I had to be at the Maa Danteshwari mandir in Dantewara, Chhattisgarh, at any of four given times on two given days. That was to take care of bad weather, punctures, blockades, transport strikes and sheer bad luck. Meeter will have cap, Hindi Outlook magazine and bananas.
I stood on a hill and laughed out loud. I had crossed the Narmada by boat from Arundhati roy essay outlook and climbed the headland on the opposite bank from where I could see, ranged across the crowns of low, bald hills, the tribal hamlets of Sikka, Surung, Neemgavan and Domkhedi.
I could see their airy, fragile, homes. I could see their fields and the forests behind them. I could see little children with littler goats scuttling across the landscape like motorised peanuts.
I knew I was looking at a civilisation older than Hinduism, slated - sanctioned by the highest court in the land - to be drowned this monsoon when the waters of the Sardar Sarovar reservoir will rise to submerge it.
Why did I laugh? I looked up at the endless sky and down at the river rushing past and for a brief, brief moment the absurdity of it all reversed my rage and I laughed. I meant no disrespect. What I am, however, is curious. Curiosity took me to the Narmada Valley. Instinct told me that this was the big one.
The one in which the battle-lines were clearly drawn, the warring armies massed along them. The one in which it would be possible to wade through the congealed morass of hope, anger, information, disinformation, political artifice, engineering ambition, disingenuous socialism, radical activism, bureaucratic subterfuge, misinformed emotionalism and, of course, the pervasive, invariably dubious, politics of International Aid.
My first tentative questions revealed that few people know what is really going on in the Narmada Valley.
Those who know, know a lot. Most know nothing at all. And yet, almost everyone has a passionate opinion.
I realised very quickly that I was straying into mined territory. In India over the last ten years the fight against the Sardar Sarovar Dam has come to represent far more than the fight for one river.
This has been its strength as well as its weakness. Some years ago, it became a debate that captured the popular imagination. From being a fight over the fate of a river valley it began to raise doubts about an entire political system. What is at issue now is the very nature of our democracy.
Who owns this land? Who owns its rivers? These are huge questions. They are being taken hugely seriously by the State. They are being answered in one voice by every institution at its command - the army, the police, the bureaucracy, the courts. And not just answered, but answered unambiguously, in bitter, brutal ways.
For the people of the valley, the fact that the stakes were raised to this degree has meant that their most effective weapon - specific facts about specific issues in this specific valley - has been blunted by the debate on the big issues.
The basic premise of the argument has been inflated until it has burst into bits that have, over time, bobbed away. News reports tend to be about isolated aspects of the project. On the other, as a Nehru vs Gandhi contest. It makes out that both sides have the Greater Good of the Nation in mind - but merely disagree about the means by which to achieve it.
Both interpretations put a tired spin on the dispute. Both stir up emotions that cloud the particular facts of this particular story. The Nehru vs Gandhi argument pushes this very contemporary issue back into an old bottle.Meeter will have cap, Hindi Outlook magazine and bananas.
The Booker prize-winning author and activist Arundhati Roy goes deep inside Central Arundhati Roy reads from her essay on Maoists. THE GREATER COMMON GOOD "If you are to suffer, you should suffer in the interest of the country." - Jawaharlal Nehru, speaking to villagers who were to be displaced by the Hirakud Dam, Suzanna Arundhati Roy (born 24 November ) is an Indian author best known for her novel The God of Small Things (), which won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in and became the biggest-selling book by a non-expatriate Indian author.
She is also a political activist involved in human rights and environmental causes. As I paid for the book, Arundhati Roy’s name leapt out at me from the cover of Outlook.
It was her long essay on the Maoists. It was her long essay on the Maoists. Whether we agree with Roy or not we read her because she surprises us. As the United States pushed for war on Iraq, Arundhati Roy, the internationally acclaimed author addressed issues of democracy and dissent, racism and empire, and war and peace in her essay entitled ‘ War Talk’.
Mar 09, · Roy was born Suzanna Arundhati Roy in in Shillong, a small hill town in the northeastern fringes of India. Her mother, Mary, was from a close-knit community of .