Arundhati Roy: “I deploy my writing from the heart of the crowd.”

The magazine Guernica recently posted an interview with the great Indian writer and activist Arundhati Roy.

What is it about Roy that so irks the Indian middle-class and elite? Is it the fact that she has no truck with the sober, scholarly, Brahmanical discourse of the respectable middle-of-the-road protectors of the status-quo?

A bit melodramatically, I asked, “Are you lonely?”

“If I were lonely, I’d be doing something else. But I’m not. I deploy my writing from the heart of the crowd.”

My first piece of writing was when I was five… I still have those notebooks. Miss Mitten, a terrifying Australian missionary, was my teacher. She would tell me on a daily basis that she could see Satan in my eyes.

I could hardly believe what I was reading. The Supreme Court judgment that said that though it didn’t have proof that Afzal was a member of a terrorist group, and the evidence against him was only circumstantial, it was sentencing him to death to “satisfy the collective conscience of society.”

A good selection of writing by Arundhati Roy is visible online at…