Imagine thirty million people displaced by dams, their homes, their entire villages submerged, their livelihoods washed away with the swells that have choked their crying out. Those homeless people in your area bothering your conscience? In New Delhi, the capital of India, there are millions of jobless migrants. They line the streets, fill the niches, crowd into the alleys and gaps, stuff themselves wherever they may fit, squatting to urinate in the gutters, to pat a chapapti for their dirty children, to reach an empty palm towards a tourist.
Arundhati Roy is an East Indian woman who has risen, and with her two little feet is leaving big imprints. Heads are turning, some in angry reaction, others in awakened hope, others in cultured bigotry. Long ago she also left her village, moving out of a stagnant system of male dominance.
Raised in the southwest Indian state of Kerala, where those complex antiquated traditions has subverted enlightened progress of the people, she has extracted herself and become a leading voice forward. Not only does she understand her people well, she names clearly the diseases of modernity that could destroy them, along with the rest of the planet. The gang of privatization, globalization, and fundamentalism have had their day, and she, amongst many, declare the end of them coming. Roy speaks "Because in the circumstances, silence would be indefensible."
She, and her fellow activists are tracing the roots and pulling the rug. Little known to the Western world, in 1999 Enron fell in a massive business scandal within the Indian state of Mahashtra, described by Roy as "a process of barbaric dispossession which has few parallels in history." She was on the front lines of protest and was tried at the Supreme Court for it. Read her latest book Power Politics .
In what Roy calls "the biggest, finest, most magnificent resistance movement since the independence struggle," she has played a huge role in fighting the World Bank’s scheme of exploiting the Narmada River Valley by building dam(ned) deals. Centered within a unified circle of artists, intellectuals, farmers, dalits (known formerly as Untouchables); concerned persons of many backgrounds and economic status, she has refused to become isolated in a celebrity bubble born of her enormous popularity (due to winning a prestigious writers award for The God of Small Things ). She walks with those who are willing also to put their butts on the line for the greater good. "Once you’ve seen the silent war, keeping quiet, saying nothing becomes as political an act as speaking out. There’s no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable."
We, at Global Community Communications Alliance recognize Arundhati Roy as a change agent and an essential member of the global family taking positive action in the face of such dire circumstances, working towards tearing down and moving beyond the fallen system.
"The weak indulge in resolutions, but the strong act. Life is but a day’s work—do it well. The act is ours; the consequences God’s."
(The URANTIA Book, p. 556:13)