Critical Analysis on Roy’s Essay

Posted: September 3rd, 2013





Critical Analysis on Roy’s Essay

Arundhati Roy gives the greatly expounds on the relationship between power and powerlessness. In his article, the ones in power are the governments and the powerless are the citizens. In most cases, one is either considered to be for the government or against it. If one is for the government, then he/she supports its views, actions, policies, administration and any other way thing that it may come up with as time goes by. If one is against it, then he/she is considered an enemy of the nation and therefore a supporter of the nation’s enemies. The author shows that the government lives on double standards. Roy clearly takes the reader through the relationship between power (represented by the governments) and the powerless (represented by citizens). I an in agreement with Roy, that this relationship is a circular, endless conflict.

The impact of the 9/11 attack that took place in the United States in the year 2001 is still fresh on people’s minds. It is as fresh in the citizens today as it was the morning after the attack. As the author presents to us, there are many 9/11 horrific events that have taken place prior to these particular one, yet the governments of the respective countries commercialize the event and shift the blame to other parties. Roy gives an account of cases where the U.S government condemned acts of inhumanity and violence yet they were allies in accomplishing the same acts.

This shows that power is an act of working for the advantage of the one in power. In this case, power is not working for the best of a country’s citizens or the whole nation, but rather it is working for the best of the government. It is acting in a way that suits both parties. In this case, it is acting in a way that suits the other parties (may include Saddam Hussein, Al-Qaeda, dictator presidents and generals, etc) while at the same time condemning the acts after they have been committed. Moreover, the allies are killed in order for the superior government to maintain its favor in the eyes of its citizens and its other allies.

In the renown TV series starring Keifer Sutherland known as 24, the episodes reveal a turn of events where the U.S government appears to be involved in ‘everybody’s’ affairs (other countries’ affairs) and in the process lands into conflict with these countries, thus putting the lives of America citizens in danger. Through out the episodes, the U.S government is represented as the ‘hero’ of the world. It is ready to save all the other countries from themselves and that is the reason behind the anticipated attacks in the series. However, there are questions that seem to go through ones mind as they watch the episodes. The questions of whether the government has to get involved with all these countries in order to keep the world safe while it puts the lives of its citizens in danger lingers in ones mind as they watch the episodes.

Roy shows that the citizens will always be at a loss as far as leadership is based on being powerful or being powerless. As Roy puts it, things might get worse and then finally get better. Governments will stop having double standards and work for the people, in favor of their citizens. At the look of things, the power depicted by the heads of states and their government is more that it meets the eye.


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