The Following is the transcript of Arundhati Roy an Indian Political Activist and Writer invited to speak by the Lannan Foundation on September 18,2002 at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The speech delivers a strong narrative on each of the steps which brought us to today's global crise (the corruption of governments and the illusion of freedom in which its citizen lives.
"...today the world is run by three of the most secretive institutions in the world: The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization, all three of which, in turn, are dominated by the U.S"
Arundhati Roy's speech can be viewed and heard in a documentary
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Transcription of Arundhati Roy reading Lensic Performing Arts Center Santa Fe, New Mexico.
18 September 2002
My talk today is called "Come September."
The theme of much of what I write, fiction as well as nonfiction, is the relationship between power and powerlessness and the endless, circular conflict they're engaged in.
John Berger,once wrote: "Never again will a single story be told as though it's the only one." There can never be a single story. There are only ways of seeing. So when I tell a story, I tell it not as an ideologue who wants to pit one absolutist ideology against another, but as a story-teller who wants to share her way of seeing. Though it might appear otherwise, my writing is not really about nations and histories; it's about power. About the paranoia and ruthlessness of power. About the physics of power. I believe that the accumulation of vast unfettered power by a State or a country, a corporation or an institution - or even an individual, a spouse, a friend, a sibling -regardless of ideology, results in excesses....
Living as I do, as millions of us do, in the shadow of the nuclear holocaust that the governments of India and Pakistan keep promising their brain-washed citizenry, and in the global neighborhood of the War Against Terror (what President Bush rather biblicaly calls "The Task That Never Ends"), I find myself thinking a great deal about the relationship between Citizens and the State.
In India, those of us who have expressed views on Nuclear Bombs, Big Dams, Corporate Globalization and the rising threat of communal Hindu fascism - views that are at variance with the Indian Government's - are branded 'anti- national.' While this accusation doesn't fill me with indignation, it's not an accurate description of what I do or how I think. Because an 'anti-national' is a person who is against his or her own nation and, by inference, is pro some other one. But it isn't necessary to be 'anti-national' to be deeply suspicious of all nationalism.
Nationalism of one kind or another was the cause
of most of the genocide of the twentieth century.
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. When independent- thinking people (and here I do not include the corporate media) begin to rally under flags, when writers, painters, musicians, film makers suspend their judgment and blindly yoke their art to the service of the "Nation," it's time for all of us to sit up and worry. In the U.S. we saw it during the Gulf War and we see it now during the "War Against Terror."