Arundhati Roy advocates terrorism

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 ‘struggle’ 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 Nayar’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 ballot… There are about eight lakh soldiers and there are supposedly 4000 militants. Isn’t it a curious mismatch or isn’t it that it’s an army of an occupation,” she observed.

Added Roy: “Are they (troops) there for some thousand militants? No. They are occupation forces… People of Kashmir have been betrayed and let down… They’ve come here to extend a hand of friendship… There is space for dreamers in radical politics… 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.

34 thoughts on “Arundhati Roy advocates terrorism”

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  2. I am curious whether there is something in the Indian constitution which bars freedom of speech for people undeserving of it.
    Something about not getting your fundamental rights if you fail to perform your fundamental duties.
    The best scenario for folks like the one you mentioned in your article is to ensure that the person can’t open his/her mouth in public and espouse treasonous views. Is POTA valid now? Is POTA applicable in this person’s case?

  3. POTA is no more, and Roy was one of its leading opponents.

    I’m not sure, but incitement to violence or terrorism may be a criminal offence.

    But there is nothing in the constitution that denies a citizen fundamental rights. Rights are inviolable. Duties are optional.

  4. Permit me to introduce myself. My name is Donald Veach and I write to you from Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. In my opinion Arundhati Roy is magnificent and is an icon, beacon, for justice. If you were at all familiar with her past writings then you should know that she is not avocating terrorism. She is advocating a political movement Non-voilent campigns must be transformed into political movements. If not, then the horrid status quo prevails.

    Donald Veach

  5. To step back for a second from the specifics of the situation (which I know not nearly enough about to comment on):

    “Why non-violence is always addressed towards resistance movements not states?”

    Really good question for all the liberals and civil libertarians out there, no? As elite a figure as Thomas Jefferson talked about the blood of tyrants and the tree of liberty.

  6. I seriously think she needs some help.The more people and media are trying to ignore her, the more she is trying to get attention.she has become addicted to attention.Look at the range of topics she is protesting, from economic liberalization to nuclear tests.All you have to do is invite her to speak and she just’s provokes everyone without understanding the issue’s deeply.Her impulsiveness and bleeding heart are surely gonna get her into trouble soon.

  7. Donald,

    Welcome to the Acorn
    Her activism is restricted to making speeches in places that allow free-speech. So you will find her making stringent criticisms against American imperialism and Indian occupation from safe venues like Washington or New Delhi.

    I’m surprised that you think of all people, Arundhati Roy is an icon for non-violent political movements, based on…writing and speechmaking?

    India is a country founded by icons who believed in non-violent political struggles. India’s icon of non-violent political struggle is found smiling on its currency notes.

    And if you are looking for an icon closer home, there’s Martin Luther King. These people not only wrote and spoke out against injustice, they even died for their beliefs.

  8. I’d take Ms.Roy more seriously, if she were to pledge tomorrow that she would not accept any nomination for the Nobel peace prize anytime in the future.

  9. i think Ms. Roy takes everything for granted since the fundamental rights provides her freedom of speech but that does not mean you should support separatists.

  10. Arundhati writes decent novels, but when it comes to political activism she is an annoying b*ch.. but, freedom of speech is most relevant when the speech that is protected is the most irritating..

  11. Kashmir has 3000 Islamist terrorists, 300,000 Indian soldiers: Kashmir is under occupation.

    There are 0 Islamist terrorists in Rajasthan, 100,000 Indian soldiers.. ergo, Rajasthan is even more under a military occupation than Kashmir..


  12. The definitions of “violence” and “terrorism” are changing, as these terms are widely misused by the agents of imperialist powers to suppress any kind of resistance against occupation, imperialism, or the corrupt status quo. Why violence cannot be used against a state that pays its military to be violent against other people? A state that owns and sponsors armed forces does not deserve a Gandhi treatment. Non-violence, however, remains as an optional choice, but violence is a must. Thus there is nothing objectionable in Roy’s statements.

  13. Wamy,

    There is no moral equivalence between a democratic state that exercises its power in a constitutional manner and a group of armed individuals that engage in violence against the state.

    If such an equivalence were to be extended, then you can argue that any bunch of thugs can extort money from you, because what gives the state the right to collect taxes?

    Or anyone who thinks he is qualified enough can drive a car, or fly a plane — what gives the state alone the right to hand out driving or flying licenses?

    Your arguments may perhaps work in autocracies, where the state imposes its authority by force. In democracies, though, the state derives its powers from the people, and the government exercises them according to the constitution.

    Of course, terrorists and armed groups are free to challenge this. But they must not cry foul when the state hits them back.

  14. Who said that a democratic government cannot be oppressive? Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it. If it is wrong for some groups to use violence against state, then it is wrong for a state to use the same, irrespective of how democratic or constitution-bind the government is. Democracy is no magic wand that makes wrong things right.

  15. Next time you write about her, could you include a picture? She’s mad cute.

  16. I have no particular fondness for environuts like Roy, nonetheless I don’t see her statement about “radical and serious” as being remotely an incitement to terrorism.

    Also, about democracy. Democracy simply guarantees that the majority viewpoint rules. It does not by itself guarantee minority rights. The Russian razing of Grozny is not any more justified because it was done by a democracy.

  17. Roy has the right to say whatever she wants whenever she wants. That is what freedom and democracy are all about. I find it very interesting that so many people feel completely justified when they use their freedoms to demand that anothers freedoms be restricted or denied.

    It would also be worth noting that terrorism is defined as the use of force or intimidation to achieve a political end. If anyone can name a state (past or present) that is not using terrorism in one form or another, I would be very impressed.

  18. For those of you who know nothing about Roy you can read The cheeckbook and the cruise missile. Roy is a great human being who cares about the injustices in our modern world. Eduacte yourselves, it could change the way you look at things.

  19. Arundhati should be declared a terrorist! For she supports Yasin Malik and the gang of murderers.
    Shame on those who accept the sponsorship or platform of anti Indians and anti humans.
    Just for the sake of popularity yes we have directionless individuals in our vast country like misguided misslies.
    It is a SHAME for our nation to have such individuals with us.

  20. Ms. Roy is a selfpromoting non-entity. She is a sympathizer of a cause that has terror written all over. Kashmir is NOT occupied, but Ms.Roy’s mind is certainly occupied by misinformation, self loathing, and sympathy for terrorists. In this respect she falls in the category of women who ‘loved’ the notorious Jeffrey Dhamer.

  21. I have a full length article on Ms. Roy I have written. I think it would make good reading on your site (and invoke hot reader response). I can assure you the article is well written and provocative. I would like to send it to you as an email attachment for your review. Is this possible?

  22. Tony,

    You can email it to me be all means. But whether or not it will go up is entirely up to me (although I do try and stick to my own rules)

  23. Unfortunately, I had to read “the god of small things” for college. After reading about Roy’s life and self promotion. I must place her with the bunch of actors, writers, directors, singers that benefit and become wealthy thanks to capitalism and yet have the nerve to protest it. I would take Roy more seriously had she distributed her boring book for free. Nobel Prize contender? C’mon those things are given away like candy these days. God bless
    America! The rest? they can all anhilate each other for all I care, yes I am a New Yorker!

  24. Obviously, the novelist and public speaker, Arundhati Roy has struck a nerve with some folks here. Exactly what nerve that is, remains to be determined.

    Declaring her a terrorist for sharing her opinions about the use of violence and about the threat that may remain or escalate if such usage goes uncheck, unexamined or unthwarted; or even, for supposedly supporting another who practices such violence (as one respondent suggests), only serves as a target for our outrage of that propensity for violence and terrorism within ourselves. My guess is that those who post that we should fear her, actually envy her ability to speak with intelligence, candor and integrity about what she believes in. We are jealous that her words seem to make enough sense that millions of people listen to her. We feel slighted that we have not the courage nor clarity with which to express our own opinionated rage about what is personally meaningful. Rather we turn to someone who stands as an example of how we could speak up, whether in agreement with her or not, and decide to tear her down.

    I find this phenomenon curious. We are all human beings and equal so. Each of us possesses the ability to foster compassion and violence. Those who lash out against Arundhati Roy to perpetuate fear and distain, in my opinion, exemplify the very condition they despise.

    Humans we are…not rocks, trees, or insects…not sand, ashes or smoke. We are complex beings capable of creating and exhibiting great paradox. We are hypocrites…every one of us! How can you not appreciate our condition and the plights we have created for each other when they churn out magnificent examples of the best and worst in all of us?

  25. A Very Dangerous Woman: Arundhati Roy

    June 5, 2003

    On the morning of June 5, 2003, I heard an amazingly well presented pack of lies, half truths and vitriol on a local (Chicago) radio station. The bizarre rant was a rebroadcast of a speech given at the Riverside Church in Harlem, New York on May 13, 2003. Surely this person is mad, insane, I thought. It was Arundhati Roy, and she was ranting about “the US and UK invasion” of Iraq. At some points of the speech, she viciously attacked democracy. She called it “the modern world’s holy cow,” a “hollow shell,” the free world’s “whore.” She then railed against an independent judiciary. “Democracy is apartheid with a clean conscience,” she said. (And what would she replace it with? I wondered.)
    She shifted gears and attacked all of the US media and our notion of free speech. Of course, she said Bush was “not legally elected.” (Gotta work that one in, don’t you?) She bemoaned the “two million lost jobs under Bush.” The evils of Clear Channel Communications. “America’s poor are paying for the war.” “America’s poor are fighting the war.” America’s army depends “on a poverty draft”(wild applause), there is a “disproportionately high representation” of minorities in the US armed forces “and American prisons.” She was throwing clichés and lies around like grenades in a firefight.
    Americans, she said, are paying for “spurious wars of liberation” with our own freedoms (as if this has nothing to do with being attacked and a very real external threat).
    “Well,” she said, “ as Lenin would have asked, ‘What is to be done?’” (Nervous chuckling sound from the audience, followed by mild applause.)
    “Expose the corporate media,” she said, “for the corporate bulletin board that it really is.” (Right. Next time I read another anti-Exxon or anti-Wal-Mart piece I’ll try to remember that the corporate media are really just their bulletin board.)
    Roy then openly called for “a revolution,” “a battle” that “must begin here in America.” She continued, “You can refuse to fight, refuse to move those missiles to the dock, refuse to wave the [U.S.] flag.” (In other words, she was encouraging Americans to commit treason and sabotage. Ms. Roy is flatly guilty of subversion.)

    To see a video of the entire speech go to (Caution: You may experience dizziness and nausea.)

    A full written transcript is at

  26. Roy may have somewhat radical views but she is asking some very valid questions . Why non-violence is always called appeasement when powerful advocate it and a great thing when weak side pursue it.In case of Iraq I have never heard any American leader advocating non violence to resolve the issue of WMD (Which was a non-issue BTW).Why the most chrsitian nation (US of A) never turned other cheek as Christ advocated .

    In nutshell I think Roy is naive in understanding the absolute truth
    “Might is right .Truth never wins whatever or whoever wins becomes the truth “

  27. Seems to me she objects to scathing denunciations of “terrorism” while vastly more destructive state violence goes unmentioned. And she said it quite clearly.

  28. Arundhati roy is a menace to society and is just a publicity freak. She writes pathetic novels and her opinions are plain stupid. Who the hell gave her the right to consider yaseen malik and his cronies , non violent? Doesnt she know that he is a convicted terrorist, who has killed around 5 policemen. Mrs. Roy shld just go and write books, which incidentally arent good for anything.(not even toilet paper! it could damage some vital organs)

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