Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  PBS  May 3, 2018 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

12:00 pm
♪ amy: from pacifica this is democracy now! >> we hope for understanding. part of u.s.his authorities understand we come to seek asylum. we cannot return. in my case, i cannot return to my country. i'm in danger of losing my life -- not just mine, those of my family as well. amy: a standoff continues where scores of asylum seekers are attempting to cross into the united states after taking part in a month-long caravan. violence ineing
12:01 pm
honduras, guatemala, and el salvador. we will go to the border to get the latest. then the acclaimed indian writer -- >> there is a connection between what is happening, how women are treated, that we are a society that practices cast, the most institutionalized form of hierarchy. yet few write about it. we will speak about kashmir , her return to fiction, and her latest book. we will also speak to her about her visit with edwards noted in moscow. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
12:02 pm
former new york city mayor rudy giuliani said wednesday that president trump reimbursed trump's lawyer and fixer, michael cohen, for a $130,000 hush money payment cohen made on the eve of the 2016 election to adult film star stephanie clifford, also known as stormy daniels. giuliani, who recently joined josh giuliani made the comments wednesday evening in an interview with fox news host sean hannity. rudy giuliani: that money was not campaign money. i'm sorry if i'm giving you a fact he did not know -- no campaign finance violations. the president repaid it. president repaint it, giuliani said. the former mayor joined andident trump's legal team
12:03 pm
negotiated -- is negotiate with robert mueller. sarah huckabee sanders reiterated trump's denial in march. secretary sanders: the present harry addressed these directly -- the president addressed these directly. the cases have already been won in arbitration, and anything more i would refer you to the outside counsel. >> will the president addressed specifically the cash payment that was made? secretary sanders: anything -- the case has been won in a patrician and anything beyond that i would refer you to outside counsel. amy: this morning, president trump tweeted a denial that he'd had a sexual encounter with daniels in 2006, accusing her of extortion, and of violating a nondisclosure agreement. trump also said he'd paid michael cohen a retainer for legal services, adding, quote, "money from the campaign, or
12:04 pm
campaign contributions, played no role in this transaction." legal analysts say cohen's payment likely amounted to a campaign finance violation, even if trump repaid it, since it constituted a loan to trump's campaign that went unreported in federal election filings. this comes as president trump hired washington, d.c., attorney emmet flood to replace white house lawyer ty cobb as part of his legal team working to contain fallout from special counsel robert mueller's russia investigation. flood previously represented president bill clinton during his impeachment in 1998. the pentagon wednesday transferred long-time guantanamo bay prisoner ahmed mohammed al-darbi to saudi arabia, in the first such move under the trump administration. al-darbi is the only prisoner who's pleaded guilty in the military commissions at the u.s. naval base in guantanamo.
12:05 pm
in a statement, the center for constitutional rights, which represents many of guantanamo's prisoners, said it was relieved over al-darbi's transfer, but added, quote, "his transfer came at great cost, over 12 years in guantanamo, and he is not yet free. and, much as we would like to hope it signals further positive movement from this administration, there is no such indication. muslim men remain imprisoned in 40 an entrenched prison system that was set up to evade just laws and experiment on human beings, and that system continues." as a presidential candidate, donald trump promised to expand the prison at guantanamo and said he would quote "load it up with some bad dudes." wednesday's release of al-darbi came as the pentagon said it is formally set to receive new prisoners for an indefinite stay. in libya, a pair of suicide bombers stormed the offices of libya's electoral commission in tripoli on wednesday, opening fire on workers before blowing
12:06 pm
themselves up. at least 12 people died in the assault, with seven others wounded. isis later claimed responsibility. the attack came as the electoral commission is working to register new voters across voters ahead of a national election to be held by the end of the year. this is em-ad al-sayah, chair of the commission. >> this targeted the libyan people. it did not target the commission. what a targeted was the future of the libyan people and the power of choice. the united states has returned thousands of ancient artifacts looted from iraq and illegally acquired by the u.s.-based christian craft chain store hobby lobby. wednesday's handover of 3,800 artifacts to iraq's ambassador including -- artifacts, including body bolt, to iraq's ambassador in washington came nearly a year after hobby lobby agreed to pay a $3 million fine,
12:07 pm
after it spent over $1.5 million in 2010 to purchase artifacts from a dealer based in the united arab emirates. the sales violated a ban on the sale of iraqi cultural artifacts in place since 2004. hobby lobby's owners are conservative christians who recently opened a museum of the bible in washington, d.c. a 2014, hobby lobby won landmark decision at the supreme court which ruled private companies that claim religious exemptions can refuse to provide birth control to employees. at the vatican, three chileans who were abused by catholic priests as children have urged pope francis to take action to end an epidemic of sexual abuse and cover-up within the church. their joint statement came after five days of meetings with pope francis, and just weeks after the pontiff reversed course and apologized publicly over his role in failing to halt abuses. this is juan carlos cruz, one of the three chilean
12:08 pm
whistleblowers. >> we were able to speak frankly to the call -- cope. we talked about difficult sexual abuse, abuse of power, a the cover up ofhe chilean bishop. not what we refer to as sin, but crime and corruption that do not end in chile, but are an epidemic, an epidemic that has destroyed thousands of lives with people who were trusted -- who trusted and were betrayed in their trust. amy: in savannah, georgia, a puerto rico air national guard military plane crashed shortly after takeoff wednesday, killing nine people aboard. the crash came as the plane was bound for a base in arizona where it was set to be decommissioned. the c-130 was one of the oldest such aircraft still flyi, at more than 60 years old.
12:09 pm
meanwhile, in puerto rico, hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of san juan wednesday, following up on massive may day protests against austerity measures. the protesters are also demanding the repeal of the promesa act, which created an unelected, federally appointed control board with sweeping powers to run puerto rico's economy. this is jorge diaz, one of the protesters. >> i am the artistic director of an organization in puerto rico and we are here on the 2 of make to continue the celebration and resistance of may day -- may day, where we were yesterday, and we were attacked by the police and the state for marching, for defending our rights. we are here today to let them know no matter if we get ed,ested, banged on, gass pepper spray, we're going to be here because this is about our
12:10 pm
rights, our community. amy: iowa's republican-led legislature voted wednesday to approve the nation's most restrictive ban on abortions. republican governor kim reynolds has promised to sign the bill, which outlaws abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, something that typically happens just six weeks into a pregnancy, and before many women even realize they're pregnant. opponents call the bill unconstitutional, and warn it opens the door for doctors who perform abortions to be criminally prosecuted. this is iowa state representative brian meyer, a democrat. >> i know what the law is because i do it every day -- i am asking you if you understand the bill you are passing today creates essentially a murder charge for adults -- for doctors. amy: the bill comes as other decisions fired -- filed suits challenging the rollback of a federal program to provide birth control and other reproductive health care services to millions of low-income women.
12:11 pm
"the washington post" is reporting former cbs and pbs host charlie rose was involved in far more misconduct than reported. an additional 27 women have accused rows of sexual harassment over 30 years and that cbs managers were repeatedly warned over the allegations but failed to intervene. rose was fired from cbs and pbs amidst accusations of groping women, making lewd phone calls, walking around naked, or in an open bathrobe, and more. the voter-profiling company cambridganalytica is closing and will begin insolvency proceedings. cambridge analytica gained international attention after facebook revealed it acquired the personal information of up to 87 million people without their permission as part of an effort to sway voters to support president donald trump. black men who were arrested at a -- in philadelphia, a pair of
12:12 pm
black men who were arrested at a starbucks store after an employee called police claiming they were trespassing have settled a lawsuit with the coffee chain. rashon nelson and donte robinson will receive a symbolic settlement of one dollar each, along with a promise from starbucks to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs. the arrests on april 12th sparked national debate over racial profiling and set off a wave of civil disobedience protests in philadelphia. starbucks has promised to close 8,000 of its us stores on the afternoon of may 29th for racial-bias training. the settlement the men made with starbucks has not been disclosed. in massachusetts, harvard president drew faust said tuesday the university will recognize a newly formed union of graduate students and undergraduate teaching assistants, and will begin negotiations for a union contract. faust's announcement came a week
12:13 pm
after thousands of students voted in favor of forming the harvard graduate students union, a chapter of the united automobile workers, the uaw. in arizona, public school teachers remain on strike as -- stalled on wednesday. the governor has promised to sign a budget deal that would end the strike including a 20% pay raise for teachers and school staff. the strike began thursday with teachers protesting the $1 millionion since the 2008 recession. democracynow.org for an extended discussion on the strikes. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. nermeen: and i am nermeen shaikh.
12:14 pm
welcome to our viewers around the world. a standoff continues on the u.s.-mexican border where scores of asylum seekers are attempting to cross into the united states after taking part in a month-long caravan that began more than 2000 miles away in the southern mexican state of chiapas. many of the caravan participants are migrants fleeing violence in honduras, guatemala and el salvador. the caravan is organized annually by the group pueblo sin fronteras, or people without borders. it made international headlines this year largely thanks to president trump. in one tweet, trump wrote quote "getting more dangerous. 'caravans' coming." during a rally in michigan on saturday, trump again criticized the caravan. president trump: we believe that a strong nation must have strong borders. [applause]
12:15 pm
president trump: are you watching that mess that is going on right now with the caravan coming up? are you watching this? weak, soaws are so pathetic, given to us by democrats -- nermeen: under international law, the united states must allow foreigners seeking asylum to enter the country. but supporters of the caravan say border authorities have been slow to take in members of the caravan seeking asylum. around 100 asylum seekers have been accepted for processing but scores remain camped out by the border near san diego, california. this is caravan member nefi hernandez, from honduras. we hope for understanding. we hope for a bit of hard so u.s. authorities can understand we come to seek asylum. we can't return. in my case i can't return to my country because i am in danger
12:16 pm
of losing my life, not just mine, but those of my family as well. amy: on wednesday attorney general jeff sessions announced he would send an additional 35 assistant u.s. attorneys and 18 immigration judges to the u.s.-mexico border. attorney general sessions: we will not let the country be overrun. we need integrity in the system. people should wait their turn, -- to applywful lawfully before they enter the country. we are sending a message worldwide. don't come illegally. maker claims in america in a walk -- lawful way and wait your turn. amy: for more we are joined by two guests. in atlanta, tristan call is a volunteer with pueblo sin fronteras or people without borders, just back from spending time with the caravan in mexico.
12:17 pm
and joining us from tijuana, mexico, nicole ramos is director of the border rights project of al otro lado, a project that works with asylum seekers there who want to present themselves to u.s. authorities. welcome both of you to democracy now! we want to begin with nicole -- you have president trump constantly railing against the caravan, demanding president trump break it up before it got to the border. the caravan has arrived at the border. maybe fewer people than originally intended, and you have more than 25 people who have already processed. explain the situation. nicole ramos: the caravan members are trying to access a legal process that has existed for decades. it is very clear president trump and attorney general sessions do not understand this section of federal law under federal --
12:18 pm
section 1225 of the u.s. code. this is a legal process that allows an asylum seeker to present themselves to an immigration officer, indicate they have a fear of return, after which time they are to be granted an interview with an asylum officer. the commentary this is a stampede, illegal migration, with people not waiting their turn -- this is a process. responsewhat legal have you been given for why there has not been -- weather has been a leg? nicole: they've indicated they the capacity, but they were aware the caravan was traveling -- what we have
12:19 pm
as either a failure to prepare, or a refusal to prepare, and i would argue it is the latter given that customs and border protection is the largest law enforcement agency in the united states. amy: what you make of jeff sessions saying he is sending more lawyers and judges to the border right now, talking about how people can't overrun the border? nicole: people are not trying to overrun the border. it is a very small group when you consider all the people that migrate in a year. the fact that he is sending more attorneys, more judges to adjudicate the cases, that is assuming that people get past the first step, which is an interview with an asylum officer. his allocation of resources, his calculus, is two steps ahead, which indicates to me unfortunately attorney john surma -- attorney general sessions this not understand immigration law very well. if you are in new
12:20 pm
mexico, can -- mexico, can you describe what the scene is there at the border? nicole: it is a desperate situation. it is hopeful in that the people know they will not be chained up forever. they do not know how long they will be waiting. it is a difficult situation to come to the u.s. because we are a nation of laws and we put ourselves on the world stage as a nation that fights for human rights and respect human rights, and to get to the border and have the door close in their thes, i have been down to gate, and it is almost all blocked off except for one tiny door. that is in itself heartbreaking, but it is the desperation people fear that is driving them to flee the country am a willing to go to a place they know will be hostile to them because they fear the country.
12:21 pm
to tucker turn carlson on the arrival of the caravan at the u.s.-mexico border -- he attacked our guest nicole ramos by name. tucker carlson: here is nicole ramos denouncing it as criminal. stop projecting asylum seekers who try to present themselves at the port of entry. you know what you are doing. you know you turn people away. you claim they are breaking the law by entering illegally. you are breaking the law and you are forcing them to break the law. caravans.y we have tucker: that is who you want and control of policy, screaming into able one. tuckerur response to carlson. nicole: i'm using able one because i am at a conference and it is a chaotic scene, so the
12:22 pm
crowd can hear me. customs and border protection has a history dating back years of rejecting asylum seekers who try to follow the legal process. i have been collecting data since december, 2015. i have accompanied hundreds of and countless, times that an officer has told the client i am with it cannot seek asylum at the port of entry. they have to go to their home country, or the consequent, which is not true. the law is it allow someone to go to a port of entry. it forces people who don't have the support of advocates to try to enter through a regular means. these are people who are trying to follow the law. to have federal law-enforcement officers who are breaking the law, and brazen in their disregard for the law they will
12:23 pm
do it in front of an attorney, an officer of the court. this is well documented in the human rights report by amnesty international. it is the subject of litigation that the organization has filed against dhs. nermeen: i want to turn to some of the people that have been seeking asylum. channel, a 28-year-old honduran trans woman, for instance, said she had no option but to leave her country because of the discrimination she faced at home because of her sexual orientation. don't think i will ever return to my country because i've already survived an attack and it was difficult. i have been between life and death. i was in a coma for three days. in the united states i see myself sleeping coldly, sleeping better, not only myself and my friends, when we are able to
12:24 pm
gain respect, where there is no eaching, the decision of person is respected, such as the decision of being a trans woman. tristan, you are -- volunteer.re a can you talk about the conditions people seeking asylum are fleeing? tristan: one of the most important things to understand is why people travel in a caravan together is not just -- they are people that have been displaced by tremendous trauma and violence in the countries they are coming from, and also traveling through mexico is an incredibly dangerous thing. it is becoming more and more the formsbecause of of criminalization getting replicated from the u.s. model in mexico. the amounts of violence, of
12:25 pm
bynapping, of assaults mexican officials within mexico against migrants who are in route is one of the main reasons they had decided to band together for their own security. coming from honduras especially, i think it is important to understand there is a regional crisis going on in central america where larger and larger numbers of people are being expelled through violence and discrimination. in honduras especially through political violence after the continuation of power of orlando hernandez, who most people in honduras understand is staying through powell -- in power through a electoral fraud. amy: nicole ramos, what happens next on the border? apart from ensuring that the caravan members are able to present themselves in accordance with u.s. law, what happens next
12:26 pm
is unclear because over the last several weeks, months, we have had asylum seekers camped out. of anthe continuation existing phenomenon where there will be a limit for how many people they will accept a day. it will not process seekers at night. it has indicated to the second of stories they process people on the weekend. what they are doing is setting his artificial parameters that don't exist anywhere in our federal regulations. one of the strengths of the caravan is it is allowing asylum seekers to come out of the shadows in mexico. not only are we doing with caravans on the ground, but other asylum seekers no attorneys are there. they are asking questions. they are talking about their own expenses. they are being turned away after trying to present themselves
12:27 pm
multiple times. we will to collect that data. we will continue to advocate for those individuals after the caravan leaves, and we will continue doing this work. the wenot have a camp, are going to sit outside of the port of entry until the process every single one of us -- every single one of them. amy: you want to thank you both for being with us. calle ramos, and tristan with the group people without borders. this is democracy now. when we come back, acclaimed writer, activist arundhati roy. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
12:28 pm
"voices in the field" by calexico.
12:29 pm
nermeen: we spend the rest of the hour with the legendary, award-winning author arundhati roy. she won the booker prize in 1997 for her novel, "the god of small things." in 2017, 20 years after the publication of her first novel, she published another work of fiction, just out in paperback, titled "the ministry of utmost happiness." this is a clip from a short film introducing the novel, narrated by arundhati roy, and directed by sanjay kak and tarun bhartiya . she lived -- arundhati roy: she lived in a graveyard. at dusk, she did the opposite. her names, called "clown without a circus," queen without a palace," she let the hurt blow through the heart like a breeze and use the music of alms totling leaves as b
12:30 pm
ease the pain. -- i am amy name is gathering of everybody and nobody. of everything and nothing. is there anyone else you would like to invite? everyone is invited. comrade, my comrade knows to send this letter to you when she hears that i am no more. ,s you know, we are banned underground people, and this letter you can call as underground of underground. how to tell a shattered story by slowly becoming everybody. no.
12:31 pm
every -- becoming nermeen: that is a short film introducing arundhati:'s --arundhati roy's most recent book. "the ministry of utmost happiness" was longlisted for the booker prize and nominated for the national book critics circle award. the washington post praised the book writing quote "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." amy: indian literary critic nilanjana roy hailed the novel as quote "an elegy for a bulldozed world." arundhati roy received the 2002 lannan foundation cultural freedom prize, and her
12:32 pm
journalism and essays have been collected in several books including "the end of imagination," "field notes on democracy: listening to grasshoppers," and "capitalism: a ghost story". arundhati roy, welcome back to democracy now! arundhati: thank you. amy: your book has come out and paper book that paperback. why don't you start out by telling about why you chose to go back to writing a novel, and the title "the ministry of , utmost happiness." arundhati: you know, when i the god of small things." -- i never saw myself as a person who had a successful book. always said i would only write a book when i had a book to write. for 20 years i spent traveling
12:33 pm
to india, you know, in the trying to the forest, understand the very massive and sudden changes that were happening, particularly post what they call globalization, and it was obvious that this new economy was traveling parallel hindu huge impetus of nationalism, and both were traveling companions. itsnow, of course, it is at peak, the battles are both so joined at the hip. nermeen: if i could interrupt weekly -- if you could just explain the concept in which liberalization or globalization came into india.
12:34 pm
what accounted for the transformation of the economy after, really, decades of a different kind of economic system? after 1990obviously, india called itself a nonaligned state. it had a protective economy, an economy that was doing badly, by the way, for reasons that we all corruption, of very centralized forms of development. of thely after the end war in afghanistan -- after the collapse of the soviet union in afghanistan, india became completely aligned in how it thinks of itself as an ally of israel and the u.s., and when the world became unipolar -- now it is collapsing that, but then the markets were opening. liberalization entered at a
12:35 pm
speed which was hard to imagine. every form of protection to workers was dismantled. everything was privatized. now education held the -- all of it is in a state of collapse in a way of polarization we know globalization brings. it was almost as though you had , a futile andry colonized country which from 1947 until 1990 tried, even if symbolically, to -- i mean, the radical movements in the 1960's, for example, were talking about the redistribution of wealth, of justice, of revolution, but suddenly, this new economy has pushed even the radical discourse into a space where
12:36 pm
people are just asking to let indigenous people continue to live on what little land they have instead of it being taken over by the corporations. is idea of redistribution over, and yet you have a situation where in a way it is a form of corporate feudalism, because the land which belonged to the -- now belong to the upper castes. -- cap,t merges --dalism, it merges capitalism, feudalism, it merges in a unique way in that place. for example, in 50 years you had some jester -- gesture toward what you call affirmative action. now you have a gala can let a pushed out all over again.
12:37 pm
pushed out of institutions, pushed out of jobs. you have the consolidation of upper caste, upper-class capitalism, where you have a situation where, like everywhere 25%, or0 families own something, of gdp, and you have the consolidation of inequality, which is incredible, but how do you manage that in a place like that? you manage it with the flag of hindu nationalism, and by making people who are actually losing feel they are winning, and you isolate the muslim community. the last election proved you don't need the muslim vote. so the muslims of india, who number maybe 150 million to 200 million people are actually not
12:38 pm
-- now surplus people. their vote is not required. the work to which they have sustained themselves -- the meat industry, the cattle industry -- all under attack, shut down. they have been pushed to the bottom. they are being ghettoized, lynched. hindu nationalism -- there is the management policy to quell the unrest that liberalization has brought. back -- the me go initial question amy had asked and i interrupted you -- what brought you back to fiction. i know when you wrote "the god of small things," which came out in 1997 -- at that moment these massive transformations as a result of liberalization were coming in and accelerating in india. can you explain the time you spent in these 20 years -- the
12:39 pm
kind of writing you did then, and why you have been working on this book, "the ministry," for the last 10 years, and what brought you back to fiction? arundhati: after i wrote "the god -- goddess of -- the god of small things," and won the booker, i was being marketed as the face of a new liberal india, which i was uncomfortable with, and then in 1998 the national democratic alliance with the main party came in and did a series of nuclear tests. somehow, those tests, you know, change the national discourse in terms of what is acceptable to be said openly. you know, it is not that the -- thatmodi --ion
12:40 pm
modi belongs to that has always believed in addition be declared a hindu nation was actually formed in 1925. it has been growing. it is not that the nuclear tests started something new, but they jumpstarted a discourse. they allowed things to be said in public that were not acceptable. they gave that a, kind of, acceptance, and then i wrote this essay called "the end of imagination," and suddenly the fairy princess was kicked off her pedestal. that led me into 20 years of following what was going on with the protests. essayample, i wrote a big called "the greater common good and to me that political
12:41 pm
understanding and education that i received from that moment -- i see the bones -- the sacrificial bones of this uniquely indian fascism really in the --ndations of that dam really the idea there is a community more entitled than another. the idea you can take the water from a river valley, centralize ammed reservoir and decide who should get the water? has been built, everything that the anti-dam true, everyd was little bit of water that should've been used by the farmers through the draft -- given what the dam said was
12:42 pm
going to do was released in a rush, just weeks before the election for what? for the prime minister to the seedlings as an election spectacle. today, that is gone. what little water that is in the canal is being protected by police from farmers who need it. this is fascism. it is not just concentration camps, you know? i mean, 20 years of traveling, of saying, writing -- all those assays were always very urgent interventions in a situation that was closing down -- essays were always very urgent interventions in a situation that was closing down. simultaneously, there was all of this gathering in me -- for example, the traveling -- i -- nobodywrite about
12:43 pm
can easily write about it in nonfiction because what happens there is not just based on what evidence you can produce -- you know, the terror of living in the most dense military occupation in the world -- half a million soldiers, the complicated -- amy: which most people here know almost nothing about. arundhati: just imagine that in the last two or three years and technique of firing pellet guns into crowns has blinded completely or partially more than 1000 people. 1000 people, you know? but under the banner of this market-friendly democracy, no one is going to talk about it. under the banner of a democracy that buys user mounts of weapons from france, from america, we are being courted -- all those
12:44 pm
dark secrets are being swept under the carpet because we are buying weapons from the west, and how will the west survive if we indians do not buy weapons? nermeen: it is one of the places featured prominently in "the ministry of utmost happiness." you have pointed out, as people have said, the book is defused with politics, with the implication being fiction stands apart from politics of partisanship. you said in a recent interview that the elite are partisan and so privileged that they do not need to appear to be. could you explain that, and also the perception of your book in india in those terms. arundhati: look, i have always found it remarkable -- the god of small things was a political book. booker prizethe for people in india, a lot of
12:45 pm
people like to think about it -- they wanted to blame me, but let's ignore the fact it is about the most brutal and ancient hierarchy any society has produced in the past. let's not talk about that. it can be a book about children, a book very later -- lyrically written, and so on. fiction that for writers to avoid writing about some, you have to assume extremely complicated yoga posture, you know? the real thing is can you look at the air -- this is the air we breathe here. music,ot just -- it is poetry -- all of that. i am not in the least bit shy of
12:46 pm
as a writer,o me to be able to write about love, intimacy, about music, poetry, sameiolence with the intensity is what matters to me, but to try to edit out these things because you don't think that, maybe, the market wants it. amy:, tell us the plot of the book. it begins in a cemetery and hindus are not buried, they are committed, so these are muslims. it is about the fringe minority innocence. tell us about the book. arundhati: that is a rather mean question. it is difficult to answer that. [laughter] arundhati: timmy, what can i say
12:47 pm
-- to me, what can i say? city, the it as a plot is a big city in my part of the world -- it has people trying to plan it, and then those citizens unplanning it -- it is always sabotaging itself, the plot. it was against the contours of nature. aboutly wanted to write ir. a i do not see this book as a book about issues, political issues. one of the main characters -- it is not about marginalized people, as you say at all -- it is those characters who are in some ways india. lives ina society that
12:48 pm
wherewe live in a mesh everyone lives within their cost, community, -- caste, community. only 3% of people marry outside of their community. the characters in this book border running through them, of gender, of caste, of religious conversion , sort of, begins in the old city of delhi, and spirals out into the new into -- into kashmir, as you said, but the nerve center of the book is this place that has been shut down, but it used to be the place
12:49 pm
where protesters from all over india would gather, and it is a place where i spent a lot of time. one night -- i would spend nights there. it was just a most interesting place, and one night when i was baby appeared on the pavement, abandoned, and all of these movements -- all the wisdom, all the politics, they did not know what to do with that baby. -- althoughhink that is not how the book begins, that is the nerve center, with the chapter called nativity, where the baby is the antithesis of christ born, a little black --l swallowed in garbage this story, to me that chapter is like the inversion of the
12:50 pm
of "war and peace," where all the beautiful people gather. this is the gutter ball. the story takes you out from there. amy: the main other characters outside of the baby -- your main characters. arundhati: the characters are -- there is -- born into a shia muslims family -- sam -- muslim family, born as a boy, but soon discovers she is really a woman trapped in a man's body, and at the age of 16 leaves home to live in a community of trans people. she lives in old delhi with a group of people that belong to a variety of genders as complicated as the -- which they
12:51 pm
referred to as the outside world. so, themselves and the world are separate. years.nds her teenage one of the most beautiful and of delhi -- the foreign correspondents, they quarter. they want to do this story. the thing about her, that is not only who she is. she is a shia. she is a woman that wants to be a mother. then she gets caught up in the massacre of 2002. is at up because she muslim and she escaped, and
12:52 pm
people think it is bad luck to kill. amy: -- the massacre. the massacre took place. anjum, slowly, as she recovers from her trauma, she begins to look -- and then there is her friend saddam hussein, who also escaped from a massacre. anger, decides what the untouchablesof the did. muslim and calls hussain, and then
12:53 pm
you have an intelligence officer is the voice of a state, who understands things in an historical perspective, and he has the ability to wait, to watch, to think in this generous -- he is a member of the elite that have been displaced now by right.w of aobart, the name character he plays in a college play, is a pretty brilliant character. he is not easy by any means. -- the love.
12:54 pm
woman living on the border of sanity and very, very irreverent, lowly woman. lowly in the sense she is a love woman, but she does not know how to really receive it because she lives on the borders of so many things. amy: arundhati roy is describing her latest novel. her second. it is called "the ministry of utmost happiness." and we will continue with her in a moment. ♪ [music break]
12:55 pm
heart" -- in the heart of the city." this is democracy now, the war and peace report. i am amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. our guest is arundhati roy, the author of the new novel out in paperback "the ministry of , utmost happiness." arundhati roy won the booker
12:56 pm
prize in 1997 for her first book, "the god of small things." lessen: the book more or concludes with modi, in allusion to modi. you said his real kaiser with the rss. could you explain what the -- ties are with the rss. could you explain what it stands for and why it is significant he is more aligned with the rss than the pjb? it is basically a natural self help society, but it is the most powerful organization in the country today. it was founded, as i said, in the 1920's, and it has always believed in rewriting the
12:57 pm
constitution. it has openly believed india should be declared a hindu nation. its ideologues have openly india -- they of are the jews of germany. it is a formidable organization. it works in education. it has slum wings, publishing wings. it really writes the story of what is going on today, and it is not just modi, but almost all of his ministers, including the former prime minister -- all of these people were members of the rss. -- winsher or not the elections or loses elections, the rss's work just goes on.
12:58 pm
political arm of rss. there is no way it can have an independent agenda. so, the danger today is that because of the massive majority with which they came to power, every institution has been infiltrated by the rss. amy: we will do part two of this discussion at democracynow.org. author ofroy,, the "the utmost happiness," and another democracy now announcement -- congratulations to our dear producer and her husband peter. what a privilege it was for nermeen and die to get to hang out with our very dear, newest member of the democracy now family. and, nermeen: welcome to the
12:59 pm
world. world. amy: i'
1:00 pm
ole! today, i'm gonna prepare a meal with a spanish flair, featuring my easy paella. so nutritious, so delicious. so, let's get cooking. captioning made possible by friends of nci ♪ jazzy ♪ ♪ you're gonna be healthy with the jazzy vegetarian ♪ ♪ jazzy, so jazzy ♪ we're gonna cook something healthy and light ♪ [scatting] ♪ jazzy, so jazzy join me in the kitchen right now. ♪ we're gonna cook something healthy and light ♪ that's right! toy, i'll feature my easy paella, which is a spanish-inspired rice dish combined with a variety of jazzy vegetables such as garlic, onions, peas, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes. we're gonna start the meal with my quick, no-cook tapas. and for dessert, luscious pineapple-pecan cake made with sweet, fresh pineapple and crunchy pecans.

19 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on