Arundhati gets sillier by the day
14/06/2010 14:33:10 Dr Vijaya Rajiva
The goddess of small things is indeed flustered and rattled by the free publicity that she has been getting after a long period of inattention by the press. On the other hand, to her dismay,the IndianRepublic is not paying the slightest attention to her.If she hopes to be another Aung San Sui Kyui, then her hopes have been dashed, since Bharat is not a Burmese dictatorship. Her recent reply to PTI for falsification of news reads like a hopeless mea culpa (‘Knocks on the Door:It’s the Newspaper Boy’ Outlookindia,June 2010).
Her claim that PTI falsely reported her appearance and speech can be handled by the press agency itself. What is relevant are her own half truths and falsehoods. She has done the greatest disservice to the very people whose welfare she espouses, namely the Vanavasis, the Tribals of the Tribal belt. Her schoolgirlish awe in the presence of the hardened criminal non tribal Maoist leadership that visited itself on the tribals since 1980, itself speaks volumes about her lack of understanding of the situation. It also speaks to her cold blooded endorsement of
young tribals to take up arms against the might of the Indian state. This is concealed by her seeming passionate tones of speech. Her disclaimer in the above article in Outlookindia is a patent falsehood in itself, since she has made no secret of her sympathy for armed struggle. Phrases such as ‘the biodiversity of insurrection’ are the clever words of a writer who has lost her way in the jungle of Maoist crimes against the people.
Why this confusion and obfuscation ? Instead of going on camping trips to meet the young tribals who have fallen victim to Maoist ideology, it would be better for her to sit down and study the track record of the Maoists in the tribal belt, as others have done. For starters she could look at Nirmalangshu Chatterji’s sober report on the activities of the Maoists in the region since 1980 (‘ Arms over the people’,Outlookindia, May 19,2010). Dr. Chatterji teaches philosophy at the University of Delhi.
Part of the problem is that Ms Roy has no clear grasp of what Gandhian satyagraha is all about(she has rejected militant non violence quite clearly, and instead indulges in hollow speech). Gandhian satyagraha is not about a sympathetic ‘audience.’ It is premised on two facts : respect for the opponent (in this case the Indian state) and an uncompromising willingness to even die for the cause rather than inflict injury on one’s opponent. Beheadings and such cruelties are simply not part of militant non violence. Active non violent protest si, cruelty and arrogance, no !
Ms Roy does not seem to understand that the Maoist strategy is the exact opposite.
Kobad Gandhy,Maoist leader, wringing the necks of chickens to harden the cadres for
the impending bloody struggle speaks for the Maoist message. Interestingly, when captured he pleaded that he was only a writer !
Ms Roy appears to be doing a similar turnaround. The lady protesteth too much. It would be a refreshing change if instead of standing behind podiums and holding forth on all the shortcomings of the Indian state and lecturing her compatriots she would either venture into the forest and pick up a gun and join the comrades or walk the talk of militant non violence. She would then find the masses joining her. This would be the missing supporting ‘audience’ she laments, is not there.
She could lead a militant non violent struggle against the Indian state, and she will finds supportive participants. Those participants are not forthcoming because people see her for what she is : a confused middle class woman, standing behind podiums.
Hence, it might be useful if she could enter into a period of introspection and silence
and at least temporarily talk less and stay out of the public eye.
Even the notorious godman, the sex Swami Nityananda (as he is called) has used his
release on bail to engage in a cleansing ritual !
(Dr.Rajiva taught Political Philosophy at a Canadian university)