Arundhati continues her crusade against Indian oppression in Kashmir in the NY Times.
Indian security forces have committed (and continue to commit) many serious human rights abuses in Kashmir and it is always good to highlight such abuses and that far, she can be said to be doing some good (as are many other human rights campaigners). But her romantic endorsement of all "resistance" as good and of practically all modern states as bad is very shallow. "Resistance" is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end. The questin is: What end? She has to tell us what she thinks is a desirable outcome and how we can get there from here? At least the preliminary steps? Without that, its hard to take her too seriously.
e.g., It would be good if she was more forthcoming about her proposed solution to the Kashmir dispute (and the costs and benefits of this solution)? Union with Pakistan? Freedom as a separate country? Partition? with what borders? Suppose the Indian army disappears today, what will happen next? Politics grows from the barrel of the gun (as her Maoist friends can tell her while they share warm boiled eggs); who has the guns? and whose politics will prevail? Who will be the winners and losers in such a case and how will it be better or worse than the current impasse?
I am not denying her right to be contrarian. She can say what she wants. But she has to provide more than criticism of the existing order. She has to specify what she wants to replace it with? and then we can discuss how good or bad her ideas are. After all, she is not the only person to find the existing global order unjust and unfair. But history is full of examples where the cure was worse than the disease. Roy does seem to enjoy being an international icon of rebellion and anti-imperialism, but more substance is needed.
At the same time, the Indian middle class does indeed have people who go bananas every time she opens her mouth. So she does seem to perform a valuable function in exposing the nineteenth century nationalism of the emerging middle classes ..A disease that is common to many "emerging" economies, in India, in Pakistan and in China (where the disease is much worse than it is in India).