Author Arundhati Roy called all governments “opportunists” after Pakistan piggybacked on her 2015 statement to put India on the backfoot after New Delhi’s stinging criticisms of its neighbour’s terror infrastructure.
Replying to India foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s hard-hitting speech against Pakistan in the United Nations General Assembly, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi on Saturday quoted Roy's statement that the "whole population of Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, and Christians are being forced to live in terror"
When contacted, Roy was even-handed in her response -- neither keen to be used in this manner for strategic ends, nor willing to step back from her considered stance.
"All governments and their spokespersons are opportunistic. That cannot become a reason for writers and journalists not to write what they have to write," she told Outlook.
Roy who had in 2015, returned her National Award as part of what she called an "unparalleled political movement against ideological viciousness" found mention in Lodhi's speech who invoked the writer's quotes to slam the Indian government.
“Much of what is in the air in India now is pure terror, in Kashmir, in other places,” Lodhi quoted Roy's statement from an article she had written for the Indian Express during the 'Award Vapsi' campaign in 2015.