Arundhati Roy, John Cusack

Given that Ms.Roy is one of the authors, it is only fair to expect a fair amount of radical thought in the book. In just over a hundred pages, it does just that, helped by John Cusack, Edward Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg, who is described as the Snowden of the 60s.

The content is in the form of observations and conversations with one another. Arundhati Roy is in great form as she articulates thoughts that are not only profound but also vastly out of line with the propaganda that we are so familiar with. After all, even the resistance, as she says, has been quite domesticated. I found some of her observations quite astute. e.g. how “non violence is radical political theatre” and effective only when there is an audience. Or how “human rights are fundamental rights” and should be our minimum expectation, but they have become the maximum, whereas the goal really should be justice! My favourite though was on patriotism – how a country is just really an administrative unit but we end up giving it an esoteric meaning and protecting it with nuclear bombs! 

There are some excellent perspectives on the business of war and its allied themes of the surveillance state and its tango with the corporation. There are also glimpses of the moral struggle that Ellsberg and Snowden went through as their belief systems clashed with each other, and their minds comprehended the aftermath of their actions.

A very relevant read in the times we live in, for these voices are rare, and one never knows how long they can remain active.

Things that can and cannot be said