tv Democracy Now LINKTV June 20, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
06/20/17 06/20/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> how to tell a shattered story by slowly becoming everyone know, by slowly becoming everything that is something one of the characters right center amy: today an hour with the acclaimed indian writer and activist arundhati roy.
20 years ago, she published her debut novel "the god of small things." nonfiction, to becoming a leading critic of u.s. empire, militarism, and the rise of hindu nationalism in india. but now she is returned to fiction with the publication of "the ministry of utmost happiness." a novel returned to me. that is what fiction does. you just have to wait for it and it comes knocking at your door. you just have to know how to wait. amy: today, arundhati roy for the hour. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in syria, tensions are rising after e united states shot down a syrian warplane sunday, escalating the possibility of a direct confrontation between the united states and russia. on monday, russian officials threatened to target u.s. planes
flying west of the euphrates river. the pentagon said it downed the syrian government plane after it bombed u.s.-backed, anti-government rebels fighting isis. this is joint chiefs of staff chair general joseph dunford. >> in incident occurred. we have to work through the incident. it will require some diplomatic engagement in the next two hours to restore the deacon flexion with had in place. dd complexion we have had in place is in our mutual interest because it allows us to address what at least for regime forces have indicated are our common enemy, isis. amy: meanwhile, u.s.-backed coalition airstrikes continue in the syrian city of raqqa. the journalistic monitoring group airwars says coalition bombing last thursday reportedly killed a father named ibrahim ali mohammed, his two sons ayham and iyad, and his 8-year-old daughter amal, when an airstrike destroyed the family's house. also thursday, airstrikes reportedly killed two brothers, mohamed omar hamdan and mohannad
hamdan. the family of mohammed khalaf al kajawan, including his wife, their two daughters and their two sons, were reportedly killed by either u.s.-led coalition airstrikes or shelling by the u.s.-backed syrianroops. iraqi journalist bakhtiyar haddad was killed by an exploding mine while he was working with a france 2 television crew covering the u.s.-led military coalition's assault on mosul's old city. two french reporters and a freelance journalist were also injured in the explosion on monday. the u.n. warns as many as 150,000 people remain trapped in a desperate situation in mosul's old city amid the offensive. elsewhere in iraq, airwars says as many as 19 civilians were reportedly killed when a u.s.-led coalition airstrike hit a mosque last wednesday in tal afar, which is about 50 miles west of mosul. new research on climate change has revealed that nearly one-third of the world's population is now exposed to
deadly heat waves. the study, published monday in the journal "nature climate change," comes as airlines canceled more than 50 flights out of phoenix, arizona, because the scorching 118-degree heat made it impossible for the planes to take off. it is expected to hit up to 120 degrees for an height in phoenix today. the heat wave also shattered temperature records across the west coast, including in sacramento, san jose, and san francisco. meanwhile, in portugal, soaring temperatures have fueled a deadly fire that has killed at least 64 people northeast of the capital lisbon. nearly half the victims burned to death when flames engulfed their cars as they tried to flee. this is resident jose lopes. >> we have fires every year, but this year the fire was not of the ones in the past. it was lightning from a storm, not arson. we never saw one like this. i never saw.
so many dead. amy: in the united states, on capitol hill, senate democrats launched a flurry of motions, speeches, and procedural maneuvers to bring the senate floor to a halt monday night in order to protest the republicans' plan to push through a new health care bill without any public debate. the republican bill would strip 23 million people of their health insurance, while giving billions of dollars in tax breaks to wealthy americans. republican senators have been drafting the final version of the bill in secret closed-door meetings, and are pushing for a vote on the bill before july 4. this is california democratic senator kamala harris. >> i remember when our colleagues across the aisle said the affordable care act was being rammed down the american people's throats in the middle of the night. well, the aca went, in fact, through 106 public hearings. it incorporated more than 170
republican amendments. the whole process took an entire year. but this health care plan involves no hearings, no bill text, and no transparency at all. amy: the supreme court has announced it will consider whether partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional, in a case that could reshape u.s. politics. the case will consider whether the legislative map drawn by the republican-controlled wisconsin state assembly unconstitutionally favored republican candidates. the supreme court has previously ruled that racial gerrymandering is unconstitutional, but it has never before ruled against partisan gerrymandering. which is when lawmakers redraw districts and efforts to skew the power of either democratic or republican voters to benefit their own party. meanwhile, the u.s. supreme court also ruled monday against a federal law that rejects trademark protections for disparaging names. the case that is expected to
benefit the washington football team whose name, the redskins, is a racist slur against native americans. the ruling was based on a case of an asian american rock group called "the slants." the group tried to register the band name in 2011, but was rejected because officials said the name was disparaging to people of asian descent. rock band member simon tam has said his case was hijacked by the courts. washington football team owner daniel snyder celebrated the supreme court ruling monday. he's faced years of resistance by native american activists to -- demanding he change the team's name. in georgia, voters are heading to the polls today to vote in the most expensive congressional race in u.s. history. polls show democrat jon ossoff and republican karen handel are virtually tied in the race to fill the seat left vacant after tom price resigned to become secretary of health and human services. the election is widely seen as a referendum on president trump. civil rights leaders have
expressed concern that voter suppression tactics could cost ossoff the election. to see a democracy now! special report by greg palast from georgia on voter suppression and today's election, go to democracynow.org. university of virginia student otto warmbier has died, a week after he was released from a north korean prison and returned to the united states in a coma. on monday, warmbier's family said in a statement -- "unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the north koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today." otto warmbier was imprisoned for more than 17 months for trying to steal a propaganda sign at a north korean hotel. north korea claims otto warmbier fell into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill, but u.s. doctors said they found no
evidence of the illness in his system. in vermont, demonstrators gathered outside a south burlington jail on monday to protest the arrest and possible deportation of undocumented activists. esau peche-ventura and yesenia hernandez-ramos. immigration and customs enforcement agents detained the two farm workers on saturday, only hours after they walked 13 miles from montpelier to the ben & jerry's factory in waterbury as part of an action organized by the group migrant justice's "milk with dignity" campaign, which is demanding fair working conditions for vermont's dairy workers. in the past year, ice agents have arrested at least three other migrant justice organizers in what immigrant rights activists say is a targeted crackdown against undocumented activists in vermont. in seattle, washington, residents are mourning the death of charleena lyles, an african american pregnant mother who was shot and killed by the police on saturday after she called 911 to
report a burglary at her own apartment. the two white police offers shot lyles in front of her young children inside her own home. police claim she was holding a knife while they opened fire. her family members say she had a history of mental health issues. in mexico, human rights activists and journalists are suing the federal government after the "new york times" revealed the mexican government has been surveilling on them using an israeli-made spying software called pegasus. among those reportedly spied were the lawyers representing the families of the 43 students who disappeared from the ayotzinapa teachers college in 2014 in mexico, as well as award-winning journalist carmen aristegui. >> this is an operation by the states. the agents of the mexican state far doing what they should do legally instead, utilize our
resources can our taxes, our money to commit serious crimes. i rely us he had of the mexican states, the president of mexico, that is the first. amy: cuba has responded to president trump's announcement friday that he is reversing the normalization of relations between the u.s. and cuba and re-imposing travel and trade restrictions. cuban foreign minister bruno rodriguez called trump's speech a grotesque spectacle and promised that cuba would never extradite americans who have received political asylum in cuba, such as assata shakur. >> regarding the so-called fugitives from u.s. and cuba, i can reaffirm that in the use of the national law, the international law, and latin american tradition, cuba has granted political asylum to fighters for civil rights from the u.s.
of course, these persons will not be returned to the u.s. there is no legal, political, or moral basis to claim to these persons. amy: in india, police arrested more than 80 people at a protest sunday against a liquefied natural gas import terminal in the southern state of kerala. activists say multiple demonstrators were also injured when the police charged them and beat them with police batons. residents have been protesting the gas facility for months. sunday's protest was led by women, and majority of those arrested were female activists. in financial news, amazon is planning to buy whole foods for $13.7 billion in a deal that would further consolidate amazon's vast empire. the proposed merger might require oversight from federal anti-trust officials. but the intercept reports that top anti-trust officials from both the justice department and the federal trade commission have ties to law firms that represent amazon or whole foods and are expected to play major roles in the proposed merger.
and nbc news has published an explosive watergate-era document showing how then-president richard nixon planned to a physical assault on peace activists in 1972, including famed vietnam war whistleblower daniel ellsberg, tly to th pentag papers in 19. the revetion camin an 18-pe memo fm the ofce of a speciareport. responsto theemos reased, dani ellsber told nbc "they ud to s nobody t hurtn watergat thatas not t cau they di not try." d those e somef the adlines. this idemocracy w!, decracynow.o, the waand peace rert. 'm amy odman. nermeen:nd i'm nermn shaikh. welcome all of oulisteners and viewers from around the country and around the world.
today we spend the hour with the acclaimed indian writer arundhati roy. it has been 20 years since her debut novel "the god of small things" made her a literary sensation. while the book won the booker prizer and became an international best seller selling over six million copies, roy soon turned away from fiction. she became a leading critic of u.s. empire, the wars in the middle east, and the rise of hindu nationalism in her home country of india. her nonfiction books included -- include "the end of imagination," "field notes on democracy: listening to grasshoppers," and "capitalism: a ghost story." in 2010, she faced possible arrest on sedition charges after publicly advocating for kashmiri independence and challenging india's claim that kashmir is an integral part of india. amy: two years ago, arundhati roy made headlines when she visited nsa whistleblower edward snowden in russia. she was joined by pentagon papers whistleblower daniel ellsberg and actor john cusack.
she co-authored a book with john cusack based on their conversations with snowden titled "things that can and cannot be said." well now, 20 years after the publication of "the god of small things," arundhati roy has returned to fiction and has just published her second novel, "the ministry of utmost happiness." "the washington post" has praised her novel writing -- "this is a remarkable creation, a story both intimate and international, swelling with comedy and outrage, a tale that cradles the world's most fragile people even while it assaults the subcontinent's most brutal villains. it will leave you awed by the heat of its anger and the depth of its compassion." indian literary critic nilanjana roy has hailed the novel as "an elegy for a bulldozed world." arundhati roy joins us in the studio for the hour.
welcome back to democracy now! >> it is lovely to be here. amy: how does it feel to be back to fiction? you have been writing now for years, this book, "the ministry f utmost happiness." tell us a you feel upon its publication. >> fiction was, in reality as well as my and -- imagination, my real home. this time it is home with the roof blown off. beenow -- it has always the thing that absorbs every part of me -- fiction. every skill i may have is actually part of writing this. so to me, i just feel that, you know, even in a lifetime if you had to have opportunities to
spend many years lavishing everything come all of your brains and your hair and your teeth and your gallbladder on creating one thing, you know, it is a grace you should be happy for. whatever the product is, whatever comes out of it, is such a beautiful thing to have had the opportunity to do for me. amy: you from fiction writing the closest thing you know to prayer. why? >> because of this. you know? to me, the idea of being able to concentrate on trying -- you see, the nonfiction that i have been writing, these are all essays that were urgent interventions in situations that were closing down in india. each time i wrote an essay, it would lead to so much trouble i
would promised myself not to write another one, but i would. but they were arguments. they were urgent. they had a definite purpose. a worldly important purpose. is,when i write fiction, it to me, the opposite of an argument. it is like creating a universe. it is like doing everything you which create a world in you want people to wonder. nermeen: tell us about the title of the book, "the ministry of utmost happiness." also, the dedication. it is dedicated to the un-consoled. who are the un-consoled? weall of us come even if don't show it. some of us do and some of us don't. i think the world is unconsoled right now. manythe title is
think it is a satirical title. it is not. it is a title that, for me, i think fundamentally as a species right now, we need to redefine what is being defined for us as a path to happiness order progress or to civilization. in this book, it is a specific story. people who understand that it is a fragile thing. happiness is not a building or an institution that is there forever. it is fragile. you enjoy it when you can. you may find it in the most unexpected places. nermeen: you said in a 2011 interview when you are asked about the writing of this book, you said, i have to find a language to tell the story i want to tell. island which, i don't mean
nglish, i think something else. what did you mean by that? >> it sounds quite clear. really -- worlds havet been ripped apart? >> in the world, including here, but in the subcontinent where i live, it is as though people have seized to be able to c --eased to be able to speak to each other. i don't mean and real languages him of what people who live in cities, they don't even know how to go into a village anymore. they don't even understand what it means to live on the land anymore. people who live there don't know what to do when they come into the other modern world. india has always lived in
several centuries simultaneously, but it is just becoming almost psychotic now. terms, we live in several languages, real languages. here i do mean hindu and urdu and english. fundamentally, i think what i mean is that there is a danger of fiction becoming domesticated. of to much of our product that has to be quickly described, catalogued, put on a particular shelf and everyone has to know. blow thatanted to open. what is the team? that affectsitics our lives. it is not just news headlines, you know, what happens in kashmir or people who are being displaced.
.hat happens in intimate spaces all of it can only be presented as part of a universe in fiction because you can't do it otherwise. amy: when we come back from break, we're going to talk about some of the places and the people. this takes place in kashmir, in old delhi, in a graveyard. among the featured people are a trans community. we would like you to start there when we come back, reading from your book. arundhati roy is with us. her new novel is "the ministry of utmost happiness." we will be back with her in a minute. ♪ [music break]
our guest for the hour, arundhati roy. would you read from her new book? >> sure. i will read a part, which is born, sheharacter is was the fourth of five children born on a cold january night by lamplight in the old city of delhi. the midwife who delivered her and put her in her mother's arms, wrapped in to shawls said, "it is a boy." rror was understandable. her month into her first pregnancy, the couple had decided that if their first baby was a boy, they would name him. their first three children were girls. they have been waiting for their son for six years. the night he was born was the happiest of their lives.
the next morning when the sun was up and the room nice and un-swshe and swaddled -- addled the baby. body withed his unhurried delight. that was when she discovered nestling underneath his boy parts, a small unformed, but undoubtedly grow part. is it possible for a mother to be terrified of her own baby? she was. her first reaction was to feel her heart constrict and her as her second reactionh. was to. take another look to make sure she was not mistaken. her third reaction was to recoil from what she had created while her bowels convulsed. her fourth reaction was to contemplate killing herself and her child.
reaction was to pick her baby up and hold him close while she fell through a crack between the world she knew and the world she did not know existed. there in the abyss, spinning through the darkness, everything she had been sure of until then, every single thing from the smallest to the biggest, ceased to make sense to her. -- only lame which she knew and the only language she knew, all things, not just living things, but all things -- carpets, clothing, books, musical instruments -- had a gender. everything was either masculine or feminine, man or woman. everything except her baby. yes, of course, she knew there was a word for those like him. two words, actually. make a words do not
language. was it possible to live outside language? naturally, this question did not address itself to her in words or a single lucid sentence. it addressed itself to her as a soundless embryonic howl. her sick reaction was to clean herself up and resolved until -- her sixth reaction was to clean yourself up and resolved to not tell anyone, even her husband. then to lay down next to the baby and rest, like the god of the christians did after he admitted heaven and earth. except that in his case them he rested after making sense of the world he had created, whereas she rested after what she had created had scrambled percent of the world. amy: arundhati roy routing from her new novel, "the ministry of utmost happiness." to some of your characters and where and how they lived.
introduce us to the trans community that has -- you both created and have been living with for so many years now. sayell, first, i do want to the book in general -- she is not a signifier. this is not a social history of the trans community. she is a character, like many other characters in the book. very unique. very much herself. when she is born and grows up and when -- she actually moves out of her home to a place close means "the house of greens" where she lives with a community of other people, none of whom is like herself. even inside, though there are -- sheans women, people is hermaphrodite, but there are
, muslim, dore men not believe in having surgery. some who do. have a veryves diverse community, but they look call it --d and which means "the world" which is something else, they have a history of being sort of inside and outside the community, which sort of predates the western discourse. though even in the story as it modernizes, there is that futile story overlapping with the new monitored language and so on. actually, she does have this incendiary border of gender running through her. all of the characters have a example,hich is, for
she moves into the graveyard and she builds a guesthouse. one of the people who becomes a very close comrade of hers is a young man who is -- who has watched hindu mobs beat his father to death as it is happening every day now. wasas because he transporting the carcass of a dead cow, so he is being the debt of people who call themselves cow protectors. and callss to islam himself saddam hussein because he is very impressed by this video he sees of the execution of saddam hussein and the the station -- disdain he shows for executions. border runnings orde through him. the other major character is a
woman from the south. she is also a person of indeterminate origin as far as india is concerned. now a kashmiri fighting with the national border. it is not conceptual. what happens is india as a society of such minute divisions , such institutionalized caste is a where mesh that oppresses people and holds them down in a grid. somehowf these stories are about people who just don't fit into that grid and who eventually create a little community and a kind of solidarity emerges, which is a solidarity of the heart.
it is not memoranda i or academic discourse, but a solidarity that is human which is based on unorthodox kinds of love, not even sexual love or anything, just based on humanness. amigo you say the characters are kind of -- who don't fit into the grid, the places, the principal places where the novel delhi, andold kashmir. so is the focus -- did you focus on these places also because they stand somehow outside the grid? they don't fit into the great? >> it actually starts in old delhi and spills out into the new delhi, the modern, sprawling, metropolis, supposedly the center of power of the new india. and then into kashmir.
the thing is, when you write a novel, you don't take about it conceptually. it would be terrible to do that. as i go along and have to talk about it, these concepts emerge and it sounds as if that was -- but it is not. ,he nerve center of the book though it is not the start of the book, the nerve center is this place in delhi where all of the ragged and beautiful resistance movements, all of the dreamers and idlers and that gather. protesters it is a wonderful place in delhi. no longer though. is being policed in terrible ways. it is a place i have spent much of my time. a baby appears in the middle of the night and nobody knows who's baby it is. it has actually happened to me.
protest movements, politics, all of this wisdom, all of this beauty and then the baby just -- just nobody knew what to do with her, you know? nerves ofhere, the the novel spread out because all of it is brought together in that place. and then you follow the appearances in the disappearances of these baby girls. and a team of graveyards, of course, anjum builds the paradise guesthouse on a graveyard in delhi in an area called "caret eyes" by many people, covered by graveyards. "paradise" by many people, covered by graveyards. the borders between the living and the dead. and the poorest borders between
human beings and animals in the book. it is a book of poorest borders. amy: you said you actually lived inh these resistance groups delhi outside your home. talk about what you mean spending days there. and also, your times going to kashmir. >> the thing is, delhi is a place where all of these groups .rom all over india come in the past, they were allowed to stay there, so many people would be on hunger strike. dam withe resisting me people who are resisting displacement for some mining project. just dreamers who are on fast for everybody and world peace. a lot of these movements shelter people who are just idealists
who have kind of gone over the edge, but who dream of a better world and the most charming and beautiful ways. and sometimes there is a lot of violence. obviously, because i was closely involved with the anti-dam move i would just go there and know, ait very -- you place of resistance is also a place of peace where you think people who are just not -- who just don't agree to allow things to roll-on. it was also a place where i felt at home and a place where i talked to a lot of people. i mean, any of them are characters in the book.
art installations, whatever. theourse, kashmir is -- mothers of the disappeared in kashmir are also in the book. and in that place. and the baby appears actually right next to them, so how the mothers have disappeared don't know what to do with the baby that has appeared, you know? one of the characters, who actually just picks up the baby and runs, because the police have come. anjum once the baby. that is how it kind of gets connected. there's a long connection with kashmir. the thing about kashmir is that i'm a yes, i've been going there for many years and my dearest friends are kashmiri. i realized long ago when i
started visiting it that you cannot tell anything that remotely resembles the truth and human rights reports come in the documentation of the dead were the torture or the atrocities because it is not just that. what do you do when people have lived under the most -- under the densest military occupation in the world for 25 years? what does it do to the air? what does it do to the soldiers echo what does it do to the army? what does it do to the collaborators? what does it do to the intelligence people? what does it do to people who don't know when the children will come home? throwingee schoolgirls stones at the army. last year, they blinded people with pellet guns. crucially, what does it do to indians who are not protected from this war? atrocitiesd these
with the soundtrack of applause and we're supposed to swallow keepabsolute cruelty and it -- as much as you are expected to celebrate every time u.s. government goes and destroys a country, you're supposed to stand up and applaud. but what does it do to us to hold that in our stomachs? who are notple familiar with kashmir here in the united states or watching or listening now or who will read this, explain -- put that struggle in context, where it is and why it is happening. >> kashmir, at the time of onependence in 1947, it was of the independent princely kingdoms, one of the 500 something princely kingdoms were all required to decide whether they wanted to be with india or pakistan. had ar, of course,
majority muslim population, but a hindu king. it is called the unfinished business of pakistan because initially, the king did not decide while bloodshed was happening. also, part of the state of hehmir and then eventually, fled to india and sign a secession based on the fact that there would be a referendum -- which there never was. it is called the unfinished business of pakistan. so india and pakistan have been fighting over it. it has become a toxic situation, a flash point. the muslim population is held hostage to all of the debates between india and pakistan in kashmir and we're talking about two nuclear powers.
place're talking about a celebrating with graveyards. in the 1990's, the struggle turned militant. the army was fighting militants. now the population has turned militant. recently, the army generals said -- the army general said he wished people throwing stones were ackley firing at them so he could do what he liked with them. ast last month, they tied kashmiri civilian to a tank and used him as a human shield. the officer who did that was rewarded, honored. many people applauded it. that is by no means the worst thing that has happened there. kashmiri ishmir and just one of the languages, and the little sense that appear in the novel. , lyrics,have urdu
poetry, songs. what do you think the importance is to all of these references, whenm, kashmiri, at a time india's image often is projected as much more homogenous? ini have written about this nonfiction a lot, but right now what we are seeing is a very, very dangerous moment in india because since 1925, the forces -- the organizations -- i mean, mostly an organization called prime to which many ministers and ministers belong to him and which is really the culture that controls the political party, has always said that it once india to be declared a hindu nation, just as an islamic known as
republic. it india's constitution calls it a secular socialist republic. so right now, the people in power are almost in a position to be able to change the constitution. history is being rewritten. school textbooks are being rewritten. people who believe that india should be a hindu nation are being placed in all of the institutions of democracy and positions of power. as you know, every day your hearing stories about lynching, killing, vigilante groups. so you have minority populations. and by minority, i'm still talking about millions of people , being forced to live in terror, being pushed to the bottom of the food chain, being underrepresented in the media, underrepresented in the judiciary, underrepresented in the bureaucracy, unrepresented in any way. big dalit of the
beties, which seem to bringing some sort of representation, have also been pushed out and the idea is and always has been to create this constituency called the hindu constituency. and now the difficulty is that if you're going to celebrate the idea of the hindu nation, you are turning what is pain into pleasure when things like the two monetization happen, when jobs are being lost and people are being displaced, and you are told you're doing this for the hindu nation. so all of your pain is being turned into some can of yearning like some kind of religious sacrifice and all of your anger which -- anger is being directed downward to the most vulnerable community's.
analysis and numbers and figures and tax dosing to help -- facts don't seem to help. amy: when we come back, we will mod about prime minister meeting with president trumpi next week. we also went to ask you about your trip to russia to see danielsnowden, which ellsberg and john cusack, and continue talking about your great work, "the ministry of utmost happiness." your second fiction book. the first, "the god of small things," written 20 years ago. it catapulted her into the, what, literary stratosphere. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
amy: "winter lady." one of the main characters jokes that leonard cohen is actually cashmere and his role name is las con. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. before we talk about modi's visit, i would ask you about the young woman you refer to who is a character in your book, the ministry of utmost happiness, who has a lot of similarities to you. she was trained as an architecture student. talk about that. talk about her place and your place in this novel. me, the character is thefictional child of
character in "the god of small things." she is the younger sibling. i know her well, but i am not her. she and anjum are in some ways women with such different kinds of strength and moods. and veryosity's different in that anjum is much expressionsl in her of pain or grief or joy or poetry and what she wants to do, hourlyan extravagantly, expresses her -- hourly exposes herself.
a person whose quietness destabilizes people. who signshose most -- off being intimate with someone is to not greet them or to not change her expression when someone she loves comes. so very different. in most of all, different their attitude towards womanhood. like anjum finds a young child on the steps of and she just falls in love with her a been a mogul and falls in love with her mostly because the baby just holds her hand asserts howling and is not scared of her. is takes her back where she adopted.
never hand, the other care to -- other character couldn't have a baby and doesn't want to put another version of herself into the world. she thinks that she will be an even worse mother than her mother was to her. she's also curiously alone. she has a relationship with musa , who becomes a militant. his people.n of she loves that because she think she has no people, except for the dogs that she feeds in the park. so she is very, very strange, strong woman, though. of a little bit on the edge crazy. who she is. nermeen: let's go to prime minister narendra modi. >> wow, what a jump.
nermeen: his trip to the united states, coming to d.c. next week to me donald trump, president trump for the first time. let's go to comments that trump made last year to the republican hindu coalition. pres. trump: i'm a big fan of hindu and i am a big fan of india. big, big fan. big, big fan. prime ministermodi, who is been very energetic in reforming india's bureaucracy, great man. i applaud him for doing so. and i look forward to doing some serious bureaucratic trimming right here in the united states. believe me, we need it. nermeen: just recently, on the occasion of trump's birthday, a right-wing group in india celebrated
trump's birthday. could you talk about that first of all? and a lot of people have been saying trump and modi are very similar, but you said there are very important distinctions between them. >> i don't know whether it was this group you're talking about or whether it was last year -- gentlemanin the same of this book, some people were celebrating trump's birthday and they had a cardboard picture of him. it was just earlier this month. >> no, i'm talking about an earlier occasion. a tv crew asked, what is happening? they said, we're celebrating the birthday of donald duck. it was very funny. yes, to my mind, there are very serious distinctions between the phenomena in of trump and modi.
look, i'm not like a real close commentator on american politics, so i might be wrong about what i am saying, but from has i see, trump somehow sprung up from the sort of affluent of a process where the democrats who claim to be the representatives of workers come of unions, of people has betrayed them, has left a group of people disenchanted, serious, and even more furious when bernie sanders was not the candidate and it was hillary clinton. so trump comes in as a kind of and mocked,spected perhaps rightly so by the media, by american institutions. there is an inquiry against him. you know, you see the big for what i call the deep state, also
a little bit worried about him. this is not the case with modi. rss is a product of the that from 1925 has been working toward this moment. the rss has hundreds of thousands of workers. it has its own slum wing, its own women's wing, its own publishing wing, its own schools, its own books. it's people are everywhere. the movement is from the ground. you have to give them that. they have worked endlessly. so modi is the opposite of an outlier. who right now, the rss is in control. the only thing is that the rss is a little bit -- i mean, i think a little bit worried about this single man who is taking all of the attention and maybe they are preparing an heir to
he is destroyed government. it is just between him and what is on the street. so much of what government policy is being executed by vigilante mobs and the bureaucracy -- the party itself is being put into a corner, and it is just modi in his lieutenant. everyone else is humiliated. there is this whole great strongman and temples being built to him and so on. amy: if you could create the meeting of what happened between modi and trump as you have created the communities in this book, what would you make cap and? what would help india, the india you want to see, arundhati roy? >> it would help if both of them are both sent to the frying pan park in virginia with all of the turkeys that are forgiven on
thanksgiving. i mean, the meeting isn't going to help us because that is not the issue. the issue is that, what do they represent and -- i mean, to me, i don't -- it is not important saye to mock trump or things about modi because the real question is, why are -- you cannot dismiss the fact that they are people who have been elected democratically. ,o there is fire in the ducts and that is the problem. they are both easy meat. there are both easy to laugh at you but i don't think it is a laughing matter. the point is that someone like myself, you know, i and a position where -- i am in a position where one is a minority the voices right now. even though i am a writer and i don't necessarily believe ever
that the majority is always right, so there's something very wrong going on. and that wrong has been created by the people who are criticizing trump now. we do need to think about that. you know that. you have been following it and you know that better than i. the same in india. the congress party has opened every door, lit every fire. now there is burning, we can't look at them as an alternative. they have been involved with massacres themselves. they have created vigilante groups themselves. they have created this themselves. amy: you visited edward snowden in russia with the actor john cusack and with pentagon papers whistleblower daniel ellsberg. what was that like? we have less than a minute to go. >> it was wonderful, phenomenal.
most phenomenal to see dan and ed talking to each other about what it meant to be a whistleblower in the 1970's and then now. to me, from the outside, i did wonder him a how long is it going to be -- that was vietnam, korea, iran. reinventings itself. again, today, your them say, oh, it is going to be a long war. one enemy of america turns into another turns into another turns into another. at the big wills keep on turning. and we don't have enough snowdens and ellsbergs around. amy: arundhati roy, it is been a pleasure spending the hour with you. it wasn't enough. we will do a post show after an post it online at democracynow.org. is the author of
the new novel "the ministry of utmost happiness." democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
>> this week, global 3000 heads to jordan where waterfalls are rare and droughts are commonplace. the challenges of an expanding desert. in iran, couples desperate for a baby are basing their hopes on a combination of prayer and modern medicine. meanwhile, in the kenyan bush it's basic medicine that's needed. and it comes by camel. more than 400 million people worldwide have no access to medical care. with 39 doctors per 10,000