• Le Monde selon #Modi, la nouvelle #puissance indienne

    « Aucune puissance au monde ne peut arrêter un pays de 1,3 milliard d’habitants. Le 21e siècle sera le siècle de l’Inde ».
    #Narendra_Modi, nationaliste de droite, à la tête de l’Inde depuis 2014, est le nouvel homme fort de la planète. 3ème personnalité la plus suivie sur Twitter, au centre de « l’Indopacifique », une nouvelle alliance contre la Chine. C’est l’histoire d’un tournant pour l’Inde et pour le monde.


    #film #film_documentaire #documentaire
    #Inde #Savarki #culte_de_la_personnalité #nationalisme #cachemire_indien #purge #militarisation #couvre-feu #RSS #patriotisme #religion #propagande_hindoue #colonialisme #impérialisme #BJP #parti_nationaliste_hindou #pogrom #islamophobie #Amit_Shah #Vibrant_Gujarat #hologramme #réseaux_sociaux #journée_internationale_du_yoga #yoga #soft_power #fierté_nationale #Alliance_indo-pacifique #Indo-Pacifique #armée #Routes_de_la_soie #route_de_la_soie #collier_de_perles #Chine #armes #commerce_d'armes #Ladakh #frontières #zones_disputées #disputes_frontalières #différends_frontaliers #litige_frontalier #zones_frontalières #zone-tampon #Israël #revanche_nationaliste #temple_Ajodhya #hindouisme #déchéance_de_nationalité #citizenship_amendment_act #citoyenneté #primauté_des_Hindous #résistance #milices_privées

  • The Historical Importance of India’s Cartography Reforms


    Last week, the government of India announced far reaching liberalization of the cartography and geospatial sector. This is a major step towards enhancing indigenous capacity in this crucial sector by allowing private sector greater space to innovate as well as opening it up, with some restrictions, to international players to invest onshore. For hundreds of years, cartography has been at the cutting edge of technological innovation, and its military, geostrategic and commercial importance cannot be emphasized enough. Therefore, in order to understand the significance of the new policy, it is important to know the history of cartography.

    #inde #pakistan #image #cartographie #cachemire #frontières #territoire #différend_frontalier

  • China and India accuse each other of opening fire as border tensions rise | World news | The Guardian


    Petit regain d’activité guerrière au #Cachemire

    India and China have accused each other’s soldiers of firing warning shots in the latest incident on the disputed border in the Himalayas.

    China initially claimed Indian soldiers crossed the line of actual control in the western border region on Monday and opened fire as part of a “severe military provocation”, forcing Chinese forces to take “corresponding counter-measures” .

    India rejected Chinese allegations of violating border agreements and accused Chinese troops of firing in the air to intimidate Indian troops in what it described as “provocative activities”.

    #inde #chine #pakistan #frontières

  • Hong Kong, Kashmir : a Tale of Two Occupations — Strategic Culture

    L’histoire de la RDA et du mur de Berlin nous a montre que les idée aussi erronnées soient-elles ajoutent à la réalité objective la force nécessaire pour la pousser vers un changement radical. Ceci n’arrivera pas à Hongkong mais au Cachemire la folie hindoue risque de provoquer un conflit majeur. Comptons sur la sagesse du gouvernement de Pekin pour éviter le pire à ses voisins.

    While China identified “Occupy Hong Kong” as a mere Western-instilled and instrumentalized plot, India, for its part, decided to go for Full Occupy in Kashmir.

    Curfew was imposed all across the Kashmir valley. Internet was cut off. All Kashmiri politicians were rounded up and arrested. In fact all Kashmiris – loyalists (to India), nationalists, secessionists, independentists, apolitical – were branded as The Enemy. Welcome to Indian “democracy” under the crypto-fascist Hindutva.

    “Jammu and Kashmir”, as we know it, is no more. They are now two distinct entities. Geologically spectacular Ladakh will be administered directly by New Delhi. Blowback is guaranteed. Resistance committees are already springing up.
    In Kashmir, blowback will be even bigger because there will be no elections anytime soon. New Delhi does not want that kind of nuisance – as in dealing with legitimate representatives. It wants full control, period.

    Starting in the early 1990s, I’ve been to both sides of Kashmir a few times. The Pakistani side does feel like Azad (“Free”) Kashmir. The Indian side is unmistakably Occupied Kashmir. This analysis is as good as it gets portraying what it means to live in IOK (Indian-occupied Kashmir).

    BJP minions in India scream that Pakistan “illegally” designated Gilgit-Baltistan – or the Northern Areas – as a federally administered area. There’s nothing illegal about it. I was reporting in Gilgit-Baltistan late last year, following the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Nobody was complaining about any “illegality”.

    Pakistan officially said it “will exercise all possible options to counter [India’s] illegal steps” in Kashmir. That’s extremely diplomatic. Imran Khan does not want confrontation – even as he knows full well Modi is pandering to Hindutva fanatics, aiming to turn a Muslim-majority province into a Hindu-majority province. In the long run though, something inevitable is bound to emerge – fragmented, as a guerrilla war or as a united front.

    Welcome to the Kashmiri Intifada.

    #Chine #Inde #Hongkong #Cachemire

  • Un incendiaire dans la poudrière du Cachemire indien
    Jean Michel Morel > Christophe Jaffrelot > 30 septembre 2019

    Ancien État princier, inclus dans l’Empire britannique des Indes, le Cachemire est une vaste région montagneuse située au cœur de l’Himalaya. Il est bordé à l’ouest par le Pakistan, à l’est par la Chine et au sud par l’Inde. La partie indienne du Cachemire, l’État du Jammu-et-Cachemire s’étend sur 92 437 km2, et compte près de 12,5 millions d’habitants, soit un centième de la population indienne. La partie pakistanaise, composée de l’Azad Cachemire (le « Cachemire libre ») et le Gilgit-Baltistan (anciens « Territoires du Nord »), s’étend quant à elle sur plus de 86 000 km² avec près de 6,4 millions d’habitants. En 1963, le Pakistan a cédé à la Chine une portion de ces Territoires du Nord encore aujourd’hui revendiqués par l’Inde. Quant à la Chine qui a conquis l’Aksai Chin et la vallée de Shaksgam lors de la guerre sino-indienne de 1962, elle souhaite récupérer un morceau du nord-est du Cachemire indien de langue tibétaine et de religion bouddhiste (Voir la carte ci-dessous). (...)


  • Teen video app TikTok is the latest battlefield in the Kashmir conflict - MIT Technology Review

    Kovind’s move delivered on a promise from India’s general elections in May, in which Narendra Modi of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, was elected prime minister (constitutional orders like this one can only be carried out by the appointed president). But it’s having unintended consequences. Outside Kashmir, social media has been buzzing about Article 370, and Google searches for terms like “kashmir girl,” kashmiri girl,” and “kashmiri girl pic” have spiked.

    It’s not that Article 370 banned non-Kashmiris or Hindus from marrying Kashmiris, who are predominantly Muslim. But it did make it impossible for the children of such marriages to inherit land—an effort to preserve Kashmiri autonomy in the region. Without Article 370, anyone can own land there.

    That’s where the search term “Kashmiri girls” comes in. Its use began to climb on July 28, as tensions began brewing between the Indian and Kashmiri governments. By the time communication was shut down in the region, it was spiking on Google Trends.

    Why? Hindu nationalists are using the term to suggest that since the law does not inhibit Indians from owning land in the region, it would be possible for men to marry Kashmiri girls and women—perhaps even against their will (unfortunately not unheard-of in some localities)—and become landowners. The endgame appears to be to turn the majority-Muslim region majority-Hindu.

    And it’s a surprisingly widespread phenomenon. Declarations of intent to marry Kashmiri women to “reclaim” the disputed region are popping up across a variety of social platforms, from Facebook to Twitter to the fast-growing TikTok, which as of April had around 120 million active users in India. Huffington Post India chronicled one user’s videos since the end of Article 370. They show him and some friends planning to go to Kashmir, “since I am not getting women in Delhi.”

    The comments show both the misogyny and the racism in how the situation is playing out on social media. The mentality recalls that seen in the sometimes violent, largely online group of people in the US who identify as “incels”: They can’t get women in India, so why not lay claim to light-skinned women, plus land and religious superiority in the bargain?

    It’s the latest episode in what’s been a bumpy ride since TikTok, then known as Musical.ly, first launched in India a little less than a year ago. At first, it got traction among users who liked to lip-synch to Bollywood tunes. But in early April, just a few weeks before the election, TikTok was banned after a court ruled it contained “pornographic” content and exposed children to sexual predators. The company responded by removing videos. By April 18, the Supreme Court of India had ordered the ban removed from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.

    What ultimately is making TikTok so attractive for disseminating hate, then, is exactly what makes users love it in the first place: an easy interface, short-video capabilities, and a platform on which all ideas can spread like wildfire.

    #TikTok #Cachemire #Médias_sociaux

  • La colère sourde du Cachemire indien
    3 septembre 2019

    « L’Inde nous a poignardés dans le dos ! », s’insurge, dans un anglais parfait, Zahed (tous les prénoms ont été changés), un instituteur à la tunique brodée. Sur ce bord de route de Bijbehara, dans le district troublé d’Anantnag, les voisins s’approchent et les paroles se bousculent. Les 8 millions d’habitants du Cachemire indien, à majorité musulmane, restent abasourdis par la révocation abrupte de l’autonomie constitutionnelle de leur région, dans une décision annoncée le 5 août par le gouvernement nationaliste hindou. Réélu triomphalement en mai, le premier ministre Narendra Modi justifie sa « décision historique » par une volonté d’amener paix et prospérité dans la vallée himalayenne du Cachemire, région hostile à New Delhi et revendiquée par le Pakistan, en proie à une insurrection séparatiste depuis 1989.

    « Jamais nous n’accepterons la révocation de l’article 370 qui garantissait notre autonomie, explique l’instituteur. Cet article était l’unique raison de notre accession à l’Inde, lors la partition de 1947 entre l’Inde et le Pakistan. » Autour, le ton monte et les villageois s’inquiètent de la perte simultanée de l’article 75-A, qui leur donnait un droit exclusif à la propriété. « L’Inde veut donner nos terres aux hindous, prophétise Nassar. Le Cachemire, c’est la Palestine ! » (...)

    source : https://www.letemps.ch/monde/colere-sourde-cachemire-indien

  • Ce qui se passe au Cachemire ressemble terriblement à la domination d’Israël sur la Palestine
    Par +972 Magazine, le 12 août 2019 | Traduction : J. Ch pour l’Agence Média Palestine

    (...) Entre sionisme et nationalisme hindou

    Les relations entre l’Inde et Israël se sont encore resserrées avec la naissance du Parti Bharatiya Janata (BJP) dans les années 1990. Le BJP, qui est aujourd’hui dirigé par Modi, adhère à l’idéologie politique connue sous le nom d’Hindutva, ou Nationalisme Hindou. L’histoire de l’affinité des nationalistes hindous avec le sionisme est bien documentée par le professeur Sumantra Bose de la London School of Economics qui la fait remonter aux années 1920 quand Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, le père de l’Hindutva, a soutenu la création d’un Etat juif en Palestine. Le BJP et autres Nationalistes hindous sont depuis devenus obsédés par la reproduction du projet sioniste en transformant une Inde constitutionnellement laïque en Etat ethnocratique Hindou.

    Une bonne partie des aspirations et des propositions politiques du BJP pour le Cachemire sont des imitations des pratiques israéliennes qui existent en Palestine. La plus importante de toutes est le désir de construire au Cachemire des colonies dans le style israélien réservées aux seuls Hindous afin de provoquer un changement démographique. Par exemple, le Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sagh (RSS), association non étatique de volontaires paramilitaires hindous à laquelle le BJP est affilié, ont longtemps désiré la révocation des lois sur l’état de droit qui ont maintenu le maquillage démographique du Cachemire.

    Ces changements sont clairement inspirés du modèle colonial israélien, comme l’a dit le député du BJP Ravinder Raina qui, en 2015, a déclaré que le gouvernement indien utiliserait sont armée pour protéger les colonies pour Hindous seulement au Jammu et Cachemire. Ce genre de titrisation et de protection entraînerait une expansion de l’appareil qui restreint déjà l’énergie vitale de la plupart des Kashmiris, en les utilisant comme un prétexte pour justifier le nouveau niveau de domination et d’intrusion.

    En plus des parallèles dans les objectifs politiques, le discours utilisé par les supporters du régime actuel en Inde ressemble aux vieux refrains israéliens. Israël comme l’Inde prétendent être des démocraties exceptionnelles, malgré le traitement de larges tranches de populations sous leur contrôle. Ajouté à cela, les Sionistes comme les Nationalistes hindous prétendent que l’existence de nombreux pays musulmans dans le monde nécessite respectivement un Etat juif et un Etat hindou. Cela perpétue le mensonge comme quoi les musulmans palestiniens et indiens peuvent prétendument vivre ailleurs, et choisissent cependant de vivre en Palestine et en Inde simplement pour contrarier les Juifs et les Hindous.

    Cependant, la variété des tactiques utilisées par l’Inde pour contrôler la population civile du Cachemire ressemble énormément à celles utilisées par Israël en Palestine. Ces ont « les arrestations arbitraires, les assassinats extra-judiciaires, les disparitions forcées, les couvre-feux, les punitions collectives, la détention administrative, la torture, le viol et les abus sexuels, la répression de la liberté de parole et de réunion, les démolitions de maisons, etc. ». (...)

    #IsraelInde #Cachemire #Palestine

  • Solidarité et unité dans l’opposition à la militarisation mondiale : déclaration du BNC sur le Cachemire
    le Comité National BDS (BNC) palestinien, le 12 août 2019

    Le Comité National palestinien de Boycott, Désinvestissement et Sanctions (BDS), coalition la plus large de la société palestinienne, partagent le choc et la colère de la population du Cachemire et des forces démocratiques de l’inde et du monde entier devant la décision autoritaire du gouvernement indien dirigé par le Parti Bharatiya Janta (BJP) d’annuler effectivement du jour au lendemain la relative autonomie de l’État de Jammu et du Cachemire. Nous dénonçons l’utilisation croissante des paradigmes et de la politique à l’israélienne par l’actuel gouvernement indien.

    Notre campagne pour un embargo militaire total sur Israël est donc directement lié à l’opposition à la militarisation mondiale, y compris la militarisation du Cachemire.

    Voir aussi :

    How to Think About Empire
    Arundhati Roy, Boston Review, le 3 janvier 2019

    Article 370 : India strips disputed Kashmir of special status
    BBC, le 5 août 2019

    #Palestine #Cachemire #Israel #Embargo #BDS #complicité #solidarité

  • Russia stuns India, invokes UN resolutions on Kashmir | Deccan Herald

    India has been invoking Simla Agreement and Lahore Declaration to resist attempts by Pakistan to internationalise the bilateral dispute over Kashmir and raise it at the UN General Assembly or the Security Council. 


    India’s position was well known to its “old friend” Russia. 

    Yet Russia’s deputy envoy to United Nations on Friday ended up echoing Pakistan’s “iron brother” China, when he expressed hope that New Delhi and Islamabad should settle the dispute in accordance with bilateral agreements as well as UN charter and resolutions. 

    New Delhi reached out to all the five permanent members – US, China, Russia, France and United Kingdom – as well as most of the 10 non-permanent members of the UNSC over the past 24 hours in order to make sure that the closed-door consultation within the council does not lead to formal return of the J&K issue on the Horse-Shoe Table.

    But the only P-5 nation New Delhi was relying on without an iota of doubt was Russia. 

    India was pretty convinced that Russia would firmly stand by it and stop the UNSC from taking any decision that might help Pakistan internationalise the issue of Kashmir. 

    Moscow had in fact endorsed New Delhi’s position when Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had called his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday to seek support against the recent decisions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government on J&K. “There is no alternative to resolve differences between Pakistan and India except bilaterally through political and diplomatic means,” a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Government had quoted Lavrov telling Qureshi.

    Moscow had earlier also endorsed New Delhi’s argument that Modi Government’s decisions on J&K were “internal” affairs of India. 

    The Union of Soviet Socialist Republic – the predecessor of the Russian Federation – had used its veto at the UNSC several times in the past to foil attempts on behalf of Pakistan to get the Security Council to pass resolutions against India on the issue of Kashmir.

    L’#accord_de_Simla (1972) - La Documentation française

    #Cachemire #Russie #ONU #Inde #Pakistan

  • Le gouvernement Modi reprend la main sur le Cachemire indien

    En décidant lundi 5 août de suspendre l’autonomie du Cachemire indien, Narendra Modi, premier ministre conforté dans ses fonctions il y a moins de trois mois, veut affirmer son autorité dans l’un des dossiers les plus épineux de l’histoire du pays. Mais sa décision risque d’embraser cette région, contestée par le Pakistan depuis la partition de 1947 et traversée par des revendications indépendantistes.

    #Asie #Cachemire,_Pakistan,_Inde

  • Article 370: India strips disputed Kashmir of special status - BBC News


    India’s government has revoked part of the constitution that gives Indian-administered Kashmir special status, in an unprecedented move likely to spark unrest.

    Article 370 is sensitive because it is what guarantees significant autonomy for the Muslim-majority state.

    There has been a long-running insurgency on the Indian side.

    Nuclear powers India and Pakistan have fought two wars and a limited conflict over Kashmir since 1947.

    The BBC’s Geeta Pandey in Delhi says that for many Kashmiris, Article 370 was the main justification for being a part of India and by revoking it, the BJP has irrevocably changed Delhi’s relationship with the region.

    Pakistan condemned India’s decision to revoke the special status of its part of Kashmir as illegal, saying it would “exercise all possible options” to counter it.

    “India is playing a dangerous game which will have serious consequences for regional peace and stability,” said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

    #inde #cahemire #conflit #frontière

    • Gods, Guns, and Country
      July 30, 2019 Posted by Carol Schaeffer

      Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Olga Beach in Israel, June 7th, 2017. Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO

      ON NOVEMBER 28TH, 2018, speaking to a roomful of India’s most highly regarded defense strategists, the chief of staff of the Indian Army, Bipin Rawat, urged his colleagues and his country to shed their concerns about collateral damage. Look at Israel, he said: “When you talk of strike drones, how does the Israeli strike the Hezbollah . . . ?” A vehicle is marked, a drone takes off, and boom: “God help you if you’re in the following vehicle—you’re also gone.”
      Less than 30 years ago, the very thought of a prominent Indian official openly admiring Israeli military policies toward Palestinians would have been an incredible scandal. But in a reversal of India’s official policy toward Israel for most of both country’s histories, relations have been quietly developing since the early 1990s and are now warmer than ever. Since Narendra Modi came to power five years ago as prime minister, India’s diplomatic policies have shifted dramatically in Israel’s favor, and away from India’s traditional alliance with the Palestinians.

      The partnership came to a public zenith when Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel, in July 2017. With frequent hugs, fond glances, and long walks on picturesque Israeli beaches, Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put on an effusive display of personal and political affection. The “bromance” attracted a storm of media attention, and to many commentators signaled a new era of Middle East/Asian politics.

      On the historic visit, Modi and Netanyahu signed new cooperative deals on water, space technology, and agriculture. But the biggest and most significant deals have centered on defense. As South Asia’s sole nuclear power for decades, India could mostly deter threats from aggressive neighbors. But since Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in 1998, Indian military responses to attacks have been extremely limited, for fear of aggravating the possibility of a nuclear war. This has made reconnaissance, surveillance, and precision weaponry increasingly appealing for India. Israel’s specialization in high-tech weaponry, from drones to guided missiles—battle-tested in Palestine—has made officials like Rawat both envious and supportive of Israeli tactics, transforming Israel into a desirable international partner.

      Israel has proven to be a reliable weapons supplier, unburdened by moral questions about India’s use of its arsenal. Over the last two decades, India has become Israel’s largest customer. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, from 2014 to 2018 India accounted for a whopping 46% of all Israeli weapons sales (not including small arms). In 2018, Reuters reported that India buys around one billion dollars in weapons from Israel every year. (...)

      An Indian army officer displays the Tavor-21, an Israeli-made rifle which is in use by Indian enforcers in Kashmir. Photo: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters
      #IsraelInde #cachemire

    • Il y a 6 mois, #Arundhati_Roy nous prévenait...

      How to Think About Empire
      Arundhati Roy, Boston Review, le 3 janvier 2019

      The BJP has announced its plans to carry out this exercise in West Bengal, too. If that were ever to happen, tens of millions of people would be uprooted. That could easily turn into yet another Partition. Or even, heaven forbid, another Rwanda. It doesn’t end there. In the Muslim-majority State of Jammu and Kashmir, on the other hand, the BJP has declared that it wants to abrogate Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which gives the state autonomous status and was the only condition under which it would accede to India in 1947. That means beginning a process of overwhelming the local population with Israeli-type settlements in the Kashmir Valley. Over the past thirty years, almost 70,000 people have died in Kashmir’s struggle for self-determination. Any move to eliminate Article 370 would be simply cataclysmic.

      It is interesting that countries that call themselves democracies— India, Israel, and the United States—are busy running military occupations. Kashmir is one of the deadliest and densest military occupations in the world. India transformed from colony to imperial power virtually overnight.

      #cachemire #israel

    • Le Premier ministre israélien Benyamin Netanyahou se rendra en septembre en Inde
      i24NEWS - 05 août 2019

      « Heureux #FriendshipDay2019 India ! », a écrit l’ambassade israélienne en Inde sur le réseau social. « Puisse notre amitié être toujours plus forte et notre partenariat pour la croissance atteindre de nouveaux sommets », a-t-elle ajouté.

      Ajoutée au message, une vidéo qui comprend de nombreuses photographies du Premier ministre Benyamin Netanyahou et de son homologue indien.

      Narendra Modi a répondu au message en écrivant en hébreu : « Merci. Je souhaite une bonne journée de l’amitié aux merveilleux citoyens d’Israël et à mon ami [Benyamin Netanyahou] ».

      « L’Inde et Israël ont prouvé leur amitié à travers les âges », a-t-il poursuivi. « Nos relations sont étroites et éternelles. Je souhaite que l’amitié de nos pays croisse et se développe davantage à l’avenir ».

      « Merci à mon ami, le Premier ministre indien @narendramodi », a répondu Netanyahou. « Je ne peux pas être plus d’accord avec toi. »

      « Le lien profond qui unit Israël et l’Inde est enraciné dans la solide amitié entre Israéliens et Indiens », a-t-il poursuivi. « Nous coopérons dans de nombreux domaines. Je sais que nos liens ne feront que se renforcer à l’avenir ! », a-t-il encore dit.

  • How to Think About #Empire

    Boston Review speaks with #Arundhati_Roy on censorship, storytelling, and her problem with the term ‘postcolonialism.’

    In her second novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (2017), Arundhati Roy asks, “What is the acceptable amount of blood for good literature?” This relationship between the imagination and the stuff of real life—violence, injustice, power—is central to Roy’s writing, dating back to her Booker Prize–winning debut novel The God of Small Things (1997). For the twenty years between the release of her first and second novels, the Indian writer has dismayed many—those who preferred that she stick to storytelling and those who were comfortable with the turn of global politics around 9/11—by voicing her political dissent loudly and publicly.

    Her critical essays, many published in major Indian newspapers, take on nuclear weapons, big dams, corporate globalization, India’s caste system, the rise of Hindu nationalism, the many faces of empire, and the U.S. war machine. They have garnered both acclaim and anger. In India Roy has often been vilified by the media, and accused of sedi- tion, for her views on the Indian state, the corruption of the country’s courts, and India’s brutal counterinsurgency in Kashmir. She has, on one occasion, even been sent to prison for committing “contempt of court.” In spite of this, Roy remains outspoken. In this interview, she reflects on the relationship between the aesthetic and the political in her work, how to think about power, and what it means to live and write in imperial times.

    Avni Sejpal: In your book, An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire (2004), you identify a few different pillars of empire: globalization and neoliberalism, militarism, and the corporate media. You write, “The project of corporate globalization has cracked the code of democracy. Free elections, a free press and an independent judiciary mean little when the free market has reduced them to commodities on sale to the highest bidder.” How would you update this today?

    Arundhati Roy: That was fourteen years ago! The updates now would include the ways in which big capital uses racism, caste-ism (the Hindu version of racism, more elaborate, and sanctioned by the holy books), and sexism and gender bigotry (sanctioned in almost every holy book) in intricate and extremely imaginative ways to reinforce itself, protect itself, to undermine democracy, and to splinter resistance. It doesn’t help that there has been a failure on the part of the left in general to properly address these issues. In India, caste—that most brutal system of social hierarchy—and capitalism have fused into a dangerous new alloy. It is the engine that runs modern India. Understanding one element of the alloy and not the other doesn’t help. Caste is not color-coded. If it were, if it were visible to the untrained eye, India would look very much like a country that practices apartheid.
    Another “update” that we ought to think about is that new technology could ensure that the world no longer needs a vast working class. What will then emerge is a restive population of people who play no part in economic activity—a surplus population if you like, one that will need to be managed and controlled. Our digital coordinates will ensure that controlling us is easy. Our movements, friendships, relationships, bank accounts, access to money, food, education, healthcare, information (fake, as well as real), even our desires and feelings—all of it is increasingly surveilled and policed by forces we are hardly aware of. How long will it be before the elite of the world feel that almost all the world’s problems could be solved if only they could get rid of that surplus population? If only they could delicately annihilate specific populations in specific ways—using humane and democratic methods, of course. Preferably in the name of justice and liberty. Nothing on an industrial scale, like gas chambers or Fat Men and Little Boys. What else are smart nukes and germ warfare for?

    AS: How does the rise of ethnonationalisms and populisms change your diagnosis?

    AR: Ethno-nationalism is only a particularly virulent strain of nationalism. Nationalism has long been part of the corporate global project. The freer global capital becomes, the harder national borders become. Colonialism needed to move large populations of people—slaves and indentured labor—to work in mines and on plantations. Now the new dispensation needs to keep people in place and move the money—so the new formula is free capital, caged labor. How else are you going to drive down wages and increase profit margins? Profit is the only constant. And it has worked to a point. But now capitalism’s wars for resources and strategic power (otherwise known as “just wars”) have destroyed whole countries and created huge populations of war refugees who are breaching borders. The specter of an endless flow of unwanted immigrants with the wrong skin color or the wrong religion is now being used to rally fascists and ethno-nationalists across the world. That candle is burning at both ends and down the middle, too. It cannot all be laid at the door of resource-plundering or strategic thinking. Eventually it develops a momentum and a logic of its own.

    As the storm builds, the ethno-nationalists are out harnessing the wind, giving each other courage. Israel has just passed a new bill that officially declares itself to be the national homeland of Jewish people, making its Arab citizenry second class. Unsurprising, but still, even by its own standards, pretty brazen. In the rest of the Middle East, of course, Israel and the United States are working hard at sharpening the Sunni–Shia divide, the disastrous end of which could be an attack on Iran. There are plans for Europe, too. Steve Bannon, a former aide of President Donald Trump, has started an organization, The Movement, headquartered in Brussels. The Movement aims to be “a clearing house for populist, nationalist movements in Europe.” It says it wants to bring about a “tectonic shift” in European politics. The idea seems to be to paralyze the European Union. A disintegrated EU would be a less formidable economic bloc, easier for the U.S. government to bully and bargain with. Yet, at the same time, uniting white supremacists in Europe and the United States is an attempt to help them to retain the power they feel is slipping away from them.

    Enough has been said about Trump’s immigration policies—the cages, the separation of infants and young children from their families—all of it just a little worse than what Barack Obama did during his presidency, to the sound of deafening silence. In India, too, the pin on the immigration grenade has just been pulled. In the spirit of the globalization of fascism, U.S. alt-right organizations are good friends of Hindu nationalists. Look to India, if you want to understand the world in microcosm. On July 30, 2018, the state of Assam published a National Register of Citizens (NRC). The register comes in lieu of a virtually nonexistent immigration policy. The NRC’s cut-off date of eligibility for Indian citizenship is 1971—the year that saw a massive influx of refugees from Bangladesh after the war with Pakistan. Most of them settled in Assam, which put enormous pressure on the local population, particularly on the most vulnerable indigenous communities. It led to escalating tensions, which have in the past boiled over into mass murder. In 1983 at least 2,000 Muslims were killed, with unofficial estimates putting the figure at five times that number. Now, at a time when Muslims are being openly demonized, and with the Hindu nationalist BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) in power, the unforgiveable policy lapse of half a decade is going to be addressed. The selection process, sifting through a population of millions of people who don’t all have “legacy papers”—birth certificates, identity papers, land records, or marriage certificates—is going to create chaos on an unimaginable scale. Four million people who have lived and worked in Assam for years, have been declared stateless—like the Rohingya of Burma were in 1982. They stand to lose homes and property that they have acquired over generations. Families are likely to be split up in entirely arbitrary ways. At best, they face the prospect of becoming a floating population of people with no rights, who will serve as pools of cheap labor. At worst, they could try and deport them to Bangladesh, which is unlikely to accept them. In the growing climate of suspicion and intolerance against Muslims, they could well suffer the fate of the Rohingya.

    The BJP has announced its plans to carry out this exercise in West Bengal, too. If that were ever to happen, tens of millions of people would be uprooted. That could easily turn into yet another Partition. Or even, heaven forbid, another Rwanda. It doesn’t end there. In the Muslim-majority State of Jammu and Kashmir, on the other hand, the BJP has declared that it wants to abrogate Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which gives the state autonomous status and was the only condition under which it would accede to India in 1947. That means beginning a process of overwhelming the local population with Israeli-type settlements in the Kashmir Valley. Over the past thirty years, almost 70,000 people have died in Kashmir’s struggle for self-determination. Any move to eliminate Article 370 would be simply cataclysmic.

    Meanwhile vulnerable communities that have been oppressed, exploited, and excluded because of their identities—their caste, race, gender, religion, or ethnicity—are organizing themselves, too, along those very lines, to resist oppression and exclusion.
    While it is easy to take lofty moral positions, in truth, there is nothing simple about this problem. Because it is not a problem. It is a symptom of a great churning and a deep malaise. The assertion of ethnicity, race, caste, nationalism, sub-nationalism, patriarchy, and all kinds of identity, by exploiters as well as the exploited, has a lot—but of course not everything—to do with laying collective claim to resources (water, land, jobs, money) that are fast disappearing. There is nothing new here, except the scale at which its happening, the formations that keep changing, and the widening gap between what is said and what is meant. Few countries in the world stand to lose more from this way of thinking than India—a nation of minorities. The fires, once they start, could burn for a thousand years. If we go down this warren and choose to stay there, if we allow our imaginations to be trapped within this matrix, and come to believe there is no other way of seeing things, if we lose sight of the sky and the bigger picture, then we are bound to find ourselves in conflicts that spiral and spread and multiply and could very easily turn apocalyptic.

    AS: You once wrote that George W. Bush “achieved what writers, scholars, and activists have striven to achieve for decades. He has exposed the ducts. He has placed on full public view the working parts, the nuts and bolts of the apocalyptic apparatus of the American empire.” What did you mean by this, and ten years and two presidents later, is the American empire’s apocalyptic nature still so transparent?

    AR: I was referring to Bush’s unnuanced and not very intelligent commentary after the events of 9/11 and in the run-up to the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. It exposed the thinking of the deep state in the United States. That transparency disappeared in the Obama years, as it tends to when Democrats are in power. In the Obama years, you had to ferret out information and piece it together to figure out how many bombs were being dropped and how many people were being killed, even as the acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize was being eloquently delivered. However differently their domestic politics plays out on home turf, it is a truism that the Democrats’ foreign policy has tended to be as aggressive as that of the Republicans. But since 9/11, between Bush and Obama, how many countries have been virtually laid to waste? And now we have the era of Trump, in which we learn that intelligence and nuance are relative terms. And that W, when compared to Trump, was a serious intellectual. Now U.S. foreign policy is tweeted to the world on an hourly basis. You can’t get more transparent than that. The Absurd Apocalypse. Who would have imagined that could be possible? But it is possible—more than possible—and it will be quicker in the coming if Trump makes the dreadful mistake of attacking Iran.

    AS: There is a marked stylistic difference between your two novels, The God of Small Things and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, published two decades apart. While both speak of politics and violence, the former is written in a style often described as lyrical realism. Beauty is one of its preoccupations, and it ends on a hopeful note. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, on the other hand, is a more urgent, fragmented, and bleak novel, where the losses are harder to sustain. Given the dominance of lyrical realism in the postcolonial and global novel, was your stylistic choice also a statement about the need to narrate global systems of domination differently? Is the novel an indirect call to rethink representation in Indian English fiction?

    AR: The God of Small Things and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness are different kinds of novels. They required different ways of telling a story. In both, the language evolved organically as I wrote them. I am not really aware of making “stylistic choices” in a conscious way. In The God of Small Things, I felt my way toward a language that would contain both English and Malayalam—it was the only way to tell that story of that place and those people. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness was a much riskier venture. To write it, I had to nudge the language of The God of Small Things off the roof of a very tall building, then rush down and gather up the shards. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is written in English but imagined in many languages—Hindi, Urdu, English... I wanted to try and write a novel that was not just a story told through a few characters whose lives play out against a particular backdrop. I tried to imagine the narrative form of the novel as if it were one of the great metropoles in my part of the world—ancient, modern, planned and unplanned. A story with highways and narrow alleys, old courtyards, new freeways. A story in which you would get lost and have to find your way back. A story that a reader would have to live inside, not consume. A story in which I tried not to walk past people without stopping for a smoke and a quick hello. One in which even the minor characters tell you their names, their stories, where they came from, and where they wish to go.

    I agree, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is fragmented, urgent—I love the idea of a novel written over almost ten years being urgent—but I wouldn’t call it bleak. Most of the characters, after all, are ordinary folks who refuse to surrender to the bleakness that is all around them, who insist on all kinds of fragile love and humor and vulgarity, which all thrive stubbornly in the most unexpected places. In the lives of the characters in both books, love, sorrow, despair, and hope are so tightly intertwined, and so transient, I am not sure I know which novel of the two is bleaker and which more hopeful.

    I don’t think in some of the categories in which your question is posed to me. For example, I don’t understand what a “global” novel is. I think of both my novels as so very, very local. I am surprised by how easily they have traveled across cultures and languages. Both have been translated into more than forty languages—but does that make them “global” or just universal? And then I wonder about the term postcolonial. I have often used it, too, but is colonialism really post-? Both novels, in different ways, reflect on this question. So many kinds of entrenched and unrecognized colonialisms still exist. Aren’t we letting them off the hook? Even “Indian English fiction” is, on the face of it, a pretty obvious category. But what does it really mean? The boundaries of the country we call India were arbitrarily drawn by the British. What is “Indian English”? Is it different from Pakistani English or Bangladeshi English? Kashmiri English? There are 780 languages in India, 22 of them formally “recognized.” Most of our Englishes are informed by our familiarity with one or more of those languages. Hindi, Telugu, and Malayalam speakers, for example, speak English differently. The characters in my books speak in various languages, and translate for and to each other. Translation, in my writing, is a primary act of creation. They, as well as the author, virtually live in the language of translation. Truly, I don’t think of myself as a writer of “Indian English fiction,” but as a writer whose work and whose characters live in several languages. The original is in itself part translation. I feel that my fiction comes from a place that is more ancient, as well as more modern and certainly less shallow, than the concept of nations.
    Is The Ministry of Utmost Happiness an indirect call to rethink representation in the Indian English novel? Not consciously, no. But an author’s conscious intentions are only a part of what a book ends up being. When I write fiction, my only purpose is to try and build a universe through which I invite readers to walk.

    AS: Toward the end of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness a character asks: “How to tell a shattered story?” The novel is teeming with characters whose lives have, in some way, been curtailed or marginalized by the limits of national imaginaries. And yet their stories are rich with humor, rage, agency, and vitality. How do you approach storytelling at a time when people are constantly being thwarted by the narratives of neo-imperial nation-states?

    AR: National imaginaries and nation-state narratives are only one part of what the characters in The Ministry of Utmost Happiness have to deal with. They also have to negotiate other stultified and limited kinds of imaginations—of caste, religious bigotry, gender stereotyping. Of myth masquerading as history, and of history masquerading as myth. It is a perilous business, and a perilous story to try to tell. In India today, storytelling is being policed not only by the state, but also by religious fanatics, caste groups, vigilantes, and mobs that enjoy political protection, who burn cinema halls, who force writers to withdraw their novels, who assassinate journalists. This violent form of censorship is becoming an accepted mode of political mobilization and constituency building. Literature, cinema, and art are being treated as though they are policy statements or bills waiting to be passed in Parliament that must live up to every self-appointed stakeholders’ idea of how they, their community, their history, or their country must be represented. Not surprisingly, bigotry of all kinds continues to thrive and be turned against those who do not have political backing or an organized constituency. I recently saw a Malayalam film in the progressive state of Kerala called Abrahaminde Santhathikal (The Sons of Abraham). The vicious, idiot-criminal villains were all black Africans. Given that there is no community of Africans in Kerala, they had to be imported into a piece of fiction in order for this racism to be played out! We can’t pin the blame for this kind of thing on the state. This is society. This is people. Artists, filmmakers, actors, writers—South Indians who are mocked by North Indians for their dark skins in turn humiliating Africans for the very same reason. Mind-bending.

    Trying to write, make films, or practice real journalism in a climate like this is unnerving. The hum of the approaching mob is like a permanent background score. But that story must also be told.
    How to tell a shattered story? is a question that one of the main characters in The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Tilo—Tilotamma—who lives in an illegal Guest House in a Delhi graveyard, has scribbled in her notebook. She answers it herself: By slowly becoming everybody? No. By slowly becoming everything. Tilo is an architect, an archivist of peculiar things, a deathbed stenographer, a teacher, and the author of strange, unpublished tales. The scribble in her notebook is a contemplation about the people, animals, djinns, and spirits with whom she has ended up sharing her living quarters. Considering the debates swirling around us these days, Tilo would probably be severely rebuked for thinking in this way. She would be told that “slowly becoming everyone,” or, even worse, “everything,” was neither practical nor politically correct. Which is absolutely true. However, for a teller of stories, perhaps all that doesn’t matter. In times that are as crazy and as fractured as ours, trying “to slowly become everything” is probably a good place for a writer to start.

    AS: In addition to writing novels, you are also a prolific essayist and political activist. Do you see activism, fiction, and nonfiction as extensions of each other? Where does one begin and the other end for you?

    AR: I am not sure I have the stubborn, unwavering relentlessness it takes to make a good activist. I think that “writer” more or less covers what I do. I don’t actually see my fiction and nonfiction as extensions of each other. They are pretty separate. When I write fiction, I take my time. It is leisurely, unhurried, and it gives me immense pleasure. As I said, I try to create a universe for readers to walk through.

    The essays are always urgent interventions in a situation that is closing down on people. They are arguments, pleas, to look at something differently. My first political essay, “The End of Imagination,” was written after India’s 1998 nuclear tests. The second, “The Greater Common Good,” came after the Supreme Court lifted its stay on the building of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada River. I didn’t know that they were just the beginning of what would turn out to be twenty years of essay writing. Those years of writing, traveling, arguing, being hauled up by courts, and even going to prison deepened my understanding of the land I lived in and the people I lived among, in ways I could not have imagined. That understanding built up inside me, layer upon layer.
    Had I not lived those twenty years the way I did, I would not have been able to write The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. But when I write fiction, unlike when I write political essays, I don’t write from a place of logic, reason, argument, fact. The fiction comes from years of contemplating that lived experience, turning it over and over until it appears on my skin like sweat. I write fiction with my skin. By the time I started to write The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, I felt like a sedimentary rock trying to turn itself into a novel.

    AS: In Power Politics (2001), you wrote: “It’s as though the people of India have been rounded up and loaded onto two convoys of trucks (a huge big one and a tiny little one) that have set off resolutely in opposite directions. The tiny convoy is on its way to a glittering destination somewhere near the top of the world. The other convoy just melts into the darkness and disappears. . . . For some of us, life in India is like being suspended between two of the trucks, one in each convoy, and being neatly dismembered as they move apart, not bodily, but emotionally and intellectually.” For nations around the world that have had abrupt and accelerated introductions to globalization and neoliberalism, would you say the convoy headed for the top of the world has crashed? And what has become of those who are being slowly dismembered?

    AR: It has not crashed yet. But its wheels are mired, and the engine is overheating.

    As for those who are being slowly pulled apart, they have been polarized and are preparing to dismember each other. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the personification of what you could call corporate Hindu nationalism. Like most members of the BJP, he is a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu nationalist cultural guild that is the most powerful organization in India today. The BJP is really just the political arm of the RSS. The aim of the RSS, which was founded in 1925, has long been to change the Indian constitution and to officially declare India a Hindu nation. Modi began his mainstream political career in October 2001, when his party installed him (unelected) as Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat. In February 2002 (at the height of post 9/11 international Islamophobia) came the Gujarat pogrom in which Muslims were massacred in broad daylight by mobs of Hindu vigilantes, and tens of thousands were driven from their homes. Within months of this, several heads of India’s major corporations publicly backed Modi, a man with no political track record, as their pick for prime minister. Perhaps this was because they saw in him a decisive and ruthless politician who could ram through new economic policies and snuff out the protests and the restlessness in the country that the Congress Party government seemed unable to deal with (meanwhile delaying the implementation of the hundreds of memorandums of understanding signed by the government with various corporate entities). It took twelve years; in May 2014, Modi became prime minister with a massive political majority in Parliament. He was welcomed onto the world’s stage by the international media and heads of state who believed he would make India a dream destination for international finance.

    Although his few years in power have seen his favorite corporations and the families of his close allies multiply their wealth several times over, Modi has not been the ruthless, efficient free marketeer that people had hoped for. The reasons for this have more to do with incompetence than with ideology. For example, late one night in November 2016, Modi appeared on TV and announced his policy of “demonetization.” From that moment, 80 percent of Indian currency notes were no longer legal tender. It was supposed to be a lightning strike on hoarders of “black money.” A country of more than a billion people ground to a halt. Nothing on this scale has ever been attempted by any government before. It was an act of hubris that belonged in a totalitarian dictatorship. For weeks together, daily wage workers, cab drivers, small shop keepers stood in long lines, hour upon hour, hoping to get their meager savings converted into new bank notes. All the currency, almost to the last rupee, “black” as well as “white,” was returned to the banks. Officially at least, there was no “black money.” It was a big-budget, razzle-dazzle flop.

    Demonetization and the chaotic new Goods and Services Tax have knocked the wind out of small businesses and ordinary people. For big investors, or for the most ordinary person, this sort of caprice on the part of a government that says it is “business-friendly” is lethal. It’s a bald declaration that its word cannot be trusted and is not legally binding.

    Demonetization also emptied the coffers of almost all political parties, since their unaccounted-for wealth is usually held in cash. The BJP, on the other hand, has mysteriously emerged as one of the richest, if not the richest, political party in the world. Hindu nationalism has come to power on mass murder and the most dangerously bigoted rhetoric that could—and has—ripped through the fabric of a diverse population. A few months ago, four of the most senior judges of the Supreme Court held a press conference in which they warned that democracy in India was in grave danger. Nothing like it has ever happened before. As hatred is dripped into peoples’ souls, every day, with sickened hearts we wake up to Muslim-lynching videos put up on YouTube by gloating vigilantes, news of Dalits being publicly flogged, of women and infants being raped, of thousands marching in support of people who have been arrested for rape, of those convicted for mass murder in the Gujarat pogrom being let out of jail while human rights defenders and thousands of indigenous people are in jail on charges of sedition, of children’s history textbooks being written by complete fools, of glaciers melting and of water tables plummeting just as fast as our collective IQ.
    But it is all OK, because we are buying more weapons from Europe and the United States than almost anyone else. So, India, which has the largest population of malnutritioned children in the world, where hundreds of thousands of debt-ridden farmers and farm laborers have committed suicide, where it is safer to be a cow than it is to be a woman, is still being celebrated as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

    AS: The word “empire” has often been invoked as a uniquely European and U.S. problem. Do you see India and other postcolonial nations as adapting older forms of empire in new geopolitical clothing? In The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, you show us how the Indian government has developed strategies of surveillance and counterterrorism that are, to put it mildly, totalitarian in their scope. How can we think of empire now in the Global South, especially at a time when postcolonial nations are emulating the moral calculus of their old colonial masters?

    AR: It is interesting that countries that call themselves democracies— India, Israel, and the United States—are busy running military occupations. Kashmir is one of the deadliest and densest military occupations in the world. India transformed from colony to imperial power virtually overnight. There has not been a day since the British left India in August 1947 that the Indian army and paramilitary have not been deployed within the country’s borders against its “own people”: Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, Kashmir, Jammu, Hyderabad, Goa, Punjab, Bengal, and now Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand. The dead number in the tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands. Who are these dangerous citizens who need to be held down with military might? They are indigenous people, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, communists. The pattern that emerges is telling. What it shows quite clearly is an “upper”-caste Hindu state that views everyone else as an enemy. There are many who see Hinduism itself as a form of colonialism—the rule of Aryans over Dravidians and other indigenous peoples whose histories have been erased and whose deposed rulers have been turned into the vanquished demons and asuras of Hindu mythology. The stories of these battles continue to live on in hundreds of folktales and local village festivals in which Hinduism’s “demons” are other peoples’ deities. That is why I am uncomfortable with the word postcolonialism.

    AS: Talk of dissent and social justice has become mainstream in the age of Trump—but social media hashtags often stand in for direct action, and corporations frequently use the language of uplift and social responsibility while doubling down on unethical business practices. Has protest been evacuated of its potential today? And in such an environment, what kind of dissent is capable of cracking the edifice of empire?

    AR: You are right. Corporations are hosting happiness fairs and dissent seminars and sponsoring literature festivals in which free speech is stoutly defended by great writers. Dissent Is the Cool (and Corporate) New Way To Be. What can we do about that? When you think about the grandeur of the civil rights movement in the United States, the anti–Vietnam War protests, it makes you wonder whether real protest is even possible any more. It is. It surely is. I was in Gothenburg, Sweden, recently, when the largest Nazi march since World War II took place. The Nazis were outnumbered by anti-Nazi demonstrators, including the ferocious Antifa, by more than ten to one. In Kashmir, unarmed villagers face down army bullets. In Bastar, in Central India, the armed struggle by the poorest people in the world has stopped some of the richest corporations in their tracks. It is important to salute people’s victories, even if they don’t always get reported on TV. At least the ones we know about. Making people feel helpless, powerless, and hopeless is part of the propaganda.

    But what is going on in the world right now is coming from every direction and has already gone too far. It has to stop. But how? I don’t have any cure-all advice, really. I think we all need to become seriously mutinous. I think, at some point, the situation will become unsustainable for the powers that be. The tipping point will come. An attack on Iran, for example, might be that moment. It would lead to unthinkable chaos, and out of it something unpredictable would arise. The great danger is that, time and time again, the storm of rage that builds up gets defused and coopted into yet another election campaign. We fool ourselves into believing that the change we want will come with fresh elections and a new president or prime minister at the helm of the same old system. Of course, it is important to bounce the old bastards out of office and bounce new ones in, but that can’t be the only bucket into which we pour our passion. Frankly, as long as we continue to view the planet as an endless “resource,” as long as we uphold the rights of individuals and corporations to amass infinite wealth while others go hungry, as long as we continue to believe that governments do not have the responsibility to feed, clothe, house, and educate everyone—all our talk is mere posturing. Why do these simple things scare people so much? It is just common decency. Let’s face it: the free market is not free, and it doesn’t give a shit about justice or equality.

    AS: The vexed question of violent struggle against domination has come up at different moments in history. It has been debated in the context of Frantz Fanon’s writing, Gandhi, Black Lives Matter, Palestine, and the Naxalite movement, to name a few. It is a question that also comes up in your fiction and nonfiction. What do you make of the injunction against the use of violence in resistance from below?

    AR: I am against unctuous injunctions and prescriptions from above to resistance from below. That’s ridiculous, isn’t it? Oppressors telling the oppressed how they would like to be resisted? Fighting people will choose their own weapons. For me, the question of armed struggle versus passive resistance is a tactical one, not an ideological one. For example, how do indigenous people who live deep inside the forest passively resist armed vigilantes and thousands of paramilitary forces who surround their villages at night and burn them to the ground? Passive resistance is political theater. It requires a sympathetic audience. There isn’t one inside the forest. And how do starving people go on a hunger strike?

    In certain situations, preaching nonviolence can be a kind of violence. Also, it is the kind of terminology that dovetails beautifully with the “human rights” discourse in which, from an exalted position of faux neutrality, politics, morality, and justice can be airbrushed out of the picture, all parties can be declared human rights offenders, and the status quo can be maintained.

    AS: While this volume is called Evil Empire, a term borrowed from Ronald Reagan’s description of the Soviet Union, there are many who think of empire as the only sustainable administrative and political mechanism to manage large populations. How might we challenge dominant voices, such as Niall Ferguson, who put so much faith in thinking with the grain of empire? On the flipside, how might we speak to liberals who put their faith in American empire’s militarism in a post–9/11 era? Do you see any way out of the current grip of imperial thinking?

    AR: The “managed populations” don’t necessarily think from Ferguson’s managerial perspective. What the managers see as stability, the managed see as violence upon themselves. It is not stability that underpins empire. It is violence. And I don’t just mean wars in which humans fight humans. I also mean the psychotic violence against our dying planet.

    I don’t believe that the current supporters of empire are supporters of empire in general. They support the American empire. In truth, captalism is the new empire. Capitalism run by white capitalists. Perhaps a Chinese empire or an Iranian empire or an African empire would not inspire the same warm feelings? “Imperial thinking,” as you call it, arises in the hearts of those who are happy to benefit from it. It is resisted by those who are not. And those who do not wish to be.

    Empire is not just an idea. It is a kind of momentum. An impetus to dominate that contains within its circuitry the inevitability of overreach and self-destruction. When the tide changes, and a new empire rises, the managers will change, too. As will the rhetoric of the old managers. And then we will have new managers, with new rhetoric. And there will be new populations who rise up and refuse to be managed.

    #post-colonialisme #terminologie #mots #vocabulaire

    • A propos du #Cachemire (et un peu d’#israel aussi) :

      The BJP has announced its plans to carry out this exercise in West Bengal, too. If that were ever to happen, tens of millions of people would be uprooted. That could easily turn into yet another Partition. Or even, heaven forbid, another Rwanda. It doesn’t end there. In the Muslim-majority State of Jammu and Kashmir, on the other hand, the BJP has declared that it wants to abrogate Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which gives the state autonomous status and was the only condition under which it would accede to India in 1947. That means beginning a process of overwhelming the local population with Israeli-type settlements in the Kashmir Valley. Over the past thirty years, almost 70,000 people have died in Kashmir’s struggle for self-determination. Any move to eliminate Article 370 would be simply cataclysmic.

      It is interesting that countries that call themselves democracies— India, Israel, and the United States—are busy running military occupations. Kashmir is one of the deadliest and densest military occupations in the world. India transformed from colony to imperial power virtually overnight.

      Et 6 mois plus tard :

      #Arundhati_Roy #Inde

    • peau noires ...

      I recently saw a Malayalam film in the progressive state of Kerala called Abrahaminde Santhathikal (The Sons of Abraham). The vicious, idiot-criminal villains were all black Africans. Given that there is no community of Africans in Kerala, they had to be imported into a piece of fiction in order for this racism to be played out! We can’t pin the blame for this kind of thing on the state. This is society. This is people. Artists, filmmakers, actors, writers—South Indians who are mocked by North Indians for their dark skins in turn humiliating Africans for the very same reason. Mind-bending.

      #racisme #Inde #Kerala

  • Indian-Pakistani clashes in Kashmir put South Asia on knife’s edge - World Socialist Web Site

    Indian-Pakistani clashes in Kashmir put South Asia on knife’s edge
    By Sampath Perera
    31 January 2018

    Exchanges of cross-border fire by Indian and Pakistani forces manning the disputed Kashmir border have intensified since the beginning of the year.

    While cross-border artillery barrages have been frequent, often occurring daily ever since India mounted “surgical strikes” inside Pakistan in September 2016, recent weeks indicate tensions are mounting, raising the prospect of a catastrophic war between South Asia’s nuclear-armed rivals.

    #inde #pakistan #cachemire

  • A Rift Opens in the Kashmir Valley

    Insurgent group #Hizbul_Mujahideen, with support from #Pakistan, will seek to subvert former commander #Zakir_Musa’s breakaway faction in Kashmir.
    The factionalization of the Kashmiri insurgency could benefit India’s counterinsurgency operations.
    Musa’s hard-line Islamist vision and disinterest in secession will constrain his appeal in the progressive Kashmir.

    #Cachemire #Kachmir #Inde #conflits #guerre #disputes_territoriales

  • Indian Government Bans 22 Social Media Platforms in Kashmir including Facebook, WhatsApp · Global Voices


    Authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir have blocked 22 social media applications including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter.

    An official state circular issued on Wednesday, April 26 and obtained by Global Voices said the social media services were “being misused by anti-national and anti-social elements” in the Valley to disturb “peace and tranquility” and could be blocked for up to 30 days. An excerpt reads:

    #internet #inde #cachemire #censure #pakistan

  • India-Pakistan cross-border barrages heighten South Asia’s war crisis - World Socialist Web Site

    India-Pakistan cross-border barrages heighten South Asia’s war crisis
    By Keith Jones
    1 November 2016

    India and Pakistan have intensified cross-border artillery and gunfire in recent days, causing mounting casualties among soldiers and villagers on both sides and bringing South Asia’s rival nuclear-armed states still closer to all-out war.

    Indian authorities said that an Indian soldier and a female civilian were killed yesterday afternoon when Pakistani troops fired waves of mortar shells across the Line of Control (LoC) that separates Indian- and Pakistani-held Kashmir.


    Death toll rises to 25, as India-Pakistan border clashes heighten war danger - World Socialist Web Site

    Death toll rises to 25, as India-Pakistan border clashes heighten war danger
    By Alex Lantier
    2 November 2016

    At least 25 people, the vast majority of them civilians, have been killed during the past five days of heavy, cross-border artillery and machine gun fire between India and Pakistan in the disputed Kashmir region.

    Yesterday, Indian police reported that Pakistani shelling across the Line of Control (LoC) that separates Indian- and Pakistan-held Kashmir had killed seven people, including three women and two children, in the Ramgarh sector of Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state.

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