Wednesday, March 29, 2006


REGARDING ANGER AND INDIFFERENCE

Who better to touch the matter of defiance and the increasingly severe frustration with indifference - a stinging, silent pain - among non-violent militants than a novelist of Arundhati Roy's intellect. From the author of The God of Small Things, here is something to ponder on in these days of disquiet:

I "feel there is some sort of dishonesty in trying to manufacture hope at this point here ... because that's what a lot of activists do and eventually I think it takes the edge off people's anger because there is a point at which battles have to be fought even without hope, just in anger you know, sometimes hope tends to calm you down and I don't feel that there's anything calming me down right now. It's not this "we shall overcome" thing you know, that's what I mean, like we have to develop the honesty of the completely insane....

In India "you have the Maoists and the resistance movements in Kashmir and all that. And (laugh) you know I completely agree with what they're fighting against.... But I also know that were they to win their struggle, I'd be the first person to be strung up from the nearest tree.... So you're in this place where you're fighting on the side of people who do not have a space for you in their social imagination, but you still must do it, you know....

"[O]n a different time zone I really think that this American Empire is cracking, I really feel that it cannot handle it. It cannot handle more than Iraq right now. And yet it has a momentum of its own that it can't stop. And so it will commit suicide.... Isn't it interesting, you know, you have the suicide bomber and then the suicide farmer. One is a completely political act and the other is a totally apolitical act. And both are self destructive....

"[E]ven the avenues where those things are expressed are being taken over. Bookshops are telling publishers what kind of books, and Wal-mart is telling musicians what kind of music and ... you know its like the drains are blocked and the shit is flooding out the bathroom. You know it's almost like that becomes a metaphor for some kind of destruction. Whether its self-destruction or any other kind of destruction I don't know.

[There was a march one time,] "I was so angry [on] the day of the march, that all these people had come and actually the [rally] stage blocked us off from parliament and, there they were, you know, giving their speeches ... that march was ... it was just diffused by them.... You know, we should have done something because people were really angry. It's their own leaders that stop it, you know.... We should have stormed something!" #

Anger is eloquent. Tell me what you think...
Email redcosmo(at)gmail(dot)com

The novelist was interviewed by Biju Mathew on the program Global Movements, Urban Struggles. The interview was aired on 14 March 2006 on NYC's WBAI radio. Thanks to Herbert Docena's post in the Peoples Security list which carried the selected portions of the transcript prepared by Anjali Kamat.

1 comment:

Jones Morris said...

Even though the self-empowerment (read, “adrenaline rush”) it immediately offers is bogus, it can yet be extremely tempting to get “attached”—or even “addicted”—to it if we frequently experience another as threatening the way we need to see ourselves (e.g., as important, trustworthy, Tonjademoff.com