It is India which thinks democracies thrive on dissent.
India claims to be the biggest democracy on earth, and that democracy is alive and kicking, at least, in India, if not in Jammu and Kashmir. Demand of a genuine democracy is that people must be allowed to express their views without fear or intimidation; and Arundhati Roy is an Indian citizen, so she is enjoying her democratic right!
On the other hand Pakistan also occupies two parts of State of Jammu and Kashmir, namely Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, from which Pakistan generously gave away around 2200 sq miles to China in 1963 to improve bilateral relations.
Pakistan has military strength to control the Kashmiri territory under its occupation, but has no legal cover to justify this occupation. It has no legal mandate to be in control of the Kashmiri territory, but still has managed to divert attention away from areas under its control and call them 'azad' meaning free; and many Kashmiri collaborators happily advance the cause of Pakistan.
Many in Pakistan, especially writers and scholars know shallowness of Pakistan's stand on Kashmir. They also know that people of so called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan are not happy with what Pakistan and its secret agencies do to the people of these areas; and yet they decide to remain quiet. Their conscience does not trouble them, and they follow the government policy on issue of Kashmir. They happily promote government's version on Kashmir, knowing well that it is based on lies.
They know, as it has been confirmed by many impartial surveys that people of Jammu and Kashmir DONOT want to join Pakistan; and yet they broadcast lies that people of Jammu and Kashmir are desperate to join Pakistan. They are reluctant to speak about plight and exploitation of the people living under Pakistani occupation; and will only focus on events taking place on other side of the LOC.
Can Pakistani society produce one prominent writer, scholar and human rights champion who has guts to challenge Pakistan's Kashmir policy; and tell the world that Pakistan's control of Kashmiri territory is not legal? Someone who could tell the world people of Jammu and Kashmir State living on this side of the LOC are also deprived of their fundamental human rights. Or is this too much to ask, and Pakistani writers, intellectuals and scholars will continue to follow the out of date policy of Islamabad?
Allahabad: Booker prize winner and activist has whipped up yet another storm by stating rather vocally that Kashmir was never a part of India.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police is looking into the controversial speech of Arundhati Roy on Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India and does not rule out taking action against the high profile writer and activist. In fact, sources in the government said that a case under 124-A under Indian Penal Code for sedition is possible against Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and writer Arundhati Roy for their anti-India speeches.
J&K Police looking into controversial speech
The Jammu and Kashmir Police is looking into the controversial speech of Arundhati Roy on Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India and does not rule out taking action against the high profile writer and activist.
Highly-placed sources in the state home department said the transcript of the speech delivered yesterday at a seminar 'Wither Kashmir: Freedom or enslavement' organised by Coalition of Civil Societies (CCS) here has been handed over to the legal department for examination.
Meanwhile, the law officers of Delhi Police have concluded that there is a case for booking writer Arundhati Roy and hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for sedition under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code. But the decision on whether to actually take action will be made only after further consultations at the highest level, sources in the Home Ministry said.
Delhi Police sources said they had sought legal opinion on the nature of charges, if any, against Geelani and Roy, and clearance from the Home Ministry.
If legal opinion favours registering a case against the Booker prize winner, the state police would register the same, sources said. Roy is alleged to have questioned Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India.
"Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this," she said, and also alleged that New Delhi became a "colonising power" soon after its independence from British rule.
This is not the first time the writer has run into rough weather over her speeches. Earlier, her pro-Naxal write up and speeches had forced Chattisgarh Police to seriously think of booking her for waging war against the country.
On another occasion, Biswajit Mitra, a former BSP leader, had accused her of supporting naxals and demanded action against her following which Director General of Chattisgarh Police Vishwa Ranjan had asked the state legal department to give their opinion.
Roy has come under criticism for her article on naxals -- "Gandhian with guns". The Chief of Chattisgarh Police had said in April this year, "I do not know whether Arundhati Roy has been wrongly influenced by others or she is actually a mole in the civil society. How do I know?"
Cong wants Arundhati to withdraw J&K statement
A senior Congress leader asked noted writer and activist Arundhati Roy to withdraw her statement on Kashmir, saying it was 'contrary to historical facts' and could mislead the nation and the international community.
Reacting to the comment made by the writer at a seminar in Kashmir on Sunday, AICC member Satya Prakash Malaviya said, "It was really surprising to see such an irresponsible statement from someone who is one of the country's best-known writers.
"She must withdraw her statement which is contrary to historical facts and could mislead the nation as well as the international community," he said. The Booker Prize winning author had said "Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this."
The former Union Minister said that Roy "would do better to brush up her knowledge of history and know that the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir had acceded to the Union of India after its erstwhile ruler Maharaja Hari Singh duly signed the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947.
"And the state, consequently has become as much an integral part of India as all the other erstwhile princely states have."