Read Quando arrivano le cavallette by Arundhati Roy Giovanni Garbellini Online


L’India di Arundhati Roy, scrittrice coraggiosa e reporter implacabile, è molto diversa dall’immagine luccicante offerta dalle fonti ufficiali. In questa nuova raccolta di saggi ci si trova di fronte ad avvenimenti e situazioni scottanti: apparati dello Stato deviati che inscenano falsi attentati e un «11 settembre asiatico», magistrati corrotti e più attenti al bene delleL’India di Arundhati Roy, scrittrice coraggiosa e reporter implacabile, è molto diversa dall’immagine luccicante offerta dalle fonti ufficiali. In questa nuova raccolta di saggi ci si trova di fronte ad avvenimenti e situazioni scottanti: apparati dello Stato deviati che inscenano falsi attentati e un «11 settembre asiatico», magistrati corrotti e più attenti al bene delle multinazionali che a quello della giustizia, giornalisti asserviti ai poteri forti, poliziotti che non esitano a scatenare pogrom contro le minoranze etniche e religiose, un’intera area — il Kashmir — dove i diritti civili sono sospesi e la guerra contro il Pakistan è una minaccia perenne, con ricorrenti scoppi di violenze.Un quadro cupo e inquietante ma non privo di speranze, perché tanti, come la Roy, lottano in nome della libertà, della verità, della pace. Con il suo consueto stile acuto e, allo stesso tempo, venato di una sottile ironia, Arundhati Roy cerca di guidare il lettore occidentale nel complesso intrico di politica, religione, società ed economia della «più grande democrazia del mondo»....

Title : Quando arrivano le cavallette
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ISBN : 9788860883506
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 175 Pages
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Quando arrivano le cavallette Reviews

  • Tarquin Hall
    2018-11-19 01:47

    Earlier this year, I interviewed a senior economic adviser to the Indian government. When I challenged his view that India would soon be a “superpower” and referred to the country’s 600m poor, he shot me a venomous look: “You’ve been listening to Arundhati Roy!”That Roy should be perceived as having singlehandedly coloured a foreign journalist’s perception of India is laughable. Away from the gated communities of the middle classes, the country’s problems are palpable. But no other Indian activist writes in such articulate English or attracts such attention in the West as the Booker prize-winning author of The God of Small Things.Having spent the past 12 years using her literary fame to shine a light on the country’s poor, she is seen by the elite as a veritable traitor.Roy’s new book, in which she argues that a nexus of government, judiciary, industry and media is colluding to absolve each other’s sins, will not make her any new friends in such circles. No doubt the cheerleaders of the “new” India will dismiss these essays as the ravings of a woman who, in the words of the economic adviser, “will be out of a job when the Indian economy is bigger than America’s”. Those outside the country who have grown used to reading about the success of corporate India are also likely to question its realism.Roy readily admits that she is “hysterical” about where Indian society is headed: “I’m screaming from the bloody rooftops.” In her view, “genocide” was committed in the Gujarat riots in 2002, Kashmir is under brutal military occupation and economic policies have driven millions to the brink of starvation. As for last November’s Mumbai attacks: “What we’re experiencing now is blowback, the cumulative result of decades of quick fixes and dirty deeds. The carpet is squelching under our feet.”Hyperbole? Her razor-sharp diatribes are threatening precisely because they are so well reported and because she is so passionate about India’s future — a future that is being sabotaged, in her view, mainly by religious nationalism and political expediency. One case in point is the story of Mohammad Afzal, a Kashmiri sentenced to death for the 2001 attack on India’s parliament. Roy meticulously picks apart the bizarrely constructed case against him, based on circumstantial evidence, and sees the frenzied calls to hang him as an example of growing Hindu chauvinism: “If opinion polls, letters to the editor and the reactions of audiences in TV studios are a correct gauge of public opinion in India, then the lynch mob is expanding by the hour. It looks as though an overwhelming majority of Indian citizens would like to see Mohammad Afzal hanged every day, weekends included, for the next few years.”Roy also chronicles the alarming abuses by India’s Supreme Court. One former chief justice was accused of allowing his sons to run a property empire from his official residence and profit from his court decisions. But the hapless Indian journalists who reported the story were found guilty of criminal contempt under an act that essentially prohibited criticism of the court or any of its justices.But she saves her most devastating criticism for those involved in the killings of 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat in 2002. Roy compares the Hindu right wing’s persecution of Muslims to Hitler’s persecution of the Jews. “What kind of India do they want? A limbless, headless, soulless torso left bleeding under the butcher’s cleaver with a flag driven deep into her mutilated heart?”Ultimately, Roy identifies the very democratic system India brandishes to the rest of the world as the underlying problem. It’s true, Indians are free to vote. But what connection, Roy rightly asks, does voting have with democracy when politics have mutated and justice is consistently subverted? Can Indians claim moral superiority when the highest judges in the land engage in brazen corruption; when the police boast of torture and routinely fabricate evidence to frame the innocent; when corporations commit “ecocide” in their quest for bigger profits?“We’re standing at a fork in the road,” Roy exhorts her fellow citizens. “One sign points in the direction of Justice, the other says Civil War. There’s no third sign, and there’s no going back. Choose.”

  • Sumirti Singaravel
    2018-11-22 03:47

    Had I had read this book a few years before, I would have denied and thrashed Ms.Roy as just another an intellectual who enjoys the fruits of Capitalism and democracy yet pricking at its root constantly, for in my youthful fancy I never questioned my belief in free market and the superiority of my own nation. But only with age comes wisdom.In this wonderfully written essays, Roy fiercely and courageously speaks the truth and voices for the oppressed, be it the adivasis, kashmiris or the citizens killed in the Gujarat 2002 riots. In her ferocity and unscrupulous adherence to the truth nothing goes unscathed and she annihilates the glossy veneer around every of our institution - the media, Supreme court, government and almost everything.In an uncannily candid prose(which sounds poetic at times), she reminds us of the collusion of the media, politicians, bureaucrats, judiciary - the four arms of our democracy. "The choas is real. But so is the consensus", she says. Has she spared the civil society? Quite not. "If they've(politicians) let us down, its only because we've allowed them to. It could be argued that civil society has failed its leaders as much as leaders have failed the civil society". Comparing the Nazi with the Hindutva, she sums up that Modi is not all-in-all solution for our nation, "Individual charisma, personality politics, cannot effect radical change"(I wish Modi supporters hear it).She didn't spare even Ramachandra Guha, the historian who questioned her repeated usage of the word 'fascism' to describe Hindutva in his famous book 'India after Gandhi'. Roy is that intellectual whose voice is listened to, consistently, in home and abroad, and whom the politicians are much afraid to suppress(that she wasn't jailed or shot dead or deported proves it). However, is Indian democracy really in its infirmity? Is the Indian capitalism all a fallacy? Is Indian media a complete humbug? One cannot call it so. In spite of all the misgivings, atleast 70% of Indian state still remains in peace. There was no other riot in Gujarat after 2002; there is a new generation of youngsters growing up in Kashmir who are beginning to embrace Indian constitution(Read:, Supreme Court jailed a corrupt minister in the 2G scam, there is still some ethical Indian media and newspapers. Further, that her voice is heard shows that Indian democracy is still intact and her book is selling evidences that our market is still working.Yet much remains unchanged, although we are far from being hopeless. Roy is a warning; a whistle blower; an anomaly in the system. She was created by the very system she strives to bring down. But she is important. Important to check ourselves often; to introspect ourselves; to remind us that we are great only when we remain humble. She is a product of our system to fix the system. Love her or hate her, but you cannot ignore her.Ergo! Arundhati Roy!!

  • Stephen Durrant
    2018-11-25 01:58

    Roy is an engaged intellectual, a rare breed these days--an Indian Noam Chomsky, one might say. And her anti-globalization, basically left-wing take on politics aligns her very much with Chomsky. There is however a fundamental difference: Roy is a great writer and a truly formidable polemicist. One can disagree with her positions, and on occasions I do, but no one can question her intelligence, passion, and capacity for mixing detailed data and first-rate prose. This book is largely, but by no means solely, about India. In fact, one wonders how a writer with such views manages to stay alive and out-of-prison amidst the political corruption and violence she describes. Like other radical intellectuals in the past, her fame protects her, I suppose. If India is a democracy, as its government so proudly trumpets, then perhaps, Roy argues, democracy itself should be rethought. The power of the Indian government to oppress, even practice genocide against its own people, and yet go largely unquestioned and unchallenged is astounding. The examples she provides are numerous and force one to reevaluate the "shining India" of "breathtaking economic development," Bollywood and much Anglo-American literature that gets so much attention these days. But Roy spares no one, and any American reader is sure to bristle when he reads her descriptions of genocide against the Indians in this country and her arguments that it was our former president's "war on terror" that sanctioned violence against Moslems all over the world, including the slaughter of 3000 innocent Moslems in Gujarat in 2001, a crime for which no one has been punished. At the heart of this book, and the message I sympathize with most, is an attack on the "purist politics" that characterize so much government rhetoric these days. Put slightly differently, as soon as a government comes to be dominated by purists who have the "only right religion" or the "only right ideology," bad things are bound to happen. For those of us who still believe in pluralism and think our greatest danger comes from those "who know the truth," this book, so hard-edged and caustic at times, is a much-needed reassurance!

  • Vazir Singh
    2018-11-20 07:50

    Labelling Arundhati leftist,anti-national,anti-american,anti-hindu,anti-progess is obviously reducing her.Truth knows no boundaries. Her uncompromising stand & her defence of the underprivileged,the downtrodden,the minorities,the poor may not be palatable for many, but truth is seldom sweet. Her compassionate writing is like the voice of conscience.

  • Ashish
    2018-12-04 08:50

    This is a collection of essays, articles and lectures by the authors written over a period of time and after certain events in recent history. All of them are connected via a common underlying theme which Roy brings out in her usual brilliant writings.The main takeaway from this book is that her's is a voice that needs to be heard when we talk about modern Indian history and where it is leading us. One might not agree with her views, even might be opposing to all that she says and what she stands for, but one shouldn't disregard what she says. Even I don't see eye-to-eye with some of the views she holds but I am willing to read what her understanding of things are and where she is coming from. It's easy to disregard her as being an anti national, leftist, "activist", but it would be counterproductive. In fact this book does a great job at explaining her stand on things as might even surprise some of the people who hate her because it goes against the popular perception and her image that has been built in mainstream political discourse. While she doesn't hold back any punches and minces no words when coming down hard against right-wing communal politics, she recognises the mistakes, the atrocities and the faults of the other side too. She doesn't appear appeasing to anyone in particular and some of the things she says make way too much sense and makes you feel why we don't hear more from her. Sadly she has been muffled because of the harsh reality that she brings to the table and that makes a lot of people very uncomfortable. She could very well have been the voice of a nation that has been played by the politicians and the media for far too long, it needs the will of the people to see beyond the decisive plays at work, to see their collective interest in mind, but sadly it's human nature to be manipulated.

  • Sameer
    2018-11-20 01:37

    It rarely happens that you agree with most of the things written in a non-fiction book. This has been one such book for me. All these pieces were written between 2001 and 2008. However, the issues, majority communalism, unaccountable institutions, Kashmir, which come under incisive analysis of Roy, remain as relevant as then, if not more. Roy may seem to some as overly pessimistic and highlighting only that is wrong with India. But, it is expected of an activist who has seen ground realities. Read this with an open mind. Even if you don't agree with her views, you cannot miss her yearning for a beautiful India.

  • Sharath Chandra Darsha
    2018-11-27 03:55

    Firstly, we should appreciate people like Arundathi Roy for bringing out the voice of unheard. In this book Roy talks about the controversies surrounding the various attacks/genocides happened in India. We may never know who are the real culprits of these massacres. But one thing is sure; discrimination (racial/ethnic/religious/national) is the mother of all problems. As Rabindranath Tagore said, world peace which we dream of can be achieved only if people think they are part of a single family(In fact we are; we all evolved from single ancestor) and stop discriminating each other.Hope evolution remove those genes which discriminate ( that's impossible though, unless we populate the world by clones of a single person).

  • Sapan Vig
    2018-11-13 08:57

    "I think human consciousness, is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.", Rust Cohle says in the TV show True Detective. I think we are already marching, slowly but steadily, towards our collective doom.Arundhati Roy, in such hopeless times, seems to be shouting from the top of a roof - warning us of where we are headed. It seems, though, that we are too busy living our lives in this overcrowded bazaar to listen to this woman making noise. But maybe, some of us will listen. Maybe some of us will stop for a moment and think. Maybe some of us will understand and try to stop others so they can listen too, so they can think too and they can understand too. But some of us will call her mad and move on.This is what I feel about Roy's writing, her content and her audience (us). This book is a must read for anyone who is not afraid to confront an uncomfortable (possible? probable?) version of truth.

  • Anthony
    2018-12-03 07:50

    I had been so excited about this new title from Roy, author of the Booker Prize-winning The God of Small Things, but disappointment will be my lasting response. Listening to Grasshoppers is not intended to add anything new - it's a compilation of essays she's written for India's leftist outlets like Frontline and Outlook and reprints from submissions to The Nation, etc. This would be great, spanning 7+ years of post 9/11 writings and running commentaries on India's War on Terror, but when placed side by side her articles become simply repetitive. Each chapter revisits the Gujarat pogrom, militarization of the Pakistan border in Kashmir, the botched trial of accused Muslim militants, and so forth, but few articles add anything new to her manifesto canon. Seven years of journalism/editorials, I would have wanted more about the NBA, Naxalites, and Tamils. Several creative pieces are included, like Animal Farm II, which never should have received approval from Penguin's editors - artistic excellence was notably lacking here and the satire entirely failed in making loyalists laugh or the opposition blush. If you want to head straight to the marrow, first read Listening to Grasshoppers and Nine Is Not Eleven. You'll get 80% of the book's content in those two pieces alone.

  • Marianne
    2018-12-12 02:49

    Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on Democracy is the 12th non-fiction book by Booker Prize winning author, Arundhati Roy. In this collection of eleven related essays, the author of The God Of Small Things turns her prodigious talent for striking imagery and eloquent prose to the exploration of the political situation in India. Roy states that the essays were written in anger, in reaction to certain events (massacres, pogroms, genocide, assassinations, death sentences) and have been reprinted unchanged (although endnotes may have been added). While the significance of many names will be missed by those readers unfamiliar with current affairs in India (this reader included), nonetheless, Roy gets her point across. Although the corruption she writes about is no surprise, her revelations of the judiciary system, genocide, the Kashmir situation and religious tensions may be an eye opener. The conclusion I make from this powerful read is that I am eternally grateful not to be living as a non-Hindu in present-day India. As well as copious endnotes and references, Roy includes a short story, The Briefing, in the Appendix. I wonder, do fans of this amazing author’s novel hope in vain for another foray by her into the world of fiction?

  • Srikanth Mantravadi
    2018-12-08 07:37

    Powerful writing. As much as I prefer that Arundhati write fiction, her current job as a "literary crusader" if she can be called that is also leading to interesting results. I am aware of the criticisms of her grandiloquent essays ("Gandhians with guns" and erroneous assumptions amongst other things) but without a doubt they are the most compelling pieces of writing you will ever read. Arundhati has found that rare space where few tread (Maybe Sainath; but he is more journalist than writer); the marrying of high art with journalistic fervour. Roy's writing is a force to reckon with as it will seek to convert you to her cause not just through raw data and assumptions but also through emotional appeal that borders on manipulation (I mean this in a good way). So when things are aligned in the right way, Roy is unstoppable. If not, she is still thought provoking.

  • Nikhil
    2018-11-17 01:39

    I read this book in 2006 as a star-struck teenager who, until then, had never come across loaded words like genocide or ethnic cleansing. I loved the sophisticated language in her essays. I was moved by her passion and eloquence for subjects like justice and democracy. Yesterday, I tried in vain to convince my eighteen year old cousin to let me buy him a copy of her latest book of essays, Broken Republic. Evidently, he wasn't as moved by my arguments, as I was, when I bought this under the heady influence of a certain somebody.

  • Imran
    2018-11-27 05:47

    Though this is a small collection of about 12 essays and a fictional account I have spent almost a month with the book. This is because every essay needs to be read and reflected upon. This is no light-reading. Every essay in the collection has troubled me as any other in it.Roy is one author who does not deal in escapist stuff about everything being hunky-dory with the world. She says it as it is; a revelation for most of us who are very fortunate to have the lives we lead.

  • Vani
    2018-12-01 09:48

    Her writing is hard hitting, we all know that! With this book she brings forward all the ironies of our "Indianised" democracy and the fallacies of the system we are living with. I strongly recommend this book to everyone who wishes to critically see the way our country functions. Arundhati Roy's voice is strong, her observation sharp and inferences heart breaking.

  • Osman
    2018-11-25 05:52

    It was interesting to read this book mostly about Indian political arena and finding it so familiar in so many ways... Arundhati Roys passionate style of writing and candid delivery of her opinion makes her one of my favorite authors.

  • Sharad Shankar
    2018-12-07 09:36

    Difficult to ignore, what she has written there.

  • Anubhav
    2018-11-18 04:03

    Throughout the book, she jumps seamlessly from being a fantastic analytical thinker to a utter nonsensical ideologue and back. She does raise some valid issues but most critique is rhetorical.

  • McKenzie
    2018-11-23 06:49

    Field Notes on Democracy is a series of articles that Arundhati Roy wrote over several years, relating to political issues and movements in India. This is not a topic about which I know anything really, so while a lot of the details went over my head, it was fascinating to see how Roy's arguments about subjects like the violence in Kashmir changed over time. Roy seems to be in a unique position because of her international status as an author (if you have not read The God of Small Things I implore you to do so), to be able to criticize the corruption of the Indian government with impunity. The truly eerie experience of reading this collection is how democracy seems to have failed both the Indian and American people in a similar manner - throughout the book many passages struck me as relevant to both countries, such as, "Under the circumstances, it's futile to go on blaming politicians and demanding from them a morality of which they're incapable. If they've let us down, it's only because we've allowed them to.... We have to accept that there is a dangerous, systemic flaw in our parliamentary democracy that politicians will exploit." I appreciate reading collections such as this one to learn more about the world, though it is hard to read this collection without a full understanding of all the major politicians and political parties in India. Roy provides some level of context, but I would have liked some footnotes for each entry regarding the date it was published, and perhaps what major events had occurred since the last entry was published. Regardless of my ignorance, I still found much to puzzle over and consider in Field Notes on Democracy, and will now pay closer attention to political events in what is supposedly the world's largest democracy.

  • Bookish
    2018-11-15 07:04

    This was an amazing read for me, I had trouble putting it down and it's been awhile since that's happened with non-fiction. I usually listen to her readings as well so reading her essays was another new experience, they do complement each other. Once you've listened to her a few times; her voice, the inflections, her sense of humour, her empathy, they really come off the page seamlessly. While India is the main lens through which the effects of neoliberalism and fascism in a democracy are explored, you'll see many parallels throughout the world, some are spelled out and some are not. For instance, the Indian government's role in Kashmir might as well be a mirror to that of the Israeli state in occupied Palestine in terms of the brutality and how they're going about tweaking with the concept of genocide for their own ends. Thats's just one example. Colonialism is another theme - how India colonizes itself, how America sticks its corporate beak all over the place, and of course, Imperial Britain's lovely legacy to her colonies. There's so much to sink your teeth into, and so much to think about. Throughout this collection, you may be reminded as I was, of the absolute irony of mankind's destructive and self-destructive streak at its own hands, through the vote - Hitler, Sharon etc. etc., Bush, Trump ... the list just goes on.

  • Sarah
    2018-11-29 07:42

    I read this book for a course I took on Asian Economies. My professor was Sri Lankan and has spent time in India, so it was really interesting to learn about economies from a non-Westerner's perspective. Roy's book was one of my favorites that we read for the course. In the United States, it is drilled into us from a young age that we are the greatest country in the world, we are honorable, to be admired, and have a great political system since we have a democracy. Roy challenges the greatness of the United States and makes us think critically about democracy. One of her most memorable quotes for me was when she challenged democracy and said something along the lines of, "Democracy in theory works well, but democracy in practice does not. In order for democracy to truly work in today's world, representation must be fixed. If a democracy is over-represented or under-represented, it is no longer representative of the entire population or can fairly make decisions". Democracy is often seen as a utopia for developing countries to achieve, but a democracy is not always the best political system for all countries. Roy's passion and rigor will make you re-evaluate what you thought you knew about the U.S, India, and democracy.

  • nick
    2018-11-29 03:46

    When reading a book it is always a good idea to check up on the author? Arundhati Roy is of a dying breed, activist writers. I have to say that she intrigued me and I will, when given the opportunity, try to read some of her fiction even if I had several reservations concerning this book.For starters, it does require a sturdy knowledge of Modern Indian history to fulle comprehend her point of view, one has to know about the rise of hindoe nationalism, the Kashmir situation, the naxalites, Gandhi, the legacy of the congress party and the growing divide in India between the public life dominating emerging middle class and an increasingly vocal disillusioned poor majority.I was lucky to have enough knowledge of these things, but this does severely limit the non indian audience. I did find that to many essays on the terror attack of 13 december 2001 on the Indian parliament were included, for a non Indian it is difficult to grasp the significance of this event making it less impactful as was intended. However, that was not my biggest concern when reading this. Nor was it the criticism most easily found on the web of her supposed anti India agenda ( a sort of hollow accusation made in my opinion by nationalistic bullies and their ilk) or sympathies for certain social and political causes (she is quite open en proud of them making the point moot). My frustration had more to do with the fact that the book is a bit deceiving. It is presented as a book on democracy yet a more fitting title and description would have been, a bundle of essays on related topics specific to India. Content wise she made me shiver with horror and sometime yawn. The yawn had to do with various classic radical left wing discourse on the US and the nature of fascism. More precisely the classic premise that big corporations and fascism go hand in hand. In various essays in this bundle does Roy direct or indirectly put a link between the riots and killings of Muslims by the radical Hindu movement in Gujarat state and neoliberalism. I agree that big mine and oil companies as well as big agricultural companies have used and benefited from police and paramilitary protection from and violent oppression of dispossessed and angry local inhabitants who lost their livelihood from pollution and exploitation. Yet does that mean companies considered India a better investing opportunity after the mass killings and forced expulsion of Muslim Indians? Never does Roy actually prove or even explain how exactly big companies have benefited from the killings. That then state leader of Gujarat and now leader of India Modi had a direct role in the mass killings and following protection for perpetrators is crystal clear as are his good relations with big companies and neoliberal think thanks. It does not mean however that they love him because he had a strong role in the killings, it is rather that he has a very strong pro companies policies that makes companies out of greed ignore his other side as a politician. I was even more frustrated when she made a few side remarks on the possibility of the terror attack on the parliament 2001 could have been organised by the Indian secret service as a sort of Indian version of the burning of the reigstag in 1930ties Germany, a bit too much conspiracy thinking for my taste. The shiver however will stick a lot longer with me then the yawn. For Roy has a polemic style of writing that grips you and does not let go. The divide between the masses and the middle class and the increasingly open choice of the Indian state to ignore the majority except as for foot soldiers and ideology reasons for the benefit of a growing, yet in numbers marginal, class of people. Roy in her various essays show how these supposedly decent people the so called new India are both deceived by a media increasingly shallow and commerce driven to believe their little world is the norm for all of India and both actively support the oppression of all those who do not fit in the new India. In particular the rural poor, ethnic minorities and indigenous people, ecologists and all those who dare to defend them are considered an obstacle to the new India, giving a carte blance for the Indian justice system and secret service to handle the enemies of the Indian state any way they see fit. In short it is the Indian path to it's own form of fascism and ecocide contribution to global climate change in the name of holy progress and unity. It is quite easy to understand why right wing India hates her and why the popular media declares her to be a nutcase with a confused agenda. At some point I was skeptic of her ability to introspect and yet she surprised me when discussing a rally in Kashmir and making the comparison with the crowds chanting and flags and the Hindu nationalists, what kind of freedom do these Kashmir leaders have in mind she wonders and will it be any different from the freedom proclaimed in Gujarat? Or as she in the latter part of the book puts it, how easily victims of injustice can become perpetrators themselves... In a way her style of writing and message reminded me of another Indian author I read recently, Pankaj Mishra and his ruins of empire, I consider both to be examples of a rapidly diminishing group of voices, those of elite secular progressive India, the class that spawned people such as former prime minister Nehru and his fellow early congress party members. While Mishra preferred Tagore and his spiritualist views, Roy on the other hand is an admirer of Gandhi and the vision he had for India ( a new form of radical politics that replaces oppression and injustice with dignity for all man and nature unlike the current Indian Demon-crazy as she calls it in reference to a Kashmir placard). Roy does not shy away from issues such as racism among ecologist or sexism among indigenous people and is quite clear on her agenda for absolute embrace of dignity for all. The differences are notable yet I do believe it will take me a few more books of both authors to fully understand their ideological differences.

  • Abigail
    2018-11-22 08:57

    Roy brilliantly explores how the Indian Government - particularly the BJP - misuse their position of power through the displacement of citizens and destruction of the lands natural resources which have occurred as a result of the growing demands of globalisation. She criticises the ever-growing disparities of wealth between the rich and the poor as a result of capitalism and consumerism. The series of essays are widely controversial as they criticise the state of the government along with the whole nature of democracy, but she is simply trying to cause the reader to question and to be exposed to what they are not being shown.

  • Gavin
    2018-11-11 02:47

    A stirring introduction to the politics and society of India. It's hard not to be moved by the two or three key issues Roy focuses on - the corruption and Hindu "Nationalism" especially. But, like many other narratives which preach to the converted, I feel it's probably far too strident in its tone to convince those who disagree to come around to her positions. Perhaps when read individually in their original context as essays and columns, they may have been more appreciated. But in the end, aside from stirring my interest in the issues she raises, there's a sense of dissatisfaction with the lack of resolution.

  • Vikash Singh
    2018-11-28 07:46

    Its a collection of essays on democracy, primarily in Indian context. Lots of content gets repeated many times. Very conveniently Roy decides to omit certain events which took place in this duration (2001-2009) to support the narrative. Nevertheless few essays are worth reading, the title essay is probably the best.

  • Dhanya
    2018-11-11 08:37

    Scary is the only word!

  • Arafat Shaikh
    2018-11-11 07:58

    Worth reading This is worth your time especially for those who has the courage to confront bitter truths. Arundhati Roy has very vividly explained the fault lines in our system.

  • John
    2018-12-04 09:51

    I admit up front that I didn't read the entire book, though I read several of the essays and skimmed the rest. Why? I don't trust what Roy writes.Below are a few quotes from this book regarding the United States. I use these examples not to defend the U.S. but because I am most familiar with them:The United States "continues to celebrate Columbus Day...which marks the beginning of a holocaust that wiped out millions of Native Americans, about 90 percent of the original population." (Roy does not mention that the vast majority of Native Americans died from imported diseases from which they had no immunity--diseases which spread through North America much faster than the Europeans. She tries to infer that 90 percent of Native Americans were deliberately "wiped out" by the U.S, which is not true. For the record, the Smithsonian's Handbook of North American Indians estimated that the Native American population in North America numbered about 1,894,350 at about A.D. 1500, and that epidemics and other factors reduced this number to only 530,000 by 1900. There are other sources with different numbers.)"Lord Amherst, the man whose idea it was to distribute blankets infected with smallpox virus to Indians, has a university town in Massachusetts, and a prestigious liberal arts college named after him." (Amherst, who was British, did not have the idea to infect Native Americans with smallpox-infected blankets--a Colonel Henry Bouquet did and there is no proof that his idea was put into action. For the record, there is one instance of two possibly infected blankets being given to Native Americans in 1763, hundreds of years after smallpox and measles started spreading across the Americas. The town of Amherst was named by a British governor while Massachusetts was a colony. Roy makes it seem as if the U.S. named the town and college in honor of Amherst. Roy mentions Amherst in an attempt to show that the U.S. honors him for spreading smallpox among Native Americans, which is not true.)"In America's second holocaust, almost thirty million Africans were kidnapped and sold into slavery." (According to Wikipedia, based on other sources, "twelve million Africans were shipped to the Americas from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Of these, an estimated 645,000 were brought to what is now the United States." The vast majority of the 645,000 slaves were brought to the colonies by European nations--not by the U.S. Again, Roy inflates the numbers to suit her purposes.)My point is is this--how can you believe what Roy writes, when she ignores what does not support her highly politicized view and swallows material from other sources without checking facts? How can I believe what she writes about India if her goal is not truth but advocacy?Roy blatantly states that accuracy is not her goal. "I have often wondered whether the attempt to always be precise, to try and get it all factually right somehow reduces the epic scale of what is really going on. Does it eventually mask a larger truth? I worry that I am allowing myself to be railroaded into offering a prosaic, factual precision when maybe what we need is a feral howl, or the transformative power and real precision of poetry."Personally, I prefer objective truth to subjective poetry, and think it is important to get it "factually right". But then I am not a polemicist or a propagandist.Note that if you love the work of writers like Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein, you'll probably love this book too.

  • Joe Campe
    2018-11-18 05:00

    Yet another great book from Ms. Roy. I liked the focus on India solely...forced me to learn a great deal about this beast of a country. I can't wait for her second novel!--Favorite or Clarifying Passages:Page 3"As a writer, a fiction writer, I have often wondered whether the attempt to always be precise, to try and get it all factually right somehow reduces the epic scale of what is really going on. Does it eventually mask a larger truth? I worry that I am allowing myself to be railroaded into offering prosaic, factual precision when maybe what we need is a feral howl, or the transformative power and real precision of poetry."Page 27"Perhaps the story of the Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world, is the most appropriate metaphor for the insanity of our times. Thousands of Indian and Pakistani soldiers have been deployed there, enduring chill winds and temperatures that dip to minus 40 degrees Celsius. Of the hundreds who have died there, many have died just from the cold--from frostbite and sunburn. The glacier has become a garbage dump now, littered with the detritus of war--thousands of empty artillery shells, empty fuel drums, ice axes, old boots, tents, and every other kind of waste that thousands of warring human beings generate. The garbage remains intact, perfectly preserved at those ice temperatures, a pristine monument to human folly. While the Indian and Pakistani governments spend billions of dollars on weapons and the logistics of high-altitude warfare, the battlefield has begun to melt. Right now, it has shrunk to about half its size. The melting has less to do with the military standoff than with people far away, on the other side of the world, living the good life. They're good people who believe in peace, free speech, and in human rights. They live in thriving democracies whose governments sit on the UN Security Council and whose economies depend heavily on the export of war and the sale of weapons to countries like India and Pakistan. (And Rwanda, Sudan, Somalia, the Republic of Congo, Iraq,'s a long list.) The glacial melt will cause severe floods in the subcontinent, and eventually severe drought that will affect the lives of millions of people. That will give us even more reasons to fight. We'll need more weapons. Who knows, that sort of consumer confidence may be just what the world needs to get over the current recession. Then everyone in the thriving democracies will have an even better life--and the glaciers will melt even faster."Page 43"It's disturbing to see how neatly nationalism dovetails into fascism. While we must not allow the fascists to define what the nation is, or who it belongs to, it's worth keeping in mind that nationalism--in all its many avatars, communist, capitalist, fascist--has been at the root of almost all the genocide of the twentieth century. On the issue of nationalism, it's wise to proceed with caution. Can we not find it in ourselves to belong to an ancient civilization instead of to just a recent nation? To love a land instead of just patrolling a territory?"

  • Mark
    2018-11-12 05:05

    We know Arundhati Roy predominantly as a fiction author in this country, this book however is a collection of essays on the recent history of India. It focuses on Kashmir, terrorism and corruption which then feeds in to the wider debate about global power struggles and democracy. There is a vigorous passion to the writing as Roy espouses a politics that she wishes her country would practice; one of secular democratic egalitarianism. However, she sees a strong opposing shift in India at the moment with the spectre of fascism rearing its ugly head with alarming regularity.Roy uses the emotive term ‘fascism’ correctly in my view, it isn’t grandstanding or melodramatic given the course of events that are documented within the book from India’s language when discussing people of differing faith from the Hindu majority and in its response to potential terrorist attacks, which themselves are called in to question given the haphazard nature of the official account of events.The general corruption of politics and especially the judiciary presents a Kafkaesque hierarchical structure which leaves no room for the questioning of authority. This book comes out at a time of global politics where India is being wooed by western governments given the current and future clout of the state itself. As with Israel and vis-à-vis China, very few countries are willing to get on the wrong side of powerful or up-and-coming nations. The world is poorer as a result and India’s poor specifically are poorer still.The Bharatiya Janata Party bear much of the blame for the present state of affairs with its constant Hindu nationalist rhetoric and seemingly care-free attitude towards the slaughter of innocents, providing they are either poor or non-Hindu. Chief Minister for Gujarat Narenda Modi is accused of helping Hindu mobs in the genocide (as Roy puts it) of the Gujarati mulsim population in 2002. India is on a fast slope towards fascism if it isn’t there already and this book is a timely reminder of the ideals the rest of the world should be holding India, and ourselves to. The parallels with 1930s Germany while not asymmetrical are there, and growing daily. An excellent book packed full of vital information concerning areas we either don’t here about or shut our eyes and ears to. Well done Arundhati Roy.

  • Vaidya
    2018-11-18 02:06

    If I had read these articles at the time they were written, I'd have laughed and called her a lunatic. Sadly, most of the things she had predicted have come to be true. The path that she had warned, the country was taking, has long been headed down now. Her arguments about Nationalism, crony capitalism getting ready to pillage forests and render millions homeless are all coming true. Having said that, I do find her rhetoric on Kashmir too one-sided. There is too much of a black-and-whiting of a really complicated issue with far too many stakeholders involved, that reduces it to a two-horse race between Kashmiris and the Indian Union. There is no mention of what the Hindu majority Jammu, or Buddhist Leh would want, a hat-tip to the Kashmiri Hindus driven off from their homes in patronizing "at some point Kashmiris will have to address what they did", that "at some point" being after they become free. So too the Hindus of Jammu who'd then be a minority and would need to be treated "properly", even though her version of freedom is Rawalpindi which, as she points out, grudgingly, indulged in genocide in B'desh - a term which she so eloquently describes earlier.She refuses to call any militant in the Valley 'terrorist' as they're fighting for their freedom, while the LTTE which is pretty much doing the same in SL against a much worse Government is labeled a "dangerous militant organisation trained by the Indian Army". I've always liked her arguments, we need contrarian voices that can hold a mirror to the direction our society is headed. And I've always supported her standing up for tribals and their rights in mining ravaged hinterlands. But is she our Chomsky? Sadly, not yet. She lacks that crucial ability to see things objectively and consistently. It cannot be a case of "our poison is the worst, every one else's poison is better and must be chosen over this".And honestly, you cannot include a map which looks like this and have yourself taken seriously: