Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Arundhati Roy, seditious speeches on Kashmir

Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice: Arundhati


Tue, Oct 26 03:15 PM

Even as the Centre mulls action against Arundhati Roy for her seditious speeches on Kashmir, writer Arundhati Roy issued a statement refuting the allegations that her speeches on Kashmir were anti-India.

"I write this from Srinagar, 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," she said in a statement on Tuesday.

"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," she said.

She further said, "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."

Earlier, advocating the right to self-determination for the people of Kashmir, author-activist Arundhati Roy Sunday contended that in 1947, British imperialism was replaced with Indian colonialism which 'continued to subjugate the people of India'.

Speaking at a seminar titled 'Whither Kashmir? Freedom or Enslavement,' Roy asked Kashmiris to ponder on the type of society they have in mind for themselves.

'Imperial colonialism is fast being replaced by corporate colonialism and Kashmiris would have to make a choice whether or not they wanted the Indian oppression to be replaced by a future corporate oppression of the local masses,' she said.

'Your struggle has increased the consciousness in India about the oppression you face, but you must decide what type of society you have in mind once you are allowed to decide your future,' she said.

Attacking the Indian government for the 'oppression of the Kashmiri people', she said India has been using Kashmiris recruited in the army and paramilitary forces to suppress the voices of dissent in the Northeast and vice versa. (Agencies)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ from Outlook ~~~~~~~~~~~~


'No Democracy Permits Right To Sedition'
'The right to secede cannot be accepted in the garb of right to free speech. The right to free speech enshrined in the Constitution cannot be used against the country'
Arun Jaitley

BJP takes strong exception to the demand for secession of Kashmir made at a Seminar in New Delhi yesterday in which hardline Hurriyan leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and other Kashmiri separatists as well as Naxal and Khalistani sympathizers had come together to demand independence for Kashmir. It is shocking that the central government chose to look the other way while "unacceptable" views were aired in the name of freedom of speech.

BJP feels that what happened in Delhi yesterday when a group of separatists got together to hold a seminar to promote sedition under the nose of the government has stunned the nation. In a democracy, the right to secede cannot be accepted in the garb of right to free speech. The right to free speech enshrined in the Constitution cannot be used against the country.

It is dismaying to note that the central government did not take any preventive measures and has not taken any action to punish the guilty. The central government should not forget that there are two responsibilities and obligations of the state -- to prevent such events and to punish the offenders. On the other hand, the government exercised the option of looking the other way which is not available to it.

BJP is outraged by open anti-India sentiments and demand for sedition at the seminar and finds these as absolutely unacceptable. It seems that the centre has abdicated its duty to protect the unity and integrity of the country by allowing the function to take place in which anti-India voices were raised. The whole country was shocked when separatists met under the nose of the central government to encourage sedition in India. Reports indicate that the issue was 'India cannot be one and has to be broken up.'

Democracy and freedom of expression does not give anybody a right to demand sedition. No democracy permits right to sedition. But some misconceived representatives of civil society have advocated it as free speech. The freedom of speech and expression is a constitutional guarantee, but with certain restrictions. If anybody speaks against the sovereignty of India, such exercise comes under penal law -- offences against state. The Seminar yesterday comes under the purview of the penal law and the people associated therewith including Geelani must be prosecuted. The government cannot be a mute spectator.

Source : OutLook India

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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.

Arundhati Roy
October 26 2010

Source and Credit : outlookindia

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~From Pakistan The Dawn~~~~~~~

I fight for the love and pride of my people: Arundhati Roy

By Jawed Naqvi
Tuesday, 26 Oct, 2010




New Delhi: Indian writer and activist Arundhati Roy who has been canvassing for freedom of Jammu and Kashmir from years of military occupation said on Tuesday that far from seeking a break up of India, as alleged by her rightwing detractors, she fights for the love and pride of the people of India.

Amid reports that the Indian government had given permission for her arrest for alleged sedition following her recent call for justice for all Kashmiris, Ms Roy, who is currently on a visit to the Valley said in a statement to the Indian media that it would be a sad day for her country if its writers were jailed for expressing their ideas while "communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters" roamed free.

Some rightwing newspapers and TV channels close to the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been campaigning for her arrest after she addressed a meeting on Kashmir in New Delhi last week at which Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani reiterated his call for azadi.

Ms Roy reminded the Kashmiris at the meeting that she was hurt by their slogan - bhooka nanga Hindustan, jaan se pyara Pakistan - saying that the slogan insulted the poor masses of India. But some reports distorted this, and the headlines screamed that she had asked for secession from poverty-stricken India.

Analysts recalled that senior Indian leader Jaiprakash Narayan had once called for the Indian army to revolt against the autocratic government of then prime minister Indira Gandhi. The BJP had supported him then. Mr Narayan was subsequently celebrated as Lok Nayak, or people's leader. "There is nothing rigid about the law on sedition. It is always a political choice on who you want to target," said a senior lawyer. "Right now Arundhati Roy is in everyone's crosshairs. She has dared to take on powerful corporate interests and has even exposed their link with the powerful home minister."

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