'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
- Indian Origin Punjabi Bus Driver Burnt to Death in Australia
- SC Dismisses Petition, Says Armed Forces Answerable To Government
- Fifteen Pakistan Rangers Killed In BSF's Retaliatory Fire In The Past Week
- Judges Selection: SC Slams Centre for Bringing Courts to a Grinding Halt
- US Charges 61 People in Multi-Million Dollar Indian Call Center Scam
- Pak Violates Ceasefire Along LoC in Jammu, Rajouri, Kathua, Girl Injured
- Daily Curator: While India Plays Spy-Spy With Pakistan, China Issues Gentle Reminder
- Watch: Donald Trump Pulls Out All The Stops With 'Ab Ki Baar, Trump Sarkar'
- Daily Curator: What Happens In Family May Not Stay So
- Neeraj Pandey's Ouch Takes on the Complexities of a Relationship
- Watch: Svetlana Kuznetsova Snips Her Hair And Bosses The Match
- Daily Curator: After Board Says Tata to Cyrus, Bombay HC May Have a Case to Hear
- India Third in Terror Deaths After ISIS-Boko Haram Areas: SC Told
- War No Option, Pak Should Take Initiative for Peace: Mehbooba
- Pak Army Says No Soldiers Killed in Firing at Border
- DND Flyway onnecting Noida to Delhi to Remain Toll Free: SC
- Swamy Asks PM to Form Multi-Agency SIT to Probe Tatas
- Northern Ireland Rejects Brexit Court Challenge
- MOST VIEWED
- MOST COMMENTED