'Pity The Nation That Has To Silence Its Writers...'
Arundhati Roy has issued this statement from Srinagar
I write this from Srinagar, Kashmir. This morning's papers say that I may be arrested on charges of sedition for what I have said at recent public meetings on Kashmir. I said what millions of people here say every day. I said what I, as well as other commentators have written and said for years. Anybody who cares to read the transcripts of my speeches will see that they were fundamentally a call for justice. I spoke about justice for the people of Kashmir who live under one of the most brutal military occupations in the world; for Kashmiri Pandits who live out the tragedy of having been driven out of their homeland; for Dalit soldiers killed in Kashmir whose graves I visited on garbage heaps in their villages in Cuddalore; for the Indian poor who pay the price of this occupation in material ways and who are now learning to live in the terror of what is becoming a police state.
Yesterday I traveled to Shopian, the apple-town in South Kashmir which had remained closed for 47 days last year in protest against the brutal rape and murder of Asiya and Nilofer, the young women whose bodies were found in a shallow stream near their homes and whose murderers have still not been brought to justice. I met Shakeel, who is Nilofer's husband and Asiya's brother. We sat in a circle of people crazed with grief and anger who had lost hope that they would ever get 'insaf'—justice—from India, and now believed that Azadi—freedom— was their only hope. I met young stone pelters who had been shot through their eyes. I traveled with a young man who told me how three of his friends, teenagers in Anantnag district, had been taken into custody and had their finger-nails pulled out as punishment for throwing stones.
In the papers some have accused me of giving 'hate-speeches', of wanting India to break up. On the contrary, what I say comes from love and pride. It comes from not wanting people to be killed, raped, imprisoned or have their finger-nails pulled out in order to force them to say they are Indians. It comes from wanting to live in a society that is striving to be a just one. Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds. Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice, while communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters, rapists, and those who prey on the poorest of the poor, roam free.
October 26 2010
- DMK Objects to Jayalalithaa's Portraits
- 'I Am Not Scared Of ABVP', DU Student And Kargil Martyr's Daughter's Facebook Post Goes Viral Sends Strong Message To ABVP
- 'Delhi Police Has Become Agent of BJP'
- Modi To Face Love Challenge In 2019
- Wonderful, Precise And Very Cool: How Do Our Money Up-Chucking Machines Work?
- "I'm Only Passing Through" 10 Leonard Cohen Songs That You Must Listen To
- Blackout For NDTV Stirs The Media
- Daily Curator: The Dominion Of Misunderstood Men Over Headlines
- Daily Curator: Of Holes Being Poked Into The Bhopal Encounter And The Origins Of Chyawanprash
- Watch: Viral Video Has Man Lighting Up A Line Of Crackers Attached To His Mouth
- Cash, Liquor Seizures Go Through The Roof During Assembly Polls 2017
- Mumbai Is The Richest Indian City With Total Wealth Of USD 820 Billion
- Syrian Cinematographer Denied Entry Into US To Attend Oscars
- Muslim Outfit Asks CBFC To Ban Lipstick Under My Burkha For Going Against 'Tenets Of Islam'
- 3-Year-Old Twin Brothers Found Dead Inside A Washing Machine
- Vietnam: Kim Killing Suspect Thought She Was Taking Part In A Prank In A 'Comedy Video'
- MOST VIEWED
- MOST COMMENTED
- BSF Jawan Tej Bahadur Questions PM Modi's Desire To Oust Corruption In Another Video
- Indian Techie’s Murder In US: Shooter Yelled 'Get Out Of My Country', Survivor Says ‘We're All Humans’
- There Will Be Mud
- India Wants UN Security Council Seat But Runs Shy Of International Criminal Court Facing Desertion