Friday, 14 May 2010

Arundhati Roy- dotty but by no means dim.

It's twelve years since I read 'The God of small things'- Ms. Roy’s ultra-feminist version of, the ‘Return of Orestes’ in which suffering either homicide or hebephrenia was the only permitted alternative to screaming sociopathy for any Indian cursed with the possession of a penis. 
I was immediately enchanted. Roy was clearly dotty but by no means dim.. It seemed brave- at least, within the heavily exoticised incest- in-the-chutney-factory Indglish-for-export genre of that period- to take on the Electra theme and all that it represents for M.F.A  mad cows everywhere- and really beat the fucking thing to death. 
But I'd underestimated Ms.Roy.  Preserving her orthogonal posture towards Reality, she went on to write, often on worthwhile topics, a string of politically engaged books and articles which demonstrated the radically Manichaean nature of the Universe and the impotence of the liberal conscience to strive against its Psychotic demiurge save at the cost of its own sanity.
Which would have been fine and dandy- literature jus' doin' its job- if it hadn't been for the rise and rise of Narendra Modi.
I mean, who would have thought this Backward Caste yokel  could actually take on the farmer's lobby and correct for Market Failure (in things like micro-irrigation) and make balanced growth fiscally and environmentally viable? 
 Modi's success raised uncomfortable questions. What if these backwards and tribals and vernacular medium types weren't just smarter than us but also like just better human fucking beings? 

Liberalism is another word for the moral hegemony of shitheads like me. Socialism is Liberalism's married name when it really gets to grips with fucking up society. Communism is one better than Socialism coz that way we get to fuck up society while hanging onto 'Forward Caste' status.
Naxalism is one better than Communism coz that way we get to carry guns and fantasize about shooting police constables and, like, hang out with sweet teenage, tribal types who aren't actual 'Trust-afarians' whose Daddies and Mummies went to School with us and who, in too well modulated tones, moan about having become Merchant Bankers as if they'd ever actually had any choice; like it wasn't fucking inevitable.
But fuck me, fuck us- we don't matter any more.
Coz Modi shows how the Market really is better than our own particular Holier than God, God. I think it was Jefferson who said 'in matters of Religion- divided we stand, united we fall.' But, by his own account, that's Modi's Hindutva in a nutshell! No wonder those damn upwardly mobile  Muslim Ghanchis now embrace him- after all, caste-wise, he is one of their own. Of course, the post Godhra riots were inexcusable for not being repeated pre every succeeding poll. Had they been we'd have no difficulty making room for Modi in our Syndicate. Our Socialist-Scientific-Secular Caste fucking Syndicate which instrumentalizes rape, riot and randomized institutional violence to synchronize with its own occult astrology of Power...

Not by default- nor, damningly for an artist, by design- but with her sloe-like eyes (what havoc they must have caused at Lovedale!)  shrewdly open (this kid went on from her poshest of posh boarding schools to live in a squatter's colony while just sixteen!), Roy has done this much for us.
But for her, Modi wouldn't look so damn good.


Anonymous said...

Why are you mentioning Narendra Modi- what is his relevance to this?
You are dragging him in for no reason
Roy's article 'walking with the comrades' focuses on the increase of police harrasment of tribal people for mercenary motive of maximising profit from mineral and timber exploitation.
Modi also was hand in glove with corporates but was giving land of less agricultural value due to aridity of his State. The difference is quite big because local people of his State will receive benefit from jobs created and multiplier effects for local businesses. Tribals are not money minded and have different life style which is in tune with their ancient environment.
However Naxals are exploiting tribals for their own purpose. Their philosophy is 'individual extermination' i.e. beheading 'class-enemies' to spread the terror psychosis and prevail through capture of countryside and encirclement of the cities.
Arundhati has mentioned she is not Maoist- only she feels the tribal people should fight back, not just surrender meekly.

windwheel said...

Sir, thank you for your comment. Unless you are a Madam, in which case thank you for not attaching nude photos of yourselves as so many women feel obliged to do these days.
Like Ms.Roy, I'm not a Naxalite, my faction of the C.P.I (M) having broken with Charu Majumdar in 1972 on the issue of plain beheading vs. first-sodomizing-the-eye-sockets-while-the-victim-screams-for-mercy (which represented best practice in those pre You Tube days).
The problem facing indigenous peoples in resource rich, or militarily strategic, regions is, indeed, a serious one. The work of Elinor Ostrom may show ways forward.