Arundhati roy essay outlook

In her writing is a raging activism that takes on unpopular, underwritten causes and is unafraid to challenge the ruling elite. Her first novel was published in I worry that I am allowing myself to be railroaded into offering prosaic, factual precision when maybe what we need is a feral howl, or the transformative power and real precision of poetry.


Roy has written polemic and campaigned against inequality throughout her career. Our foe will be the earth herself. The very elements — the sky, the air, the land, the wind and water — will all turn against us. Their wrath will be terrible. Our cities and forests, our fields and villages will burn for days.

Biography: Arundhati Roy – Writer and Activist

Rivers will turn to poison. The air will become fire. In , she faced threat of arrest, and charges of sedition, after she remarked that Kashmir, a disputed territory, was not an integral part of India.

And she is not afraid to stand with the oppressed. For this, she has come under attack and faces charges in the Indian Supreme Court, which could put her in prison.

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Some years ago, it became a debate that captured the popular imagination. That's what raised the stakes and changed the complexion of the battle. From being a fight over the fate of a river valley it began to raise doubts about an entire political system.

The construction of the Sardar Sarovar dam in the state of Gujarat, India is part of a controversial irrigation and hydroelectric project along the Narmada River. Once the project is completed, the rising waters behind the dam will submerge thousands of houses and farms in about 50 to 60 villages.

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Over the last 50 years, some 3, big dams have been built in India--uprooting and displacing an estimated 50 million people. Widespread protest led to a court- ordered halt on the construction of the Sardar Sarovar dam. Then in February of , the four-year stay was lifted and construction resumed. In May, Arundhati Roy wrote The Greater Common Good, a scathing critique of the Sardar Sarovar project and a criticism of the court's apparent indifference to the fact that the dam would displace half a million people.

The essay ran in the Indian weekly newsmagazines Outlook and Frontline, was excerpted in London's The Guardian newspaper, and was then published as a short book.

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See page 12 for an excerpt. Less than two months after The Greater Common Good was published, India's Supreme Court launched an attack on Roy, saying the court had taken "offense" at references to it in the essay. This was not the first time Arundhati Roy had been dragged into court for her writing. Now India's highest court took aim at Arundhati Roy's voice.

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A hearing was held to decide whether to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Roy for publishing The Greater Common Good. For over 14 years the NBA, led by Medha Patkar, has been organizing struggle against the construction of big dams on the Narmada River. Patkar, along with some of the 2, families who faced losing their lands, had camped out in Domkhedi, one of the villages within the "submergence zone" of the Sardar Sarovar Dam.

The Supreme Court hearing was held in response to a petition filed by the Gujarat state government, which claimed that there should be a ban on the "publication of various matters in different newspapers, journals, and other media touching upon the matter under consideration of the court. The court stated, "Prima facie it appears that there is an attempt to undermine the dignity of the court and influence the course of justice.

Meanwhile, there were reports that in Gujarat State, virtually all bookstores had pulled copies of Roy's book for fear of violent reprisal. And the vicious actions by India's high court unleashed a reactionary campaign to silence Arundhati Roy.

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