Arundhati Roy 2-Pack
Program #ROYA020-ROYA018. Recorded in Chicago, IL on March 01, 2013.
Arundhati Roy – Gandhi & Caste
States have their iconic heroes. Founding Fathers. Jinnah in Pakistan, Ataturk in Turkey, George Washington in the U.S., Gandhi in India. To criticize them is risky business as they have been elevated to god-like status. Gandhi is no exception. He is revered and honored. His portrait hangs in many buildings and homes. His statue graces many public squares. And he is on the rupee note. The adulation extends outside of India. The British government recently announced that his statue would be placed in Parliament Square. But all people have cracks in their armor. Gandhi supported the highly elaborate Hindu caste system of social segmentation and stratification, and hereditary class division. While deploring discrimination and oppression of Dalits, formerly known as untouchables, Gandhi did not see the hierarchical caste system as morally wrong and undemocratic.
Arundhati Roy - Reimagining the World
The news item was brief and buried in the back pages: “India: Maoists Ambush Patrol, Killing 7 Soldiers. The attack occurred in a rebel stronghold in Jharkhand State. Thousands of people have been killed in the past decade in violence involving Maoists, who claim they represent India’s dispossessed, particularly indigenous tribal groups.” You may wonder, What’s going on? Isn't India a democracy? In India, the U.S. and other countries the actual functioning of democracy has largely been hollowed out. Yes, there are elections and people vote but the nexus of decision-making power lies elsewhere. Corporations dominate the political process. With their fistful of dollars they are able to exact outcomes that benefit them. As environmental destruction continues unabated we must reimagine a different world. One in which people and the planet are more important than profits.
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