, and mine differs from yours. So we’ll just agree to disagree here. However, let me ask this question: were all of 34,000 + Kashmiris (both Muslim and Hindu, but overwhelmingly Muslim) that have been killed “terrorists”, “jihadis”?

    Amit:

    Oh no – please do. Please dont feel shy to say exactly what you think Indian soldiers are doing in Kashmir. I would love your perspective. You know – half of my family was/is stationed there at one point or another. I would love to know what you think my folks were doing there.

    Just for the record, I have a couple of cousins who have been in Iraq and are now back. And I STRONGLY, CATEGORICALLY disagree with them on every single point. I have found that speaking to veterens and their relatives (not all, but a good number of them), there is generally the tendency (but not always) to have a circular argument because those individuals have been so thoroughly brainwashed so as to make it easier for them to one, comply to their superiors’ orders and and two, somehow feel that they are not putting their asses in the frontlines for nothing, and as such, vehemently believe in what they are told– ie they are fighting against “terrorism” and for “democracy”,”freedom”, “liberating the oppressed”, etc.(when I speak of returning soldiers and veterens being brainwashed, I am speaking of the people that I know, have met, or have come across. I don’t mean you and your relatives specifically, obviously– since I don’t know you and I cannot permit myself to say such a thing.)

    brown_fob:

    Armies don’t make decisions..its the government who makes these decisions. If someone is anti-war, then it doesn’t automatically mean that he/she is against their own army.

    I agree with you on this point.

  11. CAD :

    Whether “they are playing a valuable role in holding the line against jihadis” is purely a matter of opinion, and mine differs from yours. So we’ll just agree to disagree here. However, let me ask this question: were all of 34,000 + Kashmiris (both Muslim and Hindu, but overwhelmingly Muslim) that have been killed “terrorists”, “jihadis”

    CAD- it is very difficult to argue with people who are ignorant. I dont have the time or inclination to educate you – an anonymous internet guy.But perhaps you should consider the possibility that the 34,000+ Kashmiris that were killed , were actually killed by the terrorists ? The Indian Army only kills people who carry a gun and shoot at them. Sure , some people die in crossfire – but as they say sh!t happens.

    And please – dont you dare equate Kashmir with Iraq. Kashmir has always been a part of India. Iraq was never a part of US. Just because some Islamic thugs take over Kashmir and ethnic cleanse all non-Islamic elements – does not make it any less a part of India.

    The Indian Army is there to get rid of these Islamic thugs and we do our job with pride. Kashmir is my country. My land. Lot of my brothers have shed blood there. We wont let their sacrifices go waste.


    Regarding ‘human rights violations’ – its very difficult to worry about human rights of people who want you dead. No apologies at all.

  12. The thing about India is that we are a democracy. The Indian Army is a volunteer force. We fight because we want to, not because we are forced to.We fight for our family, our fellow soldiers, our regiment and our people. Not because some politician who is in power in Delhi wants us to. We dont even like politicians.

    Let me give you a hint. The politicians in Delhi wanted us to evacuate from Siachen – the world’s highest battlefield. But they were forced to retract. You know why ? Because the Army said nothing doing. We dont let politicians tamper with our national integrity and security. People of India are too self-centred to understand this or even to care…but it is because of people like us that they get to live their life in peace and enjoy. To argue and debate. Or whatever.

    But dont you dare tell me that we fight for some government or some politician. We fight for our country. We fight for ourselves.

  13. Amit:

    some people die in crossfire – but as they say sh!t happens.

    What! Did you really type that! You may want to take this sentence back…but SM doesn’t provide you with such facilities.

    shi!t happens.

    it is very difficult to argue with people who are ignorant……………. Kashmir has always been a part of India

    Lots of theories floating around. Why do you think that GoI was ready to recognize LoC as an international border?

  14. “Why do you think that GoI was ready to recognize LoC as an international border?”

    GOI historically always effs up , and we are left to salvage the situation.Indian Army doesn’t mind either if LOC is made into IB. But no way are we gonna give away even an inch of what we got right now. Mistakes were made in the past , and those mistakes will not be allowed to be repeated.

  15. Amit:

    The thing about India is that we are a democracy
    ause the Army said nothing doing

    In a democracy, the army is not the legislative wing!

  16. Amit:

    CAD- it is very difficult to argue with people who are ignorant. I dont have the time or inclination to educate you – an anonymous internet guy.

    It is very difficult to have a discussion with someone who accuses and insults others by calling them “ignorant” and implying that they need to be “educated” just because their opinion differs from yours.

    Don’t stoop to insulting people and branding them as “ignorant” just because they disagree with you. Especially when you do not even know them.

  17. “In a democracy, the army is not the legislative wing!”

    Matters concerning national territorial integrity cannot be left to the whims and fancies of politicians. The Indian Army has learnt bitter lessons from being too loyal to people like Nehru. In case things go wrong – it is always Indian soldiers who are at the frontline who take the bullets. So basically these days the Indian Army exercises the right to say ‘NO WAY’ if it believes a decision taken by the politicians in Delhi may affect national security and endanger the lives of our soldiers.

    The Siachen case I mentioned is a recent example of this.

    Besides, the Indian public holds way more respect for Indian Army than for politicians. And the politicians know this.

  18. Besides, the Indian public holds way more respect for Indian Army than for politicians. And the politicians know this.

    In a democracy, the public elects its representatives..who in turn take decisions.

    If you plan to enter the Indian Army, then you’ll have to ace a written exam too (NDA or CDS). You may want to start preparing for it…’cos the last time I checked, they did have a few questions on Civics and Public policy.

  19. CAD:

    Whether “they are playing a valuable role in holding the line against jihadis” is purely a matter of opinion, and mine differs from yours.

    It is indeed a matter of opinion, but not “purely” so. All opinions are not equally well-grounded, certainly not yours on this point. Do you think that the political situation in J&K is uniquely unamenable to rational argument (an epistemic ‘black hole’ of some sort)? Or is that your view of politics in general?

    Personally, I sympathize more with people who are living under military occupation rather than the soldiers themselves

    My sympathy is certainly with the soldier in J&K, but not exclusively (or even mostly) so, of course. I sympathize with the plight of those threatened by murderous jihadi violence. Certainly the plight of Kashmiri Pandits moves me, but also that of (say) the (Muslim) Gujjar communities in Doda district who have been targeted by the jihadis. Or the (Muslim) members of the regional parties (National Conference, PDP, Congress) murdered by the jihadis. Or the (Hindu) families in outlying Doda villages who have been targeted by the jihadis.

    And, yes, I also grieve for those who suffer at the hands of errant Indian Army soldiers (more below)…..

    So we’ll just agree to disagree here.

    Uh, okay….

    However, let me ask this question: were all of 34,000 + Kashmiris (both Muslim and Hindu, but overwhelmingly Muslim) that have been killed “terrorists”, “jihadis”?

    ….I thought you’d agreed to disagree, but I have no hesitation in answering your question. Of course, the Army has committed human rights violations (as I wrote in my earlier post), and far too much! However, the nature of Army violations simply doesn’t match that of the jihadis (ethnic cleansing of our community was just the beginning of their depredations). Those violations by some members of the Army happened in the course of fighting jihadis–inexcusable, but it’s important to keep in mind that the Army would not have been called out from its barracks if the jihadis had not been active in J&K.

    If the scale of jihadi activities is curbed, then the Army will certainly be called back to barracks. The Indian Army is not at all happy to be engaged in internal CI-ops. Indeed the Army high command has often expressed its unhappiness to the GOI, since such actions tend to take away from its primary mission (and degrades the battle-readiness of its units).

    If, however, the jihadis aren’t curbed and the Army withdraws to its barracks I think the result will be mayhem for those of us who are patriotic Indians. And, yes, that includes both Muslim and Hindu (and Buddhist and Sikh). Indeed, even the limited unilateral ceasefire initiated by the Vajpayee govt. proved disastrous, since the jihadis merely used it to regroup and plot even further assaults. This is not ‘pure’ opinion, but opinion based on the nature of jihadi groups and their paymasters across the border (as well as their past behavior).

    Regards, Kumar

  20. CAD:

    were all of 34,000 + Kashmiris (both Muslim and Hindu, but overwhelmingly Muslim) that have been killed “terrorists”, “jihadis”

    I forgot to add that the jihadis do not only or mostly target non-Muslims. No, they mostly target Muslims who are loyal to India (or affiliated in some way with India). The 76 year old party worker in Srinagar(from the National Conference) or the Gujjar shepherds of Doda district arouse the wrath of the jihadis precisely because they are Muslim and aligned with India. The jihadis are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Muslims over the years.

    Who do you propose protect these brave people, if not the Army? What do you suppose will happen to people like this, without the Army presence?

    Regards, Kumar

  21. Amit:

    Last comment to you, because I see that it is going to be a stalemate with you.

    Just because some Islamic thugs take over Kashmir and ethnic cleanse all non-Islamic elements – does not make it any less a part of India. The Indian Army is there to get rid of these Islamic thugs and we do our job with pride. Kashmir is my country. My land. Lot of my brothers have shed blood there. We wont let their sacrifices go waste.

    If the job is getting rid of “Islamic thugs”, what are you fighting on behalf of? Hindustan?

    Regarding ‘human rights violations’ – its very difficult to worry about human rights of people who want you dead. No apologies at all.

    !!!!

    But dont you dare tell me that we fight for some government or some politician. We fight for our country. We fight for ourselves.
    We dont let politicians tamper with our national integrity and security.
    So basically these days the Indian Army exercises the right to say ‘NO WAY’ if it believes a decision taken by the politicians in Delhi may affect national security and endanger the lives of our soldiers.

    All of your assertions here– that the Indian Army doesn’t let itself be controlled by the “whims” of politicians up in Delhi, that you don’t let politicians tamper with national security, and that you don’t fight on behalf of the government, are refuted by your own bizarre and contradictory affirmation below:

    The thing about India is that we are a democracy. The Indian Army is a volunteer force. We fight because we want to, not because we are forced to. We fight for our family, our fellow soldiers, our regiment and our people. Not because some politician who is in power in Delhi wants us to. We dont even like politicians.

    How can India be a democracy, but the Indian Army not be beholden to the government? Um, I think it is. The Indian Army, thankfully, is not like Pakistan, ie a military regime where the army is the government. So no, as much as you would like, the Indian Army can’t do whatever well it pleases. It does have to answer and take orders from your despised Delhi government, whether you like it or not.

    Good night.

  22. In a democracy, the public elects its representatives..who in turn take decisions.

    And fact is the Indian Army holds a veto over some of these decisions -as in matters of the nation’s territorial integrity . Nothing official about it , but thats just how it is.

  23. Personally, I sympathize more with people who are living under military occupation rather than the soldiers themselves (soldiers who are ordered by their governments, as brown_fob rightly points out) who are facilitating and maintaining military occupation. To be honest, I do not have any sympathy for Israeli and American soldiers and their respective governments. I just don’t.

    a) Are you living under occupation?

    b) Are you a member of the armed forces ordered to perform you duty (what you SIGNED up to do?).

    If you are neither, you are making far fetched statements just like your ‘skin cancer is BS’ type ‘informative’ arguments. Fundamentally speaking, the only way a military can function is under order and discipline. That is the only way a logical resistance to any occupation can achieve the most positive benefits, too.

    You aren’t a member of either group. So, screw your high horse. I respect RC even though he/she has had several arguments with me on this site because he/she will/does reevalute things as I do. Making such a blanket statement saying you don’t respect Israeli or American troops because of occcupation is probably one of the more stupid arugments I’ve heard. How many have you talked to? How many do you know? Have you heard their stories first hand? You’ll gain far more depth in your opinon (not slanted towards right or left, but towards the truth) than you’ll ever comprehend. I am proud to call some former Marines my friends. They are good, honorable, well thought individuals who will give you a whole list of what THEY believe needs to be done. Some of it goes agianst the right, some of it against the left. IT really ruffles the feathers of powerbrokers because they can’t capitalize on it.

    Again. Screw you and your high horse. You have lost all crediblilty in my viewpoint (which people here may give to shits about) when you make such a statement such as “To be honest, I do not have any sympathy for Israeli and American soldiers”. Visit some military messageboards and see the logical arguments that pursue. It may surpsise you that these people in uniform represent a more compreshensive segement of society than you’d ‘assume’. They are left, right, center, hippy, reactionary, fundamental, atheist, etc. But they TRUST US in making decisiosn for them, hence military is ruled over by civlian establishments.

    God bless those who decide to trust their lives and future to the unkown – the desire of their own nation, good or not.

    I wasn’t able to read all 152 comments, so forgive me if I am reading this incorrectly, but you’re joking here, right? About Gandhian resistence to the American occupation in Iraq? Tell me you are being facetious.

    Not that it was orginally intended towards me, but Gandian resistance is VERY applicable. Bottom line, if you don’t cooperate on ANYTHING, shit doesnt move. Post, power, water, TV, etc. Problem is that the middle east doesn’t have a a LEADER than can help galvanize any kind of POWERFUL resistance agaisnt their own, more oppresive, governments. (yes yes, the US supports them, only because they have consiladted power rather than being puppet govts.) The US has made mistakes.

    Gandhi’s resistance was based on truth, strength, and the conviction do to what he asked others to do himself. The hallmark of a leader (military or civilian) is one who would do something himself before asking others. YOU lead the way.

    Nonviolence is applicable and strong. Just not enough people to actually pursue its true goals to the end (as hardcore about it Gandhi was, not that I agree, but I can RESPECT that.

    GujuDude OUT.

  24. CAD:

    If the job is getting rid of “Islamic thugs”, what are you fighting on behalf of? Hindustan?

    The ‘job’ is to get rid of jihadi thugs, a menace to both Muslims and non-Muslims. The fight is on behalf of India–both what it is right now and what it could be (a far from perfect democracy but one which holds promise of flowering into something even better). And more concretely, the fight is for the right of that old NC worker to not be shot in the head. And the fight is for the right of my family to reclaim its home in Srinagar….

    Regards, Kumar

  25. If the job is getting rid of “Islamic thugs”, what are you fighting on behalf of? Hindustan?

    Sure. ‘Hindustan’ is one of the names of the country we fight for.I am a half-Sikh by the way.

    When I said ‘we are a volunteer force, we are a democracy, we dont fight for a government , but for ourselves etc.’…I meant we ARE India.We fight for our country. Not the elected representative in charge. We fight for India. Not for Nehru, Indira or Rajeev etc. Is that so difficult to understand ? Politicians come and go , Indian Army and India are permanent.

    A soldier may take orders from his commanding officer, but he fights for his country, not for his commanding officer. And when he fights for his country , he ultimately fights for his friends, family and mainly himself. We dont just fight for India. We ARE India.

  26. By the way CAD , I find your sympathy for the Islamic thugs so touching…..

  27. Of course, the Army has committed human rights violations (as I wrote in my earlier post), and far too much!

    Sure some human rights violations may have taken place- but thats not much at all. Indian Army is the most disciplined force in the world. We dont go about killling or raping innocent people as is claimed by our enemies.

    The enemy is a lying hateful thug. Only last week, the whole of Kashmir Valley came to a stand still because they accused Indian soldiers of raping a 14 year old girl. Truth was a patrol of Indian soldiers only asked for water and for some reason the girl shyly ran away. The people there put 2 and 2 together and accused the soldiers of rape. This is just how things are in Kashmir.

    The people there – the same sort who ethnic cleansed the non-Islamic elements , hate us too much. And they got a lot of support. Its not a easy fight for Indian soldiers , but it was certainly more difficult in the early 1990s when my dad was stationed there.

  28. ….in early 1990s the Kashmiris used to fire at us with guns. And got shot dead in return. Now they have changed their strategy and wage their war through media ,propaganda and through some useful idiots……

  29. GujuDude:

    Making such a blanket statement saying you don’t respect Israeli or American troops because of occcupation is probably one of the more stupid arugments I’ve heard. How many have you talked to? How many do you know? Have you heard their stories first hand? You’ll gain far more depth in your opinon (not slanted towards right or left, but towards the truth) than you’ll ever comprehend.

    You are making such a blanket, emotional, and uninformed opinion here. How the hell do you know that I haven’t had the experiences of meeting those living under occupation, or even been to a place under occupation? And how do you know that I don’t know any US soldiers? I have three cousins who just came back from Iraq.

    I certainly don’t need to lay out my qualifications to you, of all people, as to why I have the opinions that I do.

    a) Are you living under occupation? b) Are you a member of the armed forces ordered to perform you duty (what you SIGNED up to do?).

    This is the stupidest logic. Presumably, one can only have an opinion if only living under military occupation. By the same logic, you can only defend Israeli and US soldiers only if you are the one flying the Blackhawk military helicopters.

    You aren’t a member of either group. So, screw your high horse.

    Are you a member of the military establishment? Are you living under military occupation? According to your logic, then, you have no right on speaking out on these issues either, so screw your high horse too!

    (BTW, you are talking about my being on a “high horse”, but how do you think your posts read like?)

    Not that it was orginally intended towards me, but Gandian resistance is VERY applicable.

    This is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. Gandhian non-violence in a place like Iraq?

    Hey, do you think that if the Jews would have put up nonviolent resistance during the Holocaust, they might have been saved?

    Again. Screw you and your high horse. You have lost all crediblilty in my viewpoint (which people here may give to shits about) when you make such a statement such as “To be honest, I do not have any sympathy for Israeli and American soldiers”.

    GujuDude, to be honest, your opinions of political affairs that I’ve read here and there have NEVER had any credibility in my eyes. Your opinions on politics and IR are all nutty, nationalistic, and visceral. I have stayed away from addressing your previous posts on other issues because of this. So I could give two shits about what you think about my opinions, especially when you think that one doesn’t have the right to criticize Israeli and American soldiers. That to me, is the stupidest argument, but alas, it’s ubiquitous, so it seems like you and your kind have it good. If you think I make stupid arguments, I am certainly not offended given what your opinions are like.

    Amit:

    By the way CAD , I find your sympathy for the Islamic thugs so touching…..

    Tell me where I said, “I support Islamic thugs”.

    Don’t put words in my mouth. And, if you are going to post comments, at least make them logical, ie “India is a democracy” but the Army is in total control, outside of the reach of the government.

    Good night–

    God Bless America and Mera Bharat Mahan

  30. I interpret DW’s assessment as the “micro” critique of Roy; but, discounting some of her shortcomings, I think she is absolutely necessary in the “macro” sense– for every Roy, there are eleven Larry Kudlow’s, CNN’s, Fox News and other disingenuous outlets with a larger voice and tendency to advance groupthink.

  31. AR’s moving speech addressing the Indian diaspora rubbed me the wrong way. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but her statements regarding the support of ‘Iraqi resistance’ is plain dumb. There is no iraqi resistance, just extremist sponsored attacks and a growing schism between Sunni and Shia factions. These ‘resistance fighters’ who killed a top UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello and the two reporters from CBS. Am i supposed to take a hammer to my piggy bank and fill their coffers so that they can buy some more fertilizer ? Is she insane ? Arundhati Roy needs to watch as a poor villager in Kashmir gets his throat cut because his son-in-law’s sisters uncles cousin is in the Indian army. Or maybe take some time of and go to Sudan where woman are being raped and families are being wiped out by the militia. Indian, Israeli and American forces would look like the peace corps by comparison. And these armies atleast make an effort to try to be more humane in their actions. I was in the West bank a year back and i’ve witnessed a raid on a suspected militants house. The officer in charge pleaded with the family inside to leave and the militant to surrender, instead the family had to be dragged out by soldiers while they were being fired on by the militant. The house was finally bulldozed and militants shot and killed. The story that was put out by Al-Jazeera was that the soldiers stormed the house and beat up the family and killed the militants without offering him a chance to surrender. None of the actions by the Israeli army was even given a mention.

  32. Kesh:

    ‘Indian, Israeli and American forces would look like the peace corps by comparison. And these armies atleast make an effort to try to be more humane in their actions.

    Do you say this with the knowledge of the most recent revelation of the Haditha killings? You know the killing spree that out good ole’ boys from the heartland went on. Shooting women and children in their beds because they were pissed off about the killing of their comrade and according to them being ‘humane’ meant that one American life is worth 24 Iraqi lives. I guess it’s okay to vent out sometimes and kill the people you have been deployed to liberate and protect. Yes siree, we will win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.

    Great quotes TheTruth.

  33. There’s something going on here on this board, something well orchestrated – we have a bunch of newcomers with verrry similiar writing styles, supporting S.A.Roy blatantly to cautiously, and deflecting any legitimate criticism as the handiwork of bigots.

    An Indian environmentalist I know was involved in the initial stages of the Narmada protest. S.A Roy was not even on the horizon, and one day she suddenly came on and started making press statements. Most of the people on the agitation did not like this, and the unanimous view (including that of Medha Patkar) was that Roy’s shrill style would do disservice to the cause, and that she would use the agitation to further her own agenda and interests. No one knows what happened, but suddenly all those who opposed were in effect discredited and left the agitation within months. “They” even tried to get to Medha, but she stood steadfast and is still the undisputed leader of the Narmada movement.

    S.A.Roy has a PR army working for her (a small battalion is at work on this board). She is much more powerful than she projects. It’s not easy to thumb your nose at the Indian Supreme court and get away with it. It’s not easy to get quoted in every newspaper in the world which wants to opine on India.

    S.A. Roy is a shrewd, powerful media moghul. In business, she would have been a Ted Turner. In politics, she would have been a Hitler. Like all tyrants, she is very careful how she projects herself in public. Like all conmen, she is very charismatic. And like all celebrities, she clings to power tenaciously.

    But she has weaknesses that will bring her to doom. I know them, but why would I list them on an open forum? After all, I am shrewd, charismatic myself, and like her I have an agenda too.

    M. Nam

  34. There’s something going on here on this board, something well orchestrated – we have a bunch of newcomers with verrry similiar writing styles, supporting S.A.Roy blatantly to cautiously, and deflecting any legitimate criticism as the handiwork of bigots.

    Moornam was correct. I have banned the troll and deleted all 36 of his comments.