Arundhati Roy explains the Modi-plan

Not to worry, no muslims will be killed (any more) only the noble tribals who represent the real India will be sacrificed for the pleasure of the corporates (and Israel).

Now  that Pankaj Mishra and S Anand have spoken out (eloquently) about the Modi menace, can the grand lady representing all that is pure and beautiful about India…..the rivers and the fish which swim up 800km from the ocean, the paintings of Bhimbetka, the blue flowers of the Nilgiris, the Chinar trees planted by some Sufi.….remain silently on the sidelines?

Key points: “Now,
we have a democratically elected totalitarian government,”
she
continues. “Technically and legally, there is no party with enough seats
to constitute an opposition. But many of us have maintained for several
years that there never was a real opposition. The two main parties
agreed on most policies, and each had the skeleton of a mass pogrom
against a minority community
in its cupboard. So now, it’s all out in
the open. The system lies exposed.”

“What he [Modi] will be called upon to do is not to
attack Muslims, it will be to sort out what is going on in the forests,
to sweep out the resistance and hand over land to the mining and
infrastructure corporations,” explains Ms Roy. 
 

Ms Roy believes that India’s
chosen development model has a genocidal core to it.
“How have the other
‘developed’ countries progressed? Through wars and by colonising and
usurping the resources of other countries and societies,” she says.
“India has no option but to colonise itself.”

Also, the hyper Hindu-nationalist discourse which has been
given popular affirmation will allow those resisting ‘development’ to be
called anti-nationals.  

So is there no democracy in India then?
“It would be too sweeping to say that,” she retorts.
She opines that “some amount of democracy” in India is
reserved for its middle classes
alone and through that they are
co-opted by the state and become loyal consumers of the state narrative
of people’s resistances.

In Pakistan, apprehensions are rife about Narendra Modi’s
flamboyant success. But fervent Modi supporters in the Indian middle
classes prefer to place him in the economic governance arena. Dawn
recently talked to renowned Indian writer, Arundhati Roy, in Delhi to
explore what Modi’s rise means for India.

“The massive,
steeply climbing GDP of India dropped rather suddenly and millions of
middle-class people sitting in the aircraft, waiting for it to take off,
suddenly found it freezing in mid-air,” says Ms Roy. “Their
exhilaration turned to panic and then into anger. Modi and his party
have mopped up this anger.”

India was known for its
quasi-socialist economy before it unfettered its private sector in 1991.
India soon became global capital’s favourite hangout, sending its
economy on a high. The neo-liberal roller coaster ride, however, hit
snags. The Indian economy, after touching a peak of over 10pc growth in
2010, tapered down to below 5pc in the last three years. The Indian
corporate class blames this lapse solely on the ruling Congress party’s
‘policy paralysis’. Its ‘meek’ prime minister, Manmohan Singh, was now
identified as a hurdle. The aggressive Modi thus provided the ultimate
contrast.

“What he [Modi] will be called upon to do is not to
attack Muslims, it will be to sort out what is going on in the forests,
to sweep out the resistance and hand over land to the mining and
infrastructure corporations,” explains Ms Roy.
 

“The contracts are all
signed and the companies have been waiting for years. He has been chosen
as the man who does not blink in the face of bloodshed, not just Muslim
bloodshed but any bloodshed.”
India’s largest mining and energy
projects are in areas that are inhabited by its poorest tribal
population who are resisting the forcible takeover of their livelihood
resources. Maoist militants champion the cause of these adivasis and
have established virtual rule in many pockets.

“Bloodshed is
inherent to this model of development. There are already thousands of
people in jails,” she says. “But that is not enough any longer. The
resistance has to be crushed and eradicated. Big money now needs the man
who can walk the last mile. That is why big industry poured millions
into Modi’s election campaign.”

Ms Roy believes that India’s
chosen development model has a genocidal core to it. “How have the other
‘developed’ countries progressed? Through wars and by colonising and
usurping the resources of other countries and societies,” she says.
“India has no option but to colonise itself.”

India’s demographic
dynamics are such that even mundane projects, such as constructing a
road, displace thousands of people, never mind large dams and massive
mining projects. The country has a thriving civil society, labour unions
and polity that channel this resistance. The resistance frustrates
corporate ambitions. “They now want to militarise it and quell it
through military means,” she says. 

Ms Roy thinks that the quelling “does
not necessarily mean one has to massacre people, it can also be
achieved by putting them under siege,
starving them out, killing and
putting those who are seen to be ‘leaders’ or’ ‘instigators’ into
prison.” Also, the hyper Hindu-nationalist discourse which has been
given popular affirmation will allow those resisting ‘development’ to be
called anti-nationals.
She narrates the example of destitute small
farmers who had to abandon their old ways of subsistence and plug in to
the market economy.

In 2012 alone, around 14,000 hapless farmers
committed suicide in India. “These villages are completely resourceless,
barren and dry as dust. The people are mostly Dalits. There is no
politics there. They are pushed into the polling booths by power brokers
who have promised their overlords some votes,” she adds, citing her
recent visit to villages in Maharashtra that has the highest rate of
farmer suicides in India.

So is there no democracy in India then?
“It would be too sweeping to say that,” she retorts. “There is some
amount of democracy. But you also can’t deny that India has the largest
population of the poor in the world.
Then, there hasn’t been a single
day since independence when the state has not deployed the armed forces
to quash insurgencies within its boundaries. The number of people who
had been killed and tortured is incredible. It is a state that is
continuously at war with its people. If you look at what is happening in
places like Chhattisgarh or Odisha, it will be an insult to call it a
democracy.”

Ms Roy believes that elections have become a massive
corporate project and the media is owned and operated by the same
corporations too. She opines that “some amount of democracy” in India is
reserved for its middle classes alone and through that they are
co-opted by the state and become loyal consumers of the state narrative
of people’s resistances.

“The 2014 elections have thrown up some
strange conundrums,” she muses. “For eg, the BSP, Mayawati’s party,
which got the third largest vote share in the country, has won no seats.
The mathematics of elections are such that even if every Dalit in India
voted for her, she could have still not won a single seat.”

“Now,
we have a democratically elected totalitarian government,” she
continues. “Technically and legally, there is no party with enough seats
to constitute an opposition. But many of us have maintained for several
years that there never was a real opposition. The two main parties
agreed on most policies, and each had the skeleton of a mass pogrom
against a minority community in its cupboard. So now, it’s all out in
the open. The system lies exposed.”

India’s voters have given
their verdict. But the blunt question that Ms Roy raises remains
unanswered: where will India’s poor go?

……..
Link: http://www.dawn.com/news/1108001/now-we-have-a-democratically-elected-totalitarian-government-arundhati-roy
……..

regards

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One Reply to “Arundhati Roy explains the Modi-plan”

  1. a pakistani journalist came to india to cover election.
    and among 1.2 billion indians he found only roy to analyse the result !
    or will he present diverse opinions through several other interviews?

    ps: rest of his articles are reasonable though.

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