More pearls of wisdom from the Writer Formerly Known As Sane, Arundhati Roy. She recently hopped across the border to Pakistan to really sink her fangs into the country she calls home. Speaking at the Karachi Press Club, she talks about the Taliban, the ongoing operation in Swat, Siachen, Indian elections, and the RSS, among other things. True to her form, Arundhati talks at a tangent, jumping from one unrelated topic to the next.
What makes people like her and Praful Bidwai particularly dangerous isn’t the fact that they speak out against the institution. It’s that they speak out by distorting facts and drawing parallels between issues that have no logical correlation to support their agendas. Don’t let them tell you they don’t have an agenda. They do. Everyone does. Here’s Arundhati at her prattling best:
Each day (Siachen glacier) is being filled with ice axes, old boots, tents and so on. Meanwhile, that battlefield is melting. Siachen glacier is about half its size now. It’s not melting because the Indian and Pakistani soldiers are on it. But it’s because people somewhere on the other side of the world are leading a good life….in countries that call themselves democracies that believe in human rights and free speech. Their economies depend on selling weapons to both of us.
Each day, apparently, the glacier is being filled with “old boots”; I’m not even sure what she’s talking about here. Her concern clearly couldn’t be environmental, since the “substance” behind the drivel appears to be to apportion blame to the US (aka “democracies that believe in human rights and free speech”) for selling weapons to “both of us” with which the two above-fault former colonial nations fight wars they are conned into waging by the conniving West. Only problem here is that India didn’t really receive any weapons from the US that it used to fight Pakistan in Siachen. A convenient falsehood to support her anti-US agenda, certainly, and no different from the mindset of the Pakistani establishment that affixes blame on everyone but itself for the situation it finds itself in. But wait, there’s more:
The RSS has infiltrated everything to a great extent..The RSS has infiltrated the (Indian) army as much as various kinds of Wahhabism or other kinds of religious ideology have infiltrated the ISI or the armed forces in Pakistan.
Clearly, she’s taking issue with Lt. Col. Purohit and his ilk in re the Malegaon attacks. But the act of one man, as deplorable as it was, can hardly be equated to the fundamentalist indoctrination of an entire army over the course of 62 years that led it to slaughter 3 million civilians because they belonged to different ethnic and religious persuasions. Apart from Purohit, what other examples does Arundhati Roy have of an RSS “infiltration” into the army? To be clear, the Indian army is battling infiltration. But it isn’t from the RSS. An inconvenient truth that Roy chooses to ignore.
The Indian army is quite a sacred cow especially on TV and Bollywood.I think it is a sacred cow. People are willing to give them a lot of leeway.
Forgive me, but the armed forces of a developing nation that chooses to mind its own business and not stick its nose into political affairs deserves all the credit it gets. The Indian army isn’t perfect. No army is. Sure, the media chooses to turn a blind eye to the army’s conduct in Kashmir and Sri Lanka. But the fact that India has had a virtually unblemished record in democracy since independence (a singular rarity in the developing world) is enough proof that this is an army unlike any other, and if it does get any leeway, it is well deserved.
Arundhati Roy is successful in the sense that her utter ignorance compels people like me to respond and set right the things that this malingering cretin masks with her eloquence. The fact that she can string a couple of sentences together in English is often mistaken by India’s elite and the Western media as indicative of her mastery over subjects she has no experience in. I’ve taken issue with Roy before as I take issue with her today. Abinav Kumar, in his response to Roy’s much published diatribe right after the 26/11 terrorist attacks, said that Arundhati Roy suffered from a failure of the imagination. I beg to differ. Arundhati Roy suffers from a failure of the mind.