The Guardian speaks to Arundhati Roy. It is a nice read.

This is the key bit:

Guerrillas use violence, generally directed against the police and army, but sometimes causing injury and death to civilians caught in the crossfire. Does she condemn that violence? “I don’t condemn it any more,” she says. “If you’re an adivasi [tribal Indian] living in a forest village and 800 CRP [Central Reserve Police] come and surround your village and start burning it, what are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to go on hunger strike? Can the hungry go on a hunger strike? Non-violence is a piece of theatre. You need an audience. What can you do when you have no audience? People have the right to resist annihilation.”

 This sums up well where some of us disagree with Arundhati Roy. Collateral damage must never be shrugged off and given automatic amnesty, especially when it is calculated and planned. Maoists are not all hungry, unplanned adivasis and they don’t only take up guns when surrounded. That said, I don’t want to take the government’s side either.

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It is important to remember that having contrarian views doesn’t necessarily delegitimize everything she says or does. And I also feel the need to point out in every post about Arundhati Roy that no matter what her opinions are, we need people like her. We need strong voices for each view. And then we’ll debate and reach a solution.

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