From the best-selling author of My Seditious Heart and the Ministry of Utmost Happiness, a new and pressing dispatch from the heart of the crowd and the solitude of the writer’s desk.
The chant of “Azadi!”—Urdu for “Freedom!”—is the slogan of the freedom struggle in Kashmir against what Kashmiris see as the Indian Occupation. Ironically, it also became the chant of millions on the streets of India against the project of Hindu Nationalism.
Even as Arundhati Roy began to ask what lay between these two calls for Freedom—a chasm or a bridge?—the streets fell silent. Not only in India, but all over the world. The coronavirus brought with it another, more terrible understanding of Azadi, making a nonsense of international borders, incarcerating whole populations, and bringing the modern world to a halt like nothing else ever could.
In this series of electrifying essays, Arundhati Roy challenges us to reflect on the meaning of freedom in a world of growing authoritarianism.
The essays include meditations on language, public as well as private, and on the role of fiction and alternative imaginations in these disturbing times.
The pandemic, she says, is a portal between one world and another. For all the illness and devastation it has left in its wake, it is an invitation to the human race, an opportunity, to imagine another world.
Readers here may be more surprised by the ferocity of her criticism of India’s governing party, the BJP, and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The party is, she says, the political wing of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), the high-caste Hindu movement founded in 1925. On Independence in 1947 India was declared to be a secular socialist republic, but the ideals of the Congress Party and Jawaharlal Nehru have been betrayed and cast aside. Roy does not hesitate to describe the RSS and the present government and prime minister as fascist. “India,” the RSS declares is “a Hindu nation; this is non- negotiable.” For its hundred and more million Muslims, the choice is “Pakistan or the graveyard.” Roy compares the BJP’s Citizen Amendment Act and its National Register of Citizens to Hitler’s Nuremberg Laws which decreed who was, and who could not be, German. In its discrimination between racial and religious groups, and its rigid upholding of the caste system, the BJP makes India today look depressingly like apartheid South Africa. Meanwhile its ruthless imposition of martial law in the disputed province of Kashmir – a running sore ever since independence – recalls Saddam Hussein’s treatment of the Kurds. Roy remarks that “while many countries are dealing with a refugee crisis, the Indian Government is turning citizens into refugees.” Here, she says, is “a continent trying to shrink itself into a country. Not even a country, but a province. A primitive ethno-religious province.”
Her indignation is searing and indeed there seems to be little to be said for Modi, the BJP and the RSS. In their narrow and violent sectarianism, they represent a denial of the liberal principles on which the republic was founded.
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This compilation is an attempt to bring together very significant things about Shivaji in a single book. It attempts to answer the questions raised above. It includes the classic booklet of the late Jayanth Gadkari, which is remarkable for its objectivity and rationality. It also has other significant information about Shivaji. It is hoped that this book will be able to throw light on the real Shivaji and promote communal amity, and remove the caste misunderstandings.
What is the actual politics behind the spiritual babblings of Amrithanandamayi? What are the real aims of the fascist suzerainty that has already confirmed their supremacy over her and the management tricks those have created her?
Ravipudi Venkatadri is one of the most authentic writers on rationalism and atheism in India.
Born into a middle class peasant family in 1922 at Nagandla, a village in Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh, Ravipudi Ventadri turned to rationalist ideas during the year 1940. He is the founder director of Kavirajasram (1943). He was the president of Rationalist Association of Andhra Pradesh, Rationalist Association of India, Radical Humanist Association, AP, Hema (Rationalist Humansit) foundation, founder editor of Hetuvadi (Rationalist Telugu monthly).
Venkatadri is an activist in the rationalist and humanist movements. He conducted and headed a number of study camps to educate the cadre on rationalist and humanist lines. He has written extensively in Telugu on science, religion, rationalism, Marxism, materialism, atheism and other subjects. Some of his works have been translated to several Indian languages. He is one of the notable and fearless critics of religion, idealism and totalitarianism.
Click the link below to see more books written by Ravipudi Venkatadri in Telugu, English, Malayalam etc: