During the worst years of the dirty war in Argentina, thousands of people were disappeared by the junta. In response, Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo was formed. Their weekly vigils demanding answers brought global attention to the situation in Argentina. In some instances a modicum of justice was achieved. Half a world away in parts of India, such as Chhattisgarh, poor indigenous women have taken up arms to defend their communities and land against predatory corporations. In Kashmir, state security forces picked up a teenage boy. His mother, Parveena Ahanger, an illiterate woman,never heard from him again. She founded the Association of Parents of the Disappeared Persons bringing together those who have lost loved ones. They hold demonstrations and insist on accountability. In these, and other cases, women are moving from being passive victims to active agents. It’s not easy. Sexual and other forms of violence are used as weapons to terrorize women.
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.
Program #ROYA019. Recorded in Chicago, IL on March 17, 2013.