Monday, March 02, 2009

Arundhati Roy on Narmada Dam Outstees, and Other Things...

Here's Arundhati Roy in a freewheeling interview with N.Ram of The Hindu about her pet concerns. I guess she makes several important observations, statements of facts that we, as a much maligned and abused believers in democratic norms, need to sit up and take note. Much of her views I agree with. It's shameful how we, and our democratic institutions haven't taken care of our own dispossessed people whom we call Adivasis ("early settlers" - Indigenous people from whom we have taken their land by force) and are depriving them of their settlements. It's like the Red Indians being deprived of their reservations by the government of the US.

My concern is genuine. How can we who call them "Adi Vasis" (early settlers) and at the same time deny them the resettlement they have been promised? I guess there needs to be more transparency on this score, more discussion, even a grassroot movement to give justice before the empty promises of successive governments are exposed. Why isn't this being made into an election issue?

Must say my admiration of this gutsy writer goes up even further.

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