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on 3 August 2009
Arundhati Roy has written several excellent, hard-hitting books and articles in the past, dissecting the very fabric of Indian society and the march towards becoming a neo-liberal, capitalist, hindu-nationalist country. I was a little disappointed though given that most of what's contained herein I have read elsewhere, e.g. on the Internet. Perhaps I'm being unfair since the book is marketed as such (a collection of past essays) but I don't think it was too much to ask that some articles be extended/re-written in light of new events. Footnotes do not serve the purpose and I believe a whole book can be written to refute some of the book's claims in light of new events etc.

However, the book is still a wakeup call, a reality check for people both within and outside India. "India Shining" is largely a facade, a select group of people who are living the high life at the expense of the hundreds of millions of poor, who yearn to own their piece of land or business, to be able to feed and shelter their children and to be free from the clutches of the authoratarian, corrupt governments. Shiny shopping malls, high-rise buildings, the all singing and dancing Bollywood...they are NOT India!
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on 2 June 2010
Arundhati Roy peels the gloss of India's success, a valuable insight in India's democracy. You will see through a lot of media trickery and governmental statements after reading this book. Recommended.
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Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on Democracy is the 12th non-fiction book by Booker Prize winning author, Arundhati Roy. In this collection of eleven related essays, the author of The God Of Small Things turns her prodigious talent for striking imagery and eloquent prose to the exploration of the political situation in India. Roy states that the essays were written in anger, in reaction to certain events (massacres, pogroms, genocide, assassinations, death sentences) and have been reprinted unchanged (although endnotes may have been added). While the significance of many names will be missed by those readers unfamiliar with current affairs in India (this reader included), nonetheless, Roy gets her point across. Although the corruption she writes about is no surprise, her revelations of the judiciary system, genocide, the Kashmir situation and religious tensions may be an eye opener. The conclusion I make from this powerful read is that I am eternally grateful not to be living as a non-Hindu in present-day India. As well as copious endnotes and references, Roy includes a short story, The Briefing, in the Appendix. I wonder, do fans of this amazing author's novel hope in vain for another foray by her into the world of fiction?
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on 13 January 2014
This is a wonderful book. Roy scrupulously details the miscarriages of justice in her own country; injustices we should all know about. These range from simple government ignorance to endorsement of genocide.
I feel that the book serves as a crashcourse in Indian politics; a topic which I am ashamed to say I knew very little about. I strongly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in politics, Indian culture, religion, or someone who would like to acquire a plethora of new information. It is our duty as readers to know this.
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on 20 May 2010
A powerful eyeopener into the corrupt world of Indian democracy, Roy writes beautifully on such an ugly topic.
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on 24 October 2012
Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on DemocracyGood and very realistic presentations with thorough in-depth analysis of issues in the pseudo-democratic country called India! great work is the least I could say
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on 6 June 2011
Meet India's very own Chomsky , India and the USA are indeed more similar the many can see - their constitutions , superb Private healthcare , incredible private education. The path India is taking economic and military empowerment is fully supported by current Present Obama, like any development there is a cost. How to deal with a billion people. The upper class in India live in lavish luxury , the middle class now are living a better life than the wealthy here in the UK. India is not idiotic enough to establish a welfare state that places the government in eternal debt - see our own UK deficit please Mrs Roy.

Nobody in India takes her seriously and her life is in danger , just as Chomsky is ignored stateside. Nor do I take her seriously. I travel to India every year , the huge positives are evident and outweigh the negatives. The Indian government have one goal - make India the third largest economy and third largest military power on earth. China and USA will take the top two spots.

If you have read Chomsky , expect the same , just replace USA with India. She forgets she has zero public support , democracy - voters , do not vote for her and never will.
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