Arundhati Roy resists Operation Green Hunt (transcript and video)

BUZZ THIS

By Rady Ananda

The Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights held a public lecture by Gautam Navlakha and Arundhati Roy on June 2, 2010 in Mumbai, India. They cover populist resistance to bauxite mining in particular, but also expand the discussion to clarify that this is a war on all peoples, on all continents, by global corporations who seek to destroy the earth and all tribal cultures in their relentless and psychopathic pursuit of profit.

This 52-minute speech is a companion to her piece, Walking with the Comrades, when she met with armed resistance units early this year.

What follows the videos is my transcription of Arundhati Roy’s speech, which begins at 5 minutes into video 7 of this 21-part video series (posted in full at Counter Currents). Please forgive any misspellings, as I am not familiar with many of the areas or parties mentioned and Google doesn’t search phonetically.

Despite these errors, the full essence and impact of her speech is clear. She transcends borders, connecting those of us suffering under the ecocidal destruction of the Gulf of Mexico, for oil, with other people also suffering for it. She discusses rejection of civilization by India’s tribal peoples (which Derrick Jensen also rejects, along with the Dark Mountain Project). She connects Paraguay, Patagonia and Bolivia by reciting a poem by Pablo Neruda of Chile.

She explains her reasoning behind siding with armed insurrectionists, embracing the ‘romantic’ label of which her detractors accuse her. “I believe in the romance of revolution,” she agrees.  She also celebrates the victories of the revolutionaries: “They have stopped these corporations in their tracks, so far. And if we join them, we can make it stop.”

Arundhati Roy has once again spoken the language of the people, all people, across the planet, who stand in unity against capitalism’s relentless destruction of the environment and human cultures.

TRANSCRIPT

(Headings and transcription provided by Rady Ananda)

[Video 7, starting at about 5 mins]

Thank you, Gautam. I must say that Gautam is one of the few intellectuals in this country who has the integrity and the right to speak with the kind of passion that he spoke today, because he’s been saying what he’s been saying year after year after year. Actually, it’s –it’s, it’s – in a way I was being lazy. I said, ‘Gautam, you speak first because then you’ll say everything and I won’t have to say much.’ And that is the case.

I’m just going to try and come at this from a different angle. It’s so hot here. It looks as though I’m uncomfortable with my politics. I’m not. It’s just hot.

First of all, I think – I think we should reverse the way we are approaching this and thinking about it, and the way it’s being presented to us. You know, the way it’s being presented to us is that there is this unrest in the country, which it is the duty of the government to suppress in order to safeguard its good and decent citizens.

The fact is that nobody needs this war more than the government. Nobody needs this war more than the government. And it is trying to create a situation – it’s trying to fashion an enemy that it can easily demonize in order to justify this war.

It’s an old, it’s an old trick. You know, unfortunately, it might be bad for our egos, or our sense of ourselves, or our sense of history, or our sense of uniqueness to think that anything that is happening here, in terms of the way the, the building blocks are being placed, is new. These are very, very old games that many other c- that many other countries and many other people have had decades of experience in. 

But even if you look at when this – when this government came to power first – the Congress, the UPK came to power first in 2004 and you know, Manmohan Singh said that the Maoists are “the greatest internal security threat in the country.” What was the situation of the Maoists then?  They had just been virtually eliminated, virtually annihilated in Andhra Pradesh. Something like 1,600 of the Kol (?) [v.7 8:04] had been wiped out.

So, what was it about them that was the greatest internal security threat? Why was it, and when he said that, the share prices of the mining companies began to shoot up? Because it was a signal to them that ‘I’m going to do something about this.’

But, of course, it’s not always in their control. You know, as Guatam said, once you start an attack, it’s almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy. They became – I mean, I don’t still consider them an internal security threat, but in the, in the terms of how the government thinks about it, certainly. By shining the light on them so much, by making them so important, they actually made the Maoists bigger than they ever were. And they need that.

If you – I mean, I remember, it might have been in 2002 or something, I don’t know how many of you remember this, but there was a ________(v.7 9:10) which is an ___ organization in Kahala, which for years had been agitating for land rights, and had been promised land. And, of course, the promise was only as all promises are in this country, just to, just to kind of disrupt the build up of a political movement. And they were not given the land.

So, about 4,000 Adivasis went and took over the National Party ____ [v.7 9:40] in a place called M___, North _____.  There was a police fighting and they were shot at and everybody – nobody came out in the favor of the Adivasi. And the environmentalists said, ‘Oh, why should they have taken over a national …

[Video 8]

… park? You know the elephants walk thru here. Nobody went there and bothered to notice that that park had been clear felled and eucalyptus trees had been planted for the Birdla Riyan (sp) [v.8 0:09] plant.

Those Adivasis were shot at and then they were – we were all told they were Maoists. They were trying to create a balanced state. There was a weapons display. I went there. I went to the hospital. I saw these people who were, you know I felt like I was towering over them. They were like small (indicating) and they had their heads broken open, their feet blown off and there was a weapons display: of kitchen knives, of axes.  One of them had collected a pollitine (sp) bag full of beads to overthrow the Indian state with.

You know, and from them it started. Every time – I mean in Memdeekayta (sp) [v.8 0:56], wherever you looked at nonviolent protest, they were always labeled as Maoist at a time when there was nothing like the kind of Maoist movement there is now.

So, why does the government need this war? Why does it need it now and why does it need it so badly?

You see, I think we, we have to understand that what it’s doing is to inflict the meaning of Maoist to a point where it loses any political sense. Anybody who is raising issues of an injustice, anybody who’s refusing to surrender their land or their resources – whether they are armed, whether they are not – are today called Maoists.

An uncle, an old uncle of mine called me the other day and he said, “You know, I’ve stopped working now. I’ve, uh, I’ve lots of time for you and I’d like to help you to do some, something.” So I said to him, “What do you want to help me do?”  He said, “You know these issues of injustice that you keep raising. I’d like to do something.” I said, “Please don’t talk like that on the phone. They’ll say you’re a Maoist.”

Honestly, it’s become that. It suits the Maoist. Sure. Why shouldn’t it? I mean why should any political party refuse that invitation?

But coming back to, what is it that, what is it that makes it so urgent for the government to fight this war?

Resource Wars and State Corruption

(v.8 2:32)

In 2004 when Manmohan Singh came to power, by 2005 there were huge numbers of MoUs [Memoranda of Understanding] signed with mining companies. With, not just mining, but every kind of infrastructure. So in that entire forest belt, you had an MoU on every mountain, on every river, on every forest. So what they refer to the Maoist Corridor, we call the MoU-ist corridor. And those MoUs were signed by the biggest corporations in the world. And since 2005, they’ve been waiting.

If you read the business papers, you will get a much more honest – actually, because the business papers don’t have any sense of irony, you know? So, they’re very open about what all this is about. So, you read the business papers you’ll understand quite clearly which companies are waiting for which patch of land and how the delays are affecting them. So, 2005 they arrived – all these corporations circling around these forest areas, like vultures waiting, sitting in the first class airport lounge and sipping their drinks and blinking like lazy predators saying, “You know, come on. We’ve paid you. I mean, where do those thousands of crores of the Ready Brothers (?) and the Magukas (sp) come from [v.8 4:00]

The media is quite happy to highlight the fact that these politicians are corrupt, but never do they try and ask, who paid them? Where did that money come from?  That money came from the forests, from the rivers, and from the mountains of our country. Just the bauxite in Orissa, alone, is worth $4 trillion dollars.* Just the bauxite. Then you have the iron ore and you have everything else.

If you, if you have any idea how these MoUs and how these contracts are working, the government for iron ore gets 24 rupees (Rs.) a ton. The private corporation gets 5,000.  Can you believe that? And these are not my figures. Read the locayuta (sp) [v.8 5:03] report and you will find out. So, for those companies, to buy governments, to buy judges, to buy the media of course is nothing, to, to, to buy universities, to buy intellectuals – not by saying, you know, “Here, how much do you come for?” But, you know, there are very sophisticated ways of buying people. For example, I’ll give you a grant. What sort of research would you like to do?

The biggest steel corporations in this country, the Jindals, the Mittals, Tata – they fund half the activists in this country. They fund the biggest sort of, um, cutting edge Indian artists who are having shows in Moma [sp v.8 5:55] and all over the place, you know? Making large steel buckets or small different carriers, or whatever the ___ need. But, they fund them. So they buy our silence. And sometimes we don’t even know that they’ve bought our silence.

If you look at all the ways in which the NGOs work, if you look at the ways in which organizations like DFID work, you know the Tatas can fund both sides. They can fund the media, they can fund the activists, they can fund also – make the, make the mines. They can buy the government.  They can do anything. I mean, you saw – I don’t know now many of you’ve seen those transcripts of how many senior journalists, who set themselves up as being very neutral and very radical, actually lobbying for a particular ministry because Tata should benefit from that.

Today’s scandals are not in kraws [sp, v.8 6:56]; they’re in tens of thousands of kraws. This is the kind of money that is going around.

A ‘Bandwidth of Resistance’ against Land Grabbing

So, so what we have in opposition to this, apart from a few of us who are, you know, yelling from the rooftops? What we have in opposition to this is an insurrection in the heart of this country. The Maoists are the most militant end of that insurrection. But there’s a whole bandwidth; there’s a whole biodiversity of resistance that has, that has sprung up.

All of them don’t agree with each other. Sometimes they hate each other. Sometimes they have wars in which they kill each other. But all of them agree about one thing, and that is that this massive sale is just not on.

So, whether it’s the Nabanachawdoland [sp, v.8 7:50] or whether it’s the movements in Kalinga [names various regions in India], the fact is the – whether it’s the Maoists – at the heart of this problem is land.

I mean, I have studied and followed closely the lamina (sp) movement for many years. We know that just big dams alone have displaced more than 33 million people. All of the big infrastructure projects, the first thing they do is to displace the poor. The first thing they do. Any dam you go to nowadays, ask them. Of course, they say, that people should be resettled. But have there been, I mean, even today, the ____ is dead. (Names other groups)  The whole scam of rehab, rehabilitation…

The government openly says, we don’t have land. We cannot give you land for land. But how did you find 140,000 hectares of land for S.E. Zeds [sp, v.8 8:57], so suddenly, to give to the corporations?  Suddenly, when you want it, you find it. Even if you have to kill people.

None of us is here, certainly I’m not here to defend the killing of innocent people by anybody. Not by the CPM, not by the Maoists, not by the government. That’s not my brief.  And I’m also completely contemptuous of this atrocity-based political analysis. You know? It’s like some condemnation in the streets where we all have to buy shares and, you know, show how great we are at shareholdings.

When, when the, when the CRPF were killed – when 76 CRPF people were killed, that was by the Maoists in Dandawada, there was this incredible pressure. You went in; you wrote about them; you painted them as, you know, the usual.

[Video 9]

Romanticized them. You romanticized violence. Now please, come out and kill- and condemn the killing of these 76 CRPF.

But, if you were to ask, what was 76 CRPF doing in a tribal village with 21 AK 47s, 38 in-site rifles, 7 SLRs, 6 light machine guns, one sten gun and one two inch mortar? What were they doing? Who were they there to kill?

If it is, if your answer is that they were there because there’s a war, and that they were there because the Maoists are armed, and there’s a conflict, then by forcing you to unanimously condemn that killing, you’re forcing somebody to unanimously say, okay, I support you. I’m on the government’s side of this war.

But, it’s not so simple. It’s a very thorny, knotty issue. It’s not so simple.

It’s not possible for me to go to that place, to look at those people who as- I mean, starving. They only have loincloths and bows and arrows. You want to snatch away that, too? And I have to also come down on your side? I’m sorry. I can’t. I just simply cannot do it.

I feel a bit embarrassed when we talk about we are in a war against our own people. Because, as Gautam says, ever since India became an independent sovereign country, it has behaved like a colonial power. From the moment it won independence, it has been at war Nagaland, Munipuj, Hydrabog, Goa, Assam, Punjab, Kashmir, uh, the Naxalite movement in West Bengal, Teleanna [sp, v.9 1:50]. Just look at it. I mean, they blame the Maoists for believing in protracted war.

But here is a state that believes in protracted war that has killed 68,000 people, or that war has killed 68.000 people in Kahsmir alone. There’s no body count in the northeast.

We have laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act that allows noncommissioned officers to kill on sight. And we call ourselves a democracy? And now we have those laws extended, of course, to this area. And, and, there is something quite interesting. If you stare at that list, if you stare very hard at that list of, of wars that have been prosecuted by the Indian state – war against Nagas, against Munipuris, against – who are tribal people, war against the Goans who are mostly Christians, war against Sikhs, against …

Thank you. [accepts hankies]

Against every kind of minority. It’s an upper caste Hindu state making war against every kind of other.

I mean, I wish I could show you this picture since we are all talking about bloodthirsty Maoists and their violence. You can’t see it, but that’s a picture of a Chief Minister who you all know, whose name begins with N and whose surname begins with M. And he’s doing Punja (sp) to AK 47s and to SLRs. And it says Arms and the Man. _____ [v.9 4:04] worships weapons at his residence in Gondinaver [sp]. Okay.

On armed resistance

(v. 9, 4:14)

So, uh, none of us worships weapons. At least I don’t. But, the point is, what is going on in this country?

I mean, I’m not, I’m not somebody who believes that the only people that are resisting this is this pristine and beautiful revolutionary force called the Maoists. I’m not one of those. There is, as I said, a bandwidth of resistance movements and that is what gives this resistance in our country such a depth and such a beauty. As I said, it’s not, it’s not a new war.

I really want to read a poem to you if you wouldn’t mind. Could I? Okay. I will read a poem to you, but I want to say this.

That the war that is being waged is not a new war. But if we win, it will be a new victory. And we can win, because I don’t think there’s an example of any country anywhere in the history of this kind of fighting where the poorest people in the world – the poorest, most malnutritioned people in the world – are waging a resistance against the richest corporations in the world, supported by the security forces, by the corporate media, by the judiciary of the biggest democracy – or, so called democracy – in the world. Okay.

And they’re winning.  They have stopped these corporations in their tracks, so far. And if we join them, we can make it stop. I really believe that we can make history. If we want to. It can happen. Because there is a depth of understanding; there’s a depth of understanding.

You see, this insurrection that is going on, it’s asking some very, very serious questions. Not just about, you know, justice and so on. It’s asking you – it’s questioning the meaning of democracy. And it’s questioning the meaning of civilization itself. What does that mean? Being civilized. What does civilization mean?

And it’s not, it’s not that these questions have not been asked before. Of course they have been. You know, they have been. But they’ve been asked in universities. They’ve been asked in seminars. They’ve been asked in art galleries.

But here you have a situation where hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of people, are putting their bodies on the line to ask this question. And it’s a very, very profound question. And it’s a question that ho- the answer to that question is the key to what is going to become – not of the Congress government, not of the BJP, not of the Maoists; I really don’t care – of this planet, of this civilization, of the human race.

I don’t even care only about the human race. Of all those birds on the Gulf of Mexico with oil slick in their feathers – all of that.  These people are fighting a war that is questioning all of that.  And that is the beauty of this resistance.

Capitalism corrupts elections

I actually think that – I’m not even, I’m even bored of asking questions of the state, because I don’t expect any answers from the state. I don’t. I think it’s much more interesting to interrogate the resistance to which we belong.  I’m on this side of the line. I’m very clear about that. I don’t care. Pick me up; put me in jail. I’m on this side of the line.

But, on this side of the line, turn around and ask your comrades questions for our sake, for the sake of the struggle, for the sake of pushing things forward.  But, um…

Years ago I was in, I was at a, I was at a meeting of iron ore workers in ___ [v.9 8:45] many years ago, when, when Manmohan Singh, who had been the Finance Minister, had, had done all the reforms and then lost elections to the BJP, so he’s in the opposition. He was nobody. So, a Hindi poet at that meeting read a poem called “Manmohan Singh ___” [v.9 9:10] [recites two lines in Hindi].

You know, like, you’ve done it. You’ve dismantled everything. You’ve opened the markets. You’ve done all that. Now, you don’t have to do anything more. You can just travel thru the bloodstream. You can just destroy our lives.  You can just destroy our villages. You can just destroy our jobs by sitting there.

And that’s what actually happened. In, in 1989 when capitalism won its jihad against communism in the bleak mountains of Afghanistan, the whole world did a somersault, including our country, which was non-aligned, which was a proud, which had some kind of pride …

[Video 10]

… Suddenly became a natural ally of Israel and the U.S. and while I’m here at this public forum, I do want to say it is an outrage what Israel did yesterday to that flotilla, you know, and we all should condemn it.

But when, when they did this somersault in 1989, they opened, this government opened two locks. It opened the lock of the Indian market and it opened the lock of the _____ (?).  And those two locks set into the world two kinds of – into our world – two kinds of totalitarianism: Hindu fundamentalism and market fundamentalism. And both of them, for both of them, the government needed to generate its own kinds of terrorism. So we had Islamic terrorism and the red terror. And both…

So, the situation is you can say as much as you like, go for elections, go for elections, whoever you vote for has cloved feet. Whoever you vote for, the opposition will always be on the right. Whoever you vote for, it’s like one corporation, one holding company, two brands of washing powder.  You know? Sunlight or moonlight, I don’t know.  Whatever.

So, we’re stuck in that now. And what this insurrection is doing is to try and blow a hole in that cap that is depleting the oxygen from our brains, which is making us into zombies, which is making us ridiculous.

Romanticizing the Revolution

(v.10 1:50)

You know, I, I, when I came back from the forest, when I wrote Walking with the Comrades, I was very happy when I was accused of romanticism. You know why? Because I believe in romance. Because I believe in the romance of revolution. I believe in the romance of that beautiful forest. I believe that, that there’s something so wonderful about those people standing up and telling you, you know what, that’s enough. That’s enough.

We love romanticism, right? When it’s Slumdog Millionaire – when you’re romanticizing people that are so screwed that all they have is to fall thru shit holes and run around with gangs and ooh, wow, that’s lovely.  You can romanticize poverty. You can- every Bollywood film can romanticize violence. All our stupid Bollywood stars can go there and flex their stupid biceps, and you think, wow, what a lovely body. You know, who did it? How did you do it?

But when that romance, when that violence becomes political, when that violence is prosecuted by some starving man who says I want more, then, oh, my God, it’s such a frightening thought for the middle class.

As long as it’s some airhead with biceps and a machine gun, you’re fine, right? He’s not going to do anything to you.

So, this is a poem for, this is a poem by Pablo Neruda and I think he must’ve written it for Manmohan Singh and ____. [v.10 3:30] It’s called “Standard Oil Company.”

When the drill bored down toward the stony fissures
and plunged its implacable intestine
into the subterranean estates,
and dead years, eyes of the ages,
imprisoned plant roots
and scaly systems
became strata of water,
fire shot up through the tubes
transformed into cold liquid,
in the customs house of the heights,
issuing from its world of sinister depth,
it encountered a pale engineer
and a title deed.

However entangled the petroleum’s arteries may be,
however the layers may change their silent site
and move their sovereignty amid the earth’s bowels,
when the fountain gushes its paraffin foliage,
Standard Oil arrived beforehand
with its checks and its guns,
with its governments and its prisoners.

Their obese emperors from New York
are suave smiling assassins
who buy silk, nylon, cigars,
petty tyrants and dictators.

They buy countries, people, seas, police, county councils,
distant regions where the poor hoard their corn
like misers their gold.
Standard Oil awakens them,
clothes them in uniforms, designates
which brother is the enemy.
the Paraguayan fights its war,
and the Bolivian wastes away
in the jungle with its machine gun.

{an aside: that’s the _____ [v. 10 5:10]  and his brother}

A President assassinated for a drop of petroleum,
a million-acre mortgage,
a swift execution on a morning

{aside: even the pages are soaked}

On a morning mortal with light, petrified,
a new prison camp for subversives,
In Patagonia, a betrayal, scattered shots
beneath a petroliferous moon,
a subtle change of ministers
in the capital, a whisper
like an oil tide,
and zap, you’ll see
how Standard Oil’s letters shine above the clouds,
above the seas, in your home,
illuminating their dominions.

So, this war is an old one, but if we win it, we’ll make history. I just want to end this… I think, you know, since Gautam has given us such a, such a nice picture of exactly what’s going on, briefly I just want to say that in the Dandakaranya where I walked with the comrades, where Gautam walked with the comrades, 644 villages have been emptied. More than 300,000 people are missing from the government’s radar. Many of them live in Andhra Pradesh. Many of them are just living in the forest totally terrified of coming back to their villages.

I was reading a book about the _____ [v.10 7:00] movement in ’46 and ’52: same thing. The same kind of violence. The same kind of rape. The same kind of terror. The same alignment of forces.

Now, the question is, we don’t …

Social Engineering

(Video 11)

…believe- I don’t believe in an atrocity-based analysis of this. I don’t believe I should be asked, do you support the killing of innocent people? Only the Israelis ask those questions, you know? So, of course, all those weapons that will be used to fight the poor will come from Israel. But that’s separate. There are 20 jungle training war schools that are coming out, because, you see, this economic totalitariansim, this kind of economic policy can only be implemented if we turned into an armed state.

So, we should be really ashamed of the fact that Pakistan, which is a country that had never been allowed to have a democracy – not because they are worse people and we are better people, but because the Americans interfered in their politics all the time. Never allowed it to be a democracy.

But those people, who have only endured a military state, are fighting for a democracy.  And we, who only ever had a democracy, are fighting for a military state. Our middle class, our media, are begging for a military state. We should be ashamed. But then, 90% of their profits come from corporates, from advertising, so what else would they be asking for, because Mr. Chidambaram and Mr. Manmohan Singh believe in a vision. They say so, openly, openly, again and again: ‘Our vision is that 85% of India should live in cities.’

That means 500 million people should be moved from villages to cities. That’s the kind of social engineering they’re thinking of.  It cannot be done unless we become a military state.  And once those people move into the cities, they will be moved into the slums. Look what’s happening in Delhi. People are moving there and then the Commonwealth Games have to come, right? So people have to move out.

The Indian government – the bid for the Commonwealth Games, 2,800 kraws (?) – the actual amount spent, 30,000 kraws. Who’s asking questions and where is that money going? You know, into stadiums for warming up. That’s the kind of thing we need really badly in this country. Stadiums for warming up.

But, um, I think there is a question I would like to ask the, the Maoists and it is this: When- I think, a lot of the, a lot of the confusion comes from people who either want to say the Maoists and the State are killing the tribals. There’s a sort of sandwiched area. The poor tribals are getting caught in the crossfire. There is another view which says the Maoists represent the tribals.  Neither of these things is true. Because it’s true that 99% of the Maoists are tribals, but not the other way around. Ninety-nine percent of the tribals are not Maoists.

When I say that there is an insurrection in this country, people ask me, do you believe in violence? Do you believe in violence? It’s such a brain dead question. You know, because in human nature, there’s always been violence, and love. And when we decide to love and when we decide to be violent is something that every human being decides for themselves.

But, today what has happened is that because of the, the virtual, I mean, of course the Maoists quite openly have an annihilation period (?), but the Indian state did try to annihilate the Maoists. And when it did that, the Maoists retreated into the forests. There, for the past 30 years, the Maoists have been working among the people and have a pretty formidable, entrenched resistance in states like Dandawada. I mean, in places like Dandawada, places like Dandakaranya. Very, very organized.

But, here you have a movement which says that its stated aim is to overthrow the Indian state with armed violence. But its armies are people who never been outside the forest, who don’t know what the Indian state is. Deliciously! I think it’s fantastic not to know what India is, because I frankly don’t know what India is either. But it doesn’t know what that geographical outline which actually the British made for us is.

So, who do we mean when we say Maoists?  The SP of Dandawada told me, “See, Ma’am? I’ve killed – my boys have killed these 18 Maoists.” And he showed me these pictures. I said, “Well, I can see that you killed 18 people, but how am I supposed to know that they’re Maoists.  __________.” [v.11 5:24] So he said, “Ma’am, see they have malaria medicines and they throw bottles and all these things from outside.So this is why they are Maoist.”

They probably had polatine (?) bags full of beads, as well. This is not to say that, you know, that’s all the weapons they have. They have AK 47s. They have machine… all the heavy weapons have been taken by the police.

Can we leave the bauxite in the mountain?

 But what do we mean when we say Maoist? Are each of these people people who know exactly what the Maoist vision for a state is? And what is that vision?

In one of the questions that I keep asking is, can we leave the bauxite in the mountain? And that question is asked not just of the government, but also to the resistance. Because today, people like me are totally on the side of the resistance, because I feel that it is asking that very radical question. But, in fact, they don’t have a mining policy. And if you see what things are being said about mining, they’re no different from what the Indian state says. Except, they don’t believe in privatization. But they believe in state capitalism.

And I think that this is a very, very serious issue that needs to be interrogated seriously. Because, the RDUC, don- the Donde_____ who are fighting in _______ [v.11 6:58] are not fighting for state capitalism. They are fighting to leave the bauxite in the mountain. They are saying, we don’t want bombs. We don’t want planes. We don’t want the things that you use aluminum for. We just want our mountain.

So, if you, you can’t say things like, we do ecologically friendly mining. Because you don’t understand what mining means then. You don’t understand what bauxite mining means. Bauxite is used to produce alumina which is refined to produce aluminum. It uses tremendous amounts of water, tremendous amounts of electricity. You have to have big dams. You have to have big dams if you’re going to mine bauxite, if you’re going to produce that. You have to understand that these humans produce it and sell it to China. Then China gonna make weapons and use it against you.

So, I feel that really in this bandwidth of resistance movements, there needs to be some serious conversation. Because, perhaps, those Gandhian movements, like the Nama____ [v.11 8:10] do have a revolutionary vision. They do not have a revolutionary strategy of resistance. The Maoists have a revolutionary strategy of resistance, but they don’t have a revolutionary vision.

I do not believe that the Communist parties have a vision that is different from the vision of the world there is today. And there is proof in China to tell us that – that, eventually, all the trains stop at a kind of capitalism. What China is doing in other countries in the world is unforgivable.

So, so, unless we have that vision, I think we’re in a lot of trouble. And I want to say that while the state and many, many people, including myself, believe that the Maoist party does have a totalitarian vision – it does have a vision that does not tolerate dissent. It has not tolerated dissent on the ground. It needs to. And because it believes in that military strategy, it needs to control the places it controls. And, I cannot quarrel with that military strategy right now because, obviously, when there’s such a push against it, every other movement is slowly having to give way. And here is a movement that is refusing to give way.

But then we have to think, what’s going to happen with that? What kind of vision is that… not later. Not- I’m not talking about when it comes to power, but even now. You know, right now, here is something admirable that has happened. Where you have a rock hard resistance, elastic, because of all…

(Video 12)

…all these different disagreements and beliefs and arguments. I think that makes it stronger. I think that makes it stronger. You know, when you try to fuse into one, you become weaker. I think in a way this, all this dissent and argument makes it stronger.

Operation Green Hunt kills people who know how to live sustainably

But, we need to understand that we can’t betray the causes that we are fighting for, eventually. And, the real fight here is that the most totalitarian of all systems is the capitalist system. The reason that these tribal areas are under attack, and that they are able to resist in the way that they are resisting is because they are outside the capitalist system. It’s because they don’t have cell phones and credit cards and commonplace dreams. It’s because they don’t have unique ID cards. It’s because they cannot be controlled in the ways that we can be controlled.

So if you look at it, all across South Asia, what other places under attack, from Afghanistan to Wazirastan to the northeast frontier to this entire so-called Red Corridor. Another way of looking at it: All of them are under assault by a marauding capitalist financial system. All under attack for the same reason.

The resistance takes different shapes and forms. In Afghanistan, it’s taken the form of radical Islam. In some places, it’s taking the form of wars for self determination. Here, it’s taking the form in some areas of radical Communism. Some are Gandhianism. Some are Gandhian-socialism. Everything. But the assault is an assault of a capitalist state.

So, I just, I just want to read out a last passage to you before I stop and can take questions.

Across the Asian subcontinent from Afghanistan thru Waziristan, the northwest frontier provinces of Pakistan thru the northeastern states of India and across the red corridor, it is the tribal areas that have risen up in revolt. The nature of the uprising has taken the form of radical Islam in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and shaded into radical Communism in the forested heartland of India. But the assault on these tribal homelands is driven by the free market and capitalism’s endless quest to capture and control what it sees as natural resources. 

It would be too much to expect that what, that an alternative to what looks like the prospect of protracted war will come from the imagination that brought the planet to this crisis in the first place.

So, I think that’s very important for us to understand, that the imagination that created this destruction, all over the world, is not going to be the imagination that gives us the solution. 

Wars like Operation Green Hunt aim to exterminate those who know the secrets of genuinely sustainable ways of living. Victories for the prosecutors of this war will contain within it the seeds of apocalyptic destruction, not just for the Adivasi people [v.12 3:23], but eventually for the human race.

So, the first step towards imagining a world gone terribly wrong would be to stop annihilating those who have a different imagination, an imagination outside of capitalism, and for that matter, of communism. An imagination which has an altogether different understanding of what constitutes happiness and fulfillment.

To gain this philosophical space, it is necessary to concede some physical space, for the survival of those who may look to us like the keepers of our past, but who may really be the guides to our future. To do this, we have to ask, can we leave the water in the rivers, the trees in the forest? Can we leave the bauxite in the mountain? And if we cannot, perhaps we stop preaching morality to the victims of this war.

So, what I’m saying is not that oh, we should stop everything and all of us should become tribals. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying, if, if in this race for destruction that we call development, we can stop and say, all right, everything is not fuel to be put into this endgame. That, if we can find the imagination to leave that forest as it is – and this I’m saying to the Maoists, to the Gandhians, and to everyone, to the tribals, too – if we can find a way of saying, okay, we have to stop. We have to leave this like this and we have to start thinking about waste, thinking about recycling, thinking about different forms of energy, thinking about different kinds of war.

Only then will, once we leave that, it’ll have a sort of domino effect. It’ll force us to stop thinking of other things in the way that when the taps are turned off, you immediately start thinking of conserving water. It will force our imaginations to open. And it, and, and that’s why we need to think about this extremely seriously. All of us.  Because it’s not true that your lives won’t be affected. It’s not true. Your lives will be affected by this war. It will be affected because you cannot hold down millions of people.

We have 700,000 troops in Kashmir. Sure, the government keeps talking about bringing out this army. But where has it started a war that has actually stopped? Where? We have 700,000 troops in Kashmir. You have troops all over the northeast. Are we gonna have troops all over here? It’s not possible. It’s not possible to control this. I mean, they can call out the army if they like. They can call out the air force. I don’t know why they’re talking to the Navy. Sounds a bit ridiculous, but, anyway, whatever.

They can do all that but they’re not going to win it. They’re not gonna win it. I can tell you that. They can do it, but they, they won’t win, because it’s not possible to win a war like this.  It’s not possible.

Thank you.

####

* To grasp the hugeness of just one trillion dollars, Michael Snyder calculated that you could spend a million dollars a day since Christ was born and still would not have spent a trillion dollars by today.

View the entire video series at Counter Currents.

Please contact me [drum4peace at gmail dotcom] for any errors in transcription. It will be greatly appreciated, since I am not familiar with India’s regions or political groups, etc.

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11 responses to “Arundhati Roy resists Operation Green Hunt (transcript and video)

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  10. true… but ultimately, like the how a wise man once said: Corruption has its own motivations, and one has to thoroughly study that phenomenon and eliminate the foundations that allow corruption to exist.

  11. Pingback: Countdown to Zero: Propaganda para la guerra contra Irán | Matrizur

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