Monday, April 04, 2011

Arundhati Roy's Life Inspires an Upcoming Film

Can you imagine, in these times, a film inspired by life of Arundhati Roy, the well-known writer and social activist? The film has reportedly other characters inspired by jailed human rights activist Binayak Sen, and the rare, honest policeman Promod Muthalik.

If you revel in this news, wait. There is a catch. The film-maker,Vivek Agnihotri, who dared to get together all these charcters in his upcoming film Buddha in a Traffic Jam, may not trot it out along your line of thought. He seems to have other things on his mind. "Arundhati Roy has been called many things, including a terrorist," says Vivek. "While some think she was only exercising her right to free speech, my film indeed is about intellectual terrorism".

So, what is intellectual terrorism anyway? Of course, a new idea, though funny one. Since when intellectuals like Arundhati Roy got to be terrorists? Words are weapons, right, but are they any match for the lethal things the real terrorists use to damage human corpus and property?

India may not have many intellectuals Like Roy, but Europe had and still has intellectuals who were/are pro-active against the establishment and the Government. Three names immediately come to mind: Jean Paul Sartre, Michel Foucault, Elfriede Jelinek.Sartre and Foucault participated in demonstrations against the Government quite often, and had offered resistance in person whenever they felt like it. Foucault was roughed by the police a number of times, and mind you he was quite famous internationally. Jelinek, for her activism, was hounded,pounded, and even sent to mental asylum by the socialist rulers.

Arundhati's participation in movements would never measure up to the level of Sartre and Foucault. And she did never suffer as much as them,let alone Jelinek.

Has anybody ever called Sartre and Foucault intellectual terrorist? Can you accuse Jelinek of intellectual terrorism?

And to label Arundhati Roy an intellectual terrorist ..Ha! Ha!


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