The news item was brief and buried in the back pages: “India: Maoists Ambush Patrol, Killing 7 Soldiers. The attack occurred in a rebel stronghold in Jharkhand State. Thousands of people have been killed in the past decade in violence involving Maoists, who claim they represent India’s dispossessed, particularly indigenous tribal groups.” You may wonder, What’s going on? Isn’t India a democracy? In India, the U.S. and other countries the actual functioning of democracy has largely been hollowed out. Yes, there are elections and people vote but the nexus of decision-making power lies elsewhere. Corporations dominate the political process. With their fistful of dollars they are able to exact outcomes that benefit them. As environmental destruction continues unabated we must reimagine a different world. One in which people and the planet are more important than profits.
Arundhati Roy is a world-renowned writer and global justice activist. The New York Times calls her, “India’s most impassioned critic of globalization and American influence.” She is the recipient of the Lannan Award for Cultural Freedom. She is the author of many books including The God of Small Things, The Checkbook & the Cruise Missile, Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers, and Walking with the Comrades.