Suzanna Arundhati Roy is a well known political activist and writer born on 24 November 1961 in Meghalaya. Her father was a Bengali tea-planting manager from Calcutta while her mother was a women’s rights activist from Kerala. Her parents divorced when she was just two. After that, she came back to Kerala with her mother and brother. Her mother ran a school there and the children started to study.
Personal Life of Arundhati Roy
Arundhati came to Delhi and started working with the National Institute of Urban Affairs. She met Pradip Krishen, the famous movie director who asked her to play a role in his award-winning movie, Massey Sahib in the year 1984. And after two months of that, they both married each other. In 1997 her novel “The God of Small Things” was published and it was highly appreciated by the readers. The success of the book made Arundhati financially strong. Eventually she separated from her husband due to some issues. She is now living in Delhi.
The girl became self-dependent at a very early age. Roy worked for the television industry as her early career. She did the job of both scriptwriter and performer in several movies. Roy grabbed public attention when she criticized a movie called ‘Bandit Queen’ based on Phoolan Devi and raised her voice against the wrong direction of the movie.
In 1992, she began writing her first novel named “The God of Small Things” and completed it in 1996. The novel came out to be a great success and got the Booker Prize for fiction in the year 1997. Also the book was considered as one of the notable books of 1997 as declared by the New York Times. In 2007, Arundhati announced the start of a new novel named “We Are One: A Celebration of Tribal People” which was completed and published in the year 2009. Also, she wrote a TV serial called The Banyan Tree. One of her most acclaimed quote is that “change is one thing, acceptance is another.”
Apart from her essays and Novels, Arundhati Roy was involved in political activism and advocacy. She is the spokesperson of an anti-globalization movement. She opposes the Indian mindset and policies towards the nuclear weapons and economic growth as well as the industrialization of the country.
In an Interview for Times of India, Arundhati expressed her support to the independence of Kashmir from India. According to her, the rallies performed by the people of Kashmir were a sign of their decision to get free from India and they are not in a state of union with this country. However, the Congress leaders at that time asked Roy to withdraw her irresponsible statement. Along with this Roy also became an important part of the Narmada Bachao Andolan and she stated her views against the construction of the Narmada Dam. According to her, over half a million people will mislay their homes and the dam would not provide the expected benefits to the people. She donated her Booker Prize and other prize money to this campaign. In 1998, she wrote a novel called “The End of Imagination” criticizing the Indian policies towards nuclear weapons.
Arundhati Roy was awarded the Booker Prize in the year 1997 for the book “The God of Small Things” which included a cash prize of $30,000. In 1989, the talented lady got the National Film Award for the Best Screenplay. In May 2004 she was awarded the “Sydney Peace Award” for her Advocacy against violence. Also she was awarded with Norman Mailer Prize in 2011, which is an American literary award given for Distinguished Writing. In 2014, she was included amongst the 100 most influential people’s list by Time 100.
Quotes by Arundhati Roy
“There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.”
“That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.”
“If we were to lose the ability to be emotional, if we were to lose the ability to be angry, to be outraged, we would be robots. And I refuse that.”
“The only thing worth globalizing is dissent.”
“The people who created the crisis in the first place will not be the ones that come up with a solution.”
“Wars are never fought for altruistic reasons. They’re usually fought for hegemony, for business. And then of course there’s the business of war.”
“Empathy may be the single most important quality that must be nurtured to give peace a fighting chance.”
“Change is one thing. Acceptance is another.”
“When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.”
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
“It was a time when the unthinkable became the thinkable and the impossible really happened.”
“There are things that you can’t do – like writing letters to a part of yourself. To your feet or hair. Or heart.”
“Either way, change will come. It could be bloody, or it could be beautiful. It depends on us.”
“People always loved best what they identified most with.”
“Who can know from the word goodbye what kind of parting is in store for us.”
Written By: Milan Bhardwaj