"It is almost as if the light is shining so brightly that you do not notice the darkness,"
Arundhati Roy referring to india's liberalization
I think Roy is a good political activist but she, like many others, is also a bit of publicity hungry animal. And in this respect, it is worse than being a socialite for publicity. Because you are gaining your fame by peddling other people's misery. I guess that would be a bit unfair on her since she already had some claim with 'The god of small things' which i haven't read. By the way, I didnt see this quote before my post of 'while india shines'.
Her views are certainly very necessary and worth listening too but the way she says and the associated gimmickry dilutes their message. Her recent voluntary contempt of court seems so much of an obvious attempt to play the martyr that it only disgusts.
Another recent incident was her rejecting the literary award for her political essays. She says that they were a ruse to "deal with a troublesome writer." As if being troublesome was a matter of great honour! And if she wasnt given this award then her supporters will say that she was overlooked because she was critical of the government. Damned if u do, damned if u dont. Poor indian government.
Ofcourse, there should be room for such mavericks in any free society but the viewpoint should not be hijacked by their antics.
And the sad part is that she does not require to be a maverick. She certainly has the intellect to put forward the views of the opressed in a serious manner without breast beating so that more of the middle class come to accept them.
So here is hoping that Ms Roy will either get down to sober political writing or political activism (like Medha Patkar). Or get backs to writing fiction again. She already gave a hint when she said "I hope fiction will return to be written by me. You just need to make a space for yourself before that can happen,"
And then I will read 'The god of small things'.
Another silly joke on this topic.
Q: Why is Roy half-right in most things she says?
A: Because she is a half-keralite.