Monday, April 12, 2010

The Unbearable Similarity of Worldwide Repression

Reading Arundati Roy’s recent book: “Field Nots on Democracy, Listening to Grasshoppers”, and her article “India’s Trail of Tears” in the February In These Times, one can only be struck by the similarities between what is happening in India, “the world’s biggest democracy”, and what we can observe elsewhere in the developing world.

These similarities are echoed in Curtis White’s recent book “The Barbaric Heart, Faith, Money and the Crisis of Nature”, in a slightly different tone. Both Roy and White favor irony but the former reveals an anguish that comes from seeing the suffering of the downtrodden up close.

Roy’s description of the brutal government campaign against the indigenous - or Adivasi - Indians, in order to make way for the exploitation of bauxite, requires a thought for Bolivia’s indigenous president, Evo Morales, who is determined that the mineral wealth of his country benefit all his people. (Someone with the time and access should do a comparative study of how India and Bolivia approach the extraction of mineral wealth and the distribution of its returns.)

Checking things out on Google, I confirm my suspicion that the Indian government compromised with the developed countries at Copenhagen, while Bolivia’s Morales is an ardent believer in global warming and its disastrous effects around the world. He’s putting his money where his mouth is: from April 19-22 Bolivia will host a conference on the rights of peoples with respect to climate change.

This morning I learn that President Obama is punishing Bolivia for not "going along to get along".

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