Understanding why some events are kept alive in our collective consciousness and others interred
By PRANAY SHARMA (Published October 17, 2011 in Outlook India)
As people across the world sniffled at the poignant ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, beamed live from Ground Zero in New York, few would have remembered the significance this date holds for the people of Chile. It was on September 11, 1973, that the democratically elected government of Salvadore Allende was dislodged through a coup, organised, ironically, at the behest of the CIA, an incident more or less effaced from the ‘globalised memory’. Few, too, would have muttered a silent prayer for the thousands who have perished in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, countries turned into veritable killing fields because of the war on terror that the Americans unleashed as retribution for the terror attacks.
Truly, power is about determining what people remember and what they forget. It’s a striking asymmetry.
Fearless author Arundhati Roy’s first and only novel to date, The God of Small Things is a critically acclaimed best seller and winner of the prestigious Booker Prize award. The book, published in 1997, is well worth the hype. Not only is it a literary delight in terms of the construction of the plot, the richness of the prose and the mastery with which Roy illustrates imagery; the several underlying themes in the fairly straightforward plot paint a vivid and brutally accurate picture of the political and social issues in modern India.
In this article, I will be focusing on the victimization of specific groups of people in various parts of the world, under the pretence of race in modern history. I will be looking at white supremacy and its impact on the United States, particularly on the Civil Rights Movement, and link it to the racial purification plans of the Nazi Party. I will also examine the atrocities the state of Israel carries out on Palestinians, behaving not very unlike the Nazis who tortured them.
- The early founders of Christianity seem wholly unaware of the idea of a human Jesus
- The Jesus of the Gospels bears a striking resemblance to other ancient heroes and the figureheads of pagan savior cults
- Contemporary Christians are largely ignorant of the origins of their religion
- Fundamentalism is as strong today as it ever has been, with an alarming 44% of Americans believing that Jesus will return to earth in their lifetimes
Anna Hazare is a great admirer of Narendra Modi, the architect of the 2002 genocide of Muslims in the state of Gujarat; and once supported Raj Thakeray’s Maratha movement, which essentially calls for Hindu radicalism and widespread discrimination against immigrants in Bombay who came from other areas in the country.
Anna Hazare’s protest was led by a host of NGO activists funded by Ford Foundation, Coca Cola, the Lehman Brothers, real estate companies, and other multinationals. The Jan Lokpal bill, which is what his protest is fighting for, is one that calls for the setup of a draconian institution which will give a handful number of people to persecute supposed corrupt individuals. Anna Hazare’s movement simply capitalizes on the genuine rage that people in India have over corrupt, high-ranking employees in the public sector.
For protest movements of the powerful, protest movements where the media is on your side, protest movements where the government is scared of you, protest movements where the police disarm themselves, how many movements are going to be there like that? While you are talking about this, the army is getting ready to move into central India to fight the poorest people in this country, and I can tell you there are not disarmed. I don’t know what lessons you can draw from a protest movement that has privileges that no other protest movement I have ever known has had.
When you take up the national flag; when you are fighting colonialism it means one thing, when you are a supposedly free nation, that national flag is always about exclusion, and not inclusion. You took up that flag and the state was paralyzed – a state which is not scared of slaughtering people in the dark suddenly was paralyzed. You talk about the fact that it was a non-violent movement; yes, because the police were disarmed. They were just too scared to do anything. You had “Bharat mata’s” photo first, and then it was replaced by Gandhi. You had people who were openly part of the (Krantikari Manuwadi Morcha) there. So you had this cocktail of very dangerous things going on… Imagine Gandhi going to a private hospital after his fast! A private hospital that symbolizes the withdrawal of the state from healthcare for the poor. A private hospital where the doctors charge Rs. 100,000 every time they inhale and exhale.
Arundhati Roy is an Indian novelist, and winner of the Booker Prize for her Novel, The God of Small Things. Her writings on various social, environmental and political issues have been a subject of major controversy in India.
In this post, I will be focusing on the issues of race and culture through a Western European perspective. Specifically, I will be looking at the history of cultural discrimination in Europe, particularly in the pre- and post- Enlightenment eras; and the social construction of race and the evolution of it from a social and class concept back in the Victorian era, to something that signifies skin color now.