People call me an intellectual terrorist now: Arundhati Roy

Shivangi Singh, Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi
May 24, 2011 07:48 AM IST

Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy was in the capital to launch two books on her experiences while visiting the infamous Red Comrades in the forbidden forests of Central India.

Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy found herself standing at the receiving end of rave reviews and worldwide acclaim after the release of her debut novel

HT Image
HT Image

The God of Small Things

in 1997.

Her latest books Broken Republic: Three Essays and Walking with the Comrades were launched on 20 May 2011 at Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi by Penguin Books India.

The renowned author who refrains from eviscerating the controversial elements and excerpts from her speeches and political writings has penned down her experiences while visiting the infamous Red Comrades in the forbidden forests of Central India in her new releases. The venue brimmed with people from all walks of life, some closely guarding a copy of the author's new release.

The audience braved the heat and humidity to listen and frequently applaud Arundhati Roy, who after a brief introduction by Amit Bhaduri went on to vehemently vent out her frustration against Multinational Corporations looking for options to dig mining burrows in Central India while not caring about the indigenous population which would be displaced inadvertently.

According to Roy, 'the usurping and colonization of land of the poor is at the heart of an unfolding civil war in the country. When the Western Countries were industrializing and were developing the language of civil rights within their society, they were also colonizing their definition of a Third world too.

Amit Bhaduri added to Roy's viewpoints while putting forward a little less skeptical view of Indian democracy to which Roy remarked, 'We are living in a time and space where we are trying to make the discourse of democracy sophisticated, but at the same time also colonizing our own self'.

Critical of the view that the Western World now considers democracy synonymous to Free market Capitalism, she steered the debate towards superfluous vision of Home Minister P. Chidambaram who wishes to see 75% of India's population in cities. Citing that this would lead to forcible movement of 500 million people, Roy dismissed the popular notion that this is what the majority of the population wants.

While the audience cheered, the event witnessed a minor disruption when few audience members roared through the crowd and vindictively came on stage chanting 'Arundhati Roy Murdabad'. Roy refused to repudiate the disruption and mockingly brushed it off as a publicity stunt she had paid for, herself. Rock Band Ska Vengers concluded the event with an ebullient performance.

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