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Azaadi: Freedom. Fascism. Fiction

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  2,030 ratings  ·  366 reviews

Azadi-Urdu for Freedom-is the refrain in the iconic chant of the Kashmiri freedom struggle. And now, while Kashmir's streets have been silenced, the irony is that its people's anthem, with simila
Kindle Edition
Published September 3rd 2020 (first published September 1st 2020)
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Siddhartha Golu
I don't have a lot of friends who are supporters of the ruling BJP (well at least the ones who have disclosed it publicly), and consequently whenever the conversation shifts towards the ongoings in India, more often than not, we find ourselves agreeing with each other. Although this is perfectly alright for me on most days, on few ocaasions, I find a shadow of a doubt slowly creeping up inside - what if I'm living inside a bubble, an echo-chamber where I only get exposed to the ideas which I alr ...more
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, recs
great: a few of the essays reflect on the role of (fiction) writing in the wake of fascism’s resurgence across the world, others analyze the rise of Hindu nationalism and the atrocities of the Modi administration, the rest do both.
Jul 30, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catching up with Roy…

--Having been recently disappointed with a sample of Ursula K. Le Guin’s nonfiction musings, I knew I had to return to Roy. I finished Roy's 20-year collection of nonfiction My Seditious Heart: Collected Nonfiction last year; this collection (2018-2020) bridges the gap to the present.

1) Language, fiction, and nonfiction:
--I find fiction frustrating. …Besides escapism, I just think of readers with widely-contrasting views on politics/economics/history who all s
Sep 02, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sensationalism and propaganda wrapped up with pretty words
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Indian writer Arundhati Roy is probably best known for her literary fiction including The God of Small Things for which she won the Man Booker prize. But she is also known for her essays and Azadi: Freedom. Fascism. Fiction. contains several in which Roy gives us a powerful and clear look at the situation in India and Kashmir

Azadi is Urdu for Freedom! and has become the rallying cry both for the Kashmiris against the Indian occupation as well as of millions in India against the rise of Hindu na
Sonam Mahajan
Jul 19, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Pure propaganda and hate filled drivel
Guillermo Fernandez
I could say that some of the essays and lectures talk about the same issues and therefore reading the book can be repetitive at times but Arundhati's voice is so essential and awareness of the current situation in India is so important that erase everything else. ...more
Sep 04, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book reeks of bias, prejudice and preconceived notions against Hindus with a pro Islamist stand nicely packaged as being a crusader of humanity. The author is known to be a pro-islamist and anti Hindu crusader. While Kashmir witnessed ethnic cleansing against Kashmiri Brahmins, she never had the compassion to speak up for them? Here, she is blatantly advocating 'freedom' for the separatists forces. She is one of the gang that think Indian Nationalism is antithesis to freedom. Nationalism is ...more
Bindesh Dahal
Repetitive. Left-liberal cribbing presented in a literary language. Narcissistically keeps on explaining her novels. Sympathy for the downtrodden in Kashmir and Assam as well as Delhi is good but blaming the ruling dispensation for all the ills bedeviling India is biasness. Her dear comrades are no angels.
Oct 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
If you follow what happens in India these days, there is nothing in this book for you - the decision to collect speeches in this book was a mistake, the content looks dated already and there are no new insights or anything. Book's still relevant for those who are trying to understand the "utmost happiness" of certain ppl while rest of the country burns. ...more
Amanda Youngs
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG, what an education! If you don't care about the world, then move along because there's nothing to see here. If you have an iota of concern for what people are doing to other people in a massive continent where hundreds of different languages are spoken, and Muslims are being relentlessly tormented and othered by Hindus and the far right, this is a book that should be on your To Read list and somewhere towards the top.

What an education this set of essays by Arundhati Roy has turned out to be
Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended for :

- anyone who voted for Modi
- anyone who did not vote for Modi
- anyone who did not vote

Essays about the state of political affairs in India, in the past 6 years. Everything from CAA, NRC, Covid, Abrogation of article 370 to UAPA.
Sep 08, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
I have been cherishing fiction throughout this year. Now, it's time for some facts (of people who choose to speak and write). I place books as bookmarks down the memory lane and Aru's work have impacted me in so many ways.

1. A few months ago while finalizing a manuscript one of my co-authors called me up late at night and asked if I was out of my mind? I said, "These are what people posted on social media and I just randomly picked it as an example post!" Then after a tense conversation with oth
Jun 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, aoc
Actual rating: 3.5
*some of the essays felt repetitive*
Nov 20, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
There is no denying to Roy's talent when it comes to writing, and despite my difference of opinions with her, I do enjoy reading her books. It was the same overnight when I finished Capitalism: A Ghost Story, that I chose to read Azadi, only on the sheer cause of having enjoyed the previous one. But unfortunately, here talent has been used under the false pretence to mislead the ignorants on the following topic.

Roy has made a deliberate attempt to portay us, the Indians, as the sole conspirators
Sep 04, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely pathetic thinking. Blind and convenient allegation without any data or facts. Such books are irrelevant to read as they don’t add to anything.
Sep 21, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Writer Arundhati is back to doing what she does the best. Sow seeds of discord and peddle fiction as facts. A staunch believer in insidious separatists who care for no one but in spreading terror, she conveniently does not mention a word about the victims of the so called "Azadi" brigade.

Her words serve as a fodder for the people who are itching to read something against the establishment.

Kudos ma'am for turning your skills into a weapon for sowing discord and trying to break your motherland i
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
“Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality,” trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality.

“Historically, pandemics h
Vishal Vishu
Nov 10, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Write about Loss of Communication in Kashmir but downplay the exodus of Kashmir Pandits
RSS are Fascists but Terrorists from PAKISTAN are IRREGULARS
Write about Sovereignty of Kashmir but do not speak a word on killings of Amarnath Yatris
Vajapayee led government of 1996 would use nuclear arsenal against India itself. ( I read this part three times ). Nuclear tests were not dream of RSS but it was a security need for India to safeguard itself. Even the previous Narasimha rao government had tried an
Anupama Singh
Mar 13, 2022 rated it did not like it
Garbage book by a brilliant writer. Her communication skills are too good. Her writing is too good. But the book is aimless.

Things I didn't like.

Lots of repetitions in the book.
Lots of RSS, Modi, BJP bashing.
Clear Propaganda.
Full-on Minority & Muslim- Dalit pleasing.
Talking for one side.
You will know why she is called pseudo-secular.

Things I like
She talked about her childhood in the beginning.
She talked about how her English is so good. Without a doubt, she is engaging & brilliant.

I would read
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arundhati Roy's slim collection of essays will evoke different emotions in you, depending on your political beliefs.

Ranging from shock, awe and shaking your head in approval or disapproval, Roy's writing will keep you hooked. Followers of Indian politics will not find this collection particularly illuminating but it is an important collection which will definitely be quoted in the future.
Vivek Verma
Oct 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
Cunning writing

She very subtly tells the reader that she is mixing fiction and facts, which is what this book is. You need to be aware of the ground reality to know where she is lying. My review is not such because of her criticism of any political party or thinking, but because it lacks the facts and attempts to use emotions to convince to agree with her view point.
P Murali
Oct 04, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It is pure propaganda

she is trying to sell the Hate in community. waste of time and money, moreover such books may create an insecurity feeling in public. She is speaking for Pakistan, not for India.
Ojaswi Sharma
I’m learning how to think with and because of Roy.
Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
there is so much repetition in the chapters, which i understand given that this is a collation of speeches, but the words are verbatim from one chapter to the other. can be a good read for anyone who's not versed about the current fascist indian government. ...more
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was kindly gifted to me after I enjoyed reading Roy's fiction novels last year. I love how it gives background to those stories I wouldn't have known! I've also learned a bit more about Indian politics, reminding me how little I know about Kashmir especially. ...more
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
As always, I must admit a bias for Arundhati Roy. For being an author who has consistently been vocal about rampant capitalistic greed, class prejudices, and more recently, the conversion of India from a democracy to a fascist state. And in doing all this, she holds an uncompromising mirror to those of us whose privilege affords us the luxury of living in bubbles whose walls are impermeable. For now.
The book has 9 essays that contain the above, and also touch upon the role of fiction in imagini
Jun 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read any of Roy's essays in what seems like ages and after reading this I am asking myself why? She is a brilliant writer and thinker, and she says the things people know but won't admit or are afraid to say out loud. This collection is mainly from talks she gave at lectures or awards, some are from articles she published in newspapers or magazines. One of the lectures talking about her fiction, she discusses why 20 years passed before she wrote another novel. She explained that she wa ...more
Manasvi Karanam
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's difficult to give a rating to this collection of essays. The writing of course, is brilliant and has her signature style where political essays are also written as stories and are more literary than what we usually find in other works of non-fiction.

However, if you follow Roy's work closely, most of the essays were either published in various newspapers in the past couple of years or the talks are available on YouTube.
Also, you wouldn't get any new insights on Roy's political ideologies.

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Arundhati Roy is an Indian writer who is also 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.

Related Articles

Twenty years after The God of Small Things, Roy's second novel arrives this month. She talks about her political activism in India and how she...
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“The division in opinion on the use of the term (i.e - fascism) comes down to whether you believe that fascism became fascism only after a continent was destroyed and millions of people were exterminated in gas chambers, or whether you believe that fascism is an ideology that led to those high crimes - that can lead to those crimes - and that those who subscribe to it are fascists.” 9 likes
“It's a battle of those who know how to think against those who know how to hate.” 7 likes
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