Author and activist Arundhati Roy sent some “cryptic” answers to an e-mail questionnaire sent by Outlook. Excerpts:
Can India’s corporate sector, with all the taints of corruption and scams, decide India’s political future?
Of course it can and of course it will. The whole point of the corruption is to consolidate power and money, isn’t it? But perhaps we should not use the words ‘Corporate India’…it is just a few corporations that run India who will be making those decisions. Even within ‘corporate India’ and the business community, there is an accelerated process of marginalisation and consolidation taking place. And corporate money has no nationality.
Considering that the corporate sector’s worldview is so unidirectional and self-serving, why is it being accepted so blindly by the media and in turn by the people?
Because the corporations own and control the media. And the media controls the imagination of the people. RIL, for example, owns controlling shares in 27 TV channels. Logically, ril’s political candidates are going to be promoted on those channels.
What gives the corporates the strength to force such views on the people?
Let me guess…could it be money? Lots of it?
In the US, the corporate sector plays a key role in the selection of the president. The corporate sector here seems to be pushing in that culture—individual-based politics as opposed to issue- or party-based public debates….
This election the Corporate Candidate will be the person who is seen as being able to ‘deliver’…and that will include being able to put down people’s rebellions across the country by deploying the army if necessary, in places like Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, where, in the corporate view, massive reserves of cold cash are languishing in the forests and mountains—not quite the US model, but getting there.
Do you consider all this to be good for India’s democratic system and values?
Yes, it’s excellent for Indian democracy. We should be run by corporations. The army should be deployed. Nothing should come in the way of corporate need. The poor should be moved into concentration camps outside large cities. The surplus population should be exterminated.