An attempt to know, understand (and ultimately, transform) that which occurs on the fields of play - India (her politics, media, music) and beyond ...

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Antics Arundhati

Celebrated writer Publicity Hound Arundhati Roy on Saturday refused to accept the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award in protest against the Indian government toeing the United States' line by 'violently and ruthlessly pursuing policies of brutalisation of industrial workers, increasing militarisation and economic neo-liberalisation.'
"Even today, this government shows a continuing commitment to these polices and is clearly prepared to implement them ruthlessly and violently, whatever the cost," she said.

She further noted that, in the last few months, apart from the growing number of farmers' suicide and the forcible eviction of people from their lands and livelihood in thousands, the country had witnessed police brutality on industrial workers in Gurgaon, killing of a dozen people protesting against a dam in Manipur and the killing of another dozen people protesting their displacement by a steel plant in Orissa.

This is incredible: when I thought that the UPA government couldn't go any lower by offering Arundhati this award, I hear that she has snubbed it by refusing the offer! If the offer was an act of pseudosecular-patting-pseudosecular, the refusal was one of unadulterated sanctimony!

Note that Arundhati doesn't emote concern about the numerous people killed in jehadi terrorist attacks in India (Ayodhya, New Delhi bomb blasts, Bangalore IISc, apart from J&K, to mention a few) over the past few months!

[Aside: You ask why I call her sanctimonious? Well, despite the pro-environment image she has assiduously built up for herself, she doesn't tell us she had constructed a resort (for herself and other "progressives") in an ecologically sensitive and protected area - a wildlife sanctuary in Panchmarhi (Madhya Pradesh)! Apart from the self-righteousness which serves her well in her publicity stunts, Arundhati has also a tremendous ability to conjure up dramatic stories and pass them off as truth in her media releases - recall her concoction about the "daughters" of Jaffri being burnt alive in Gujarat, when in reality there was only one daughter who was in faraway USA!]


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