The Heart of India is Under Attack
By Arundhati Roy
The Guardian (UK)
October 30, 2009
click on the link to read on,
to read an old story that is repeating itself in India –
long live Capitalism,
that is until it has nothing left to exploit.
“The low, flat-topped hills of south Orissa have been
home to the Dongria Kondh long before there was a
country called India or a state called Orissa. The
hills watched over the Kondh. The Kondh watched over
the hills and worshipped them as living deities. Now
these hills have been sold for the bauxite they
contain. For the Kondh it’s as though god had been
sold. They ask how much god would go for if the god
were Ram or Allah or Jesus Christ….
If the flat-topped hills are destroyed, the forests
that clothe them will be destroyed, too. So will the
rivers and streams that flow out of them and irrigate
the plains below. So will the Dongria Kondh. So will
the hundreds of thousands of tribal people who live in
the forested heart of India, and whose homeland is
similarly under attack.
In our smoky, crowded cities, some people say, “So
what? Someone has to pay the price of progress.” Some
even say, “Let’s face it, these are people whose time
has come. Look at any developed country – Europe, the
US, Australia – they all have a ‘past’.” Indeed they
do. So why shouldn’t “we”?”
Of particular interest above is the paragraph with what people say in it. I’m always wondering what people are thinking when decisions like hacking up an entire mountain range are made. Now I know. Humans are a shortsighted lot. With mounds of mounting evidence, we plunge ahead. It’s like a madness, a sickness.
Yes, we do seem to need forms of energy and building materials, but hacking our planet out from underneath us to get it, and allowing corporate businesses run by rich greedy predators to swoop into communities with the help of the military to accomplish their ends seems to me a soul emptying enterprise.
But what else is new?
Round and round we go…maybe it’s because the planet is round; maybe it’s because our heads are round; maybe it’s because we have no new original ideas…?