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Quotes of the day: Arundhati Roy
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Published Sunday, November 23, 2014 @ 8:16 PM EST
Nov 23 2014

Suzanna Arundhati Roy (b. November 24, 1961) is an Indian author and political activist who is best known for the 1998 Man Booker Prize for Fiction-winning novel The God of Small Things (1997) and for her involvement in human rights and environmental causes. Roy's novel became the biggest-selling book by a nonexpatriate Indian author. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.

Change is one thing. Acceptance is another.

Free elections, a free press and an independent judiciary mean little when the free market means they are on sale to the highest bidder.

Insanity hovered close at hand, like an eager waiter at an expensive restaurant.

It is true that success is the most boring thing, it is tinny and brittle, failure runs deeper. Success is dangerous.

Nationalism of one kind or another was the cause of most of the genocide of the twentieth century. Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people's brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Some things come with their own punishments.

Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was intrinsically evil, but because it was flawed. It allowed too few people to usurp too much power. Twenty-first century market capitalism, American- style, will fail for the same reasons. Both are edifices constructed by human intelligence, undone by human nature.

The American way of life is not sustainable. It doesn't acknowledge that there is a world beyond America.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling- their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

The invasion of Iraq will surely go down in history as one of the most cowardly wars ever fought. It was a war in which a band of rich nations, armed with enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world several times over, rounded on a poor nation, falsely accused it of having nuclear weapons, used the United Nations to force it to disarm, then invaded it, occupied it, and are now in the process of selling it.

The only dream worth having is to dream that you will live while you are alive, and die only when you are dead. To love, to be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of the life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.

The trouble is that once America goes off to war, it can't very well return without having fought one. If it doesn't find its enemy, for the sake of the enraged folks back home, it will have to manufacture one. Once war begins, it will develop a momentum, a logic and a justification of its own, and we'll lose sight of why it's being fought in the first place.

The trouble is that once you see it, you can't unsee it. And once you've seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There's no innocence. Either way, you're accountable.

There is a war that makes us adore our conquerors and despise ourselves.

There is only one dream worth having... to live while you are alive, and die only when you are dead.

There's really no such thing as the 'voiceless'. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.

Things can change in a day.

This was the trouble with families. Like invidious doctors, they knew just where it hurt.

Wars are never fought for altruistic reasons.

What does peace mean to the poor who are being actively robbed of their resources and for whom everyday life is a grim battle for water, shelter, survival and, above all, some semblance of dignity? For them, peace is war.

What does the term 'anti-American' mean? Does it mean you are anti- jazz? Or that you're opposed to freedom of speech? That you don't delight in Toni Morrison or John Updike? That you have a quarrel with giant sequoias? Does it mean that you don't admire the hundreds of thousands of American citizens who marched against nuclear weapons, or the thousands of war resisters who forced their government to withdraw from Vietnam? Does it mean that you hate all Americans?

When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That's what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.


Categories: Arundhati Roy, Quotes of the day


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