Social Critic Arundhati Roy on Democracy and Dissent in India

Venerated novelist, essayist and fierce social critic Arundhati Roy speaks to the history of democracy, dissent, modern nation-states, post-colonialism and capitalism in her speech at the University of Westminster.

52 Comments on "Social Critic Arundhati Roy on Democracy and Dissent in India"

  1. Jesus Borg | Jul 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm |

    She is so Hot! She is like Salma Hayek crossed with Amy Goodman!

    • Jin The Ninja | Jul 28, 2012 at 9:08 am |

      you just try for the lowest common denominator don’t you?

      • Jesus Borg | Jul 28, 2012 at 11:53 am |

        Beauty is a good thing to have as a lowest common denominator. She knows she’s sexy too. 

        • Jin The Ninja | Jul 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm |

          beauty is vastly different from ‘hot.’

          • Calypso_1 | Jul 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm |

            Ok, she’s hot in a fiercely, liberated, anti-globalist kinda way.  ; ) 

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

            i am totally down with that context/phrasing;)

          • Anarchy Pony | Jul 29, 2012 at 12:14 am |

            Yeah, but she doesn’t look like she’s into punk rock.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 29, 2012 at 11:51 am |

            i have a feeling she might be pretty rock & roll;)

          • Jesus Borg | Jul 29, 2012 at 8:31 am |

             Well, no offense, but you don’t like girls so how the fuck would you know?

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 29, 2012 at 11:48 am |

            stupid is as stupid says…wow….lol…

            i could be a raging bisexual, you really have no idea. i’ve only ever said ‘queer’ – which refers to a large spectrum of orientations, and regardless the principle is still the same. ‘hot’ is sexualising, objectifying- while beauty is an aesthetic quantum that exists seperately from one’s sexuality although they can intersect. get it now?

          • Jesus Borg | Jul 30, 2012 at 8:23 am |

             I get it that you like to try to control other people by trying to enforce codes of politically correct speech on them.

            I basically treat everyone the same. People that think they are special and need to be treated different usually don’t like it.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 30, 2012 at 10:32 am |

            ‘enforce codes of politically correct speech…”

            so you can be a total ‘phobe- which i call you on, and somehow that makes me the pc-brigade?!? no. no. actually it just makes you sound like the ignoramus you are.

          • Jesus Borg | Jul 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm |

            Yeah I am a homophobe because I like sexy women. And you are intelligent because you are a gay Marxist. Good logic.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 2:21 pm |

             am not a marxist, but don’t worry i won’t correct you.

          • Jesus Borg | Jul 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm |

             Oh no? Why not embarassed that you might keep getting bitch slapped and exposed as a phony?

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm |

            lol no, i’ve said my political affiliations so many times on this board, it’s becoming redundant.

          • mannyfurious | Jul 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm |

            This response says it all. 

            All Jin has done is report historical facts to support his assertion that you’re ignorant as shit, while you sit around calling him names, like “spoiled” and “phony.” 

            It’s hilarious and kind of sad that you actually truly believe you’ve “bitch-slapped” anything but Jin’s (and mine) time.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

            thank you.

            ninja art: time void.


          • Jesus Borg | Jul 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm |

            Actually, the nicest thing i can say to you is that things actually aren’t as bad as you think they are. But hey if demonizing everyone works for you than keep doing it. Imagine that everyone that doesn’t say everything exactly correct is a woman hating racist homophobe.

            Judge everyone around you constantly in the most disparaging way, cultivate paranoia and isolation.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 2:22 pm |

            nah man, that’s the right’s job. fear based rule.

          • Jesus Borg | Jul 31, 2012 at 2:46 pm |

             yeah like foot binding, male dominated cultures?

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm |

            foot binding was/is in fact part of patriarchal domination/oppression against women. however you again spout hysterical points outside of their context. did you know that foot binding was actively promoted in the Yuan dynasty? Qing Dynasty? before that it was only mentioned 3 or 4 times as a practice of palace dancers in relatively obscure texts. manchu and mongol culture were much more hierarchical with no meritocratic elements, very much entrenched in specific gender roles. have you met a woman with bound feet? i have. i was related to one. do you that manchu and mongolian rule both supplanted many traditional han practices including but not limited to dress and hairstyle. manchu and mongol rule also created a hierarchy of race where han chinese were somewhere on the 3rd tier, only above the southern ‘tribes’ of vietnam and thailand. and that colonial powers colonised china in a distinct way during the 17th 18th and 19th centuries (mostly thought economic domination of the drug trade)? which also led to a decline of traditional culture. the ‘foot binding’ assertion is true, in many ways, but to a point. it was also used as a justification of white christian feminists to racially segregate chinese people in the west, and to actively impose racist laws in china against the chinese. like i have said to you, it’s all about context.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 4:57 pm |

             and i just wanted to note a very important aspect which i failed to mention before (and my ‘white’ partner reminded me to) that foot binding and its history is very complex. it is a symptom of an overarching confucian male domination, but in MANY ways it became a part of SOUTHERN chinese culture (the part of china which practiced footbinding by far the most regularly)- in that only the eldest and rarely 2nd eldest daughter were bound. This was done to enable their marriage to men of high socio-economic status. in chinese society, economic privilege gave women a high degree of autonomy and enabled them to live without the same social constraints of poor women. in a way it served as a vehicle to social privilege as much as it served as a vehicle for social oppression. its truly a complex issue, that i can’t fault you for not understanding.

          • Jesus Borg | Jul 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm |

            Actually, I am not getting in a pissing contest with you. I am a WWOOfer, I voted for Nader, I eat organic buy fair trade, do volunteer work. If you want to hate white people (all of them are the opressors) and spew hatred and act self righteous and paint everyone to the Right of Abrea Dworkin as “On the Right”  than that’s your fucking passive aggressive head. You are just mind fucking yourself.  

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm |

            i am ‘white.’ my mum is ‘white. ‘my partner is’ white.’ i just also happen to be chinese. the fact you can’t understand the nuance of identity or identity politics just proves what a little fascist you are in your heart.

          • Jesus Borg | Jul 31, 2012 at 2:50 pm |

             No it proves that you are a spoiled passive aggressive little brat, with a lot of latent agression/hatred racism in your heart that only comes out anonymously on the internet. I am sure that in public you are perfectly subservient to everyone.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 3:05 pm |

            ‘subservient’ am i? there is no racial undertone there whatsoever! *eyeroll*.

          • TennesseeCyberian | Jul 31, 2012 at 6:54 pm |

            Reading your list of Neat Feminist Facts About China (and I’ll assume that those I’m unfamiliar with are correct), something strikes me:

            You are quick to condemn Western or Judeo-Christian culture and its genetic roots, i.e. “white” people.  You disparage Western patriarchy, global hegemony, slave-trading, etc.  And I wouldn’t deny any of those things about our heritage.

            But why go so easy on the Chinese?  And if you are going to ignore the Chinese propensity for heavy-fisted regional hegemony, vagina-violating patriarchy, and oppressive wage slavery, why not approach Western culture with the same eye for nuance and sense of compassion?

            If you are going to exclude the invasion of Tibet, state-mandated abortions, anti-Christian public policies, and the horrendous conditions of Chinese industrial workers, you might as well make excuses for Western imperialism as well.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 6:58 pm |

            oh what i said is not an excuse at all, simply context, as i noted;)

            no one was defending contemporary chinese politics, just pointing out historical complexities in one example;)

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 7:01 pm |

            and ps, i’ve gone after china dozens of times for their appauling record on human rights and free market ideology;) jin the ninja 3669 comments, tncyberian 148. i think i have some leeway given my history on this site and alternet to discuss things that are both complex and problematic;)

          • TennesseeCyberian | Jul 31, 2012 at 7:21 pm |

            This thread is out of space, so in response to your comment below:

            You did say: “there is a long-standing debate that asserts western culture with its judeo-christian and victorian hierarchies is far more oppressive.”

            And you did rattle off facts to defend the above thesis.  And I’ll rephrase my observation: you are choosing sides at your convenience.

            And as to your comment count, if you were to strike every snide, insulting, self-righteous, & grammatically atrocious comment from those 3,669, where would the tally stand today?

            Something to consider before congratulating yourself further.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 7:23 pm |

            that was simply me rephrasing edward said, and discussions all area and ethnic and post-colonial studies departments in the world have or have had at different times.

            you’re certainly entitled to interpret events as you want, and i am entitled to dispute that interpretation;)

            i tend to post in quantity admittedly, but i tend to think i also make the occasional snide AND poignant remark;)

          • TennesseeCyberian | Jul 31, 2012 at 7:31 pm |

            Fair enough.

            Top of the day to you.

          • Jin The Ninja | Aug 1, 2012 at 8:28 am |


          • TennesseeCyberian | Jul 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm |

            But Jin…you are the PC Brigade.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 8:54 am |

            Well TC, as one of a handful of people of colour actively posting on this site, i have some responsibility to engage identity politics. But if you knew ANYTHING about me, i actually quite dislike PC-terminology for a variety of reasons, but largely because it takes a lot of the radical, decolonising tendencies out of identity politics.

          • I kept hoping you’d break in on the comments section of McGonagle’s most recent post, but it never happened.  🙁

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 11:38 am |

            i’ll go there now, and see if i can add anything worthwhile (i did follow it, but liam seemed to handle it quite well).

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm |

            had a 2nd read through, and i am ambivalent to the language used- but i agree with the sentiment liam intended to make his point. and in regards to the other poster, i think its best i leave his inane rants to others- lest i become embroiled in (another) reverse-racist hysterics and called simultaneously an ‘interior designer,’ or a ‘bio-chemistry major.’ lmfao. but as always i appreciate that you were interested in my voiced opinions;)

          • TennesseeCyberian | Jul 31, 2012 at 6:56 pm |

            Because we all love a good ol’ fashioned lynching, don’t we.

          • I certainly do.

            Don’t you?

          • Jesus Borg | Jul 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm |

             Yeah, Chinese are an oppressed minority. Even though the AVERAGE person on Planet Earth is Chinese. Even though in many Asian countries, like The Philippines, Chinese are the Ruling class, even though to this day Chinese culture is Male dominated and Patriarchal. Yeah you are an opressed “person of color” like the mole on my white ass.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 2:13 pm |

            i’m mixed race (and queer) but again, don’t let facts get in the way of your shill ad hominem. not to mention your inaccurate representation of the chinese diaspora in the filipines, or the so-called patriarchy of chinese culture. there is a long-standing debate that asserts western culture with its judeo-christian and victorian hierarchies is far more oppressive. did you know that in tang and song china, women could marry, divorce, own property, become independently wealthy, and write fiction and poetry? did you also know, that most chinese scholars believe early han culture was matriarchal and use that context to describe latter periods? did you that daoism, asserts a passive matrifocal ideology? did you also know that for the last 500 years- the world has been dominated by both western colonial empires and western hegemony? based upon white supremacy and patriarchy? do you know who qiu jin is?

            singularly, no you don’t know anything.

          • Jesus Borg | Jul 31, 2012 at 2:26 pm |

            Spoiled Brat.


            Thanks for proving my point.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm |

            i just want you to clarify, against whom am i racist- white people? and phony? no, i would hardly entertain the pedantic conversations i do if i was phony.

          • TennesseeCyberian | Jul 31, 2012 at 7:05 pm |

            Don’t let this cat rattle you, man.  When Jin says “singularly…you don’t know anything,” it’s his way of saying he knows nothing about you.

            Don’t let the condescending insults of a college-educated neurotic spoil your fun. 

            (To pilfer The Dwarves🙂

            You’re made of rubber, he’s made of glue…and he probably just wants to stick his cock inside of you.

          • TennesseeCyberian | Jul 31, 2012 at 6:35 pm |

            I understand completely. I’m fairly pink, and it’s hard on a “pinky” in the ‘hood.

            As for “racism” and “sexism,” it is entirely too easy to use those labels to end an argument or discredit someone who is being honest, or simply being human. That tactic doesn’t actually win the argument or invalidate a person’s perspective, it’s just an easy way to shut them up and avoid thinking about unflattering topics.

            To the extent that you’ve used both -isms in lieu of rational discussion, you stand accused of wielding the PC club to secure rhetorical privilege for yourself.

            But that’s okay, I don’t take it to heart.

            And I don’t think the Indian chick is very hot either. Her hair is too poofy. So at least we can agree on that.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 6:50 pm |

            we agree on nothing;)

          • TennesseeCyberian | Jul 31, 2012 at 7:26 pm |

            Cognitive dissonance at its finest:

            “as one of a handful of people of colour”
            “i actually quite dislike PC-terminology”

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 31, 2012 at 7:32 pm |

            people of colour is a term used to describe a racial and cultural minority. it can be PC, but it can also be radical. which was its original connotation in anti-colon
            ial/post-colonial scholarship. i think of PC language as co-opted by mainstream liberal discourse, and really demonstrating very little relationship to the radical anti-imperialist message of the many movements who adopted the phrase as rhetoric.

          • TennesseeCyberian | Aug 2, 2012 at 4:23 am |

            “Inclusive,” but does not include whites? I don’t suppose those engaging in “agency” will be sending me any Christmas cards this year, huh?

            Let’s say I was lower class and white, and scraping by in Asia, India, Africa, South or Central America, Detroit, New Orleans, Miami, Queens, Chicago, Memphis, or El Paso, TX–should I consider myself a part of this overarching, supposedly non-race specific minority community?

            Would it be oppressive or liberating to call my desperate self-determination “white pride” or “white power” under such circumstances?

            Or would it simply be divisive?

            Serious questions.

  2. What is needed for this planet is a combination of Democracy and Truth. Democracy combined with lies is an autocracy controlled by the tellers of the lies.

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