She may be a rebel without a pause. But she is dangerous
The Acorn is breaking a self-imposed taboo. Recognising that mentioning her name would only play into her publicity-seeking hands, the house policy used to be a scrupulous effort to ignore her. That policy was good only so long as Arundhati Roy was assessed to be a shameless self-promoter whose only objective was to stay in the news by scoring same side goals. Her speech at a recent political exhibition organised by Yaseen Malik, of the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation (JKLF) front, has prompted a change in the Acorn’s assessment. Arundhati Roy is not merely a sympathiser of terrorism, she is also its advocate.
The meeting was organised by the JKLF after it collected 1.5 million signatures demanding that the Kashmiri people be included in the talks between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Yaseen Malik’s JKLF is among the few Kashmir separatist organisations that has shown the strongest signs of pursuing a non-violent campaign (although it holds out the threat of terrorism if its demands are not met).
Former diplomat and political commentator, Kuldip Nayar, who blamed Kashmiri â€˜struggleâ€™ for its violent overtures was confronted by firebrand writer and campaigner, Arundhati Roy, who wondered why intellectuals spoke of violence by resistance movements and did not include states in it.
The former diplomat Nayar in his speech said that due to violent overtures India was not taking Kashmir “serious”. “If this movement would have been a non-violent, India would have taken it serious,” he said.
However, famous author, Arundhati Roy, did not agree with Nayarâ€™s argument. “Why non-violence is always addressed towards resistance movements not states? Its easy to talk about people in Valley caught between bullet and ballotâ€¦ There are about eight lakh soldiers and there are supposedly 4000 militants. Isnâ€™t it a curious mismatch or isnâ€™t it that itâ€™s an army of an occupation,” she observed.
Added Roy: “Are they (troops) there for some thousand militants? No. They are occupation forcesâ€¦ People of Kashmir have been betrayed and let downâ€¦ Theyâ€™ve come here to extend a hand of friendshipâ€¦ There is space for dreamers in radical politicsâ€¦ And something radical and serious has to be done.”[Daily Excelsior]
Arundhati Roy is entitled to her opinion that Indian forces stationed in Kashmir are ‘occupation’ forces, but when she asks Kashmiri separatists who have gathered to attempt a non-violent campaign to do something ‘radical and serious’ she is clearly not asking them to write a book. She is advocating terrorism.
Like the Acorn, the Indian government would do well to see Arundhati Roy as a threat to national security rather than simply a rebellious intellectual indulging in harmless self-promotion.