Renowned Indian writer Arundhati Roy. — File photo
Renowned Indian writer Arundhati Roy. — File photo

In Pakistan, apprehensions are rife about Narendra Modi’s flamboyant success. But fervent Modi supporters in the Indian middle classes prefer to place him in the economic governance arena. Dawn recently talked to renowned Indian writer, Arundhati Roy, in Delhi to explore what Modi’s rise means for India.

“The massive, steeply climbing GDP of India dropped rather suddenly and millions of middle-class people sitting in the aircraft, waiting for it to take off, suddenly found it freezing in mid-air,” says Ms Roy. “Their exhilaration turned to panic and then into anger. Modi and his party have mopped up this anger.”

India was known for its quasi-socialist economy before it unfettered its private sector in 1991. India soon became global capital’s favourite hangout, sending its economy on a high. The neo-liberal roller coaster ride, however, hit snags. The Indian economy, after touching a peak of over 10pc growth in 2010, tapered down to below 5pc in the last three years. The Indian corporate class blames this lapse solely on the ruling Congress party’s ‘policy paralysis’. Its ‘meek’ prime minister, Manmohan Singh, was now identified as a hurdle. The aggressive Modi thus provided the ultimate contrast.

“What he [Modi] will be called upon to do is not to attack Muslims, it will be to sort out what is going on in the forests, to sweep out the resistance and hand over land to the mining and infrastructure corporations,” explains Ms Roy. “The contracts are all signed and the companies have been waiting for years. He has been chosen as the man who does not blink in the face of bloodshed, not just Muslim bloodshed but any bloodshed.” India’s largest mining and energy projects are in areas that are inhabited by its poorest tribal population who are resisting the forcible takeover of their livelihood resources. Maoist militants champion the cause of these adivasis and have established virtual rule in many pockets.

“Bloodshed is inherent to this model of development. There are already thousands of people in jails,” she says. “But that is not enough any longer. The resistance has to be crushed and eradicated. Big money now needs the man who can walk the last mile. That is why big industry poured millions into Modi’s election campaign.”

Ms Roy believes that India’s chosen development model has a genocidal core to it. “How have the other ‘developed’ countries progressed? Through wars and by colonising and usurping the resources of other countries and societies,” she says. “India has no option but to colonise itself.”

India’s demographic dynamics are such that even mundane projects, such as constructing a road, displace thousands of people, never mind large dams and massive mining projects. The country has a thriving civil society, labour unions and polity that channel this resistance. The resistance frustrates corporate ambitions. “They now want to militarise it and quell it through military means,” she says. Ms Roy thinks that the quelling “does not necessarily mean one has to massacre people, it can also be achieved by putting them under siege, starving them out, killing and putting those who are seen to be ‘leaders’ or’ ‘instigators’ into prison.” Also, the hyper Hindu-nationalist discourse which has been given popular affirmation will allow those resisting ‘development’ to be called anti-nationals. She narrates the example of destitute small farmers who had to abandon their old ways of subsistence and plug in to the market economy.

In 2012 alone, around 14,000 hapless farmers committed suicide in India. “These villages are completely resourceless, barren and dry as dust. The people are mostly Dalits. There is no politics there. They are pushed into the polling booths by power brokers who have promised their overlords some votes,” she adds, citing her recent visit to villages in Maharashtra that has the highest rate of farmer suicides in India.

So is there no democracy in India then? “It would be too sweeping to say that,” she retorts. “There is some amount of democracy. But you also can’t deny that India has the largest population of the poor in the world. Then, there hasn’t been a single day since independence when the state has not deployed the armed forces to quash insurgencies within its boundaries. The number of people who had been killed and tortured is incredible. It is a state that is continuously at war with its people. If you look at what is happening in places like Chhattisgarh or Odisha, it will be an insult to call it a democracy.”

Ms Roy believes that elections have become a massive corporate project and the media is owned and operated by the same corporations too. She opines that “some amount of democracy” in India is reserved for its middle classes alone and through that they are co-opted by the state and become loyal consumers of the state narrative of people’s resistances.

“The 2014 elections have thrown up some strange conundrums,” she muses. “For eg, the BSP, Mayawati’s party, which got the third largest vote share in the country, has won no seats. The mathematics of elections are such that even if every Dalit in India voted for her, she could have still not won a single seat.”

“Now, we have a democratically elected totalitarian government,” she continues. “Technically and legally, there is no party with enough seats to constitute an opposition. But many of us have maintained for several years that there never was a real opposition. The two main parties agreed on most policies, and each had the skeleton of a mass pogrom against a minority community in its cupboard. So now, it’s all out in the open. The system lies exposed.”

India’s voters have given their verdict. But the blunt question that Ms Roy raises remains unanswered: where will India’s poor go?

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2014

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Comments (297) (Closed)


Imran
May 23, 2014 08:24am

I feel sorry for Arundhati Roy. Pessimism and negativity she shows for everything Indian is shocking. Of course there are problems in India like any developing country, mainly exploiting poor under privileged people & tribals by powerful politicians, Industrialists.. But people must fight against it. But calling Indians and Modi blood thirsty and questioning Indian voters intelligence is outrageous. That is why she lost respect and nobody takes her seriously in India.

Dr Pattni
May 23, 2014 10:49am

@Imran . You are right ofcourse . Further why does she never talks about Hindus being oppressed in Pakistan ??? I think she has lost leave of her senses

Selfbeliever
May 23, 2014 11:25am

@Imran Well said .. She is one of the wrong element who pretend to be revolutionaries in the society by actually they are not instead spoiler..these people live in all countries but difficult to isolate them even after identifying their intention. Nobody takes her seriously (not even for reading her story) in India .She was coming in media a few months ago but not now as even Media is avoiding her view as there are no buyers.

Vijay K
May 23, 2014 11:30am

I read one of her books. Only criticisms, nothing constructive. Like any Bengali, pro-communist and anti-progressive. Lost interest in her. No wonder she now goes about writing in Pakistani papers. Who else would "have" her.

NORI
May 23, 2014 11:30am

Arundhati Roy, we heard your criticism of existing development model. Can you now tell us what is your (better) alternative ? I am surprised that the journalist, who talked to Arundhati, didn't throw this question !!!

Sunil
May 23, 2014 11:32am

When you dont participate in elections, you have no right to criticize. Arundhati did not vote, so her comments have no value.

Jeeves
May 23, 2014 11:37am

Being a Christian, her apprehensions against a right-wing Government is understandable but to paint the incumbent Government as anti-minority is too extreme. Ms. Roy should know that the Christians have more problems with Muslims in her home state Kerala than they have with Hindus.

Rakesh Kumar
May 23, 2014 11:39am

I am really pity for this lady. she is full of negative thought regarding every things around her, even her face shining start fading away from all this.

Abhishek Tomar
May 23, 2014 11:43am

She needs a doctor, she is expert in finding wrong in everything except her. People like her wants to stay in news but Indian have stopped taking her seriously so moved to foreign newspaper now. That day is not far when Pakistanis would also stop paying attention to her

Azeez
May 23, 2014 11:47am

This half mad writer from kerala is a shame to every Indians

Ahmed
May 23, 2014 11:48am

"Arundhati Rocks"...plz vote for her...

Mahen
May 23, 2014 11:49am

Was Gujarat State government a totalitarian state in the last 12 years under CM Modi? Grow up smarty pants!

abdulaziz
May 23, 2014 11:57am

Roy knows how to make money by writing stuff Pakistanis enjoy. As a young lady, she was a drifter, selling drugs and other stuff in Goa. She found her way to sell stuff again, only this time with very pessimistic stuff or promising stuff to poor people so that they oppose govt sponsored projects. Therefore, she is no saint either.

ishan
May 23, 2014 12:00pm

arundhati who??

Prasanna Kasthuri
May 23, 2014 12:11pm

Arundhati Roy's objections are all raised from experiences from past governments, which ran on coalition government including the one which lost its election in 2014. For once, people have decided to vote for a call on development not for one person (Modi), as Arundhati roy imagines. Without giving Mr. Narendra Modi an option and just discussing his negative side is very amateurish. Ms. Roy herself should self -introspect her own life and see - if she has done only right things through out her life ? I am not supporting Modi's case here. But I am supporting the frustration of people who got tired of Congress government's Hippocratic rule. A general electorate is very simple and just. All they need is peace, some security and food. Even these basic things have not been provided. If a Modi shows it in Gujarath for 12 years and promises it for India, - Indian electorate will definitely vote for him. Elections seems to be a fair and independent election. One must respect people's will. A rich Ms. Roy should not speak language of poor. Instead of negative publicity stunts - she should confront those problems, analyze them and reach out to Modi to solve country's problems rather than making some uncanny statements.

nishant
May 23, 2014 12:14pm

this woman has gone coocoo, no one seem to care about her in india, matter of fact she never make it to news in india but i guess she still wont give up.

Hilarious
May 23, 2014 12:15pm

@ Imran

Well said. In some ways, this is a sort of tribute to the much maligned 'freedom of speech' that this woman can go on spouting such banalities ad nauseum. However, she has of late surpassed herself. Methinks, her not being taken seriously anymore forces her to be more and more outrageous in her statements. Of course, there is a kernel of truth in what she says - but her ultra-left sympathies and warped thinking has made her a symbol of derision in India. She can go on writing her vicious stuff - no one is listening. We have work to do...

Iqbal Ismail
May 23, 2014 12:15pm

Just remove the word Modi from the recital and substitute the word Nawaz. Two-faces of the same coin. The poor have no place. Either in India or in Pakistan. They are cannon fodder.

ali ahmed
May 23, 2014 12:16pm

she is right, we have same situation in Pakistan

sameer
May 23, 2014 12:17pm

There are people like Arundhati Roy, Shobha Dey. They roam around sitting in there AC Cars. attend high profile parties. and shamelessly comment about the general problems, so called secularism and other problems which they in their entire life have not come across.

Utkarsh
May 23, 2014 12:17pm

A democratically elected totalitarian government? That's an oxymoron. As long as the government doesn't erode the rights of minorities (and I don't mean religious minorities, enough of the obsession with religion), they're not totalitarian.

Ahmad
May 23, 2014 12:19pm

Not every voice can be silenced. Respect.

Kohistan wala
May 23, 2014 12:19pm

Excellent article. Defining in great detail the not so Great Expectations. A secular India, Gandhi's India is dead and gone. The ashes delivered, ...already in the river at Varanasi. [here comes the Indian trolls, all 1.8 billion of them]

Lalai
May 23, 2014 12:21pm

Congratulations to multinationals and the corporate giants in India, now that they will have a vast grazing field and free to recoup their investments many folds. What will be the impact on ordinary Indians is any body's guess. I think the rich will get richer and the poor , poorer, thereby shrinking the vibrant Indian middle class.

Kartik
May 23, 2014 12:23pm

Ms Roy, If the Modi Govt is "totalitarian" then that was the choice of the worlds largest democracy. You can continue to believe that you are right and the whole Nation is wrong that does not make it any different. Modi won 70% of the seats in a country of 130 crore people.

IKE
May 23, 2014 12:25pm

Honest Opinion.

Purush
May 23, 2014 12:25pm

A misplaced article and a misleading conclusion (last line). This is not an issue even in the so called pseudo secular s or pseudo intellectuals mind. They are parroting it out of sycophancy towards the older regime with whom they enjoyed a cozy though intellectually dishonest relation. People in India have moved on. And these people are unable to digest that. They are unable to digest that 14 years of carefully crafted canard of theirs which they along with some media personalities have been spreading in India, has finally come to a big naught.

ordinary_citizen
May 23, 2014 12:26pm

Maybe I am naive but I don't see this any different than democracy in US, UK, Italy, France or any other major western democracy. It is a fact that democracy has been hijacked by corporate sector and they are using it for their profit.

On another note democracy is in a better overall shape in smaller places like Scandinavian countries, Switzerland etc.

Bharat
May 23, 2014 12:26pm

@Imran She's an important voice because very few educated people in India put forth the concerns of development's victims before the public. For someone to develop, someone else must suffer, and that is the inherent flaw in the capitalist model of growth.

Girish Phalke
May 23, 2014 12:26pm

Shameless minds...

Kabilan
May 23, 2014 12:27pm

Haha...Arundati Roy ! I donno who even hears her words in India ! Worth to be ignored !

Its a stomach burn for Arundhati Roy. Have a Lemon Soda :) !

Rahul
May 23, 2014 12:31pm

Arundati has provided facts on issues India faces but approach which Modi will adopt is purely fictitious. On the contrary, Modi is going to work for poor to provide them self sustainable in thier villages. Modi has already talked about Agriculture as an industry - this would definitely allow farm labors to safety to income. In India agriculture needs to be freed up from rich farmers and make some room for poor labor who actually toil the soil. Ex-President Abdul Kalaam started an initiative PURA - providing Urban (facility/employment) in Rural Areas. This initiative though very good never got COngress support. MOdi is definitely going implement Abdul Kalaam's dream project -PURA

Aimal
May 23, 2014 12:33pm

I too feel sorry for Ms. Roy. The problem is that some people love poor people so much that they would love to see them remain poor. They fear, that once the poor ones are uplifted out of poverty, they become capitalists. Therefore, any Government that will work to reduce the number of people under the poverty line will not find favour with such socialist intellectuals. She should devote time to help the Government elected by such massive majority to do what needs to be done and not sulk.

dewaans
May 23, 2014 12:39pm

@Imran - I don't agree with all of what Ms. Roy says. But it is a fact that large mining projects displace lakhs without giving them adequate compensation. Denial of social justice is the root cause of a lot of the Maosits uprising.

These are desperately poor folks who have routinely faced the brunt of the law - mainly due to corruption. Without any recourse to justice they have become rebels. It is time to introspect - not accuse. After all they too are Indians.

doesn't matter
May 23, 2014 12:40pm

Are the poor in India suffering any less today? Projects might displace people in the short term but in the long term new industries will be set up. The poor will find jobs to raise their standards of living. No body wants to live on dole if they get an opourtunity to earn a decent living for themselves. Arundhati Roy wants to keep poor people where they are. She can only point out what is wrong but never a solution on how to overcome problems.

Totalitarian Topee
May 23, 2014 12:44pm

"Now, we have a democratically elected totalitarian government," says Arundhati Roy, while residing in and traveling to and from this supposedly totalitarian country and countries that hate its guts. And madam Roy says this to audiences in countries where journalists are getting bumped off for "blasphemy". Dear Ms. Arundhati Suzanne Roy, you are a piece of art.

Robot
May 23, 2014 12:50pm

These kind of fellows (Roy) need not take seriously :-) ...she lost my respect...attention seeker...some people chose to see negativity in everything...Feeling sad for her

Rashid Ishaq
May 23, 2014 12:56pm

@Kartik - Those who know and those who doesn't can never be equal; their shouldn't be any vote rights to illiterate people and this is the only weakness in democracy that this rule doesn't apply; you might suffer more because you are the largest democracy

Sanjeev
May 23, 2014 12:58pm

Arundhati should only concentrate on writing short stories. Thinking and writing some thing intelligent is not her strong suit. She should confine her activities to entertainment. Unfortunately she thinks cheap statements attracting attention is sort of entertainment.

Parvez
May 23, 2014 01:01pm

Its reads like the view of a somewhat but not altogether disappointed person.......but a person who really does not have an answer to the problem.

Sahil
May 23, 2014 01:05pm

She is one of those "thinkers" whose thoughts are mostly misplaced. Left to her, living in the forest and fending and scraping for daily food there is an ideal life, rather than the fast paced life of the 21st century. If everyone felt like her, then there would be no readers for her boring books nor "anything" we call as progress today!

Raghu
May 23, 2014 01:09pm

My honest advice is Arundhati Roy should have contested in elections and check her popularity. She could have even defeated Modi by 4-5 Lakh votes...Every Indian knows she is some rare super intelligent breed...

MrBlonde
May 23, 2014 01:20pm

Please print stories about the Arundhati Roy's of Pakistan , wait do u have any ?

Sufi Mateen
May 23, 2014 01:26pm

I salute her. Voice of wisdom. Thanks Dawn for publishing facts.

Akram
May 23, 2014 01:28pm

Arundhati Roy is one of the few Indians whose opinion carries weight with me, particularly after she spoke out about Kashmir. She is not beholden to anyone, and cuts through issues like a knife. She has unmasked Modis politics of business a great degree. South Asia needs more people like her, when you have such truth tellers the problems of south asia are more likely to be solved.

Akram
May 23, 2014 01:31pm

@dewaans

George Orwell comes to mind. All indians are equals, but some are more equal than others.

Imran S
May 23, 2014 01:35pm

@Dr Pattni What has it got to do with Pakistan anyways? It doesn't appear that article was about ethnicity or other countries. She expressed her political and social view about her country's issues and problems not any of the neighbouring country.

Pushkar
May 23, 2014 01:38pm

Only one question to this rhetoric content by the author ...Does Ms Roy has any solution for the insurgencies within the country, or does she has an answer for the largest poor population of this country?

Raj
May 23, 2014 01:41pm

@Sufi Mateen these are not facts. but u guys are always in a state of denial. and ms roy has got a good audience in u

Sudarshan
May 23, 2014 01:41pm

Hard to believe the image of India in eyes of Ms Roy

Kunal
May 23, 2014 01:42pm

I feel sorry for you ma'am, I really do. Your negative approach towards life clearly shows in your persona, and even more so, in your writing. Please do us a favour by atleast trying to be positive for the near future, or just run to the hills?

Shiva
May 23, 2014 01:48pm

What about the status of minorities in PAK?

What about the status of woman?

Surely, western world is better when it comes Human rights.

Still INDIA is great place for all. Not to mention minorities.

Her writings are not worth commenting!!!!

Alakshyendra
May 23, 2014 01:54pm

So what are we supposed to do? Feel bad that Pakistan does not approve of Modi? We don't dictate to Pakistan who to elect, so why should we feel bad about having elected him?

David Denton
May 23, 2014 01:58pm

Years of not being welcome in India and trying to pontificate from high American Ivory Towers has had the right effect on her thinking and writing - senility!! If Modi were so clever as to hoodwink 1.3 Billion people while still being in the opposition (and being also opposed by several in his own party!) then such a magician maybe able to solve all the world's problems!! While I am no ardent Modi supporter, but his election has brought cheer and confidence back to the common man - not just the businessman. Ms Rai - keep writing as we do need people like you too - for some much needed serious humour!!

Harmony
May 23, 2014 02:03pm

I am surprised at people criticising her. She is a voice of honesty and well known for her involvement in human rights and environmental causes. Her views and concerns are factual and truthful and should be appreciated just like someone like Hassan Nisar does for us. Why truth hurts?

Arjun Dhillon
May 23, 2014 02:06pm

I feel Arundhati Roy has lost the plot. She is a Marxist Leninist who feels her views are the only hope for India, she needs to wake up to the smell of fresh coffee. The world has changed and so has India, the people of India weather Muslim or Hindu want to move head both socially and economically. She must note Narendra Modi has been elected to power with a mandate for economic development and National security, I don't understand how the so called underdeveloped classes shall not benefit from this. Another surprise is that Modi will give coal mines to mining companies to produce coal, isnt that what a coal mine is for!!

krish
May 23, 2014 02:07pm

I remember a joke. Mrs Smith invited her friends for the passing out parade of her son John's class. At the parade, her friends were embarrassed as Johnny was out of step with all the other cadets. But Mrs Smith had no doubt about her son. "Look, everyone is out of step. Only my Johnny is right." Ms. Arundhati feels that the majority is wrong and only she is right!

bharat_santan
May 23, 2014 02:10pm

My sincere request to "DAWN": Instead of taking interview of Arundhati Roy, take Arundhati Roy to Pakistan. That will be a truly great service to India

Sherry
May 23, 2014 02:12pm

Absolutely spot on assessment by Arundhati on Modi and BJP's coming into the power. Must say that she has given a very honest and unbiased opinion.

Arun Kumar
May 23, 2014 02:14pm

I agree with Imran.She is just a an irritation we Indians have to put up with. India would be better off without such people.I will celeberate the day she ousted from India.

skywalker
May 23, 2014 02:14pm

Ms Roy's view about capitalism, industrialization and development in tribal areas are partly correct. This is true not only for India but all developing nations like china and Africa. please remember that tribal are already very poor with education and development. Land is not fertile. these underground natural resources can not be used by them. Leftist like Roy wants to keep poor always poor. They don't have nay better idea for development other than whining.

Shahzad Ahmed
May 23, 2014 02:15pm

@Bharat But the cardinal principle is greatest good for the greatest number. In the process there must be some left outs but that should not be of much concern.

Shahzad Ahmed
May 23, 2014 02:19pm

@Sahil Don't judge progress on monetary terms however it might be one of the primary focouses of development.

graham
May 23, 2014 02:21pm

India needs Modi. It is people's verdict. Indians do not have as much education as Ms. Roy has, but they have better sense of judgment.

alex
May 23, 2014 02:22pm

she is a maoist.

graham
May 23, 2014 02:22pm

@Akram

Will you be equally happy when she talks about the Baloch , and shias, and ahmedis? Not at all.

haris
May 23, 2014 02:22pm

Unlike my indian counterparts, I don't want to comment on internal matters of India but the amazing fact that I came to know about democratic, liberal, progressing blah blah India is "In 2012 alone, around 14,000 hapless farmers committed suicide in India."

Summed it all!

Shahzad Ahmed
May 23, 2014 02:23pm

I salute her she is the voice of indian conscience there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

bigben
May 23, 2014 02:33pm

My humble advice to all pakistani readers is not to believe a single word of her. She was greatly admired in India in the early 2000s after her Booker prize. But through outlandish and ridiculous statements she has alienated most sections of the educated liberal class of people. She has now become a caricature and is a symbol of extreme Maoist violence.

All the talk of protecting tribals, dalits is just cover for her extreme leftist/maoist ideology. Just watch the years ahead. India will do very well in the next 5 years in empowering the weaker sections including minorities. A billion Indians are neither fools nor extremists and always vote sensibly. Thank you.

mehulsolanki
May 23, 2014 02:35pm

@Imran Fully agreed bro.

Kartik
May 23, 2014 02:44pm

Ms Roy You ask where will the poor go ? Modi has no answer to that. In his scheme of things , the poor will cease to exist. They will all become rich enough not to expect dole-outs

A.Thirugnanasambantham
May 23, 2014 02:45pm

I never thought the Road to prosperity can be depicted with such depressive tragedies. Ms.Roy has dramatized the path to prosperity will be choked with the blood of the innocents and impoverished people and their blood will be spilled wantonly to fatten the corporate world under Modi which is not true. Prosperity has a small cost. Without displacing a few infrastructural development is not possible. To give employment to thousands few evacuations need to be carried out. Modi is the one who remains balanced and unyielding even under pressure. A ruler needs to be strong and strict which does not mean he is unsympathetic and inconsiderate

Kabeer
May 23, 2014 02:50pm

Arundhati has stopped half way in her telling the truth in this article;

To complete this, I like to add:

"It is the Left parties who have totally abdicated their responsibilities to the nation by vacating the whole of space that was accorded to them legitimately i.e. Labour, Farmers etc., and even refusing to fill the vacuum created- and in the public place for taking- and leaving it to the likes of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)"

If the Congress and the BJP are destroying the nation by acting collectively which is an act of commission, the Left Parties abandoning the space is an act of Omission.

Praveen
May 23, 2014 02:52pm

The poor would go to Arundhatis House. ;)

rakeshS
May 23, 2014 02:52pm

This lady is waste of time. As I see it, till date she hasn't done anything positive for India. Here again she is only undermining the will and wishes of majority of the Indians.

Siddhartha
May 23, 2014 02:58pm

@ Imran: I agree with you on this. People like her paint a shoddy picture of us every-time they can. I just can say that she has lost her marbles.

R Shama
May 23, 2014 03:00pm

Bravo Imran! Arundhati Roy is basically a negative personality. Ms Roy, whatever you do and whatever you say can be tolerated in a democratic country like India. Dare to say it in Pakistan or any middle east country, you will be put in jail for acting against the state. When entire country is feeling positive, you are selling negative sentiments.

Ajay vikram Singh
May 23, 2014 03:02pm

Arundhati lives in an alternate reality. She is on the lines of Noam Chomsky of the USA. They criticize everything.

Varun
May 23, 2014 03:02pm

@Bharat And nobody grows in socialist model. Jobs cannot be generated by government. They have to be generated by corporates. If proper regulation is in place, capitalist model works best in practice.

Sanwal
May 23, 2014 03:04pm

Brilliant Article!!!!

sri
May 23, 2014 03:09pm

india's poor will become middle class. That is the problem for Congress, socialist , leftists and people like arundathi roy. if there are no poor then congress and left cannot serve the poor. If there are no hungry then the hungry cant be give freebies.

ARS
May 23, 2014 03:09pm

If Arundati really cares for the poor so much let her declare openly and honestly how much % of her income or wealth she has donated for the cause of the poor and needy. She is talking very adversely against the middle class people just like Marxists. If she is so much concerned about the poor why can't she offer some constructive suggestions to improve their lot, to reduce unemployment, food crisis and equitable distribution of wealth? It is a waste of time even to read about this perverted woman's comments!

Srini
May 23, 2014 03:13pm

I pity Arundhati Roy. She is so pessimistic.

Cheran
May 23, 2014 03:15pm

It's unfortunate juncture of times that some of the scribes (a large section of media) lost basic ethics which people wish to see with them.Ms Roy has her right to express her opinion and views but need to be more responsible. We have been reading your article including the one recently in USA, does she think this is the way she must demonstrate guts of a scribe. On the other hand I am asking Modiji and co why don't you pursue legal course (if Modi is sure what Roy speaks exceeds limits), given Gadkari has already initiated one against kejriwl???

K kumar
May 23, 2014 03:17pm

I would love to see some constructive ideas from Ms Roy. How to strengthen democracy and work for the welfare of the poor. Criticizing the system and painting a broad brush doesn't help anybody.

Arvind
May 23, 2014 03:20pm

Arundhati Roy's vision of India is bit strange to fathom. I see following key points emerging from her sporadic interviews:

  1. Do not engage in development because it displaces people, forests and so on.
  2. Do not become integrated with developed world and keep leaning on socialistic economics which has yielded limited results.
  3. You are not proud to be a nationalist or a patriotic Indian.

I am really not sure why she always takes up extreme scenarios with data available. Why not be optimistic? Why not give a chance to a person who has just about to begin? Why do you always present a doomsday scenario? What is the pleasure you derive?

Look forward to your constructive criticism and ideas for the new government in office!

Aimal
May 23, 2014 03:25pm

Totalitarian? I thought it was a term reserved for communists - Stalin, Trotsky, and the whole lot - who actually provide inspirations to Ms. Arundhati Roy.

rishi
May 23, 2014 03:29pm

Ms Roy should understand that Indians had little choice. Either have Sonia/Rahul regime for another five years or look for alternatives. Indians chose voted for a strong opposition government so that we can move forward. I think Indian did the right thing under the circumstances. Regarding Modi's invitation to SAARC head of states. Its good. Nature has made it such that face to face meetings have always better impact than via the man made mediums like; Telephone, twitter, fax , skype etc. In the worst scenario nothing will be achieved. There is nothing to loose either. I cup of tea at a gathering always goes a long way anywhere!

Pakistani
May 23, 2014 03:43pm

Salute to Ms Roy for telling the truth, it's like jihad so say truth even among the most negative rightist people who recently comes in power and dragging everyone to send to neighboring countries if they don't agree with their thoughts and views.It's turning out to be a totalitarian society not democracy At least congress was liberal enough to maintain the status of a democratic country, Now repressing the voices like Ms Roy they are showing their true nature which is expressed rightly a totalitarian fascist society.

Jagan
May 23, 2014 03:45pm

@Imran Spot on.

Jagan
May 23, 2014 03:47pm

@NORI ...Communist model.

Jagan
May 23, 2014 03:52pm

@Sufi Mateen Please stop ...My stomach hurts from laughing . You are good comedian along with Roy!!!

nikesh
May 23, 2014 04:04pm

Sorry Ms Roy - Do you have any plan if we make you Prime minister- if yes please share it with people in the common interest 1. only negative comments without solutions. She should accept the verdict of people instead of comparing votes statistics. if Mayawati was a good leader UP would have progressed at least equivalent to Bihar and leave alone UP at least Dalits economical condition should have improed

  1. I do agree that development should be in total - including social conditions & educations

  2. It would have been better if she has iven some suggeston which new Gorvenment need to take care - instead of critisizing Modi ji which any way most of the unproductive people are already doing

Harmony
May 23, 2014 04:10pm

I am surprised at people criticising her. She is a voice of honesty and well known for her involvement in human rights and environmental causes. Her views and concerns are factual and truthful and should be appreciated. Why truth hurts?

ARS
May 23, 2014 04:20pm

@Harmony Honesty and Arundati Roay are poles apart! She just criticizes for getting attention. If she cares so much for the poor let her tell us how much she has donated for the welfare of the poor or what social uplift programs she has personally led.

george
May 23, 2014 04:22pm

shame on you

Kunal Majumdar
May 23, 2014 04:23pm

Nobody ever took seriously in India. If she had her way, then the Communist Party of India would have been governing India. I have attended one of her talks in Delhi.

Ganga Din
May 23, 2014 04:23pm

This is a strange post. On the one hand you are beating the drums of democracy meaning government elected by the people but when people elect a government that's not to your liking, you start crying foul and come up with various titles. This happened in middle east too. Every body was forcing democracy down the throats of Palestinians but when they elected Hamas, that democracy was no good. The bottom line is, no matter what the outcome, some people are not meant to be happy.

ARS
May 23, 2014 04:26pm

@Harmony Arundati Roy got involved in human rights violations issues only for defending Supreme court convicted criminals and that too without substantiating her arguments. In fact her interest to get media attention was more compelling for her than the security threat for the nation! Is human rights available only for the accused? What about the rights of the dead victims and justice for their families? Are they not humans? Are they less human than the convicts?

Kumar
May 23, 2014 04:28pm

She wrote only one good book and that was also long time ago. She is living off that reputation and not taken seriously any more.

Raja rameez
May 23, 2014 04:31pm

Tell me which country has the highest growth rate in the world for at-least a decade. It is China. If India or any other country has to progress, it has to follow what all other countries have done to become developed country. Follow what China, South Korea, Taiwan or other East asian countries have done or for that matter Britain and US have done in early 20th century. Build factories and put your young population to work. Factories need land to setup and input materials like coal, Iron, Aluminum. Put up factories and search for the resources. If some people has to be displaced and some part of forest needs to be cut to retrieve resources from under the ground, so be it. Fact is minerals are located deep inside jungles. Byb, what is the alternative to generate a growth rate above 8%, so that millions of people may be moved to middle class every year. Other than criticizing does she has given any ideas to Indian government.

Rattan
May 23, 2014 04:35pm

@Kohistan wala jinahs pakistan is doing great

Mega
May 23, 2014 04:38pm

@Harmony she's anti development and a communist how's that better for india? It has less truth and more material to turn us back to Stone Age.

Uday Murthy
May 23, 2014 04:39pm

Is this the same Arundhati Roy who has won prestigious awards..such insane an article which has so much of pessimism.. not even worth giving a read. feel sorry for her..

Zak
May 23, 2014 04:59pm

She should be PM of India. She has elaborated the very fundamentals of India, I.e it being a sub continent not a nation. The interest of one country within it does not match with the other. She is right in saying that India has been at war with its own people since 1947.great respect and admiration for her. She tells the truth but the brainwashed Indians don't want to hear the truth, they want to hear the perceived made up version. Salute to you lady, keep safe in a violent and intolerant society.

Zak
May 23, 2014 05:00pm

@Imran no one takes her seriously in India because she tells the truth and Indians don't want the truth. Only the international community respects her highly. A rose among smelly fields.

Zak
May 23, 2014 05:01pm

@NORI she answered it by saying ' socialist policies ' where the people are put before money.

Zak
May 23, 2014 05:03pm

Interesting to see the Indian commentators going into a frenzy when one of their own speaks the truth. Which means she must be No 1. Way to go Ms Roy.

Prakash Chandra Jena
May 23, 2014 05:18pm

Ms. Roy has written about Naxal Problems in Odisha and Chhatisgarh. Maoists are spending hundreds of crores towards purchasing weapons to destroy school,colleges,telephone exchanges. The family of Naxal leaders are staying in capital cities with utmost luxuries even ministers can not afford.Ms. Roy is misleading people with wrong facts.Please don not think that majority of peoples of this country are fools those who have elected a democratic govt.Stop writing this kind of articles so that people will take you seriously.

Sanjeev
May 23, 2014 05:30pm

If she does not like the government of India, she is free to migrate to some place in Africa where she can serve the poor. No one in India has any respect for her. It is a wonder that the news papers give her some space to spew her venom.

ivehadit
May 23, 2014 05:33pm

Ms. Roy is a principled liberal who speaks her mind and makes very cogent arguments. Indian democrats should be proud of her.

Luke Furtado
May 23, 2014 05:33pm

Does she live in India ?

ARUSHARKA
May 23, 2014 05:39pm

@Vijay K , it is quite unfortunate that you have mentioned that all Bengalis are communist and anti-progressive. You should not generalise the whole community...

Arvind
May 23, 2014 05:40pm

Ms. Roy is an extreme left wing nut. She has problems with all Indian governments except communists. Unfortunately she will have to migrate to China to fulfill her dreams

Arvind
May 23, 2014 05:44pm

@Ahmad She sure does have a voice and she is free and we are hearing her. But she speaks negative and nonsense

Junaid
May 23, 2014 05:53pm

So much criticism of her. So what's wrong if she is stating the obvious. Big money through the world is wreaking havoc on the environment and the poor locals who inhabit the lands this big money is trying to usurp for her resources. So what if somebody talks anti populist views of mostly numb middle class. Middle class throughout the world has proved to have tunnel vision and short sighted. That's why there's such a tremendous rise of this gangster irresponsible capitalism in all the regions of the world. What's the price that environment is paying? What's lies at the root of this growing income disparity? Trust me I'm not here with an agenda. The only goal is justice off all and larger wisdom to prevail. Amen.

uma
May 23, 2014 05:53pm

@Akram

facts & facts tellers (like arundhati) are two different things . But facts alone are helpless , when it comes to solving problems or resolving issues. We need IDEAS to solve problems not JUST facts. Self Styled Intellectual Arundhati has never offered new solutions to both old & new problems. Simply Parroting facts like a tape recorder & player is nothing.

Amit
May 23, 2014 05:59pm

@NORI haha, good point

Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali
May 23, 2014 06:07pm

It is very strange, so many writers are bashing Ms. Roy. I have heard her speeches and have found quite fair in assessment of Indian politics. The Indian Hindus and pro- Hindu Muslims dislike her because she has cataloged the Modi's supervised killings in Gujrat. What about Mr. Pandia, Mr. Modi's home minister who exposed Modi's plans. He was fired and later killed by Modi cronies. The USA government has also banned her entry due to a book she wrote about wars in Iraq and against Bush, which is full of facts. Do not kill the message delivery lady.

ala
May 23, 2014 06:29pm

Arundati says the dalits who are farmers committed suicide. Dalits are mostly landless. So much of understanding of India.

pathanoo
May 23, 2014 06:42pm

Arundhati Roy is a poster child for failed Communism and misery spreading/sharing Socialism. She is a nettering nit-wit, rather a twit who can not see the benefits of a free market based economy of whose fruits she enjoys every day. She is the darling of the surviving, die-hard Communists. No one else pays any attention to her.

saeeds
May 23, 2014 06:47pm

Any capitalist government who believe in work , always hated by socialist like her. But she also making big buck using poor card like any socialist leader.

anil
May 23, 2014 06:50pm

I don't take Ms.Arundhati seriously . Where will India's poor go ? Where did they go during non-NDA governments ? Shall I shift all the poors from India to Saudi or Dubai the way state of Kerala doing ? or we should promote corporate sector to generate jobs at home ? She is against USA style of ruling , against China style of ruling .Who is left on this earth to follow ?

saira
May 23, 2014 06:57pm

@Kabeer Great point. And equally true in Pakistan.

Joe
May 23, 2014 07:24pm

One of the most profound articles I have read in relation to India in a long time - highlighting fundamental and pervasive issues that plague not only India, but all capitalist societies. Well done Ms Roy for such an incisive analysis - it's a shame many do not understand the difference between negativity and critique... the latter necessary to resolve problems and issues...

Ram
May 23, 2014 07:26pm

Has anyone ever heard or read Ms. Roy propose alternative solutions or ideas that will help the largest common good?

Mohinder
May 23, 2014 07:42pm

It is easy to criticize and much harder to do better.She should restrict herself to writing and leave the state craft to the knowledgeable. Her comments show anti establishment mentality regardless of who is in charge.

Vish
May 23, 2014 07:50pm

I feel sorry for the author and the readers who are told that Aundhathi Roy is a 'renowned writer' worth interviewing. In India, she is only renowned for her obnoxious views and comical nonsense that provide periodic entertainment. The poor woman is still unable to come to terms with the fact that her views are archaic and have been condemned to the dust bin by the vast majority of Indians.

Bipul
May 23, 2014 08:06pm

If there is any positivity around, you can smell ms Roy lurking nearby to create extreme negativity at the expense of gullible poors. If there is freedom of speech, learn from her how to exploit it commercially. Completely useless lady.

Ammar
May 23, 2014 08:28pm

"In 2012 alone, around 14,000 farmers committed suicide in India"

Oh my! this is too much even after under reporting.

Arun
May 23, 2014 08:38pm

Arundhati is one of those unlucky ones. She cannot see the positive in anything. She is perpetually negative. She does not motivate people by love, she does it by criticism and hate. Let me bluntly answer your blunt question: Where will India's poor go to? Answer: India's poor will go on to become rich. And they will join me in deploring Arundhati Roy. It is possible.

Ramamurthi
May 23, 2014 09:19pm

Arundhati is a Maoist sympathizer. She has been openly speaking against the establishment. On one occasion she was to be sued for sedition. It was the weakness of the Manmohan Singh Gov't which saved her. Her recent writings were also aimed at stirring sectarian passions. Her aim is only to raise controversies, which keeps her in lime light. She has many friends in the Naxal belt. She keeps fooling the adivasis in the red belt so that her naxal friends can continue to prosper. She also had many friends in the previous Gov't and facilitated naxalism to thrive as an economic activity. She is virtually an anti-nationalist and needs to be dealt with suitably. As some one mentioned, even the media in India is not liking to promote her for fear of adverse reactions from the public. It is a shame that Dawn is giving her a chance, knowing fully well her destabilizing intent.

Kulbhushan
May 23, 2014 09:34pm

Arundhati Roy is one of the many dumb self-proclaimed intellectuals in India. She has not only lost respect of the intellectuals long before, but is now as good as zilch in the media too. Such people are disgrace to humankind- irrespective of their country, origins, religion, economic background Etc.

Azeez
May 23, 2014 09:39pm

@ARUSHARKA ....Arundhati Roy is not a Bengali, she is a malayali(Keralite)

Jonny
May 23, 2014 10:27pm

Well done Arundhati Roy you have analyzed something no body dare to bring to light in the wake of sweeping win by BJP. Thank you for highlighting the inside story.

Ani
May 23, 2014 10:51pm

She is just a fossil... forget her.. dig her up some other day......

Ayesha
May 23, 2014 11:03pm

About 75 to 80 % people who wrote negative and hateful comments, and recommended the same type of comments of others for Ms Arundhti Roy are all Indian citizens, and more importantly, it seems that either some are extreme pro Modi and the rest have been pushed or bribed in some way to disregard her comments, and disfigure her image. But that's the way it has always been. Whenever any person speaks the truth. Ms Aruhandati Roy has explained the picture in such a wonderful manner, that i must say --Hats off for her!!!!

Faqir Khan
May 23, 2014 11:53pm

Excellent Article

She is an angel.

Mayank R
May 24, 2014 12:29am

“How have the other ‘developed’ countries progressed? Through wars and by colonising and usurping the resources of other countries and societies,” she says. “India has no option but to colonise itself.”

Wow....I have been subject to some over the top absurd lines of reasoning. But this beats them all. Mr. Roy will do herself immense favor by shunning her Marxist literature and taking a peak into what has happened in the real world. Most Scandinavian country became rich not by colonizing but by investing on its people and technology. Same goes for South Korea. Left wingers make for great coffee talks but not so much for administration.

Dr. Rahman
May 24, 2014 01:10am

Miss Roy is merely expressing her intelligent views on the current situation and she has every right to do so! There is no need to criticize her. If you have better opinion then simply express and hold your peace.

mbasappa
May 24, 2014 01:35am

This is the trend anywhere in the social media. The moment some one fails to worship Modi, they are attacked venomously. This is the projection of intolerance that the group they belong to exhibits! Nobody in the comment section have commented on the issue other than calling Ms. Arundhati Roy personally.

Dev Saha
May 24, 2014 01:39am

This is a typical Arundhati Roy, who has already marginalized herself from everything. Nobody really cares about her same vitriol except India foes. Does she know what totalitarian government means? That would be like China and North Korea.

Ahmer
May 24, 2014 01:39am

She is greatest Indian thinker I have read. Indian Muslims should become active in Indian tribal areas and seek abiding allies. Perhaps she can help break the ice. She should be invited to Pakistan by Aman ki Asha.

S. Malesth
May 24, 2014 01:50am

The irony is as an Indian she can say this about India in Pakistan without consequences. If she was a Pakistani and said this about Pakistan in India, what would be the consequences? ...

Nasar
May 24, 2014 02:06am

Modi built his campaign on lies.His lies need to be exposed by the principle opposition party Congress who were so ill informed and inept it made things easy for Modi.By the time Modi was exposed the damage had been done.Now Congress will harvest what they sowed despite giving the country an unprecedented growth in the last 10 years.As far as Modi is concerned he can always allow bombs to be exploded and frame innocent Muslims arrested and incarcerated to keep the attention of people away from his nefarious activities.There is also the bogey of Pakistan and a limited war to show his macho Hindu image to boost the morale of radical Hindus!India will certainly go down the drain.When Modi could not show development in a small state like Gujarat how he can show in the whole country?!He only thrived on the lies of development.

Voltore
May 24, 2014 02:26am

Its good to see that Ms Roy writing about the poor. Too bad the rest of the readers here do not care. As long as the middle and rich class progresses who cares if the poor are going to be displaced or if the deforestation is going to cause the global warming. Not only do people not care they don't even want to hear about it. Sad.

Asif
May 24, 2014 03:12am

In a true democratic nation all views must be tolerated no matter how much you may disagree. You can provide a counter view but to call Ms Roy crazy shows that most of the people who have responded may themselves be extremists. Ms Roy has written after travelling around the country and getting information first hand. Where did the people who have written against her obtained their information? In my opinion when big corporations start to spend a lot of money in backing a candidate or a party their is danger. As corporations in general have profits as their motive. So in this regards I agree with her, if you want to see affect of money in politics look at what is happening in the US. It is people like her who protect democracy not the sheep who follow tides, these people may drown in getting caught in these tides.

Indian in NY
May 24, 2014 03:14am

In this article Ms. Roy's opinions are based on the corporate donations to the BJP campaign. Since campaign finance is not transparent in India (it is not totally transparent in 'developed' countries either), her opinion is based on speculation than facts. Also, by her logic, since Obama spent $800 million on one election campaign, he is a totalitarian. She could have thrown some light on Congress' campaign contributions to show why and how it is different. I bet if she looks deep enough she will find one entry of 64 thousand crores of the Bofors scam that is enough to cover generation of elections.

inyourface
May 24, 2014 03:21am

It's amazing to read these comments below. Apparently, the 'sheeple' of the twenty first century have been domesticated beyond salvation. I can see that Ms. Roy is being critical of Indian democracy but I can't see what is wrong in being critical, especially when you can demonstrate solid reasons that back your criticism. So many people in these comments whine about Ms. Roy not coming up with an alternative system. Well to answer that may I ask, is it Ms. Roy's sole responsibility to figure out an alternative system? Are you people not blessed with a biological neural network that you call brain. Clearly the political system in India, like most other countries in the world, has failed its poorest and most vulnerable people. In this situation it is imperative that those amongst us who believe in a just world and have the means to make a positive contribution step forward. Ms. Roy is doing her share by pointing out the injustices, the rest of us should follow suit. But tragically, the facebook generation has been domesticated to such an extent that expecting independent thinking from them is like expecting an ape to solve a cross-word puzzle. Go on, keep on believing in these crony capitalists and political thugs, it's no wonder then how things function in the "world's biggest democracy".

Asif
May 24, 2014 03:26am

@R Shama Obviously you have not been watching Pakistani TV, you can say whatever you want in Pakistan. Don't start feeling good about India by putting down Pakistan.

Asif
May 24, 2014 03:30am

@Hilarious joke is on you, you did read what she wrote and commented, this proves one point, you don't always tell truth.

Anjaan
May 24, 2014 04:09am

The arguments sound hollow ... what has happened in India for the past 67 years of Congress rule, when there was no Modi ... ?? ... who is responsible for the 800 million Indian population still without healthcare, education, water, electricity, roads, 67 long years after independence ... ?? ... who will Ms Arundhati Roy hold responsible for this mega mess in India ... Modi ... ??

Dr. Smith
May 24, 2014 04:25am

Just because Arundhati is articulate does not mean that she is right. Here, (as in many other instances,) she is articulately and abjectly wrong!

Mushman
May 24, 2014 04:49am

Arundhati Roy's observations about the oligarch and exploitation of the poor apply to every country I read about daily around the world, except Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden.India's colonial history has been horrific with the Mughals, Portuguese, French, British. Yet, each left something worth learning. Thus India is a democracy, which is blamed for being too slow, and then here's Roy claiming it is developing too fast for the little people. Commonly, it is only recently that individual Indians, even long dpearted NRI's, began to be respected on account of India's development. There is no easy path. I wish no one suffered but mutability is the order of Nature. What is Roy's recipe for development? We are driven by the survival instinct, and self-interest has become GREED even in developed countries. It's a dog-eat-dog world!

DR.VISHWA RAMAN PRASAD SINHA
May 24, 2014 04:57am

Some people believe in shining by contrast. She forgot that what Mayawati did when she was in power.. By getting one award one does not become a judge. Hopefully , such attitude should not bring another award. It is a pity that one takes the advantage of the recognition bestowed.

bushido
May 24, 2014 05:09am

Roy will find a problem in every solution. But the people won’t be fooled again. May Modi keep to his trajectory and create a developed India.

Mushman
May 24, 2014 05:11am

@Rashid Ishaq : Being illiterate does not ncessarily make one so ignorant as to lose the right ot vote. Apartheid used illiteracy as an excuse to continue racism. In fact, some very privileged and literate people are very stupid and heartless brutes -- in the WEST, too!

Mushman
May 24, 2014 05:22am

@Mega: The old Indian adage: "Santosham maha sukham" has not worked, because humans are driven by self-interest. Socialism failed as a total ideology, but parts of it are great. Capitalism leads to GREED and major exploitation. Capitalism also has a life span -- it is good for the invader/ exploiter, but it runs out of steam eventually. Look at the old colonial powers. They are singing the same tune: " The rich get richer and the poor ... woe, woe, woe"! Switzerland has run out of its great "Swiss formula"! The West is looking over its shoulder. No more free land and slave labour! It's all double retail now. FEW CAN AFFORD IT!

yogesh
May 24, 2014 05:34am

I respect Arundathi Roy. Congrats Mam

Vineeta
May 24, 2014 06:17am

Modi's victory shows that her views are not supported by the masses. She has a very negative take on life and that filters through to her views. She is not taken seriously in India anymore.

An Observer
May 24, 2014 06:39am

Ms Roy is a lady with full of contrasts. Living in one of the richest areas of New Delhi, conducting yoga classes in various five star Hotels in the city ( including Govt Owned), her support for tribals and backward class people are fake. Regular in a particular social circuit of Delhi and a frequent visitor of the most expensive restaurants & she wants to be the messiah of the most back ward class of people in India. Talking about lack of education in the tribal areas and the owner of one of the most elite Private schools in India ( Corpus Cristi in Kerala. Crtizing democracy and capitalism, but she has no problems for taking the full benefit of it. Does not need any kind of power plant ( Hydro will dmage foreast, coal will damage environmnet, nuclear will have safety issues etc) but absolutely comfortable using more that 2000 units of electricity/ monthly. Very dishonest self styled intelluctal ......

parwatisingari
May 24, 2014 07:10am

The issue is not about Manmohan Singh being, weak, issue is about a weak coalition government. Industrial development does not automatically mean eradication of agrarian occupation. There is along haul to happen. The America approved Indian Intelligentsia do not seem to understand this.

Kolsat
May 24, 2014 07:16am

@Kohistan wala: Congress was never secular beyond mouthing words. In all elections they always played the communal card. Also if the Congress was secular what did it ever did for the Muslims? You will see an improvement in the quality of life of all citizens of India and that to me is real secularism.

Sid
May 24, 2014 07:35am

@Azeez-- Arundhati Roy was born in Shillong, Meghalaya, India, to Rajib Roy, a Bengali Hindu tea plantation manager from Calcutta and Mary Roy, a Malayali Syrian Christian women's rights activist from Kerala.. She is half Bengali half Malayali..

Rakus
May 24, 2014 07:52am

To all the people commenting here negatively about Ms. Roy, in fact all of you are commenting negatively, there is not single positive comment on her, I want to say only one thing - the problem is this article. Why would you publish an article from a political opponent? She contested and lost the election against BJP. If you ask her to write about Modi's win, obviously she won't say "oh well... I am bad and they are good that's why people voted for them." What Arunthati Roy says about Modi is right from her perspective, and there is nothing wrong in bringing out negative points of your political opponent.

SaeedS
May 24, 2014 08:01am

Any negative statement against there indian goverment ,every Indian stand against it. But Pakistani people love to here against there goverment and any negative comments it make them jubilant . No wonder India have democracy from the start . But Pakistani still not get what is democracy is.

Akshay
May 24, 2014 08:09am

Ma'am the youth of India require jobs to put food on the table and educate their future generations. Get off your moral high horse and work constructively to build India rather than being an arm chair critic for dawn.

pak_basher
May 24, 2014 08:20am

Why does Arundati Roy get so much space?

Ahmer
May 24, 2014 08:23am

India has become deaf to reason. Her courage and free thinking is welcome in Pakistan.

matteroffact
May 24, 2014 08:30am

Those who are vehemently criticizing Arundhati would do themselves a big favour by reading her earlier article in the same vein titled 'Capitalism: A Ghost Story' with names, facts and figures. There will come a day when all she has said will come to light but it'll be too late then. For now, the perpetrators who also own the media and it's brain-washings are winning. No wonder popular media shuns her, where there is no room for the truth. If she wanted to be a darling of media and people she knows better what to do, lie.Me, I love her and pray for her safety and strenght. Best wishes for India.

Lalit
May 24, 2014 08:30am

her statement just shows the obvious irony in her statements.....she would have been cooling her heels behind bars merely for such statements,if it was a totalitarian state.her confidence in the democratic setup of India exhorts her to say such things.one must learn to respect the mandate of law abiding people of this country.everyone knows that Ms Roy has a soft corner for Naxalites and she is obviously nervous at their ominous termination.

rajesh tyagi
May 24, 2014 08:30am

Ms. Roy raises so many questions, forthwith turning her back upon the real answers. The answer is- backward countries of the world, those with a belated capitalism, cannot but have the only option to be dragged mercilessly into the whirlpool of world capitalism, with or against their will. But the working class has its own option- to reject capitalism itself and cut through the process of country's dragging behind the imperialist countries, through a socialist revolution. But Ms. Roy is more fascinated with panacea that Maoists offer, i.e. blocking capitalism to protect tribal lands, a strategy that offers neither a viable option, nor an answer to capitalism. Ms. Roy, drawing her light from Maoists, thus fails to look upon the clear answers and clings endlessly to questions, that take us nowhere....

Prasad Seshadri
May 24, 2014 08:48am

Firstly to solve any problem, you need administrative skills. The problem is that the poor do not have administrative skills. If they did they would have administered themselves out of poverty. Which is where politicians come in with the resources and expertise to solve these problems. For 10 years we tried out the Congress which had neither interest not skills in administration but only in corruption. So we have brought in Modi who has demonstrable skills in administration. The corporates have resources both in wealth as well as management. If these can be deployed in the upliftment of the poor in terms of employment, while giving corporations an avenue of growth, it is a win win proposition. The problem with these leftist intellectuals is that they refuse to accept the fact that it often takes the wealthy to create the wealth by attracting the resources in terms of investment and management skills. Anyone with wealth is automatically evil in their eyes and out for more evil. On the other hand they will unquestioningly support "left leaning" parties which are pro-poor only in name because they embrace the ideological monickers like "socialist" or "communist" but are in reality corrupt beyond the wildest dreams. Most of these intellectuals come from cultures in which women dominate and therefore the men are not very entrepreneurial and are risk averse. So the people from the other end of the spectrum in which women are more docile and men are more aggressive and willing to take risk are an anathema to these "intellectuals". Anyone not like them are labeled as Hitlers and Mussolinis because to them the success of these manly cultures amounts to an ideological defeat of these female centered cultures. In the final analysis there IS no prosperous socialist country but all prosperous countries use the male energy of its people to achieve prosperity. To fetter the energy is to stagnate in poverty and unemployment. .

Prasad Seshadri
May 24, 2014 08:53am

@Iqbal Ismail - Navaz is a billionaire, Modi is an ascetic. HUGE difference.

Prasad Seshadri
May 24, 2014 08:55am

@Bharat - wrong. Development is not a zero sum game. Development can be a win-win game if handled properly.

satyaki
May 24, 2014 09:17am

@Imran I cannot agree with you more. She has become irrelevant in her own country so likes to shoot off her mouth to whoever has time to listen to her rubbish.

satyaki
May 24, 2014 09:18am

@Ahmed keep feeling sorry for her and yourself.

satyaki
May 24, 2014 09:20am

@abdulaziz with one pulitzer prize she thinks she understand everything there is to know in this world.

gill
May 24, 2014 09:44am

Judging from most of the comments,Indian middle class is surely angry and it holds dear its illusions.

swati
May 24, 2014 09:54am

In the name of development you can't stake the life of peopke thats what she said.. Criticism is not bad and its good for one to know one's own fault.. And only setting up industries should not be considered as the achievement of any government, rather we should also consider thosr people who have been living there for years.. Generally it is seen that companies government both forget about those people who had to lose their home, livelihood and yes media too forget them after a whe.. And what about us?? Do we even care about what happend to them.. All these points are main concern of the writer of above post.. Can't you guys even understand this??

CS Ganesan
May 24, 2014 10:10am

In case she is that too caring for the welfare of we Indian people she should come out and serve the downtrodden and not that only write the books and make money. So much was talked about communists in west bengal and kerala what happened to them. they are reduced to single digit party in Parliament. In case Indian has to prosper and eliminate poverty and unemployment only remedy is to develop industrially and automatically other things like education and skill development will come. Let us see in another 5 years what Modi Govt does otherwise the people of india are capable to change their fate.

S. A. M.
May 24, 2014 10:16am

14,000 farmers committed suicide in 2012 alone and still someone has the guts to say she is just being negative. what else you want to prove the sufferings of a common indian. I know that Gujrat is presented as a model for development but do not forget that gujjus are all hard core businessmen even on this side of the border. they know how to do business profitably so if Gujrat did well in Modi's tenure a big credit must go to the hard work of gujrati business community as well. I think India should thank congress for the heavy investments they did in their education sector which is giving them the benefit now and will continue to bear fruits. In my opinion Modi won't have any magic wand to take India to the height of prosperity he too will have his share of failures. It is easy to show your performance when the situation is very bad because even slightest improvements shines bright but in a country that already has had 10% GDP growth the people would be expecting huge gains from an electorate as heavy as that of BJP's Modi.

the Eddy
May 24, 2014 10:25am

@Zak I think you in Pakistan should have ur own Arundhati Roys

the Eddy
May 24, 2014 10:33am

@Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali The problem is that she in fighting Hindu Rightists has often been associated with Muslim Rights...

Now like many Muslim Rightists like yourself love her as she criticises Hindus as a whole........Put yourself in the shoes of non-Rightist Hindus & think , are you going to support her even then .... Think about Roy as a pakistani who villifies Islam , will you still support her......

The truth is sadly what looks music to ones ears , not reason

Raj
May 24, 2014 10:35am

I feel sorry for Arundhati Roy. Pessimism and negativity she shows for everything Indian is shocking. Of course there are problems in India like any developing country, mainly exploiting poor under privileged people & tribals by powerful politicians, Industrialists.. But people must fight against it. But calling Indians and Modi blood thirsty and questioning Indian voters intelligence is outrageous. That is why she lost respect and nobody takes her seriously in India.

rs
May 24, 2014 11:05am

Indian electorate have given a massive blow to the likes of Arundathi Roy and their negative mindset. In a democracy people are the best to judge. Accept it and wait for the answers to the questions raised. After that you will come up with some other negetive analysis.

bushido
May 24, 2014 11:19am

People like Roy want the poor to remain poor so that they can whine on their behalf and collect awards.

kareem
May 24, 2014 11:30am

Modi internet war room is in action. Posting comment en-mass making it look like the way real india feels.

Rahul
May 24, 2014 11:39am

She is now challenging the whole election process and in turn the democracy which she thinks she is the sole thekedaar . So much of negativity even before the cabinet is formed . Cripple the whole economy instead of lifting the poor from poverty. Her job will be lost if there are no poor in think and that's what this lady is afraid of.

tariq hussain
May 24, 2014 11:50am

Roy's analysis seems to most of the people pessimistic because it is not a day to day discourse and their minds are already shaped by mainstream media and popular middle class culture, and even reality seems dark to all those who live in a state of mesmerizing slumber and dont gave a damn about what actually is happening. Ms roy is dissenter and people like her are not given place in mainstream media because she is against their their interests as they are suported by corporates. One more thing, just not try to evade things simply by saying that its a pessimist and not worth any thing and rather face reality and think about the wretched of the earth of India. India would be a place of dead souls without people like her.

tariq hussain
May 24, 2014 11:50am

Roy's analysis seems to most of the people pessimistic because it is not a day to day discourse and their minds are already shaped by mainstream media and popular middle class culture, and even reality seems dark to all those who live in a state of mesmerizing slumber and dont gave a damn about what actually is happening. Ms roy is dissenter and people like her are not given place in mainstream media because she is against their their interests as they are suported by corporates. One more thing, just not try to evade things simply by saying that its a pessimist and not worth any thing and rather face reality and think about the wretched of the earth of India. India would be a place of dead souls without people like her.

Mango Man
May 24, 2014 12:08pm

Arundhati Roy's contribution to India is that she won a prestigious award. Other than that I have no memory of her done anything for the country. On the contrary there are many people like Medha Patkar did more than one can imagine. Her advice is highly prejudiced. Her anger & frustration on BJP clearly visible in her writing. One significant thing she forgot is that by taking on Modi, she is also taking on the people who voted Modi in.

Danya
May 24, 2014 12:52pm

@NORI Maoist militants champion the cause of these adivasis and have established virtual rule in many pockets.------------to every one who commented on her views, please reveal all her writings.....

mohit
May 24, 2014 01:25pm

Why do I generally fail to understand Arundhati Roy? Would she rather have Indai's constitution changed? I just dont get what the message the article trying to give? is it that no matter what the Dalit do, nothing will change? or that she would rather have nothing change? just confusing...

Tarek
May 24, 2014 02:42pm

Why are you all so upset? Ms. Roy had her say. Let us all wait for a year or two, the results will be apparent. !0% + growth will need will need a lot of doing. We all wait for a Modi miracle! If he can turn turn around the economy of India and remove poverty then some of it will rub onto the neighbours . We all will say "Modi Zindabad".

Pavan Masali
May 24, 2014 02:52pm

I don't blame Arundhati Roy for her crusade against everything that she doesn't agree with. It seems the world should function according to her whims.

Anon
May 24, 2014 03:16pm

@Kohistan wala Says who? A citizen of Islamist republic talking about secularism, eh? Ironical indeed! Sometimes I doubt if you even have a constitution or a stable government to be considered a state at all? I heard you celebrate your republic day on the day which you had your fourth constitution! And yeah between consecutive coups in the Pakistan enjoy the little of democracy you could.

Sharad
May 24, 2014 04:43pm

You better take care of yourself and keep mum...

Sharad
May 24, 2014 04:46pm

Why your so negative and when will you learn positivity. I can offer you a Pakistani citizenship, plz improve my country.

Vipul
May 24, 2014 04:50pm

Good article by Arundhati roy....Corporates are in another way modern day looters...let adivasis live their natural life....without external torture. but their lies a hope in darkness every cloud has a silver lining....

Zak
May 24, 2014 05:40pm

@the Eddy why? The topic is India and one Indian speaks the truth.

Zak
May 24, 2014 05:42pm

@Sharad but after you have cleaned India first.

Zak
May 24, 2014 05:43pm

@Dr Pattni she is Indian and she wants to improve it so she talks about India. Simple.

Zak
May 24, 2014 05:44pm

@Imran 20,000 dead Muslims and Christians in India during riots- what else if not blood thirsty.

hindustani
May 24, 2014 05:48pm

@Sid and half mad

nishat
May 24, 2014 06:02pm

take a close look and you will it's all true. only one living in denial will disagree

nishat
May 24, 2014 06:07pm

@Rahul corporates who invested unbelievable amount of money on Modi didn't do it for nothing. now the whole nation will watch them cashing in

Vipul
May 24, 2014 06:12pm

every cloud has a silver lining, Ms. arundhanti.Roy...let hope for the best for the poorest of poor of india...

nishat
May 24, 2014 06:12pm

@Raj your phrase " u guys always..." proves it all the more what she said

nishat
May 24, 2014 06:13pm

@Shiva two wrongs don't make one right

Jaya karki
May 24, 2014 06:15pm

Democratically elected totalitarian government is most dangerous, Because it has electorate mandate. I am agree with well known writer Arundhati Roy. She dared too open the character of elected totalitarian govt. No one dare to raise index finger to the elected government but all elected governments are not democratic. It depends on the mood,economic condition and awareness of voters. Indian election is most propagated by corporate house and Indian business tycoon.

Vijay
May 24, 2014 06:38pm

Agree with Imran, she is kind of a rudderless ship, drifts around, nothing is good for her, no body measures to her standard. I feel pity on her.

Ameya Velankar
May 24, 2014 06:42pm

@Arundhati: Got a lot of facts wrong.. The farmers who are committing suicide are not dalits...However not a single tribal should be killed .or displaced which has happened in the past

a K Jha
May 24, 2014 07:07pm

Arundhati Roy's Remark that it is a democratically elected totalitarian regime,indicates how the wisdom of Indian electorate. Poor man's smoky cabins do not give rise to moral philosophy ,which Arundhati exhibits in abundance. Wisdom comes out with struggles of existence and more so when it comes to grappling with existence at level of subsistence. While Arundhati can see and prove for herself the flow of corporate abundance for steering out come of this election,the country witnessed an enthusiasm,and a commitment for Modi,who for them came out as the embodiment of their hoes and aspiration. I have developed a very bad impression about You Madam Arundhati.

sanjay
May 24, 2014 07:16pm

Ms Roy should do some introspection...if she isnt happy wit d country let her settle down in some other place....

Bharani Komandur
May 24, 2014 07:19pm

When was the last time you did something constructive or positive Ms. Roy? All you do is obstruct everything. Almost 50% of our river waters go into the seas and are wasted, while there are millions of acres of land drying up due to lack of water. But when state wants to build a dam, you obstruct it. So what's your point? How are you helping the poor?

Neil
May 24, 2014 07:26pm

" There is no politics there. They are pushed into the polling booths by power brokers who have promised their overlords some vote " Election Commission of India should issue show cause notice for usage of defamatory words for elections in India

Vijay
May 24, 2014 07:32pm

@sanjay where can she go? Even Obama was not good for her, may be Putin is.

Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali
May 24, 2014 07:49pm

@ala : Please check the TOA and ministry of agriculture reports. Even today a big number of farmers kill themselves every year.

shawgi
May 24, 2014 07:52pm

deep analysis of real dilemma great writer.

Arvind
May 24, 2014 08:01pm

India's poor will go to school colleges jobs prosperity and food and shelter and will feel empowered rather than live under the yoke of a corrupt government

K
May 24, 2014 08:37pm

@An Observer : What you have written , if it is true, then shame on her...

Agha Ata
May 24, 2014 08:48pm

This is democracy, but it could happen once in thousand years, or in thousand elections. In India it was rather too quick. But things change. It is no doubt is as dreadful as Maulana Fazalur Rehman being elected as the prime minister of Pakistan..

Sandip
May 24, 2014 09:00pm

@Abhishek Tomar With the highest number of criminals winning this years election you need to be scared man!

Maulik
May 24, 2014 09:08pm

Makes a nice title to the article but hardly any connection to the realities. Her only claim to fame is that she penned a very successful novel. Does that make her an expert on politics?

Nihit Saxena
May 24, 2014 10:09pm

she has soft corner for maoists who blow up people in trains etc.. she will know when she travels in one such train..

Raj
May 24, 2014 11:58pm

What is she trying to portray: a overwhelmingly large number of people supported BJP under the influence of campaign run by Industrialists? Then why didn't Rohul Gnadhi win? He too spent Rs 500 Cr over his branding.

Kumar
May 25, 2014 12:25am

The poor will get better jobs. Rather than criticize come up with a plan that works for everyone. Where is it? It is easy to criticize, but when asked to make a plan that WILL work , most of the people fail.

Sayyed
May 25, 2014 02:05am

@Imran Ummm yea right..when Hitler came to power all his opposers weren't taken seriously, EITHER...His False claims had blinded many intellectuals... But in response to your claim how his (Modi) selection to PM will make India a developed country; I say by killing the poor you cannot eradicate poverty. Anyways lets just wait and hope for good...

Chintamani Gokhale
May 25, 2014 04:25am

Ms Roy needs to trust the people of India. Mr Modi's Party could not have won the election without Dalits, Muslims, Christians and everybody else voting for his party. She may not like the election result, too bad! She is living in a Democracy.

Isadora
May 25, 2014 05:01am

All this criticism of Ms. Roy.

Doesn't anyone have any constructive ideas to help the poor?

All those suicides. Think of the suffering.

Or is being critical of Ms. Roy more important than showing a little sympathy for those so miserable that they see killing themselves as their only answer?

dv1936
May 25, 2014 05:13am

The problem is in the Constitution. So called intellectuals like Roy should have that examined critically and amended properly for India to prosper.

sri
May 25, 2014 05:59am

I am surprised and shocked that Ms Roy does not recognise the mammoth corruption the earlier govt had indulged in and looted the country's wealth. It had allegedly touched all the resources of the country, coal being the most import of them!

Modi has been a successful chief minister of a large state in India for more than a decade and he is known for non-corruption; good governance and economic development for the people. The people in that state love him, regardless of caste, religion, rich or poor. Even when he stood for Prime Ministership, the Indian people as a whole have given him an unprecedented victory, but for Roy, it is 'totalitarian'..Blah!

Why this constant, unabated running down of Modi by Ms Roy? I wonder how can the so called intelligent and wise people ignore the mountainous misfortunes unleashed by other leaders and parties (including massacre of religious minorities) on the country, but at the same time one-sidedly keep on bashing Modi who has not been found guilty by the country's police and Supreme court on corruption or any other charge this lady is levelling against him constantly!

In the views of Medha and Roy and other 'agitationists', Indian people perhaps should continue poor, keep on eating roots and remain economically left out.

matteroffact
May 25, 2014 07:45am

Those of you spitting vitriol and hatred toward Arundhati would be wise to note a point: You say she is this and she is that, a somebody who is a nobody or not worth your time, yet you all have swarmed this article like flies who can not keep away from sweets. I guess she is still a pull for you. A somebody important.

'Even if the majority of people take something as right, but if it is wrong, it is wrong' (Anonymous)

Chitral Cheetah
May 25, 2014 07:54am

@Bharat The bigger issue is her communist leanings. As it is we are suffering today because of Nehruvian socialistic thinking and left wing elitism. Roy is a total communist. You blame capitalism but that is based on reality. Greed is a basic human trait and to ignore it is foolishness. That is why communism and socialism fails. In these systems you have too many free loaders who are mooching off the ones who have talent, skills and work hard. The environment also suffers. US has more trees today than it had 100 years ago. It is good that even the so called poor and people of 'backward class' (I hate that term) voted for Modi because they want to be taught to fish and not given fish to eat. People have had enough of the handouts from the Congress.

Arun Sharan
May 25, 2014 08:08am

Simple answer, they will become less poor.

Arsalan
May 25, 2014 09:13am

She has rightly described the true face of India, "the world's largest democracy." India is the perfect instance of perfect capitalism where poor and needy are quashed to death under the infrastructure built for the convenience of a handful of capitalist goons. You have to be blind to fail to recognize India as the world's largest population of needy and poor. It's not about being negative, its about shaking Indians to do what is right, to shun nepotism. You can choose Narendra Modi, but you can never have Bal Thakre as your PM, because the poor man does not have access to funds. This is not democracy, this is blatant despotism. And forgive me, but India has not learnt anything from history, it was the economic despondency and inequity that separated the subcontinent. The history seems to be in the making again. Time for Indians to wake up!

Avinash Jain
May 25, 2014 09:21am

@Imran You are right Imran... she is not taken seriously at all in India

someone
May 25, 2014 09:39am

@Akram Well if she goes to Balochistan, she will say the same things and then my friend, you won't be her fan boy.

Raja rameez
May 25, 2014 09:40am

When India became independent Nehru called on nation and said "Dams are the Temples of Modern India". Dams and large scale industries become priority. India had one of the biggest number internal displaced refugees which no war had ever produced. Looking back, displacing so many people for dams and industrial complexes may be right. India now has quiet a good irrigation and power generation capability. India is not dependent on other countries for most of products but produces within India. Jawaharlal Nehru once said "If you are to suffer, you should suffer in the interest of the country." That may be true, looking at other countries who got independence around same time. Only India has been able to march ahead and create world's 3rd biggest economy behind US and China, where as more than 20 countries who got independence in Asia and Africa during that time are still suffering. Everything in this life has a flip side, but we need to see what is good in the long term. All communist countries have gone down and US has shown capitalism is only forward, as it helps each individual to contribute to the progress of the country as he tries to achieve his greed. What is the proven alternative to capitalism and industrialization, Ms Roy? You may have views, but ask anyone in the street, they want to have the facilities and luxury enjoyed by the rich. How it can come, without factories within the country producing it. A country can't import everything and sustain it's economy. To produce within the country, both land and resources need to be used (or in other words exploited).

J. Krishnamurti
May 25, 2014 10:05am

Well said, Arundhati. Look at the comments. Truth hurts. Keep it up.

GDINESH
May 25, 2014 10:37am

@Raja rameez People cannot see the truth. Why?.. because they are blinded by their limited vision and thoughts driven by their own comforts, which creates fear in their minds. And they just cannot see the truth.

amod
May 25, 2014 10:39am

@Imran dear imran no need to feel sorry for Arundhati,, she is a parrot of western media self declared "intellectuals" like her go around the country showing off their knowledge about the society they live in, which at most of the time is superficial, ardent supporter of Naxalite activity in India, have caused more harm than good for the tribals, interesting point about her is that she is a pro communist character, and shows concerns about the health of democracy in India, more ever she did not participate in the ballot, and now question the credibility of the upcoming ruling party and the PM , which won a through majority in the election.

Bankim
May 25, 2014 10:45am

I am think Ms Roy needs to have patience, patience to wait and see how this new govt works and performs, there are lots of Indians like me who believes in Mr Modi but believes in one single secular India, just by blaming Indian voters, Ms Roy is lowering her dignity and understanding of Indian voters and sadly goes along with Congress make-believe world of "darkness will fall in India which only Congress can lit and remove the darkness".

The move to invite Mr Sharif was pragmatic and such leaders required to make this kind of a move, If you are object oriented writer then write something positive in case there are any otherwise you will be portrait as somebody who is writing on be half of some political party. By inviting Mr Sharif may not solve the problems, but world press hailed this positive first step even before Mr Modi moves in 7 race course. Regarding displacement part which is also important and needs to be taken care of but for that we have strong Indian Judiciary system to take care, we do not have jungle-raj, as described by Ms Roy in her above interview.

GDINESH
May 25, 2014 11:02am

@Prasad Seshadri We also need to understand that US is in deep trouble due to its huge debts. Whereas China is though a communist country is the most successful today. It has displayed its capability to create highest quality infrastructure within a short time and accomplished such projects, which even the best of scientists of the world had declared impossible.

So we need to evaluate things properly before putting them in words. India also has been able to place itself on the world economic map due to developmental strategic policies of Nehru. Today we talk about capitalism? If we do not observe due caution and balance, we may ruin ourselves. China is progressing with a controlled and regulated policies only. Also there is no formula/button to success. If we do not eradicate the cancer of individual pockets (corruption), whatsoever we may do and whosoever is the leader, we cannot see ourselves as world leaders. Character and discipline are the needed tools, and for that only we need the leader who can bring the change.

Rohit Vashist
May 25, 2014 11:34am

I am a common man. I want roads...I want electricity and I want jobs....if a 'communal' govt can give me these things...I will vote for it till the end of time....no one can cannot stop me...because believe it or not...it's a democracy we live in and we choose governments which give us 'hope'....

MNK
May 25, 2014 12:00pm

Was she sleeping when the Oligarchy was in rule? Declaring a govt which is not officially formed yet as a totalitarian revealed her prejudices are.

Amit Lunia
May 25, 2014 01:06pm

Ms Roy criticizes everything for the sake of criticism and news eyeballs, earlier she use to criticize the MMS Govt , now she has started with the NM Govt. She does not professes any other alternative, she has been discarded by all who she claims to represent including the dalits ( as recently at Maharashtra)

She is a bitter person without any apparent cause

Amit Lunia

Gnanesh
May 25, 2014 01:38pm

@Imran Absolutely spot-on ! She was initially respected and admired for her outspoken views which were rational. But gradually she had degenerated into a very narrow minded and intolerant writer who doesn't want to listen to other critical but saner voices.

People can freely air their opinions; but when they border on extreme and dogmatic perspectives (either left or right), they become irrelevant and lose their respect and credibility. That's what happened in Roy's case.

But one wonders why Dawn should pick such views, to balance one or two positive things it carried on the elections ? !!

Kishor
May 25, 2014 01:39pm

This is the perfect example of what people like Arundhati can do for getting more popularity. Our democracy allows her to speak such rubbish thing and we still respect her, she will still get awards, she will still get good treatment because its INDIA and we are proud to be Indians. She has never done any constructive work for people except sitting and living with poor with cameras or a reporter like who took this interview. And just like millions of Indians now I also feel its useless to talk about such people..

but I will request her to leave India and live in some other country...anyone how wants to criticize me first please read all her comments from past and you will realize the connection with how to become popular...

Concerned Person
May 25, 2014 02:07pm

Ms Roy is a rebel without a cause. A totalitarian government indeed, for the information of everyone who is supporting her after reading this article, the government is not even formed yet, the oath taking ceremony is tomorrow. She makes all these grand declarations before the government has had a chance to come in. Is she a soothsayer? To the best of my knowledge she is only a naysayer. She has the typical distrust of all minorities towards BJP, her mother Mary Roy is a Keralite Christian very involved in proselytising her religion, and although her father is a Hindu, she has been brought up by her mother. If she were in Pakistan, believe me, she would have had the same radical views about Islam. Then perhaps people would not be jumping up and down in her support. Why take her seriously, when she herself can not?

Akram
May 25, 2014 02:26pm

@graham

What Arundhati Roy is saying is just as applicable in Pakistan as in india. So I think you have misunderstood what I was saying.

In Pakistan for example the salaried class are repeatedly taxed, but the wealthy business owners who hide their income from the state pay little or no tax at all. So I think what she is saying about sustainable development has weight in Pakistan too.

S. A. M.
May 25, 2014 03:38pm

@Ameya Velankar : I did'nt get it. does the caste of those that committed suicide makes any difference. you might not have noticed that all of them had one thing in common that they were all human beings.

rama
May 25, 2014 06:51pm

Useless women who thinks she only think rest of the Indian are fools , It is better these people shut and wait for at least 6 months before comment on the governance.

Shan
May 25, 2014 08:06pm

does this woman feel that she is wiser than the rest of India? when her chosen party was winning the elections all these years, she had no problems. very biased views of a person who is far removed from reality

R.Kannan
May 25, 2014 10:21pm

Roy is popular as far as dawn is concerned but virtually nobody in India believes her. In the first place, she was jailed by the Supreme Court for making serial false claims during the Narmada agitation. She was again convicted & fined a few years ago for illegally owning property in forest areas, purchased, at ridiculously low price, from the unsuspecting tribals she claims to sympathise. She is good at writing fiction but woefully short on facts.

Black Sabbath
May 25, 2014 10:22pm

So as per Ms. Roy, Narendra Modi is a monster who will systematically eliminate tens of millions of poor in India as the behest of the special interests that he represents. Great analysis, Ms. Roy !!! (sarcasm of course)

A Baqa
May 25, 2014 10:35pm

How most Indians react to anything that goes against there country's leadership is disappointing. If a similar article would have been written against Pakistan by some Pakistani author, most Indians would have embraced it with open arms.

Rejeesh S
May 26, 2014 12:33am

wow!!!! great you are Ms. Roy!!!! Why do you keep mum on courts verdict on Mr.Modi which acquitted him from the charges of so called massacre? Why cannot you see the atrocities poor Kashmiri Pandits are facing in Kasmir at the hands of Islamic groups? You are promoting Behanji Mayavati as the apostle of Dalits in India? Do you know how many corruption charges she is facing?Could you please tell - how much liters of blood has been shed at Modi ruled state Gujarat while implementing developmental projects? I do agree that Chatisgad and Odisha has their own local issues, but please do not generalize it as a failure of democratic system. India has voted for a stable government under the leadership of Mr.Modi. He has reached the PM post from a humble beginning. He has promised to deliver good governance for the poor and their betterment. Please do not arrive at conclusions even before his swearing-in. its immature. Let him start his work and then evaluate. Please do not show down the power of Indian voters to think. Please refrain from these kind of acts for attaining cheap publicity. Jai Hind!!!!

Mahen
May 26, 2014 04:42am

@A Baqa All depends how much truth is in the articles.

Keshav Prasad Bhattarai
May 26, 2014 05:35am

A democratically elected government in a free and fair election - can never be totalitarian. It is system and process that defines totalitarian not persons. When yo support democracy but oppose democratically elected government is a hypocrisy indeed. Persons like Roy is not expected to observe like this. Sorry.

Ronak
May 26, 2014 09:54am

When everyone in india ignores you coz of your dumb stuff you go to Pakistan no wonder soon enough the Pakistani will discover your dimwit after which you will feature in some afghan or Kazakh newspapers

Indian
May 26, 2014 10:36am

@Ayesha What is your opinion if she was a Pakistani. People of India knows that she is only hungry to grab attention and not worthy to listen otherwise. Indians at this point do not need analysis and negativity as she did, but promises and hope for development.

BharatPremi
May 26, 2014 12:13pm

I understand your desperation, Arundathi. You will soon be out of your job. The status of poor in India will improve because of Modi's governance. You have made a comfortable living writing about the poor for so long. A word of advice, take retirement or choose a different topic to write about.

Singh
May 26, 2014 01:14pm

Arundhati Roy is one of those "liberated thinkers" who thinks her views are intellectual. She is one of those sideline referees, who will make comments from the sidelines but does not have the drive or the guts to enter the sports field and experience things for herself. One has only to read her life story to get an idea of her personality. Why do people listen to or read the books written by such "intellectuals"? We will wait and see what Modi does - but he will definitely do better for India than what the Congress(UPA) did. Now she makes these comments , out of all places, in Pakistan!

Suq Madieq
May 26, 2014 01:47pm

They would have shot you by now if you tried this in Pakistan. Enjoy being an Indian.

Aj
May 26, 2014 02:38pm

It's unfortunate that Ms Roy can't see the good in her own country which we can. I would really put my bets and faith in the Indian democratic process and the intelligence of 1.3 billion Indians. You can't fool everyone at the same time. It would also seem impossible to win an election in such a diverse country like India with absolute majority if you didn't have substance. Always being anti establishment or anti populist isn't always being right. If she thought Indians were being stupid - how did they read through kejriwal and not modi ????

Bernard
May 26, 2014 04:01pm

Well this proves education and wisdom are not related.

sidhartha panda
May 26, 2014 04:10pm

i believe it was more of a practice of using flamboyant words by ms. Roy than any real substance.

Shankar
May 26, 2014 06:53pm

The One-Hit Wonder doesn't know the meaning of democracy. Will somebody tell her Mr.Modi became the PM after the majority voted for his party??

Ahsan
May 26, 2014 06:53pm

Arundhati Roy is bang on target ! Noam Chomsky, the renowned linguist and social / political activist has identical views. Modi was banned by US, Europe and Canada for his role in the Gujarat massacre. Now that the Indians have elected a demogogue and a hate-monger, they have been forced to do a somersault. The equivalent would be if someone from Jamat-ud-Dawa became the PM in Pakistan. India's "secularism" has been exposed.

Ahsan
May 26, 2014 06:55pm

@Imran : Her views are identical to that of Noam Chomsky. Feel sorry for yourself.

Ahsan
May 26, 2014 06:56pm

@Kohistan wala : Wonderfully put. Couldn't agree with u more !

Beth
May 26, 2014 08:54pm

@Utkarsh I think totalitarian in this context means that the ruling party cannot be opposed in any meaningful way, so the totality of governmental power rests in a single political camp. This is not a desirable situation.

PandaExpress
May 26, 2014 09:53pm

@Kunal focusing on her supposed 'negativity' without engaging with her substantial criticism only shows your own inability to question what you are told.

Saminuk
May 27, 2014 07:51am

The piece quotes farmer deaths in Maharashtra in 2012. The government at the time both at national and regional level was that of Congress and it's allies. Arundhati and the author of this 'journalistic' piece would like to pin all the ills on Modi government even before the government has started functioning.

Debranjan
May 27, 2014 12:12pm

Pretty much her last sad pathetic attempt to stay relevant. It's been a while since the "God of small things"

Raj
May 27, 2014 12:18pm

@ishan hahahha...kaam wali bai

Sachindra Sinha
May 27, 2014 12:31pm

Mrs Roy, You had been disgrace to India, you are disgrace to India and will remain disgrace to india. Will you care enough to tell the nation that this time who paid you for this kind of utterance. By the way I know your several past sponsors and I also have a very good trail from karachi to beijing and in between..you are the biggest bigotry of modern time .

Muneeb
May 27, 2014 04:05pm

It is amusing to see the similarities between Pakistani and Indian middle classes, both have the inherent urge to call anyone who doesn't tow their line of argumentation a source of 'shame/humiliation/contempt' for their respective countries. We, the people of subcontinent have not yet come out of our monarchistic frame of minds, we have not become democratic in our individual occupancy. Arundhati is the voice of truth from India, she puts it all bare bodied for Indians to introspect and just like their Pakistani counterparts, they have the habit of shooting the messenger!

Ridwan
May 27, 2014 05:43pm

Sometimes I think a massive country like India needs a very strong centralized government for economic growth. After economic growth then you can worry about democracy, but the Chinese model looks better than the south Asian model.

Ridwan
May 27, 2014 05:47pm

@Dr Pattni probably because she's Indian, and Hindus on this side of the border are Pakistanis.

kunal
May 27, 2014 06:05pm

Stop overreacting and give the man a chance. Scholars with nothing better to do than to pontificate. If you know better please run the country for us!

pradeep
May 27, 2014 06:52pm

i am extremely sorry about Arundhati Roy. She does not have sense . She wants all people be dragged behind. Would she give the modality to improve the living condition /prosperity of poor people? How would she give the employment?

naveen dhighe
May 27, 2014 08:42pm

she is what all sensible people will term a scotch drinking leftist she forgets she became rich because the us and uk thought her to be a great writer thus making her a rich woman without much of hard work and talents not to mention the undeserving publicity she gets every time she opens her mouth.

shaukat ali
May 28, 2014 12:28am

280 comments here and probably 5 understood what she is really saying. she is not some indian jiyala, or a technocrat, beaurocrat, or a politician who needs to advertise the greatness that is india. she is a philosopher, unburdened by the heavy rhetoric of false indian promise, who is speaking brutally honest words about the problems india is facing today. every word she said is true. the problems are for the leaders to figure out. it doesnt matter where she said this, to a pakistani journalist or an american or an indian one!!!

yogesh khanna
May 28, 2014 01:17am

She is a loose cannon. We need to carry out a judicial process to terminate her citizenship. Why does she not leave India if she hates it so much.

yogesh khanna
May 28, 2014 01:24am

@haris Tell me which country you come from and I will turn around statistics to show you in a bad light

yogesh khanna
May 28, 2014 01:33am

@Indian in NY Bofors was 64 crores, not 64000 crores. but the leakages now are into their tens of thousands so you may be righr overall

lamrin
May 28, 2014 10:48am

@Maulik just one "successful" novel.....???? are you kidding dude??? you can hate her political choice but you should be ashamed to demean her as a writer.

Amit_Lahiri
May 28, 2014 08:11pm

OMG! ARUNDHATI-JI, Would you support even Mayavati-ji and her BSP to oppose NaMo? I'm not aware of what he will be up to .... but can't support those nincompoops who looted and plundered the so called VOTE-BANKS ruthlessly and have done NOTHING ... I still am a huge fan of your writings .... but not this way.

mahraja bill
May 29, 2014 12:58am

for some instance, but i would rather say the party came with full majority will run the government with out the help of collation despite 2002 mass murder in gujrat ruled by him till now with out any inquiry ,with 250 million muslim population ,now he is the PM of india who has majority .The question lies here that a man who has no limits even in murdering people so what should he do for indian poor , Arundhati roy has raised one of the important question to be consider
here i m readers not favoring are taking side of what happen in gujrat but just giving a sight to define how is Modi not a democratic totalitarian

Vikram
May 29, 2014 01:36pm

How a literary mastery can be utilised in a destructive, divisive, irrelevant, biased and totally useless manner. Ms Roy is a prime example. Now having said, i wish to ask Ms Roy a simple question, what is her stand on Millions of, Yes Millions of Kashmiri Pandits chased out of Kashmir ? I am sure she would not as then there wont anyone be left to publish her articles - and she would be penniless!!

durre
May 29, 2014 06:08pm

Indeed a poor nation, who cant recognize a gem when they see it. Indians need to show immense gratitude for having someone like Arundhati Roy amidst them. She has the uncanny ability to see things for what they are instead of pretending otherwise, and the courage to express it. Only if one accepts the truth of how things are can one strive for solutions. Otherwise its just monkey business yet again aping capitalism at a horrendous price which ultimately affects each and everyone of us!

Swabhiman
May 29, 2014 08:55pm

She is voicing the concerns of her masters from the West. In India nobody takes her seriously. She got her two minute glory under the sun but that time is gone forever. Pakistan newspapers are giving her more importance because of her archaic outdated views.

DK
May 30, 2014 12:47am

@shaukat ali: Does she has solution for the problems? or just the criticism?

Sai
May 30, 2014 01:34am

This is absolutely contradictory narrative to the existing political situation in India. India has never been so politically active since independence. The biggest difference in the citizen of india is -hope. Except in America or west europe, many democracies suffer with no hope from people. The trend has changed in the dramatically in the public of India. Great expectations from the elected government in over the years to come. First there was a hope on one Anti corruption party which failed to live upto the expectations. People reacted by over throwing it within 3 months, and decided to go with Modi's BJP. Calling it totalitarian democracy in DAWN is absolutely misguiding the neighboring country. I hope and wish such political movement comes in pakistan too, and a government which stands by the poor, improves the lives of people, resolve problems internally and externally. For a pakistani it may still be a dream but for an indian, things have already started working.