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Archive for October, 2009

A note of dissent on IBN..

Posted by chakrabarti on October 27, 2009

Transcript of IBN interview with Arundhati Roy (conducted by Karan Thapar). As expected, Roy gets badgered as “crazy” and “nuts” by a lot of people I know. Nothing new about that, since epithets are thrown around every time it’s hard to argue on substantive grounds (similar to how creating a milquetoast public health insurance option in the US gets you labeled simultaneously “socialist” and “Nazi”).

Notice the lame questions the interview directs at her anyway (E.g. “Sixty years after Indian democracy came into being, do you believe that India’s poor and dispossessed have benefited?”) Most of them fall back on the unquestioned premise of India beingĀ  the largest democracy in the world, a tiresome phrase that has lost much of its luster with its invocations ad nauseam. The point that she and dissenters like her are trying to get across, namely that there is a lot wrong with our curious mix of democratic politics and partially “free-market” economy systems and we should be willing to admit the failures, is pretty much lost on Thapar. His fallback on Sonia Gandhi & Manmohan Singh apologizing for the Sikh riots was pretty pathetic, I thought.

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