06 May, 2021

Things That Can And Cannot Be Said (Contd)

The Arundhati Roy — John Cusack conversation continues.

Things That Can And Cannot Be Said (Contd)

Over the next week or so, the logistics had to be planned. It was short notice and a bit of a mad scramble. Roy made her own arrangements, but I had in mind Dan Ellsberg’s history as a nuclear weapons planner for America’s retaliation to a possible Soviet first strike. In other words, he had only spent a few years of his life planning the physical obliteration of the Soviet Union. Nuclear secrets, domino theory—he was in those rooms. Then there were the 85-plus arrests for civil disobedience, one of those in Russia on the Sirius, the Greenpeace boat protesting Soviet nuclear testing. But Dan’s visa came. And mine came, too.

Meanwhile in India, some of Roy’s worst fears had materialised. Eight months before, Narendra Modi had become the new Prime Minister of India. (In May, I received this text: Election results are out. The fascists in a landslide. The phantoms are real. What you see is what you get.)

I met up with Roy in London. She had been there for two weeks giving talks in Cambridge and the...

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