Putu the Cat

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Monday, August 02, 2004

Ghosh versus Roy?

Putu recommends that you read this interview of Amitav Ghosh by Indrajit Hazra and take particular note of this bit:

"There is also the more obvious ecological message in your book. How seriously were you trying to impart it to the reader?

Ecological destruction does bother me. But I’m a writer, not an activist. So for me, it was a concern that I firmly placed within my story. The problem in India is that the State’s ecological programmes are sometimes lopsided. People are not allowed to gather honey from regions of the forests as it will disrupt the ecological balance. But then how do they earn their living? The root of the people-environment problem is left untackled."

Not sure if he's saying something nasty about Ms Roy, and it's unlikely that Amitav Ghosh would. But he makes a subtle point about the 'duty' of the writer that rather different from one the one which Ms Roy makes about the need for writers to be activists as well.

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