Forever Under Construction

Small Things

Posted in Quote by homeyra on July 19, 2007

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Arundhati Roy

I’m certainly not the “voice of the voiceless”. (We know of course there’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.)

THERE IS an alternative to terrorism. What is it? JUSTICE.

Even among the well-intentioned, the expansive, magnificent concept of justice is gradually being substituted with the reduced, far more fragile discourse of ‘human rights’. […] Almost unconsciously, we begin to think of justice for the rich and human rights for the poor.

[…] the Indian corporate press is no different from the American corporate press. In a twisted sense, the only lucky thing is that most people can’t read it, so the lies and the indoctrination don’t penetrate very deep.

Using the threat of an external enemy to rally people behind you is a tired old horse, which politicians have ridden into power for centuries.

Wars are never fought for altruistic reasons. They’re usually fought for hegemony, for business. And then of course there’s the business of war.

Time was when weapons were manufactured in order to fight wars. Now wars are manufactured in order to sell weapons.

Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.

To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.

Come September, September 2002, link via things you should read
Peace? …, Speech on accepting the Sydney Peace Prize, November 2004

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8 Responses

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  1. Kilroy said, on July 19, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    Time was when weapons were manufactured in order to fight wars. Now wars are manufactured in order to sell weapons.

    So true. So succinct. So sad. How many of us are conscious of this? How many of us just don’t want to rock the boat because we have relatives working at the armory? Or because we live in a town with a military base? Quite a few. Quite a few.

    We’re all in on it. It’s a coordinated social effort to push someone else up to the danger, to play the lottery with someone else’s child.

    And now, with no draft in the United States, we still refer to military service as “a career opportunity” for the poor. What we’re doing is using young people to isolate ourselves from the dangers that we create.

  2. Monte said, on July 19, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Bravo! Excellent.

  3. homeyra said, on July 20, 2007 at 11:00 am

    True Kilroy, she has her way with words: succinct, precise: to point out this subtle shift from Justice to Human Rights for instance.
    Thanks Monte for passing by 🙂

  4. Mojgan said, on July 20, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    I love this woman. Have seen her talk once in LA also…Would have loved to have been in NY when she and Noam Chomsky spoke together.

    Nice blog..Thanksssss

  5. homeyra said, on July 21, 2007 at 6:09 am

    Thanks and welcome Mojgan. I wasn’t aware of this NY event, will look it up.

  6. Sophia said, on July 24, 2007 at 9:35 am

    I loved ‘The God of Small Things’ and I wish Roy could write more often. She is my model of engaged woman intellectual.

  7. homeyra said, on July 24, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    She is an inspiration. Another link through PPGG:
    The Power of Arundhati Roy

  8. […] Previous post: Small Things […]


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