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Arundhati Roy Responds to Threat of Arrest for Sedition

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.

Arundhati Roy | Pulse Media | October 26, 2010

Kashmir — 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 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Illegal Occupation

1 Comment »

  1. Arundhati Roy is a worldwide celebrity, and the government of India is reactionary collaborators with the US and Israel, the prime aggressors in the world today.

    The gruesome atrocities she is righteously horrified about, everyone should be, including every member of the government in the so-called, ‘World’s Largest Democracy’- India.

    Sedition is used as a tool of repression, to silence dissent, criticism, and public discussion.

    But to be applicable, the charge must fit the definition.:

    ‘Definition of SEDITION
    : incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority’

    LAWFUL authority is then the issue as well.

    Has the Indian government approved by omission or commission the grotesque acts that has compelled her to cry out?

    If so, she is totally innocent of any crime, unless having a conscience has become one India!

    What she describes are acts of state terrorism, and since Kashmir is arguably under Indian occupation, it makes them Crimes Against Humanity, a violation of the Nuremberg Principles.

    I fear for her life, after all; how many Gandhi’s were assassinated in India?

    Comment by Bill Mitchell | October 27, 2010 | Reply


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