Arundhati Roy

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Suzanna Arundhati Roy (अरुंधति राय) (born 24 November 1961) is an Indian writer.

Early life[edit]

Arundhati Roy was born in Shillong, Meghalaya, India,[1] to Rajib Roy, a Bengali Hindu tea plantation manager from Calcutta and Mary Roy, a Malayali Syrian Christian women's rights activist from Kerala.[2] When she was two, her parents divorced and she returned with her mother and brother to Kerala.[2] For a time, the family lived with Roy's maternal grandfather in Ooty, Tamil Nadu. When she was 5, the family moved back to Kerala, where her mother started a school.[2]

Roy attended school at Corpus Christi, Kottayam, followed by the Lawrence School, Lovedale, in Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu. She then studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, where she met architect Gerard da Cunha. The two lived together in Delhi, and then Goa, before they broke up.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Roy returned to Delhi, where she obtained a position with the National Institute of Urban Affairs.[2] In 1984 she met independent filmmaker Pradip Krishen, who offered her a role as a goatherd in his award-winning movie Massey Sahib.[3] The two later married. They collaborated on a television series on India's independence movement and on two films, Annie and Electric Moon.[2] Disenchanted with the film world, Roy worked various jobs, including running aerobics classes. Roy and Krishen eventually split up.[2] She became financially secure by the success of her novel The God of Small Things, published in 1997.

Roy is a cousin of prominent media personality Prannoy Roy, the head of the leading Indian TV media group NDTV.[4] She lives in Delhi.[2]

Career[edit]

Early career: screenplays[edit]

Early in her career, Roy worked for television and movies. She wrote the screenplays for In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones (1989), a movie based on her experiences as a student of architecture, in which she also appeared as a performer, and Electric Moon (1992),[5] both directed by her then husband Pradip Krishen. Roy won the National Film Award for Best Screenplay in 1988 for In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones.[6] She attracted attention in 1994, when she criticised Shekhar Kapur's film Bandit Queen, based on the life of Phoolan Devi.[5] In her film review entitled "The Great Indian Rape Trick", she questioned the right to "restage the rape of a living woman without her permission", and charged Kapur with exploiting Devi and misrepresenting both her life and its meaning.[7][8][9]

The God of Small Things[edit]

Roy began writing her first novel, The God of Small Things, in 1992, completing it in 1996.[10] The book is semi-autobiographical and a major part captures her childhood experiences in Aymanam.[1]

The publication of The God of Small Things catapulted Roy to international fame. It received the 1997 Booker Prize for Fiction and was listed as one of the New York Times Notable Books of the Year for 1997.[11] It reached fourth position on the New York Times Bestsellers list for Independent Fiction.[12] From the beginning, the book was also a commercial success: Roy received half a million pounds as an advance.[9] It was published in May, and the book had been sold in eighteen countries by the end of June.[10]

The God of Small Things received stellar reviews in major American newspapers such as The New York Times (a "dazzling first novel,"[13] "extraordinary", "at once so morally strenuous and so imaginatively supple"[14]) and the Los Angeles Times ("a novel of poignancy and considerable sweep"[15]), and in Canadian publications such as the Toronto Star ("a lush, magical novel"[16]). By the end of the year, it had become one of the five best books of 1997 by Time.[17] Critical response in the United Kingdom was less positive, and the awarding of the Booker Prize caused controversy; Carmen Callil, a 1996 Booker Prize judge, called the novel "execrable", and The Guardian called the context "profoundly depressing".[18] In India, the book was criticised especially for its unrestrained description of sexuality by E. K. Nayanar,[19] then Chief Minister of Roy's home state Kerala, where she had to answer charges of obscenity.[20]

Later career[edit]

Since the success of her novel, Roy has written a television serial, The Banyan Tree,[21] and the documentary DAM/AGE: A Film with Arundhati Roy (2002).

In early 2007, Roy stated that she was working on a second novel.[9][22]

File:Arundhati Roy , Man Booker Prize winner.jpg
Arundhati Roy, Man Booker Prize winner

She contributed to We Are One: A Celebration of Tribal Peoples, a book released in 2009[23] that explores the culture of peoples around the world, portraying their diversity and the threats to their existence. The royalties from the sale of this book go to the indigenous rights organisation Survival International.[24]

She has written numerous essays on contemporary politics and culture. They have been collected by Penguin India in a five-volume set.[2]

In October 2016, Penguin India and Hamish Hamilton UK announced that they will publish her second novel, titled The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, in June 2017.[25]

Advocacy[edit]

Since publishing The God of Small Things in 1997, Roy has spent most of her time on political activism and nonfiction (like collections of essays about social causes). She is a spokesperson of the anti-globalization/alter-globalization movement and a vehement critic of neo-imperialism and U.S. foreign policy. She opposes India's policies towards nuclear weapons as well as industrialization and economic growth (which she describes as "encrypted with genocidal potential" in Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on Democracy).[26]

Support for Kashmiri separatism[edit]

In an August 2008 interview with the Times of India, Arundhati Roy expressed her support for the independence of Kashmir from India after the massive demonstrations in 2008 in favour 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.[27] According to her, the rallies were a sign that Kashmiris desire secession from India, and not union with India.[28] She was criticised by the Indian National Congress (INC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for her remarks.[29][30]

All India Congress Committee member and senior Congress party leader Satya Prakash Malaviya asked Roy to withdraw her "irresponsible" statement saying it was "contrary to historical facts".[30]

"It 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."[30]

She was charged with sedition along with separatist Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others by Delhi Police for their "anti-India" speech at a convention on Kashmir : “Azadi: The Only Way" in 2010.[31][32]

Sardar Sarovar Project[edit]

Roy has campaigned along with activist Medha Patkar against the Narmada dam project, saying that the dam will displace half a million people, with little or no compensation, and will not provide the projected irrigation, drinking water, and other benefits.[33] Roy donated her Booker prize money as well as royalties from her books on the project to the Narmada Bachao Andolan. Roy also appears in Franny Armstrong's Drowned Out, a 2002 documentary about the project.[34] Roy's opposition to the Narmada Dam project was criticised as "maligning Gujarat" by Congress and BJP leaders in Gujarat.[35]

In 2002, Roy responded to a contempt notice issued against her by the Indian Supreme Court with an affidavit saying the court's decision to initiate the contempt proceedings based on an unsubstantiated and flawed petition, while refusing to inquire into allegations of corruption in military contracting deals pleading an overload of cases, indicated a "disquieting inclination" by the court to silence criticism and dissent using the power of contempt.[36] The court found Roy's statement, which she refused to disavow or apologise for, constituted criminal contempt and sentenced her to a "symbolic" one day's imprisonment and fined Roy Rs. 2500.[37] Roy served the jail sentence for a single day and opted to pay the fine rather than serve an additional three months' imprisonment for default.[38]

Environmental historian Ramachandra Guha has been critical of Roy's Narmada dam activism. While acknowledging her "courage and commitment" to the cause, Guha writes that her advocacy is hyperbolic and self-indulgent,[39] "Ms. Roy's tendency to exaggerate and simplify, her Manichaean view of the world, and her shrill hectoring tone, have given a bad name to environmental analysis".[40] He faulted Roy's criticism of Supreme Court judges who were hearing a petition brought by the Narmada Bachao Andolan as careless and irresponsible.

Roy counters that her writing is intentional in its passionate, hysterical tone: "I am hysterical. I'm screaming from the bloody rooftops. And he and his smug little club are going 'Shhhh... you'll wake the neighbours!' I want to wake the neighbours, that's my whole point. I want everybody to open their eyes".[41]

Gail Omvedt and Roy have had fierce yet constructive discussions, in open letters, on Roy's strategy for the Narmada Dam movement. The activists disagree on whether to demand stopping the dam building altogether (Roy) or searching for intermediate alternatives (Omvedt).[42]

United States foreign policy, the War in Afghanistan[edit]

File:Arundhati Roy 3.jpg
Arundhati Roy delivering a talk "Can We Leave the Bauxite in the Mountain? Field Notes on Democracy" at the Harvard Kennedy School on April 1, 2010.[43]

In a 2001 opinion piece in the British newspaper The Guardian, titled "The algebra of infinite justice", Arundhati Roy responded to the U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan, finding fault with the argument that this war would be a retaliation for the September 11 attacks: "The bombing of Afghanistan is not revenge for New York and Washington. It is yet another act of terror against the people of the world." According to her, US president George W. Bush and UK prime minister Tony Blair were guilty of a Big Brother kind of doublethink:

"When he announced the air strikes, President George Bush said: 'We're a peaceful nation.' America's favourite ambassador, Tony Blair, (who also holds the portfolio of prime minister of the UK), echoed him: 'We're a peaceful people.' So now we know. Pigs are horses. Girls are boys. War is peace."

She disputes U.S. claims of being a peaceful and freedom-loving nation, listing China and nineteen Third World "countries that America has been at war with—and bombed—since World War II ", as well as previous U.S. support for the Taliban movement and support for the Northern Alliance (whose "track record is not very different from the Taliban's"). She does not spare the Taliban: "Now, as adults and rulers, the Taliban beat, stone, rape and brutalise women, they don't seem to know what else to do with them."[44]

In the final analysis, Roy sees American-style capitalism as the culprit: "In America, the arms industry, the oil industry, the major media networks, and, indeed, U.S. foreign policy, are all controlled by the same business combines". She puts the attacks on the World Trade Center and on Afghanistan on the same moral level, that of terrorism, and mourns the impossibility of imagining beauty after 2001: "Will it be possible ever again to watch the slow, amazed blink of a newborn gecko in the sun, or whisper back to the marmot who has just whispered in your ear—without thinking of the World Trade Centre and Afghanistan?"[45]

In May 2003 she delivered a speech entitled "Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy (Buy One, Get One Free)" at the Riverside Church in New York City, in which she described the United States as a global empire that reserves the right to bomb any of its subjects at any time, deriving its legitimacy directly from God. The speech was an indictment of the U.S. actions relating to the Iraq War.[46][47] In June 2005 she took part in the World Tribunal on Iraq, and in March 2006, Roy criticised U.S. President George W. Bush's visit to India, calling him a "war criminal".[48]

India's nuclear weaponisation[edit]

In response to India's testing of nuclear weapons in Pokhran, Rajasthan, Roy wrote The End of Imagination (1998), a critique of the Indian government's nuclear policies. It was published in her collection The Cost of Living (1999), in which she also crusaded against India's massive hydroelectric dam projects in the central and western states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.

Criticism of Israel[edit]

In August 2006, Roy, along with Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and others, signed a letter in The Guardian called the 2006 Lebanon War a "war crime" and accused Israel of "state terror".[49] In 2007, Roy was one of more than 100 artists and writers who signed an open letter initiated by Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism and the South West Asian, North African Bay Area Queers and calling on the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival "to honor calls for an international boycott of Israeli political and cultural institutions, by discontinuing Israeli consulate sponsorship of the LGBT film festival and not cosponsoring events with the Israeli consulate".[50]

2001 Indian Parliament attack[edit]

Roy has raised questions about the investigation into the 2001 Indian Parliament attack and the trial of the accused. She had called for the death sentence of Mohammad Afzal to be stayed while a parliamentary enquiry into these questions is conducted and denounced press coverage of the trial.[51] The BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar criticised Roy for calling convicted terrorist Mohammad Afzal a "prisoner-of-war" and called Arundhati a "prisoner of her own dogma".[52] Afzal was hanged in 2013.[53]

The Muthanga incident[edit]

In 2003, the Adivasi Gothra Maha Sabha, a social movement for Adivasi land rights in Kerala, organised a major land occupation of a piece of land of a former Eucalyptus plantation in the Muthanga Wildlife Reserve, on the border of Kerala and Karnataka. After 48 days, a police force was sent into the area to evict the occupants—one participant of the movement and a policeman were killed, and the leaders of the movement were arrested. Arundhati Roy travelled to the area, visited the movement's leaders in jail, and wrote an open letter to the then Chief Minister of Kerala, A. K. Antony, saying "You have blood on your hands."[54]

Comments on 2008 Mumbai attacks[edit]

In an opinion piece for The Guardian (13 December 2008), Roy argued that the November 2008 Mumbai attacks cannot be seen in isolation, but must be understood in the context of wider issues in the region's history and society such as widespread poverty, the Partition of India ("Britain's final, parting kick to us"), the atrocities committed during the 2002 Gujarat violence, and the ongoing Kashmir conflict. Despite this call for context, Roy states clearly in the article that she believes "nothing can justify terrorism" and calls terrorism "a heartless ideology". Roy warns against war with Pakistan, arguing that it is hard to "pin down the provenance of a terrorist strike and isolate it within the borders of a single nation state", and that war could lead to the "descent of the whole region into chaos".[55] Her remarks were strongly criticised by Salman Rushdie and others, who condemned her for linking the Mumbai attacks with Kashmir and economic injustice against Muslims in India;[56] Rushdie specifically criticised Roy for attacking the iconic status of the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower.[57] Indian writer Tavleen Singh called Roy's comments "the latest of her series of hysterical diatribes against India and all things Indian".[58]

Criticism of Sri Lankan government[edit]

In an opinion piece, once again in The Guardian (1 April 2009), Roy made a plea for international attention to what she called a possible government-sponsored genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. She cited reports of camps into which Tamils were being herded as part of what she described as "a brazen, openly racist war".[59] She also mentioned that the "Government of Sri Lanka is on the verge of committing what could end up being genocide"[59] and described the Sri Lankan IDP camps where Tamil civilians are being held as concentration camps.[60] Ruvani Freeman, a Sri Lankan writer called Roy's remarks "ill-informed and hypocritical" and criticised her for "whitewashing the atrocities of the LTTE".[61] Roy has said of such accusations: "I cannot admire those whose vision can only accommodate justice for their own and not for everybody. However I do believe that the LTTE and its fetish for violence was cultured in the crucible of monstrous, racist, injustice that the Sri Lankan government and to a great extent Sinhala society visited on the Tamil people for decades".[62]

Views on the Naxalites[edit]

Roy has criticised the Indian government's armed actions against the Naxalite-Maoist insurgency in India, calling it "war on the poorest people in the country". According to her, the government has "abdicated its responsibility to the people"[63] and launched the offensive against Naxals to aid the corporations with whom it has signed Memoranda of Understanding.[64] While she has received support from various quarters for her views,[65] Roy's description of the Maoists as "Gandhians" raised a controversy.[66][67] In other statements, she has described Naxalites as patriots "of a kind"[68] who are "fighting to implement the Constitution, (while) the government is vandalising it".[63]

File:A roy jmi.jpg
Arundhati Roy at the Jamia Millia Islamia in March 2014
See also [1]

Sedition charges[edit]

In November 2010, Roy, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and five others were brought up on charges of sedition by the Delhi Police. The filing of the First Information Report came following a directive from a local court on a petition filed by Sushil Pandit who alleged that Geelani and Roy made anti-India speeches at a conference on "Azadi-the Only Way" on 21 October 2010. In the words of Arundhati Roy "Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this".[69][70][71][72] A Delhi city court directed the police to respond to the demand for a criminal case after the central government declined to charge Roy, saying that the charges were inappropriate.[73][74]

Criticism of Anna Hazare[edit]

On 21 August 2011, at the height of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption campaign, Arundhati Roy criticised Hazare and his movement in an opinion piece published in The Hindu.[75] In the course of the article, she questioned Hazare's secular credentials, pointing out the campaign's corporate backing, its suspicious timing, Hazare's silence on private-sector corruption and other critical issues of the day, expressing her fear that the Lokpal will only end up creating "two oligarchies, instead of just one". She states that while "his means may be Gandhian, his demands are certainly not", and alleges that by "demonising only the Government they" are preparing to call for "more privatisation, more access to public infrastructure and India's natural resources", satirically adding that it "may not be long before Corporate Corruption is made legal and renamed a Lobbying Fee". Roy also accuses the electronic media of blowing the campaign out of proportion. In an interview with Kindle Magazine, Roy pointed out the role of media hype and target audience in determining how well hunger strikes “work as a tool of political mobilization” by noting the disparity in the attention Hazare’s fast has received in contrast to the decade-long fast of Irom Sharmila “to demand the repealing of a law that allows non-commissioned officers to kill on suspicion—a law that has led to so much suffering.”[76] Roy's comparison of the Jan Lokpal Bill with the Maoists: claiming both sought "the overthrow of the Indian State" met with resentment from members of Team Anna. Medha Patkar reacted sharply calling Roy's comments "highly misplaced" and chose to emphasise the "peaceful, non-violent" nature of the movement.[77] Roy has also stated that “an ‘anti-corruption’ campaign is a catch-all campaign. It includes everybody from the extreme left to the extreme right and also the extremely corrupt. No one’s going to say they are for corruption after all…I’m not against a strong anti-corruption bill, but corruption is just a manifestation of a problem, not the problem itself.”[76]

Views on Narendra Modi[edit]

In 2013, Roy described Narendra Modi's nomination for the prime ministerial candidate as a "tragedy". She further said that the business houses are also supporting his candidature because he is the "most militaristic and aggressive" candidate.[78]

Arundhati Roy's comments on Gujarat riots of 2002 that came in Outlook magazine when the riots were happening, which got very high media attention, when the enquiry proved false and subsequent apology was published in the same magazine, are one of the biggest controversial statement ever issued by her, which triggered widespread violence during the riots, is missing from "Advocacy and controversy" section of the wikipedia article about 'Arundhati Roy".

Some of the comments in the article published in the Outlook magazine were :

"Last night a friend from Baroda called. Weeping. It took her fifteen minutes to tell me what the matter was. It wasn't very complicated. Only that Sayeeda, a friend of hers, had been caught by a mob. Only that her stomach had been ripped open and stuffed with burning rags. Only that after she died, someone carved 'OM' on her forehead."

"A mob surrounded the house of former Congress MP Iqbal Ehsan Jaffri. His phone calls to the Director-General of Police, the Police Commissioner, the Chief Secretary, the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) were ignored. The mobile police vans around his house did not intervene. The mob broke into the house. They stripped his daughters and burned them alive. Then they beheaded Ehsan Jaffri and dismembered him. Of course it's only a coincidence that Jaffri was a trenchant critic of Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, during his campaign for the Rajkot Assembly by-election in February."

Please refer to the below citations and for further details :

See also [2]

Bibliography[edit]

Fiction[edit]

  • The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Hamish Hamilton, 2017. ISBN 0-24-130397-4
  • The God of Small Things. Flamingo, 1997. ISBN 0-00-655068-1

Nonfiction[edit]

  • The End of Imagination. Kottayam: D.C. Books, 1998. ISBN 81-7130-867-8
  • The Cost of Living. Flamingo, 1999. ISBN 0-375-75614-0
  • The Greater Common Good. Bombay: India Book Distributor, 1999. ISBN 81-7310-121-3
  • The Algebra of Infinite Justice. Flamingo, 2002. ISBN 0-00-714949-2
  • Power Politics. Cambridge: South End Press, 2002. ISBN 0-89608-668-2
  • War Talk. Cambridge: South End Press, 2003. ISBN 0-89608-724-7
  • An Ordinary Person's Guide To Empire. Consortium, 2004. ISBN 0-89608-727-1
  • Public Power in the Age of Empire. New York: Seven Stories Press. 2004. ISBN 9781583226827.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile: Conversations with Arundhati Roy. Interviews by David Barsamian. Cambridge: South End Press, 2004. ISBN 0-89608-710-7
  • The Shape of the Beast: Conversations with Arundhati Roy. New Delhi: Penguin, 2008. ISBN 978-0-670-08207-0
  • Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on Democracy. New Delhi: Penguin, 2010. ISBN 978-0-670-08379-4
  • Broken Republic: Three Essays. New Delhi: Hamish Hamilton, 2011. ISBN 978-0-670-08569-9
  • Walking with the Comrades. New Delhi: Penguin, 2011. ISBN 978-0-670-08553-8
  • Kashmir: The Case for Freedom. Verso, 2011. ISBN 1-844-67735-4
  • The Hanging of Afzal Guru and the Strange Case of the Attack on the Indian Parliament. New Delhi: Penguin. 2013. ISBN 978-0143420750.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Capitalism: A Ghost Story. Haymarket Books, 2014. ISBN 978-1-60846-385-5[79]

Criticism[edit]

Arundhati Roy has sympathized with the Naxalite-Maoist insurgents in India, whom she describes as "Gandhians with a gun".[80] She alleges that the sections of the Indian media had "often been biased and incorrect in their reportage" about the Naxals. In 2010, she wrote an article titled "Walking With The Comrades"[81] for the Outlook, for which she was dragged to the court by a Chhattisgarh-based social worker.[82]

She is also known for her following remarks, "Kashmir has never been an integral part of India - it is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this".

In October 2010, at a seminar in Delhi named "Azadi – The only way", where Roy took part with Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Varavara Rao, Roy said that "Kashmir should get azadi from bhookhe-nange Hindustan". 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.[83]. She along with Mr.Geelani could face charges for sedition under Section 124(A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for their remarks at the seminar. 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.[84][85]

She has been criticized for her views and controversial statements by several commentators.[86][87]

"Arunadhati Roy is a 'one-book wonder', as a woman who has shot her literary bolt and now keeps herself in the news by making increasingly outrageous anti-Indian statements for the benefit of the foreign media. Her caricature of India as some sort of neo-Nazi state where minorities are routinely persecuted and the poor cheerfully exploited offers foreign journos a useful counterpoint to the 'Indian success story' headlines and gives them a lazy way of adding dissenting notes to the usual India pieces." (Anupam Kher on Oct 30, 2010) [88]

In 2003, Arundhati and her husband,[89] were according to The Telegraph informed by Panchmarhi district administration that "a hilltop bungalow her husband owns near Panchmarhi stands on notified forest land and has to be pulled down...on grounds of violation of forest law.".[90] Also named in the case was the sister of Indian novelist Vikram Seth and two forest officials. Arundhati’s husband bought the 4,346 sq ft (403.8 m2) plot in 1994. Their land in Madhya Pradesh encroaches on a Wildlife protection zone[91]


In an interview with Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN, Roy defined the "ultimate goal" of the Maoists as "overthrowing the Indian state and institution of the dictatorship of the proletariat", which she did not support because she does not believe that a solution to the problems of the world would come from either a capitalist or a communist imagination. She was repeatedly asked to clarify her views on the Maoists.[63]



Karan Thapar: How do you perceive the Maoists?


Arundhati Roy: I perceive them as a group of people who have at a most militant end in the bandwidth of resistance movements that exist


Karan Thapar: but do you support any attempt to overthrow the Indian state?


Arundhati Roy: ..If I say that I support the Maoists' desire to overthrow the Indian State, I would be saying that I am a Maoist. But I am not a Maoist.


Karan Thapar: .. what about the tactics that the Maoists use?..


Arundhati Roy: There is already a civil war...when your village is surrounded by 800 CRPF men who are raping and burning and looting, you can't say I am going on a hunger strike. Then, I support people's right to resist that.



In October 2010, at a seminar in Delhi named "Azadi – The only way" ("azadi" meaning "freedom"[92]), 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:[93]


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.[94] Although it was widely speculated that she could potentially face sedition charges from the center for her remarks in Delhi, Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram said no action would be taken "unless there is direct incitement to violence".[95]


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.[92]

  • People like Harsh Mander and Arundhati Roy easily come across as laughable because their corrupting concern for their own image-building detracts mightily from the force of their propaganda against Hinduism: Roy posturing as an environmentalist all while setting up shop in a villa in a protected forest zone, Mander taking early retirement in peacetime from the civil service but falsely claiming that he had “resigned” (which implies loss of pension rights and other privileges) as an act of protest against the Gujarat riots, etc.
    • elst 2003,ch3

Desire to pose nude[edit]

On 27 October 2010, Arundhati Roy expressed her desire to pose nude for the senior edition of Playboy[96].

On 3 March 2011, a Delhi based artist Pranava Prakash painted Arundhati Roy nude enjoying a threesome with Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong and Al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden as a protest against the Booker-winning author for supporting Naxals and Kashmiri separatists[97].


She landed in controversy by her public statement in favour of kashmiri seperatists *[3] [4] [5]


Economist and free trade advocate Jagdish Bhagwati, on being asked if he'd like his book being reviewed by Roy, said "her conclusions are far more obvious than her arguments and that makes it impossible to function. You don’t know where to begin or where to end." [35]

− − − In 2003, Arundhati and her husband were informed by Panchmarhi district administration that a hilltop bungalow her husband owns near Panchmarhi stands on notified forest land and has to be pulled down, on grounds of violation of forest law. Section 18 of the law bars buying and selling of notified forest land. Arundhati’s husband bought the 4,346 sq ft plot way back in 1994

Criticisms in media[edit]

− The leader of opposition of India, L K Advani once remarked "Another example is a book by Arundhati Roy, a well-known author, on the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament on 13 December 2001. The book argues, quite obnoxiously, that the attack was not carried out by terrorists but orchestrated by the security forces themselves with prior knowledge of the leadership of the NDA Government. Her recent statement that "India needs Azadi from Kashmir as much as Kashmir needs Azadi from India" is seditious. The intellectual and literary community should strongly condemn such anti-national pronouncements, which are being given legitimacy by pseudo-secularists." He also believed such type of activism as Pseudo-intellectualism.

− − He further adds "Obnoxious propaganda by the likes of Arundhati Roy must be firmly countered". Also for her comments on Kashmir, Indian National Congress spokesman remarked "She (Roy) is a loose cannon who has abused liberal traditions of India to its fullest". Manish Tiwari further commented "It is a great tribute to the tolerance of India's ethos that a person who openly calls for Balkanization of country is not being locked up and the keys are not being thrown away"

− − Also in a interview to a talk show ("Devil's Advocate", December 2, 2007) she remarked about the supreme court verdict "I mean I have also been told by the Supreme Court of India that you will behave yourself and you will write how we ask you to write. I will not. I hope that is extended to everybody here"

− − She further remarked "What I am saying here does not matter. I might believe in this but I know that tomorrow I have to deal with the thugs of the government, courts of the fundamentalist and everybody else. In order to live here you have to think that you are living in the midst of a gang war. So what I believe in or don't believe in is only theoretical. However, how I practice is a separate matter. How I survive here is like surviving amongst thugs."

− − Recently,Arundhati Roy came under fire from Sir Salman Rushdie, who criticized her article on the recent November 2008 Mumbai attacks,terming her comments unfair and unintelligent.He attacked arundhati's interpretation that rich people are less important than the poor,also he felt that there are many options other than civil war or justice to face terrorism, as advocated by Arundhati Roy. He said that he had a moral problem with what arundhati wrote, and believed TAJ hotel is a landmark, and not a souvenir of injustice.

Balbir Punj, a BJP member of Parliament, criticized Roy's article titled Democracy: Who's she when she's at home?, on the 2002 Gujarat Violence, pointing out a factual error in it and calling the article "dishonest" and a "hate charter against India and the Sangh parivar".[98] Roy acknowledged the factual error and apologized to the family referred to in the erroneous statement but said that such errors do not alter the substance of her own as well as others' accounts of the violence.[99]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

  • These horrific murders are only a symptom of a deeper malaise. Life is hell for the living too. Whole populations — millions of Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and Christians — are being forced to live in terror, unsure of when and from where the assault will come.
  • Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this.
  • Arunadhati Roy is a 'one-book wonder', as a woman who has shot her literary bolt and now keeps herself in the news by making increasingly outrageous anti-Indian statements for the benefit of the foreign media. Her caricature of India as some sort of neo-Nazi state where minorities are routinely persecuted and the poor cheerfully exploited offers foreign journos a useful counterpoint to the 'Indian success story' headlines and gives them a lazy way of adding dissenting notes to the usual India pieces."
  • Arundhati Roy, Booker Prize winner and a big name among Western and Westernized audiences, was expected to prioduce some titillating atrocity literature about how unspeakably evil Hinduism is; and she did. She made the story more colourful by claiming that Ehsan Jafri’s two daughters had also been raped and killed. However, their brother issued a clarification that his sisters had not been in town at the time, one even being in the US. Being so diametrically contradicted after such a high-profile claim would have shamed a lesser mortal, and certainly been reprimanded and disowned by the editor formally responsible for a statement that turned out to be slanderous in the extreme. But not her, for she retained the backing of Outlook editor Vinod Mehta and dared to snap back: “Unfazed, Roy replied that she had got her info from two other sources, one a report in Time magazine and another, a supposedly independent fact-finding mission.” (p.286) Far from being a non-partisan and reliable source, this “fact-finding mission” had been carried out by the avowed anti-Modi crusaders Teesta Setalwad and Shabnam Hashmi....The same acclaimed fiction writer related how a pregnant woman had her stomach ripped open by the Hindu rioters. Tehelka, Harsh Mander in Times of India, even the BBC ran with it: “But nothing beats the mischief and arrogance of Arundhati Roy’s blood and gore reporting on the same story on the basis of hearsay.” In Roy’s version, after the woman died, “someone carved OM on her forehead”. What a gruesome illustration of Hindu inhumanity, almost too good to be true. And indeed, BJP MP Balbir Punj contacted the police, who had no such case booked. They contacted Roy, who, through her lawyer, refused to cooperate. (p.285-286)
    • Madhu Kishwar. Modi, Muslims and Media: Voices from Narandra Modi's Gujarat (Manushi Publications, 2014). ISBN 9788192935201, quoted in Elst, K. Modi, Muslims and Media Pragyata
  • Arundhati Roy risked the international fame she so clearly cherishes by going public with blatant lies about atrocities against named Gujarati Muslim women who turned out to be either non-existent or abroad at the time of the riots. Perhaps a fiction writer can afford this, but the news media with their deontology of accuracy and objectivity made themselves guilty of similar howlers.
  • And concomitantly, Roy has put her brilliant linguistic skills to the service of "truth". Read her graphic details—"The mob broke into the house. They stripped his daughters and burnt them alive". Roy speaks with the confidence of an eyewitness. Alternatively, she must've access to an eyewitness. Anyway, it reads heart-rendingly honest. Heart-rending, yes, but honest, no. Jaffri was killed in the riots but his daughters were neither "stripped" nor "burnt alive". T.A. Jafri, his son, in a front-page interview titled Nobody knew my father's house was the target (Asian Age, May 2, Delhi edition), says, "Among my brothers and sisters, I am the only one living in India. And I am the eldest in the family. My sister and brother live in the US. I am 40 years old and I have been born and brought up in Ahmedabad." So, Roy is lying—for surely Jafri is not. But what about the hundreds of media lies that haven't been exhumed as yet? Her seven-page long (approx: 6,000 words) hate charter against India and the Sangh parivar is woven around just two specific cases of human tragedy, one of which—by now, we know for sure—is a piece of fiction. The rest is hyperbole, punctuated with venom and vitriol to demonise the parivar. Precisely this type of demonisation had resulted in the macabre incident at Godhra. The vicious propaganda unleashed by the secularists for over a decade had made ordinary and gullible Muslims see the innocent Ram sevaks as demons who deserved to be burnt alive.
    • Fiddling With Facts As Gujarat Burns, The Roys in the media are harming India with half-truths and worse. Balbir K. Punj, Outlook India [6]


Other[edit]

Criticism[edit]

Criticism of Arundhati Roy Arundhati Roy's mother was a Keralite Christian . Her name was Mary. She worked in Metal Box in Kolkata as a secretary and met Mr. Roy, a Bengali Hindu who was also worked there. They got married and Arundhati was born to them. Mr. Roy's elder brother, Mr. P .L Roy, is the father of Prannoy Roy, owner of NDTV. P L Roy too married an Irish Christian lady & converted to Christianity. That's how Arundhati Suzzanna Roy and Prannoy James Roy are born Christians and are first cousins.

  • It is really interesting to note how both Prannoy Roy and Arundhati Roy have kept their middle names hidden from public and work on a anti Hindu propaganda & agenda together with a zeal under their alias Hindu names to deceive the public. Prannoy's wife is also the sister of Brinda Karat, one of the leaders of the Indian communist party - a fact that's also hidden. This said we should not be fanatics, I have met Prannoy and he seems like a decent man. It just happens that he has an ideology thatis Marxis and Christian inspired, whichis hostile to Hindus - and he uses his channel to peddle it in subtle and not so subtle manners


  • Arundhati Roy goes lyrical about the torture of a Muslim politician's two daughters by Hindus during the Gujarat riots of 2002, even when the man had only one daughter, who came forward to clarify that she happened to be in the US at the time of the "facts".
    • Elst K. Religious cleansing of Hindus, The Hague, 7 Feb. 2004, at the Agni conference

External links[edit]