Arundhati Roy Support for Kashmiri Separatism

There’s a lot of conflicts and too little freedom in the world. Separatism is both a recognition of the wrongs of the nations and the rights of the individuals. I’m more of an anarchist than a separatist, but I would still join William Wallace in his cry for freedom (had I been an extra in the movie Braveheart). While Aung San Suu Kyi continues the uphill battle against censorship and stupidity in the East (Burma) and the Nobel Peace Prize Winner fights to the North (China), Arundhati Roy fights in India, the home of the Hindu Pantheon, the Indus civilization, the peaceful abolition of Anglo-Saxon Rule and the Lord of Snakes.

“In an interview with Times of India published in August 2008, Arundhati Roy expressed her support for the independence of Kashmir from India after massive demonstrations in favor of independence took place—some 500,000 separatists rallied in Srinagar in the Kashmir part of Jammu and Kashmir state of India for independence on 18 August 2008, following the Amarnath land transfer controversy.[18] According to her, the rallies were a sign that Kashmiris desire secession from India, and not union with India.[19] She was criticized by Indian National Congress (INC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for her remarks.[20]

In October 2010, at a seminar in Delhi named “Azadi – The only way” (“azadi” meaning “freedom”[21]), where Roy took part with Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Varavara Rao, Roy was reported to have said that “Kashmir should get azadi from bhookhe-nange Hindustan”. Official transcripts of her speech though put it as follows:[22]

When I was in Kashmir.. what broke my heart on the street of Srinagar was when people say “Nanga Bhukha Hindustan, Jaan se Pyara Pakistan” and I said no because “Nanga Bhukha Hindustan” is with you, and if you are fighting for a just society then you must align yourself with powers and here are people who have fought their lives opposing Indian state….You have to look beyond stone pelting and how the state is using people. …You have to know your enemy and you have to be able to respond by aligning tactically, intelligently, locally or internationally.

Her remarks attracted criticism from the BJP leader Arun Jaitley that she was promoting secession of the Union of India, and that the central government was not acting on the issue and prosecuting Roy and others.[23] Although it was widely speculated that she could potentially face sedition charges from the center for her remarks in Delhi, Indian Home MinisterP Chidambaram said no action would be taken “unless there is direct incitement to violence”.[24]. An IPS officer from Uttar Pradesh, Amitabh Thakur opined in an open letter published in the Daily Pioneer that her statements would come under the realm of sedition under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code and demanded action should be taken against Arundhati under suitable sections of law. [25][26]

A few days after the October, 2010, seminar, Roy traveled to Srinigar and Shopian and then reported on her visits, noting at the outset, though, U.S. President Obama’s then-fresh visit to India. Roy contrasted the president’s having said, a “week before he was elected in 2008 … [that] Kashmir’s struggle for self-determination — which has led to three wars between India and Pakistan since 1947 — would be among his ‘critical tasks’ …, remarks [which] were greeted with consternation in India,” with his having “said almost nothing about Kashmir since then.” She further noted that during his India visit, Obama “pleased his hosts immensely by saying the United States would not intervene in Kashmir,” among other things. As to her own trip to Kashmir, Roy wrote that with what she saw and heard even before reaching Shopian, where she heard more of the 2009 rape and murder case, “I could not bring myself to regret what I had said in Delhi” despite the “bit of trouble” those remarks had caused. When Roy returned home from Kashmir, she reported, “in what is becoming a common political strategy, officials outsourced their displeasure to the mob; … the women’s wing of the [BJP] staged a demonstration outside my house, calling for my arrest. Television vans arrived in advance to broadcast the event live. The murderous Bajrang Dal … have announced that they are going to ‘fix’ me with all the means at their disposal, including by filing criminal charges against me in different courts across the country.” Ending on a broader note, Roy wrote “Indian nationalists and the government seem to believe that they can fortify their idea of a resurgent India with a combination of bullying and Boeing airplanes. But they don’t understand the subversive strength of warm, boiled eggs.” The C-17 Globemaster III aircraft were on the Obama agenda in Delhi; the eggs were a gift to Roy from the father of one of the Shopian victims in appreciation for Roy’s efforts.[21]”

– from wikipedia

“‘From an interview with Arundhati Roy on IBN entitled “Indian democracy in a state of emergency’.
Arundhati Roy: We call ourselves a democracy but as a society we tolerate the 68,000 dead in Kashmir, we tolerate deeply undemocratic laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, we had the Sikh genocide and what happened in Gujarat, all of these things I question.

Karan Thapar: And the Prime Minister apologised for what happened to the Sikhs, Sonia Gandhi visited the Golden Temple.

Arundhati Roy: Would it be enough for you Karan, if someone killed your parents and raped your wife and the Prime Minister apologises?

Karan Thapar: The Chinese haven’t apologised for the Tiananmen Square.

Arundhati Roy: It doesn’t matter. The point is when we accept these kinds of injustices and absorb them and the Government thinks by apologising or dissimulating it’s over, but they all settle in us like toxins and we become a pretty barbaric society.”

– from http://www.mapleleafsikh.com/2010/02/arundhati-roy-on-india-and-sikh.html

This is a song to Ganesha – the Obstacle Breaker (Obstacle breaker presumably because he’s an elephant):

Maybe Ganesha and Adi Shankara and the Sufis can embrace each other in a peaceful compromise. Tibet can join the after-party too.

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