The Free Market in India - commentary by Arundhati Roy.


Arundhati Roy, writer and activist on Democracy Now, Pacifica Radio. 05/24/06


Tens of thousands of farmer landholders have died in India each year because of the government’s agricultural and land-use policies. This does not include women who are not considered farmers, and the children of farmers as they are not the landholders.

Arundhati Roy calls these policies which are based on the values of the “free market” a “history of incineration”

When Pres. Bush visited India he went to Gandhi’s grave but before he did the secret service had dogs sniff the grave. “It was not he dogs that bothered me, it was the President visiting Gandhi’s grave. It was equivalent of a butcher spilling blood on the grave.”

The coverage by the servile Indian press was beyond black humor.

The “free market” has shown fifteen years of growth and yet half the world’s children are under nourished and the system has reinforced feudalism in India.

Institutions are openly aggressive towards opposition. In New Delhi where the Commonwealth Games will be in 2008, the poor are being swept off the streets and their homes bulldozed to make way for modernism. Officials ask: “If the poor can’t afford to live here why do they come?”

New Delhi is being prepared for the Wal-Mart’s of the world – being cleaned up supported by the courts who grow increasingly powerful and intrude more deeply into daily life in India.

As the state works to reverse urban drift, farmers are forced off the land by litigation and soon the dams follow. All the rivers of India are to be linked and millions of people displaced by court order. The judgment to displace was made by a man who retired to the board of the Coca Cola company.

Bauxite is big issue/police state/village control
Maoists have moved in.
Steel factories replace villages, land is taken at cheap price and marked up ten times and then four times to market price. They steal from the poor and give to the rich and call it free market.

Highways are blocked and people with bows and arrows are called terrorists. Thousands disappear and are called political prisoners and held in detention in unknown places.

Indian army has become experts in occupation and they teach their occupation skills to even the U.S. army. In Kashmir there are 700,000 Indian troops.

The brutality of a system unable to protect the people but ruthlessly efficient at looting the country.

Where live in a world where Americans can detain “terrorists” anywhere in the world and define them as an enemy combatant and try them in an American court.