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Is India on a Totalitarian Path?

As voting begins in India in the largest elections the world has ever seen, we spend the hour with Indian novelist and essayist Arundhati Roy. Nearly 815 million Indians are eligible to vote, and results will be issued in May. One of India’s most famous authors — and one of its fiercest critics — Roy is out with a new book, “Capitalism: A Ghost Story,” which dives into India’s transforming political landscape and makes the case that globalized capitalism has intensified the wealth divide, racism, and environmental degradation. “This new election is going to be [about] who the corporates choose,” Roy says, “[about] who is not going to blink about deploying the Indian army against the poorest people in this country, and pushing them out to give over those lands, those rivers, those mountains, to the major mining corporations.” Roy won the Booker Prize in 1997 for her novel, “The God of Small Things.” Her other books include “An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire” and “Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers.”

 

1 comment

  1. george patterson April 13, 2014 7:10 pm 

    Concerning Democracy Now’s outstanding interview with Indian essayist, novelist, and activist, Arundhati Roy , Roy is absolutely right in saying jn her book – “Capitalism: A Ghost Story” -’that India is transformjng the political landscape by accentuating and intensifying the marginalization and disenfranchisement of the poorest of the poor in the forests and contributing to a globalized capitalism that has intensified the wealth divide, racism, and environmental degradation. She explains that this is being done specifically in India by marginalizing and impoverishing at least 800 million Indians who live on on only a half of one dollar a day, whereas the one hundred richest families like the Tata family control at least twenty-five percent of the gross development product(GDP) and how this has resulted in the growing destruction of rural agriculture, resulting in at least 250,000 suicides by farmers who have been forced to grow cash crop in which they spend much more on dangerous pesticides than what they receive for planting them and how that globalized capitalism has intensified the wealth divide, racism, and environmental degradation throughout the world with no indication of any chance of decline throughout the world. n She poignantly points how the implications of this globalized capitalism are absolutely catastrophic. But she also points out brilliantly how there is grassroots rural resistance against this awful corporate and government policy of “deploying the Indian army against the poorest people in this country, and pushing them out to give over those lands, those rivers, those mountains, to the major mining corporations.” And she provides can optimistic final note that there is a very determined effort by this movement to prevail against the government and corporate sectors. She concludes that there is a chances that they will prevail against these monumental oppressive interest groups ultimately in India because of their tremendous collective and individual determination.

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