Double-faced image: Bodhisattva with low eyebrows and vajra eyes

In the past, the British Empire extended its colonial tentacles into ancient India to extract wealth. It never occurred to me that English would take root and sprout in this ancient land; but when the colonists retreated from the subcontinent, English was still like shells scattered all over the beach after the ebb tide. , almost the vast majority of highly educated Indians are proficient in English. There are a total of 15 official languages ​​in India, but none of them can be used in all Indian states. Only English can be used in the upper class without hindrance. The number of English books published exceeds any national language. Moreover, Indian English has also successfully produced the “Ning Xiner” of Indian English literature!
  Indian English literature first appeared in the early 19th century, and a number of works of a certain level appeared in the late 19th century. The Indian English literature in the first half of the 20th century was accompanied by the development of the Indian national liberation movement. In the research and discussion of Indian political movements, social conditions and religious issues; it is the Indian English literature after independence that has really raised Indian English literature to the world level and gained international reputation. The Latin American “literary explosion” is often talked about in the history of literature, but Indian English literature is also not a small “explosion”! Judging from academic evaluation and international prestige, if the Indian English literature born in the 1940s is represented by Salman Rushdie (b. 1947), then the representative of literature born in the 1950s is Vikla. Sam Sit (b. 1952); and the leading figure of the 1960s generation is undoubtedly the female writer Arundhati Roy (also translated Arundati Roy, or Arundhati Roy).
  Luo Yi was born on November 24, 1961 in Kerala, southwestern India. Her mother is Syrian, Catholic, and a well-known social activist in Kerala; her father is Bangladeshi and runs a plantation. Roy spent most of his childhood in Amanam, a small town near Kottayam. There, her mother built an informal Catholic school. Kerala has a high level of culture and education, its people live affluent lives, and their minds are quite enlightened. It is also a place where various religions of India and West meet. On such a cultural soil, Luo Yi’s calm and sharp personality was cultivated, and more importantly, her consistent democratic and free thinking. This idea does not come from the West, but from the Indian tradition itself, which Amartya Sen calls “contentious”.
  Luo Yi’s early experience was not smooth. She left home at the age of 16 and came to Delhi alone to explore the world. First lived in a slum, and then entered the Delhi School of Architecture to study. After graduation, she married one of her classmates, but this unsuccessful marriage lasted only more than four years. After that, she got a scholarship, went to Italy to study architecture, and met her current husband. After marriage, the husband and wife wrote the script together, and Luo Yi slowly discovered that he had a great writing talent. After a series of screenplays, she began to conceive her novel debut.
  In 1997, Luo Yi published his first novel “The God of Small Things” (another translation of “The Humble God”). The book turned out, making Luo Yi, 36 years old, famous, and won the American Book Award and the Booker Award with this book in one fell swoop. In particular, the Booker Prize has a huge influence in the English-speaking world. She is the third Indian (racially) to win this honor after Nai Paul and Rushdie. “The God of Small Things” also occupied the “New York Times” bestseller list for 49 weeks, was translated into 40 languages, and published 6 million copies. Some even called it after Rushdie’s “Midnight Child.” The most outstanding works of Indian literature. There are two Chinese translations of the book (Zhang Zhizhong’s translation in the mainland and Wu Meizhen’s translation in Taiwan, the latter has been introduced to the mainland by the People’s Literature Publishing House), which is a big deal for the Chinese publishing industry, where there are not many translations of Indian English literature. score.
  ”The God of Small Things” is a long novel with strong autobiographical color. The heroine Eminem grew up in a Syrian immigrant family in Kerala, with Catholic parents, which is almost a replica of herself. After Eminem left the family, there was an unsuccessful marriage. Later, she returned to her hometown with her twin children, Aisha and Rah, and met the untouchable Velusa. Eminem is not a vindicator who conforms to the rules. She does not discriminate against each other as a pariah, and she resolutely falls in love with the knowledgeable and ingenious Velusa. It was in this man of humble origin that Eminem found evidence of the existence of life, and they fell in love bravely. Of course, this kind of love that transcends caste hierarchy cannot be tolerated by social conventions. So, they could only tryst by the river at night. Regarding this love, Luo Yi’s brushstrokes are intriguing and touching: “If he hugs her, he can’t kiss her; if he kisses her, he can’t look at her; if he looks at her, he can’t feel her.” The next date is like a goodbye. Later, in an accidental incident, Eminem’s niece drowned, and the family blamed the innocent Velusa for the bad luck and reported it to the police. Velusa was arrested. Shameless adult tricks tarnish the pure world of children, Aisha and Rah are deceived into confessions, and unknowingly interrupt the delivery of two of their most beloved people – their biological mother Eminem and the one who brought countless joys to their childhood. Uncle Velusa. Eminem was heartbroken by the death of Velusa, who died silently in exile, just as the book said: “She was 31 years old. Not too old, not too young, just an age to die. .” The
  novel has brought praise and criticism, and crusades have come one after another. Roy can see clearly that the attack on the novel is not so-called pornographic content, but the description of the untouchable Velusa, whose romance with women of the upper caste in the book has angered some people. The hatred of these people can only show that 50 years after Gandhi invented the “people of God” to refer to the untouchables, the problem of India’s caste system still exists, and discrimination and violence against lower castes are everywhere. Other themes depicted in the book, such as conservative traditional Indian beliefs and customs, the dehumanizing caste system, etc., are the true epitome of Indian social life.
  Luo Yi was not intimidated by the voice of rebuke. On the contrary, she was deeply aware of the closed and conservative Indian society, and her influence and intervention in social life purely through literary and artistic means (previously, she also wrote a script for justice for Indian women). is far from enough. She began to seek other ways for intellectuals to intervene in real life.
  Anyone who has been to a Buddhist temple will see the statues of “Bodhisattva with low eyebrows” and “Vajra’s angry eyes”. Forgiveness and sympathy go hand in hand with fighting between good and evil. In “God of Small Things”, we see a Luo Yi who is loyal to the principles of art. His criticism of the caste system is not loud and hoarse. . The excellent control even makes it hard to believe that this is actually a debut. This is Luo Yi of the “Bodhisattva with low eyebrows”; and when she began to appear frequently in public spaces and made her own voice to public affairs, what we saw was her “Vajra Angry Eyes” side.
  In 1999, Luo Yi joined a team of 400 people from different countries who walked to the Narmada River Basin in the western Indian state of Gujarat to support the “Narmada Dam Movement” there and opposed the government’s construction of dams. In her eyes, blindly launching large-scale dam projects regardless of the ecological environment and local people’s livelihood is tantamount to drinking poison to quench thirst. This kind of government-controlled economic behavior is by no means a lucrative one as people imagine, especially the far-reaching impact on the living environment and safety of the people in the areas where the dam is built is even more worrying. She regards the tragedy of the Narmada River Basin as a tragedy in contemporary India and a scourge on the Indian soil. As one of the participants in the action, Luo Yi wrote a long article “Greater Public Welfare” based on field investigations. In this article, she bitterly pointed out that the government, in the name of national justice, enriched the personal pockets of individual rulers, ignoring the interests of the people at all. The author’s account is anxious and patient, and she believes that a trove of hard numbers and analysis is enough to convince those who are blinded. Sometimes, “it’s just a story,” she says, to remind people that what seems like only a story has happened. At times, she mournfully used the word “eradication” to describe how people were uprooted and left with nowhere to go during the construction of the dam. These poor people were forced to leave the land they had lived in for generations and were hastily settled in settlements. The government promises that the new settlement will have excellent living conditions, as well as slides and seesaws for children. But Roy found that the living conditions there were in fact worse than the Nazi concentration camps. However, this is not a treatment that every migrant can enjoy. Others were forced to move three or four times as their new home made way for another project such as a dam. They are extremely poor and can only struggle in the slums on the outskirts of the city as cheap labor. They do not have any technology and no source of livelihood, and can only be displaced in the city. Anyone who has been to India knows that “idlers” can often be seen curling up in a corner in Indian cities, or simply sleeping on the street. Is this because the common people are not aggressive? Ironically, the construction industry is the most absorbing of unskilled male laborers, and many are forced to work as construction workers to build new projects, displacing more people who are just as powerless as they are. These poor people, who have been deprived of their place to stand, either linger on the outskirts of the city or commit suicide in anger. Luo Yi was deeply surprised that the people paid the price with their lives, and the government not only ignored it, but the external tone was surprisingly tough: “If you are ready to sacrifice for the country, then you should sacrifice for the country.” This is clearly not the brainchild of a certain government. It is the consistent policy of successive Indian governments. In the face of violence and power, once the people fall into the quagmire of poverty, they will sink deeper and deeper. The writing of history will also not leave these humble names, and their tears are covered up by grand words such as “national interest”, “justice” and “modernization”. In this case, Luo Yi couldn’t help but put down the pen and, in her words, “put Joyce and Nabokov aside” and embarked on the road of resistance.

  In India, Roy is a high-spirited fighter, known for his fierce criticism. She has published numerous papers, reviews, and books in recent years, including The Threat of Nuclear Weapons, The Promotion of Equal Rights, The War on Terrorism, and The Price of Survival. These words bring together Luo Yi’s thoughts on issues such as national economy and people’s livelihood, world peace and globalization. Many of her analyses may not be conclusive, but the perspective she offers and her enthusiasm for engaging with issues are instructive.
  In her famous article “The End of Imagination”, Luo Yi pointedly pointed out that India’s development of nuclear weapons is only to satisfy the ambitions of a very small number of people and become a means for them to invite people’s hearts.
  In the book , she takes the art of sarcasm to the extreme: “The only benefit of nuclear war is that it is the most equal thing that human beings have. . . . When referring to the Indian government, she always emphasized “successive Indian governments”. On the one hand, this reflects that the indifference and trampling of individuals is a long-standing problem of the Indian government; on the other hand, Roy is against all violence and power, which is obviously in the context of post-colonial times and globalization. sprouted. In her view, the specter of imperialism has not disappeared, but has penetrated into every corner of the world with a new face. Hegemonic countries use multinational corporations and collude with other global powers to construct a global imperialist network. With the help of international organizations such as the World Bank, Western countries have exported outdated technologies and backward weapons to third world countries, making them a tool for multinational corporations to seek profits.
  Luo Yi’s hard writing has won him a great international reputation. At the “World Social Forum” held in Mumbai in 2004, Luo Yi pointed the criticism directly at the United States, the biggest representative of the new imperialism. She believed that the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq was a war deliberately created by the United States for its own interests. “In every way, the new imperialism is already oppressing the people of the world”. In the era of new imperialism, exploiting the interests of other countries by economic means is the sole purpose of new imperialism. And the new racial policy that accompanies the new imperialism is even more inhumane, and more lives can be deprived by means of economic sanctions – as many as 500,000 Iraqi children died due to shortage of food and medicine! In June 2005, the Iraqi International Court of Justice, which was composed of more than 200 left-wing intellectuals, held a rally in Istanbul. Roy, who chaired the court’s “morality jury”, said her primary goal was to urge the immediate withdrawal of British and American troops from Iraq. The court called for “a thorough investigation of those responsible for aggression and crimes against humanity in Iraq” and named US President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other government officials from the occupying powers on the list of first offenders.
  Loving the soil under his feet is Luo Yi’s true character, and his writing will naturally ignite a soulful narrative perspective and warm humanitarian care. “I think what type of place you grow up in, that place is baked into your heart,” she said in the interview. “I think people growing up in cities are different. You can love buildings, but that’s about you. The love of a tree, a river and the color of the land is not the same, that is a different love.” The tragic description of the countryside in “God of Small Things”, the meticulous and gentle description of the primitive life of the indigenous people in “Greater Public Welfare” , you can see the author’s strong rural complex. She misses the motherland, the land, and the people who live silently on the land. It was for this reason that she made it clear that she did not like Rushdie’s work, because the latter would only point fingers across the ocean.
  Today, when literary creation is closely related to commercial interests, you may not see a number of literary prize winners busy giving speeches, attending press conferences, and book signings around the world, euphemistically called “cultural exchanges”. Roy, the youngest winner of the Booker Prize (until 1997) and a millionaire, was pushed around by the military and police for protesting against the government’s disregard for the interests of the people. What is commendable is that Luo Yi, as a public intellectual, did not continue to write “God of Small Things” in exchange for Western applause or more money, but chose a more difficult path. Behind the “Vajra Angry Eyes”, we clearly see Luo Yi’s original heart of “Bodhisattva with low eyebrows”. It is the so-called “cross eyebrows and cold fingers to thousands of husbands, bowing head and willing to be a ruzi ox”. Luo Yi’s tender and delicate writing is motivated by her deep love for this country and land, and her conscious awareness of participating in public affairs as an intellectual also comes from this deep love. Perhaps, Luo Yi’s radicalism is not mainstream in Indian intellectual circles, but isn’t this the valuable quality of public intellectuals? Isn’t it worth paying tribute to third world intellectuals?

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