[News] India is a corporate, Hindu state: Arundhati Roy

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Sep 13 11:41:18 EDT 2010



India is a corporate, Hindu state: Arundhati

<http://ibnlive.in.com/byline/Karan+Thapar.html>Karan Thapar , 
<http://ibnlive.in.com/agency/CNN-IBN.html>CNN-IBN
Posted on Sep 12, 2010 at 16:03 | Updated Sep 12, 2010 at 17:35
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/india-is-a-corporate-hindu-state-arundhati/130817-3.html?from=tn

Hello and welcome to Devil's Advocate. At the end of a week when the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists have been 
on the front pages practically every day, we present a completely 
different perspective to that of the government's. My guest today is 
an author, essayist and Booker Prize winner, 
<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati Roy.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
I want to talk to you about how you view the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists and how 
you think the government should respond, but first, how do you view 
the recent hostage taking in Bihar where four policemen were 
kidnapped and kept kidnapped for eight days, and one of them - Lukas 
Tete - murdered?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I don't think there is anything revolutionary about killing a 
person that is in custody. I have made a statement where I said it 
was as bad as the police killing Azad, as they did, in a fake 
encounter in Andhra. But, I actually shy away from this 
atrocity-based analysis that's coming out of our TV screens these 
days because a part of it is meant for you to lose the big picture 
about what is this war about, who wants the war? Who needs the war?

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
I want very much to talk about the big picture. But, before I come to 
that, let me point out something else. In the last one year, the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists have 
beheaded 
<http://connect.in.com/francis-induwar/profile-1875553.html>Francis 
Induwar and Sanjoy Ghosh; they have killed Lokus Tete. They have 
kidnapped other policemen. There have been devastating attacks in 
Dantewada, there has been the sabotage of the 
<http://connect.in.com/gyaneshwari-express/profile-1941549.html>Gyaneshwari 
Express. In your eyes, does it amount to legitimate strategy or 
tactics, or does it detract from the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoist cause?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: You can't bundle them all together. For example the train 
accident. I don't think anybody knows who did it yet.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
Everyone's convinced that the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists...

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Everyone can be convinced. But it is not enough to be convinced. 
You got to have facts and the facts are unravelling every day.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
What about the Dantewada, the beheadings, the kidnappings?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: This thing is that now what's happening is that there is a 
situation of conflict, of war. So, you have set out a litany of the 
terrible acts of violence that have taken place inflicted by one side 
and left out the picture of what's going on the other side, which is 
that you have two hundred thousand paramilitary forces closing in on 
these poorest villages, evicting people, burning people. Of course, 
all violence is terrible but if you want to get into what actually is 
going on, we will have to discuss it in slightly more detail.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
So what you are suggesting is that we have a spiral of violence where 
what one side does to the other justifies the response and, in a 
sense, you don't want to blame one or the other. You see them both as 
equally guilty?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: No I don't. I don't see both as equally guilty and I don't want 
to justify anything. I see a government breaking every sort of law in 
the Constitution that it has about tribal people and assault on the 
homelands of millions of people and some, there is a resistance force 
that is resisting that. Now, that situation is becoming violent, 
becoming ugly. And if you start trying to extract morality out of it, 
you are going to be in a mess.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
But one thing that is crystal clear from what you said is you see the 
government as the first person, the first party, at fault. The bigger 
fault, the first fault, is the government's, you see the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists as just responding.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I see the government absolutely, as the major aggressor. As far 
as the <http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists are 
concerned, of course, their ideology is an ideology of overthrowing 
the Indian state with violence. However, I don't believe that if the 
Indian state was a just state, if ordinary people had some minor hope 
for justice, the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists would just 
be a marginal group of militants with no popular appeal.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
So the <http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists get 
support and strength from the fact that you don't believe that the 
Indian state is just.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Let me tell you, forget the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists. Every 
resistance movement, armed or unarmed, and the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists today are 
fighting to implement the Constitution, and the government is vandalising it.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
So the real constitutionalists are the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists and the 
real breakers of the Constitution is the government?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Not only the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists, all 
resistance groups.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
Let's focus for the moment on the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists because 
they are the ones that have been in the news all this week. The prime 
minister sees the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists as the 
single biggest security threat to the country. I take it that your 
perception of them is completely different. How do you perceive the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I perceive them as a group of people who have at a most militant 
end in the bandwidth of resistance movements that exist in the 
cities, in the planes and in the forests.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
But what are they seeking to do? What is their justification?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Well, their ultimate goal, as they say quite clearly, is to 
overthrow the Indian state and institute the dictatorship of the 
proletariat. That is their ultimate goal but...

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
Do you, 
<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy, support that goal?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I don't support that goal in the sense that I don't believe the 
solution to the problem the world is in right now will come from an 
imagination either communist or capitalist because...

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
That I understand but do you support any attempt to overthrow the Indian state?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Well, I can't say I do because they will lead me from here, in chains.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
That technicality apart, it sounds as if you do.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: However, I believe that the Indian state has abdicated its 
responsibility to the people. I believe that. I believe that when a 
state is no longer bound, neither legally nor morally by the Indian 
Constitution, either we should rephrase the preamble of the Indian 
Constitution which says...

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: Or?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Which says we are a sovereign, democratic, secular republic. We 
should rephrase it and say we are a corporate, Hindu, satellite state.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: Or?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Or we have to have a government which respects the Constitution 
or we change the Constitution.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
Let me be blunt. It sounds very much to the audience as if you are 
trying to find a clever, subtle way of saying that you do support the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists commitment 
to overthrow the state but you are scared to say it upfront because 
you are scared that you would be whisked away to jail.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: If I say that I support the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists' desire to 
overthrow the Indian State, I would be saying that I am a 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoist. But I am 
not a <http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoist.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
But you sympathise with them.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I do sympathise with all the movements. I am on this side of the 
line with a group of people who are saying that here is a State that 
is willing to bring out the Army against the poorest people not just 
in the country but in the world. I cannot support that.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
Let me put this to you. You sympathise with the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoist cause, but 
what about the tactics that the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists use? The 
problem is that the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists want to 
trade a new democratic order not by persuading people, not by winning 
legitimate elections but by armed liberation struggle. To many, that 
is tantamount to civil war. Do you go that far with them?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: There is already a civil war. I don't believe that a resistance 
movement that believes only in violence will lead to a new democracy. 
I don't believe that. Neither do I believe that if you doctrinally 
say you must only be non-violent, I believe that is a twisted way of 
supporting the status quo. I believe that has to be a bandwidth of 
resistance and I certainly believe that when your village is 
surrounded by 800 CRPF men who are raping and burning and looting, 
you can't say I am going on a hunger strike. Then, I support people's 
right to resist that.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
But put this to me. If you support, no matter what qualifications you 
add, the right of the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists to resist 
with violence: whether you call it armed liberation struggle or whatever.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: You keep on going to these 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
If you support that, no matter with what qualification, how then can 
you deny the State the right to resort to arms to defend itself?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: The State doesn't have to defend itself. The State is supposed 
to represent the people and defend the people.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
But if the State is under attack, it is the people that are under attack and...

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: It is not under attack. The State is perpetrating the attack. 
That is what I am trying to say. The State is going in violation of 
its own Constitution and perpetrating an attack. If you look at the 
recent report, the censured chapter in a recent report by the 
Panchayati Raj, it says so clearly: the State is being completely 
illegal in its actions. What do you suggest people should do when an 
army, a police, a paramilitary, an air force is going to start making 
war on the poor? Do you suggest that they should leave and live in 
camps and allow the rich and the corporates and the mining sector to take over?

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
So you are saying that the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists and all 
the other resistance fighters are left with no option but to fight back?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: What I am saying is that if a State respects non-violent 
resistance as has been the case in years, but if you ignore 
non-violence, by default you privilege violence.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
But are the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists actually 
pursuing their goal, which you share, non-violently, or are they 
pursuing it with violence? That's the problem. There is a real issue 
here that the end seems to justify the means. The question is: do they?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: You are not listening to me. I am saying that there is a 
juggernaut of injustice that has been moving forward, displacing 
millions of people. Why do we have 836 million people living in on 
less than Rs 20 a day? Why do we have 60 million displaced people? 
Because the government refuses. For the last 25 years, it has refused 
to listen to non-violence.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
So you see the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists as victims?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I see the people as victims of something. If you look at the 
ideology of the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists, they 
don't think of themselves as victims. But that ideology is getting 
purchased among people, in the popular imagination because of the 
incredible injustice that is being perpetrated by the Indian State.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
In short, the fault is almost entirely on the government's side?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati Roy: It is.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
You say that boldly and bluntly?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Absolutely.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
I want very much to talk about the prospects of talks but first, let 
me ask you about Azad. In May, it emerged that the home minister had 
asked <http://connect.in.com/swami-agnivesh/profile-263789.html>Swami 
Agnivesh to facilitate talks with the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoist leadership, 
and in turn he established contacts with the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists leader 
Azad. But in July, in an unexplained police encounter, Azad suddenly 
died. Do you believe that was a deliberate ploy to bring Azad into 
the open and then murder him?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Yes I do.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
You really mean that? The government laid a trap to murder Azad?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: That's what, from all the facts that are emerging, that's what 
it seems to point to.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
Why did they do this? Why would they kill the one man with whom they 
have rational expectations of talks?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I have been saying this for few months now that you have to 
understand that the government needs this war. It needs this war to 
clear the land, to hand over, to actualise these MoUs that have been 
signed. If you read the business papers, they are very clear about that.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
If the government wants war, how do you interpret the government's 
attempt to have talks? One is contradictory to the other.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Yeah. It needs the war but it needs to keep this smiling benign 
mask of democracy. So, it offers talks on the one hand and undermines 
it on the other.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
But even if you accept this strange theory that the government is 
Janus-faced, two-faced, why would it destroy that mask by killing 
Azad? Why would it destroy itself?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Because if you look at what was happening, Azad was beginning to 
sound dangerously reasonable.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: To whom?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: To all of us.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
On the basis of one interview to The Hindu, you have come to the 
conclusion about Azad sounding reasonable?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Come on Karan, we all know about Azad. He has been around for 
years. He has written a lot.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
You may but people surely don't. To them, Azad is a mystery.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: No, not at all. For example, the piece that he wrote in Outlook, 
it was published after his death but it was sent around before.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
But even if one accepts your theory that the government killed Azad 
because he was beginning to sound and look reasonable, that would 
only have made him a credible interlocutor and fit in better into 
their mask. Surely, that in a sense makes it even more ridiculously 
contradictory to kill him.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Why would it be. Let's say there are two sides at war, there are 
more than two but everyone wants to make it binary so, for the sake 
of argument, accept it. When one side sends an envoy and the other 
side kills them, what does it mean? That one side does not want 
peace. That's what it means. That's a reasonable assumption.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
So this is a duplicitous government?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Absolutely.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
In which case, let me come to the critical issue which I want to 
discuss. What are the prospects of talks? The government has 
repeatedly said that it would be willing to talk provided the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists abjure 
violence, not even asking the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists to lay 
down arms, and many people believe that that's a reasonable and 
perhaps, even a generous offer. How do you view the government's 
position on talks?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I think that if you were to go down to those forests and see 
what's going on, when you have these two hundred thousand 
paramilitaries patrolling the tribal villages, the cordon and search 
operations are on, the killings are on, the siege is on, what do you 
mean to abjure violence? If you say that there should be a ceasefire, 
mutual ceasefire, which is I think the most reasonable thing, then we 
can be talking. But if you say you should abjure violence, what does that mean?

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
So one sided abjuring of violence is not what you think will be 
acceptable, but a mutual ceasefire on both sides?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I think it's absolutely urgent that there should be a ceasefire 
on both sides.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
Simultaneous?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Yes. The government reports have said that these MoUs should be 
re-examined. Chidambaram himself promised in an interview that he 
would freeze them. Why doesn't he do that?

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
He is probably waiting for a sign from the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists that they 
will respond. He doesn't want to do it unilaterally.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: They responded in writing now; Azad responded in writing.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
Azad is no more. Let me put this to you. You are beginning to suggest 
in this interview steps, which if they were taken simultaneously by 
both sides, will actually in some way facilitate talks. Would you be 
prepared, since you know the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists and 
trusted by the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists, to act as 
a mediator?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Look, if you studied the peace-talks process in Andhra, you see 
that this business of picking one person and announcing it on the 
media, both sides have done it. Chidambaram has picked arbitrarily 
<http://connect.in.com/swami-agnivesh/profile-263789.html>Swami 
Agnivesh. <http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists 
arbitrarily announced on the radio that we want this one or that one. 
That's not how it works. In Andhra, it took almost a year for this 
committee of citizens to form themselves as responsible people. It 
should not be one person.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
<http://connect.in.com/swami-agnivesh/profile-263789.html>Swami 
Agnivesh, who you say was arbitrarily picked, almost succeeded in 
bringing Azad to some talking point, except for the fact that as you 
say, he was killed. But he almost succeeded. So I come back, since 
you are trusted by the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists and since 
you speak a language, that at least in English, the government can 
understand, would you be prepared to act as a mediator?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Look Karan, I don't think it should be one person. I think there 
should be a group of people who are used to taking decisions collectively.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
Will a committee?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Absolutely. That's what happened in Andhra. There was a 
committee of persons.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
Isn't that a mess?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: No, it is absolutely vital.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
Would you be a part of it?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I don't think I am good at it. I am a maverick.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
Would you be prepared to be one of that committee?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Not really. I would not like to be because I don't think I have 
those skills. But I think there are people who would be very good at it.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
In June, writing in The Hindu, Justice Krishna Aiyar publicly called 
on the <http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists to 
unconditionally come forward for talks. Would you make a similar statement?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: No. Not when there are two hundred thousand paramilitary forces 
closing in on the villages. I say unconditionally both sides should 
say there should be a ceasefire. Then you can see.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
But you are not prepared to facilitate that being a mediator or, even 
part of the committee.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I'll try.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
Try! So suddenly you are changing your position.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I don't know how to think about this.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
If pushed and persuaded, you could accept.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Look, you talk to me like you talk to politicians - will you 
stand for elections?

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
No, I am simply trying to get you to give me a clear answer. What I 
sense is that you are tempted but you are uncertain.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I feel that all of us should do what we can but certainly, I 
don't feel that I'll be very good at it. But, I think there should be 
a committee of people with experience in negotiating, with 
experienced people like BD Sharma, who has such a long experience.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
Let's come to a different issue. The government, particularly the 
home minister, often look upon people who are sympathetic to 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists' cause as 
collaborators, sections of the press even call them traitors. Number 
one in that category is bound to be 
<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy. How do you respond to such branding?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Well, this is an old game.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
But it continues forcefully every time.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I think the reason they were also unnerved, the government as 
well as most of the press, which is clearly on one side in this, is 
that from being people who are marooned in the jungle in one sense, 
when operation Green Hunt happened, a number of activists, a number 
of intellectuals came forward and said look, it is not acceptable to 
us. And that undermined the position of this open and shut case that 
was going on all this time.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
So the certainty of the government's position was weakened and 
undermined by the intellectuals who supported the government which is 
why the government branded them collaborators?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: Again you are saying the 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
But that's why the government called them collaborators?

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: What has happened is that the government has expanded the 
definition of 
<http://connect.in.com/maoist/profile-1876057.html>Maoists to mean 
everyone who is disagreeing with it. What people like myself have 
done is to complicate the scenario. Say it's not that simple. Of 
course it doesn't upset me because I like to say what I think very 
clearly. I am not worried about being called names.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
And in a sense the government calling you a collaborator is proof 
that you actually made the government uncomfortable.

<http://connect.in.com/arundhati-roy/profile-27453.html>Arundhati 
Roy: I am proud if I made the government uncomfortable because it 
should be bloody uncomfortable with what it's doing.

<http://connect.in.com/karan-thapar/profile-159263.html>Karan Thapar: 
A pleasure talking to you.




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