Thursday, April 09, 2020

2764 : The Goddess of small things

I read Arundhati Roy's article from FT a few times. I am an unabashed fan of hers, and that makes me a rarest of rare human beings in these fractured times.

The article is here.

Some passages from this article.

Who can use the term “gone viral” now without shuddering a little? Who can look at anything any more — a door handle, a cardboard carton, a bag of vegetables — without imagining it swarming with those unseeable, undead, unliving blobs dotted with suction pads waiting to fasten themselves on to our lungs? 

But unlike the flow of capital, this virus seeks proliferation, not profit, and has, therefore, inadvertently, to some extent, reversed the direction of the flow. It has mocked immigration controls, biometrics, digital surveillance and every other kind of data analytics, and struck hardest — thus far — in the richest, most powerful nations of the world, bringing the engine of capitalism to a juddering halt. Temporarily perhaps, but at least long enough for us to examine its parts, make an assessment and decide whether we want to help fix it, or look for a better engine.

What I admire about her, is her passion to drive home a contrarian point. Her poetic sense of articulation. What I sometimes struggle with is her anti-establishment stand. Whether I like Modiji or not is very secondary. Same for my views on Trump.

A Modi or a Trump are democratically elected. Labeling them as fascist is admitting implicitly that democracy is rigged. And if that is indeed true, then why even bother to write against them at all?

Get my point. I have very strong views on a lot of things. Including Trump, Modi and Rahul Gandhi or Joe Biden.

While I admire she brings out the challenges of a disadvantaged and marginalized set of people - and my heart truly beats for her (I tho totally love her :-)) and the disadvantaged people - but blaming a Modi or a Trump is super simplifying the problem. 

The real problem is not Modi or Trump. It's me. Its people like me. We are far too privileged and far too be bothered by migrant labor or the Narmada Dam.

Its "me" who is the real grouse she should have with. I represent everything that is wrong with the world. Or at least the parts she is highlighting. 

Do I feel guilty? Of course. Karma is an important part of my life and I try and keep the count. 

Do I grudge Modi or Trump? Not really. We have to make this world a better place, in spite of whatever we might consider as obstacles to the "betterment"?

And the world won't become better, by me blaming my sterile inertness to the world around me, on either a Modi or a Trump.

(That's about as political I allow myself to be :-)

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