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Broken Republic: Three Essays

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  304 ratings  ·  39 reviews
On Naxalite movement and Indian state's counter insurgency methods and other policies.
Hardcover, 220 pages
Published November 30th 2011 by Hamish Hamilton (first published 2011)
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Praj
Oct 05, 2013 Praj rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: roy


A month ago, on a lazy Sunday morning peering through inner pages of Mumbai Mirror were a set of colorful pins neatly clipped on oiled hair, the only source of happiness I could find in the photograph flooded with vacant eyes. The women folk of the Dongria Kondh , a little known tribe in the Niyamgiri hills in Odisha must have by now got used to the press photographers clicking their faces ; their revolution against Vedanta ( a mutli-million dollar company owned by NRI Anil Agarwal) has reached
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Aubrey
'See, ma'am, frankly speaking this problem can't be solved by us police or military. The problem with these tribals is they don't understand greed. Unless they become greedy there's no hope for us. I have told my boss, remove the force and instead put a TV in every home. Everything will be automatically sorted out.'
4.5/5

First off, a big thank you to Brian Dice, without whom this book would have been read and reviewed a lot farther into the future. The only reason why I'm taking a half star off
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Brian
I purchased this book at the airport in Mumbai for the 2 1/2 hour flight to Kathmandu - and the three essays were so well written, so engaging and heartbreaking, I couldn't put the book down. Roy's treatise on the poor and disenfranchised of India is a larger discussion about where unfettered global imperialistic capitalism is taking us, and the costs from a local level (down to individual stories) straight through to the effect on national democratic discourse.

Have you seen the movie "Avatar"?
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Shabbeer Hassan
In the years since Arundhati Roy won the 1997 Booker Prize for her debut novel, The God of Small Things, she has become the anti-globalisation mascot in India and abroad with her strident opposition of the Indian state, free market economics, the war on terror, and much else. Her prose is vivid and sometimes poetic: witty wordplay interspersed with biting satire that riles India’s middle class, the wealthy, and the elite.

But as her appeal rises abroad, she has become increasingly irrelevant at h
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AC Fick
Roy is essential reading for these times. Her essays are compelling and unnerving, her insights keen and her gaze unflinching; she looks where others often refuse to see, reveals what the anodyne mass media often ignore or deliberately cover up, lifting the veil of deceit and obfuscation thrown over India's self-promotion to reveal the ugly underbelly of destruction and human tragedy which is the substance of globalisation and neoliberal economic planning.

That the prose is faultless only adds to
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martinjost.eu
Roy dokumentiert und kritisiert den industriellen Landraub an indischen Ureinwohnern, den die Regierung mit Waffengewalt und Progromen gegen die Bevölkerung durchsetze. Der erste von drei Essays liefert eine Einordnung zu den Hintergründen. Im zweiten porträtiert Roy Widerstandskämpfer, die sie im Urwald besucht. Dieser ist das beste Stück aus der Sammlung. Essay Nummer drei ist eine detaillierte Dokumentation der Propagandaschlacht zwischen der Regierungsmacht und dem Widerstand. Roys Stärke is ...more
Eduardo Moraes
BROKEN REPUBLIC – The “World’s Biggest Democracy” according to Arundathi Roy

1998. When we were reaching the end of the 20th century, the civilization which had produced Mahatma Gandhi and Sidarta Gautama was testing nuclear weapons. Re-editing the politics of the Cold War, in which both the U.S. and the Soviet Union had atom bombs at their disposal, both India and its next-door-neighbour Pakistan both acquired weapons of mass destruction. Sad news, indeed. It’s as if, instead of learning from Hi
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Lohit Rastogi
Probably a biased one sided view of the situation.

However, brilliantly written with a lot of passion, flair, sarcasm and boldness. Hard not to be moved by what you read. Unputdownable.

Don't read the book if you are looking for an unbiased, objective analysis of the maoist insurgency movement in India. Read it for a detailed understanding of the other side of the story, the maoist view of things. Read it to question, if not clear, the prejudices created by the mainstream media on the insurgency
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Riyas
Aug 06, 2011 Riyas added it
Arundhati Roy's latest book "Broken Republic" is collection of three essays about the ongoing Maoist uprising and Governments responses to it.

In this book, Arundhathi brilliantly question about the functioning of the government.She strives to find out the reasons behind the maoist uprising.She even stayed with the so called Maoist in Dhandakaranya in the red corridor. She was amazed by the dedication of the poor adivasi women to their cause.

Arundhathi magnificently reveals the unholy nexus betwe
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Ajeet Singh
just read this book to get reality of maoist movement in India, its ideology and its WHY. What made them to take that allegedly illegal route to get justice. What always has been obscured about them from the general public. Why the govt want them to vacate the place where they have been residing since time immemorial. Reality about corrupt corporate-politician collusion in India's tribal heart land. Why have they become rebels...did I say become rebels...sorry the correct clause should be "prese ...more
Jaydeep
Fairly essential reading. Though if you've lived hereabouts for a few years now, the searing anger, neocolonial exploitation, and social engineering on an unimaginable scale this country is going through should not be news to you.

But yes, seeing as you're reading a book-review here on Goodreads, it's quite likely that you've spent at least some time of your life in some elite educational enclave or the other that about 3% of your fellow Indian citizens get to attend; that you are hence more com
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Ningtoutao
She's one of a kind. Naomi Klein says Roy is one of the more original voice and thinker of our time. Klein being one herself.

If half of what this book claims correct, India is in very serious trouble – slowly lulled to sleep by heartless corporations to be robbed in their sleep. A deep and depressing state of affairs.

I was in India very recently. Superficially, things seem to be on the mend. But not substantially.

But who am I comment?
Umesh Kesavan
"The first step towards reimagining a world gone terribly wrong would be to stop the annihilation of those who have a different imagination—an imagination that is outside of capitalism as well as communism. An imagination which has an altogether different understanding of what constitutes happiness and fulfilment. To gain this philosophical space, it is necessary to concede some physical space for the survival of those who may look like the keepers of our past, but who may really be the guides t ...more
Bob Finch
This is an excellent expose of a resistance movement in India that is relatively little known outside that country. Roy's prose are compelling and, at turns, both stark and beautiful. Roy masterfully reveals the many nuances of the tribal-national, rich-poor, powerful-weak, and politically driven divisions intertwined in this complex and tragic conflict over land rights and social responsibilities. And while Roy is addressing the conflict in India, the implications are far reaching.
Tommy
Walking with the comrades an exceptional inside look at the CPI in the red corridor. The masking and media manipulation of the upper classes to generate a war justifying the privatisation of mineral rich private land to foreign corporates.

India is funding the development of other countries.
Ian
In this set of three political essays by Arundhati Roy, she takes a look at, and expounds upon, the Naxalite insurrection in India. As might be expected by those familiar with her politics, Roy has no problems taking the side of the Naxalite/Maoists as opposed to the corporatist-motivated traditional elite. Thus, while this is clearly biased towards the side of the rebels, it manages to contextualize the other half of this struggle, given that practically all that I'd ever really heard about thi ...more
Vishal Phonsa
Can't put this down, once started. Heartbreaking, truth about greed (of corporates, governments etc.) presented in this exceptionally good read. A well researched book which talks about the plight of poor downtrodden people. Does justice with its title, that is what we are.
Kodali
Arundhati Roy presents the state of affairs in dark zone/ liberated area. Even though the book gives you only one side account of the complex issue, it gives us basic understanding about the naxal problem
Pat Norman
This is a powerful book that captures the immense complexity of conflict in modern India. Arundhati Roy's beautiful prose is captivating, and her message is crucial.
Diya Ganopadhyay
I have very mised feelings about this book. This is an informative, eye opening and very well written account of the Dandakaranya forest and the maoist movement but somewhere it feels incomplete and representing one side of the story. The author has presented strong and cogent arguments and a lot of well researched facts but it is still hard to justify a violent movement. Triggers a lot of questions which is the best thing about this book...is there a solution, is the Indian State entirely to bl ...more
Anuj Joshi
Broken republic has really opened my eyes with regards to two things; Arundhati roy as a social activist and what goes in Indian hearland in the name of social justice.

To be honest, i was never a great fan of Ms. Roy for her fervent appeal against the Indian govt policies but her 1st person account and extensive research on the topics of Maoists and their problems has really helped me better understand her, the perspective she brings and her writings.

Great for people who want to understand wha
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Bedanta Chakraborty
u want to know how a pathological writer can be?... read this and kill me if you are not carried away by Roy.
Sharada Prasad CS
Each of the essays are eye-openers. It takes complete open mindedness to read and assimilate this book. The writing style of Arundhati is simply superb. I am so glad that she is not writing fiction entertaining the children of bourgeoisie :)

I found second and third essays more thought provoking! Everyone who is interested in knowing more about India, the biggest democratic sham, should read these essays along with Arundhati's other books - "The Algebra Infinite Justice" and "An Ordinary Person's
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Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal
It's very good essays in this time.
Kim
Well written insightful book written with good humour about a very serious under published situation.....
Mayank
The book is bound to unsettle you, make you feel uncomfortable, make you think and make you realize your state of ignorance. It shatters the India Shining myth- as it claims.
The three essays evenly punctuated by sarcasm give you a picture of (parallel) world where people are struggling for existence, which we are not ready to acknowledge.
The book raises more questions than it answers.
King Sidharth

It is amazing how she rips apart the notion of Indian Republic and unmasks the lie we live. At times she is way too biased to one side but it's justified given the weight of other side by what picture the media paints. Though I love the logic she concludes with. Really, can't we leave the bauxite in the mountains?

Sudhanshu Gupta
another perspective

popular media will not cover these stories and perspective. arundhati roy covers it really well.. but do take it with a pinch if salt.

insightful and eye opening overall.
Daniel Lowen
Three essays of very different length. Much better than the other book of hers I read recently (Views on Empire, or some such). The best was her time living with the Maoist insurgents.
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Arundhati Roy is an Indian writer who writes in English and an activist who focuses on issues related to social justice and economic inequality. She won the Booker Prize in 1997 for her novel, The God of Small Things, and has also written two screenplays and several collections of essays.

For her work as an activist she received the Cultural Freedom Prize awarded by the Lannan Foundation in 2002.

More about Arundhati Roy...
The God of Small Things An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire The Algebra Of Infinite Justice Power Politics War Talk

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“The first step towards reimagining a world gone terribly wrong would be to stop the annihilation of those who have a different imagination- an imagination that is outside of capitalism as well as communism. An imagination which has an altogether different understanding of what constitutes happiness and fulfilment. To gain this philosophical space, it is necessary to concede some physical space for survival of those who may look like the keepers of our past but who may really be the guides to our future. To do this we have to ask our rulers: Can you leave the water in the rivers, the trees in the forest? Can you leave the bauxite in the mountain?” 14 likes
“See, ma'am, frankly speaking this problem can't be solved by us police or military. The problem with these tribals is they don't understand greed. Unless they become greedy there's no hope for us. I have told my boss, remove the force and instead put a TV in every home. Everything will be automatically sorted out.” 9 likes
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