women writers and artists

Arundhati Roy

"There is a high-stakes drama playing out in India these days, and the novelist Arundhati Roy is one of its most visible actors. Multinational companies, in collusion with much of India's upper class, are lining up to turn the country into one big franchise. Roy puts it this way: "Is globalization about 'the eradication of world poverty,' or is it a mutant variety of colonialism, remote controlled and digitally operated?" ....
David Barsamian interview, The Progressive
April 2001


A good background site about the novelist-activist, with links to her major publications and speeches is:

TIDE? OR IVORY SNOW? Public Power in the Age of Empire
Transcript of full speech by Arundhati Roy in San Francisco, California on August 16th, 2004.

Arundhati Roy: The Road to Harsud
At the end of June 2004, the town of Harsud was destroyed to make way for the reservoir of the Narmada Sagar dam on the Narmada River. The Narmada Sagar Project is being built by India’s National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC). The World Bank, export credit agencies and private banks are currently considering support for NHPC. In its draft India Country Assistance Strategy of June 2004, the World Bank claims that NHPC has “started to improve (its) environmental and social practices”. The Bank’s Board of Directors will discuss the new India Strategy on August 26.

Arundhati Roy published an article on the destruction of Harsud and the policies of NHPC in the Indian weekly, Outlook, on July 26, 2004. The article can be downloaded from www.irn.org/programs/india/index.asp?id=roy.roadtoharsud.html, or (in ten shorter segments) from http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20040726&fname=Cover+Story+%28F%29&sid=1&pn=1

Arundhati Roy, Hans Von Sponeck Respond to Bush's State of the Union on Iraq
Democracy Now, 21 January 2004

In his State of the Union address, Bush claimed if the US did not invade Iraq, "the dictator's weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day." He did not acknowledge, however, that U.S. inspectors have uncovered no unconventional weapons.
A year ago at the 2003 State of the Union, Bush made the case for war by claiming that Iraq had 25,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tones of sarin, mustard and VX nerve gas and 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents. After 10 months of weapons searches, none of this has been uncovered. We hear from acclaimed Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy and Hans Von Sponeck, the former head of the UN mission to Iraq.
[includes transcript]

Arundhati Roy Speech at the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India

16 January 2004

Do Turkeys Enjoy Thanksgiving?

... "Unlike in the old days the New Imperialist doesn't need to trudge around the tropics risking malaria or diahorrea or early death. New Imperialism can be conducted on e-mail. The vulgar, hands-on racism of Old Imperialism is outdated. The cornerstone of New Imperialism is New Racism.
The tradition of `turkey pardoning' in the U.S. is a wonderful allegory for New Racism..."
(This talk is also on-line at: http://www.afsc.org/pwork/0403/040312.htm)

2001: Arundhati Roy on the war in Afghanistan: "War is Peace"

"As darkness deepened over Afghanistan on Sunday, October 7, 2001, the US government, backed by the International Coalition Against Terror (the new, amenable surrogate for the United Nations), launched air strikes against Afghanistan. TV channels lingered on computer-animated images of Cruise missiles, stealth bombers, Tomahawks, 'bunker-busting' missiles and Mark 82 high-drag bombs. All over the world, little boys watched goggle-eyed and stopped clamouring for new video games..."

2001: The algebra of infinite justice
As the US prepares to wage a new kind of war, Arundhati Roy challenges the instinct for vengance
29 September 2001
The Guardian

"In the aftermath of the unconscionable September 11 suicide attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre, an American newscaster said: "Good and evil rarely manifest themselves as clearly as they did last Tuesday. People who we don't know massacred people who we do. And they did so with contemptuous glee." Then he broke down and wept.

Here's the rub: America is at war against people it doesn't know, because they don't appear much on TV. Before it has properly identified or even begun to comprehend the nature of its enemy, the US government has, in a rush of publicity and embarrassing rhetoric, cobbled together an "international coalition against terror", mobilised its army, its air force, its navy and its media, and committed them to battle..."

The texts of most speeches can also be found at:

women writers and artists menu