05 August, 2021

She Was There

Great embedded journalism, but more rhetoric than reason

Illustration by Sorit
She Was There
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Whether we agree with her or not, we read Arundhati Roy because she surprises us. There is always some statistic, some quotation, some ironic remark that makes one say, “Hey, I hadn’t thought of that before.” This time, though, I found myself being disappointed. It’s almost a cliche of such reportage (of a writer’s encounter with an underground group) to begin with the rendezvous and end on a note of wistful longing. Roy does both. Come on Arundhati, I wanted to say, surprise us.

One is glad that voices like hers exist, and that she commands enough star value for Outlook to bill the issue a 'collector’s item’. Roy writes with feeling, she is superb at catching irony, be it describing Dantewada as a border town smack in the centre of India or the Indian rulers’ adoption of China’s path as their own. Her...



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