February 25, 2020
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Never Called Arundhati Roy A 'Joke': Ram Guha

Never Called Arundhati Roy A 'Joke': Ram Guha

Ramachandra Guha has written to clarify that the report about the remarks he was alleged to have made about Ms Roy in the Bangalore Mirror was a distortion, and that he has sent them a letter for publication. While the story continues to appear on the Bangalore Mirror website without any correction or reference to a letter,  we are reproducing below the text of the letter enclosed by Mr Guha in full:

To the Editor,
Bangalore Mirror

I was dismayed to see the lead story in your newspaper today (29th October). I never called Arundhati Roy a 'joke', and yet a fictitious remark has been made into a sensationalist headline. I did, as correctly reported, question the wisdom of  Ms Roy's associating herself with Islamic theocrats in Kashmir. However, the false and misleading headlines have converted a substantive issue of political judgement into imagined rivalries between individual writers.

When the Mirror’s reporter came to interview me, I insisted that he record the conversation. He did not do so, hence perhaps his resort to mistaken transcription or  a fervid imagination. I am known to choose my words with precision, and do not ever use crude or comic language to characterize a person or idea. Ms Roy is not a ‘joke’, but a vigorous and somewhat one-sided polemicist.

Incidentally, the interview was granted on the express understanding that it was to be about my new book, Makers of Modern India. I wish the report had focused more on the book, which is about truly remarkable Indians, and less on the rivalries between two rather inconsequential writers.

Ramachandra Guha                   

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