Quite often, the people whose side you’re on, politically, have absolutely no place for a person like you in their social, cultural or religious imagination. That’s a knotty problem… politically radical people can come at you with the most breathtakingly conservative social views and make nonsense of the way in which you have ordered your world and your way of thinking about it… and you have to find a way of accommodating these contradictions within your worldview.
People are constantly in search of idols, heroes, villains, sirens – in search of individuals, in search of noise. Anybody in whom they can invest their mediocre aspirations and muddled thinking will do. Anyone who is conventionally and moderately ‘successful’ becomes a celebrity. It’s almost a kind of profession now – we have professional celebrities – maybe colleges should start offering a course.
In this freak show, this celebrity parade, there’s no place for loss, or failure. Whereas to me as a writer, failure interests me. Success is so tinny and boring. Everyone is promoting themselves so hard.
And that was Arundhati Roy in interview with Tehelka, back in Nov 2005. Going by her own words, she might be offended to call her radical.
I’ve highlighted only some of the parts that I can relate so much with. Even if you constantly bash Arundhati Roy for her speeches, you’ve got to read this to agree with it. Via Narain.