Month: March 2012

Arundhati Roy

From Outlook: “Capitalism: A Ghost Story

This is the preface of Arundhati Roy’s essay that got left behind in the Outlook Magazine version.

Capitalism: A Ghost Story is based on the Edward Said memorial Lecture delivered by Arundhati Roy in Princeton on March 5th. These were her preliminary comments:

“I met Professor Edward Said only once, towards the end of his life. As we said goodbye, he took my hand and said “You must never forget Palestine.” As if I could. As if any of us could.

Though my talk today is not about Palestine, I am here in solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people. And with the people of Iran who are being bullied by sanctions and threatened with war.

Until the early ’90s, before it deferred to the Washington Consensus and opened its markets to global capital, the Government of India was a friend of Palestine and Iran. Since then it has had to ‘Structural Adjust’ its foreign policy too, and now calls itself a ‘natural ally’ of the US and Israel. Even so, in India it is still easier for people, to express solidarity with the people of Palestine while maintaining a discreet and dishonest silence about the ugly military occupation in their own backyard, where more than half a million Indian soldiers occupy the tiny valley of Kashmir, littering it with mass graves, torture centers and army camps. I would like to reiterate once again my solidarity with the people of Kashmir, in their struggle against the Indian Occupation. And with all those who have had their freedom snatched away from them by a checkbook, or a cruise missile, or a combination of the two.

The title of my lecture was supposed to be ‘The Politics of Dispossession.’ I am actually going to speak about a less studied—but closely related subject—The Politics of Possession.

My talk today, is called ‘Capitalism: A Ghost Story’. It begins in Mumbai, outside the gates of a tall building called Antilla…

Is it a house or a home? A temple to the new India, or a (more…)