Arundhati Roy: Do turkeys enjoy thanksgiving?

That inimitable Arundhati Roy’s speech at the WSF…

Do turkeys enjoy thanksgiving?

By Arundhati Roy

LAST JANUARY thousands of us from across the world gathered in Porto Allegre in Brazil and declared — reiterated — that “Another World is Possible”. A few thousand miles north, in Washington, George Bush and his aides were thinking the same thing.

Our project was the World Social Forum. Theirs — to further what many call The Project for the New American Century.

In the great cities of Europe and America, where a few years ago these things would only have been whispered, now people are openly talking about the good side of Imperialism and the need for a strong Empire to police an unruly world. The new missionaries want order at the cost of justice. Discipline at the cost of dignity. And ascendancy at any price. Occasionally some of us are invited to `debate’ the issue on `neutral’ platforms provided by the corporate media. Debating Imperialism is a bit like debating the pros and cons of rape. What can we say? That we really miss it?
Read More

Advertisements

More power to the Other World

The World Social Forum is starting today at Mumbai, India.

It proclaims that it’s not an organization, nor a united front platform, but “…an open meeting place for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences and inter-linking for effective action, by groups and movements of civil society that are opposed to neo- liberalism and to domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a society centered on the human person”.

The first WSF was held in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre in 2001. Then 25000 participated. This time there are 85,000 dreamers/activists who believe another world is possible. More power!

Tintin as the weapon

In an age of information warfare, its worthwhile to note that propaganda often forms the bedrock for ‘objectivity’ in media. Journalists more often than not rely on secondary sources who possess a narrowed, at times, reactionary world-view, because the ones who are eligible to become sources, have multiple agenda at hand. Do we as journalists merely play into them?

Well I can’t afford to generalize. Although I will agree that all journalists at most times, cannot afford to ignore secondary sources (secondary sources, as opposed to primary experiences). And the real problems arise, as most often is the case with them, when the sources would rather use the journalists, than be used.

Tintin, the famous fictitious reporter, and the most widely read comic-hero ever created in the world, is no exception to this observation. Indeed my research verifies that Tintin was created merely to fight the Bolsheviks in erstwhile Soviet Union. And what better profession was there for him to choose than that of becoming an international scribe to achieve this aim?

As global territorial, religious and consumerist wars shroud vision, and journalists become embedded, blindfolded and commodified, its time to ask, if the best among the reporters in real life today have any semblance with best of the reporters in the world of fiction, Tintin.

I will come back to Tintin soon on this blog.