Saturday, March 27, 2010

Arundhati Roy's new essay

OUTLOOK has published a 32-page essay called "Walking with the Comrades" by Arundhati Roy, the activist-writer, in its recent issue. This looks somewhat unusual for a weekly newsmagazine, but Vinod Mehta, the editor, comes up with such risky ventures once in a while.(one of the reasons why I still adore him as an editor).

Walking with the Comrades is Roy's first-hand experience of the Maoists, and their life-styles in the camps as well as about their dreams and philosophies. It's Roy's daring exploration of a political party who India's Prime Minister describes as the biggest internal security threat to the country.

As you read the essay - it's journalism with a heart - you get instantly drawn in with its evocative portrait of real India with its huge oppressives on one side and some greedy corporate houses hand-in-gloves with politicians of different hues - specially those of the ruling party, on the other.

Only Arundhati Roy could write such an essay!

But how is the Government going to react to this explosive essay? As it has ripped off the Government's stand vis-a-vis its Adivasi policy, there should be a huge stirring in govt circles and among the political clique. But I don't see any sign of it until now. Perhaps they are all in a silent mode pondering what to do.

As it seems, it's not easy to arrest Arundhati Roy, or Vinod Mehta for that matter.

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