Writer Arundhati Roy threatened with arrest for ‘sedition’; English PEN speaks out


by Sunny
26th October, 2010 at 7:40 pm    

Update: I’ve changed the headline from ‘arrested’. That was my mistake.
News reports from India state that Roy, the author of the Booker Prize winning novel The God of Small Things, will be arrested and charged with ‘sedition’ over comments she made on Kashmir.

In statement issued to news organisations and campaigners (reproduced below), Roy claims she said only “what millions of people here say every day” and that her comments against India’s operations in Kashmir were made in support of her fellow countrymen.
Lisa Appignanesi, President of English PEN, said:

Since June, Kashmiri journalists and broadcasters attempting to report on unrest in Indian-administered Kashmir have been subject to violence and gagging.

Booker Prize winning novelist Arundhati Roy has now stepped forward to draw the world’s attention to the plight of Kashmiris. The truth of what is happening in Kashmir needs to be told. Brutality by the state, and the silencing of reporters, is no option for a modern India.

The author Hari Kunzru said:

I’m concerned to hear that Arundhati Roy may face sedition charges. India trumpets its status as the world’s largest democracy, but the Indian establishment is notoriously unwilling to listen to dissident voices. Whether or not one agrees with Roy’s positions on Kashmir or the Maoist insurgency in Central India, the issues she raises are important and deserve to be debated. The willingness by elements of the Indian establishment to use the legal system to intimidate critics is lamentable. India’s writers are an important part of the nation’s identity on the international stage. Supporting their right to free speech goes hand in hand with applauding them when they win the Booker prize. One is meaningless without the other.

Laws of ‘sedition’ (criticising the state) are routinely used by governments all around the world to threaten critics of official policy and state actions. In former British colonies, these are based on archaic English laws. Last year, English PEN campaigned successfully to ensure the remnants of such laws were removed from the English statute books, but elsewhere in the Commonwealth they remain law.

Statement by Arundhati Roy

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 travelled 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

From the English Pen site


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Civil liberties,India






75 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  2. Clare Gould

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  3. Grace F-H

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  4. Naadir Jeewa

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  5. Malcolm Evison

    RT @sunny_hundal: Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  6. Rooftop Jaxx

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  7. Ged Robinson

    RT @sinnaluvva: RT @sunny_hundal: Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  8. Adam Markham

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  9. Yakoub Islam

    Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1 RT @sunny_hundal:


  10. Maria Bustillos

    Good gravy, Arundhati Roy is going to be arrested for 'sedition'? http://bit.ly/9OjY4H via @sunny_hundal


  11. Polly Worthington

    RT @msgracefh: RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  12. Celyn

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  13. Elly M

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  14. Sam Kelly

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  15. Manish

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  16. Nicola Blunden

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  17. Jonathan Heawood

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  18. Jonathan Heawood

    “@sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1” thanks for retweeting.


  19. Naadir Jeewa

    Reading: Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for ‘sedition’; English PEN speaks out: News reports from India state that … http://bit.ly/afVzqF


  20. Christina Zaba

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  21. Peter Jemley

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  22. francesco iacoboni

    Solidarietà a #ArundathiRoy http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/10578


  23. Scott Neil

    Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot. Arundhati Roy to be arrested for "sedition". http://bit.ly/b6Knn1 – blogged by @sunny_hundal


  24. James

    RT @somedisco: Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot. Arundhati Roy to be arrested for "sedition". http://bit.ly/b6Knn1 – blogged by @sunny_hundal


  25. Cui

    RT @somedisco: Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot. Arundhati Roy to be arrested for "sedition". http://bit.ly/b6Knn1 – blogged by @sunny_hundal


  26. Finola Kerrigan

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  27. Loss of Privacy

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  28. Wealthy Writer

    Pickled Politics » Writer Arundhati Roy arrested for 'sedition …: News reports from India state that Roy, the au… http://bit.ly/coB1lT


  29. iSantanu Chatterjee

    RT @sunny_hundal: Writer Arundhati Roy threatened with arrest for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1


  30. iSantanu Chatterjee

    RT @sunny_hundal: Writer Arundhati Roy threatened with arrest for 'sedition'; English PEN speaks out http://bit.ly/b6Knn1




  1. Lamia — on 26th October, 2010 at 8:24 pm  

    “Laws of ‘sedition’ (criticising the state) are routinely used by governments all around the world to threaten critics of official policy and state actions. In former British colonies, these are based on archaic English laws.”

    Yes, of course. Freedom to criticise rulers with impunity was a hallmark of the parts of the world that the British subsequently colonised. It was only with the arrival of the British that such freedom was curtailed.

    And through some sinister power, even though the British no longer rule those countries, they have made nations and cultures which never knew anything about suppression of political opponents and censorship before, quite incapable of changing those laws.

    It’s all down to the archaic English laws. Nothing to do with the fact that sedition/treason laws have been found round the world as long as there have been rulers, tribes and states. Nothing at all to do with that. Yeash, it’s the English.

  2. joe90 — on 26th October, 2010 at 9:32 pm  

    Arundhati Roy has put a lot of men to shame, well done to her for her brave stand.

    111 people have been butchered in past few months by the indian state in kashmir and world’s so called leaders have hardly said a word against it.

  3. Cronous — on 27th October, 2010 at 12:11 am  

    The reports are untrue, why is PP commenting on speculation?

    http://www.hindu.com/2010/10/27/stories/2010102760540100.htm

  4. Vicky — on 27th October, 2010 at 7:16 am  

    Dear All,

    It seems very fashionable to criticise India for every thing and Roy has made a living out of it.

    She went to stop Narmada Dam to get publicity, people didn’t toe the line then. Its fine to ask for better rehabilitation package for locals and state must ensure it but to say that dam should not be built is stupid. Now, local people are reaping benefits of the Dam.

    The issue is that she was talking of breaking up India at a Seminar organised by known Hate India campaigners. Nobody denies that the state has failed its citizens in many ways and the administration should be much better but to say that India should break up is just not acceptable.

    Azaadi or Freedom is very fashionable in Kashmir Valley. People must understand that there are regions of Ladhak, Jammu and also Muslims of Kargil, Drass sectors who are very happy with Indian State. She wont mention them. Kashmir voice has unfortunately been only identified with the small Kashmir valley and not with whole of Jammu & Kashmir.

    The key issue is of Governance and it should improve all across India.

    Recently Roy in her article in Outlook magazine had said everything against the state but then nobody said about pressing charges since it is ok to criticize the government. But this time she went a bit too far. Ms Roy doesnt want a State. Someone should ask her how the hell governance will take place.

    Would love to hear her views on Azaadi of Kashmir (not of Jammu and Laddhak), since I think even she doesnt know that. She was talking about big apple pie statements of Azaadi (freedom) from hunger, poverty etc but do we need to break up India to get that?

    The person she was sitting next to at the Seminar, Mr S A Geelani sees merger with Pakistan as Azaadi.

    There are many such attention seekers who want to find faultlines where none exists and sharpen or widen where thin ones exist. England had mastered it for their Divide & Rule policy in India and these attention seekers have mastered it to a lucarative business offers.

    Remember many of them are regular speakers in the international seminar circuit.

    I dont have any problems in someone criticising government policies but to say that India should break is just not acceptable. She has done this many times.

    She is a Brown Memsaab.

  5. cjcjc — on 27th October, 2010 at 8:17 am  

    What sort of people would be in power in Kashmir were it to be allowed to split?

  6. Sunny — on 27th October, 2010 at 8:25 am  

    vIt seems very fashionable to criticise India for every thing and Roy has made a living out of it.

    There is lots to criticise for, and her criticisms have been spot on.

    Calling her a ‘brown memsahib’ just makes you look foolish and vindictive. If she can get attention to raise the plight of people who don’t get heard by the Indian govt – good for her.

  7. MaidMarian — on 27th October, 2010 at 9:21 am  

    ‘Laws of ‘sedition’ (criticising the state) are routinely used by governments all around the world to threaten critics of official policy and state actions. In former British colonies, these are based on archaic English laws.’

    So what are we saying here – that the locals are all just too backward to revise their laws?

  8. Shamit — on 27th October, 2010 at 9:54 am  

    I think the Indian Supreme Court in a decision in 1970′s stated that expressing an opinion without inciting violence is not sedition. I don’t see the current Supreme Court changing that and neither do I see the Indian government prosecuting Arundhati Roy.

    Vicky –

    Could we ask why the Indian civil society and political parties are so worked up about a statement made by an author – when they were shamelessly silent as young boys were being killed in the valley in the past few months.

    Could we ask where has the Supreme Court been when it comes to protecting the rights of natural born Indian citizens in the valley? Why does the protection of the courts not extend to those who live in the valley and have a Muslim name?

    Further, is the concept of India so fragile that one author’s statement could risk it? If that is the case, then there is no India. If India is truly the largest democracy in the world, it must accept that freedom of speech is sacrosanct. Especially when there is no call for violence.

    Without pluralism there cannot be any democracy – but is India truly a democracy or an oligopoly of political dynasties born to rule a billion people?

  9. kam — on 27th October, 2010 at 11:54 am  

    Roy has her constituency that she preaches to, who lap it all up without question and of course you have those making ridiculous calls to have her arrested for this that or the other, in effect it’s their ‘job’ and couldn’t do without each other the way to move forward is to display a consistency of approach and most of all lay off the nauseating self-righteousness.

    K

  10. platinum786 — on 27th October, 2010 at 1:54 pm  

    Vicky, surely the simple answer to the entire solution is that both Pakistan and India withdraw their forces from the territory that was pre-partition Jammu and Kashmir and allow the people a UN administered vote on what they want for their future?

    It was proposed in 1947….

  11. Sofia — on 27th October, 2010 at 2:07 pm  

    It’s quite nauseating the way some indian news channels report what is going on in Kashmir..apparently it’s ok because it’s a ‘war against terrorists’

  12. Sofia — on 27th October, 2010 at 2:09 pm  

    Vicky how about giving the people of kashmir a choice in the matter..

  13. Kismet Hardy — on 27th October, 2010 at 3:46 pm  

    “Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice”

    Genius.

  14. Cronous — on 27th October, 2010 at 5:40 pm  

    @Sofia

    “Vicky how about giving the people of kashmir a choice in the matter..”

    That presumes that parts of a country that have been part of a country for decades have presumptive right to secede at will, that is something that is not generally accepted.

  15. Cronous — on 27th October, 2010 at 5:48 pm  

    “It’s quite nauseating the way some indian news channels report what is going on in Kashmir..apparently it’s ok because it’s a ‘war against terrorists’”

    South Asian news channels tend to be low quality and emotive so don’t expect too much from them. Much of the recent violence in Kashmir (excluding encounters with militants) is due to the ineptness of Indian security forces, they have little understanding on how to use discertionary force and thus resort to live ammo when in a tense scenario.

  16. Kulvinder — on 27th October, 2010 at 7:27 pm  

    She is a Brown Memsaab.

    Personally i couldn’t have wished for a better post to highlight the argument Roy and her like make against the bitter, hateful nationalists.

  17. Shamit — on 27th October, 2010 at 9:00 pm  

    While I defend Arundhati Roy’s freedom of speech – I deplore her politics.

    The latte drinking global liberal elite – fans of Chomsky club love her and her mindless politics – which espouses a different form of extremism.

    Just like the god children of Faux news, no one can deny there is this uber elite liberal club who love to pontificate on their chosesn issue. Similar situations that does not neatly fit within their paradigm of fairness would not get a line of support from this group.

    These groups are self grandising intellectually myopic and hate constructive debate. Just like the neo conservatives this ideological children of Chomsky find fault with anything that does not agree with their views completely. This is not only prevalent in India.

    Roy clamours for protecting human rights of naxals – a noble concept, but as usual is shamelessly quiet when police constables are killed.

    And the self righeousness is nauseating from both the right and the left – when while claiming to represent the views of the people all they seek is an opportunity to impose their views.

    If you disagree you are a tory troll or a loony liberal.

    Entire political discourse has been brought down to this level – and those on the left say the right did it so must we – please get a grip.

  18. damon — on 28th October, 2010 at 2:20 am  

    Didn’t her most famous book have an incesteous ending?
    I remember reading it years ago and being put off recommending it to my sister.

  19. africana — on 28th October, 2010 at 4:28 am  

    @Damon,@18, yuk! was that in the “God of Small Things?” i think i’ll give that a miss, then.

  20. douglas clark — on 28th October, 2010 at 7:14 am  

    Cronus @ 14,

    That presumes that parts of a country that have been part of a country for decades have presumptive right to secede at will, that is something that is not generally accepted.

    What do you mean by presumptive right? Seems to me that there is a presumptive right to go your separate ways. Norway and Sweden for instance or the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

  21. Cronous — on 28th October, 2010 at 5:05 pm  

    @Douglas Clark

    “What do you mean by presumptive right? Seems to me that there is a presumptive right to go your separate ways. Norway and Sweden for instance or the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.”

    Your examples are completely off base. The Czech/Slovak Republics and Norway/Sweden separated because there was mutual consent that was not coerced. Obviously if both sides agree without coercion there is no issue. That does not mean that you have a presumptive right, it simply means since the other side does not disagree there are no problems with separating.

    Kashmir more closely parallels the Tamil movement in Sri Lanka, a sometimes violent/militant movement that seeks a non-voluntary forced separation based upon a ethnic and religious identity. The attempt of the Confederacy to breakaway from the US is also another example.

  22. douglas clark — on 28th October, 2010 at 5:20 pm  

    Cronus,

    I asked you a direct question about ‘presumptive right’.

    Frankly, you use a phrase or expession without having a clue what it might mean to others. And so it goes with ‘presumptive right’.

    You have not answered it.

    Reason?

    You haven’t a clue what you are talking about, nor the words you use.

    You have no idea of what a ‘presumptive right’ is as far as I can see.

    Try to convince me I am wrong, why don’t you?

    Let us assume that the US had been a proper democracy back then. Would a vote by the South to become independent have been wrong, and on what basis would you say that?

    It seems to me that the people of Kashmir are conflicted. There are those that want to be Pakistanis and those that want to be Indians. No-one appears to want to be a Kashmiri.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

  23. Cronous — on 29th October, 2010 at 5:49 am  

    @ Douglas Clark

    “I asked you a direct question about ‘presumptive right’. Frankly, you use a phrase or expession without having a clue what it might mean to others. And so it goes with ‘presumptive right’.”

    Huh? My response did not even refer to what you think is a presumptive right. I simply asserted that your examples are not related to the issue at hand since there is no need to assert a right when there is a mutual consent to separate.

    “You have not answered it.”

    I choose not to answer since the argument seemed illogical on its face and I did not want to start a conversation in that direction, but if you insist. The kind of “presumptive” right you assert is little more than a recipe for anarchy and nihilism. If ethnic groups, minority religious groups, clans, tribes, and/or individuals had the right to secede at will that is exactly what we would end up with. Tell me would it be ok for the Muslim areas in your country to secede on the basis of religion? Let us take it one step further, do I have a presumptive right to secede from the United States and declare my home/yard a separate country? Such assertions on are on their face silly and are merely recipe for a breakdown of civilized interaction between humans. Moreover for hundreds of years the nation state has been considered sacrosanct institution around the world.

    “Reason? You haven’t a clue what you are talking about, nor the words you use. You have no idea of what a ‘presumptive right’ is as far as I can see. Try to convince me I am wrong, why don’t you? ”

    So choosing to not address the issue means I have no idea what a presumptive right means? Or more correctly what a presumptive right means to you.

    “Let us assume that the US had been a proper democracy back then. Would a vote by the South to become independent have been wrong, and on what basis would you say that?”

    The US, like India, is not a democracy (in the Athenian sense), they are republics. Furthermore, regardless of whether you are talking about direct democracy (Athens) or a republic, the core feature of both is “majority rule” supplemented with certain freedoms (e.g. of expression or of speech) to protect minorities. I have never heard of a presumptive right to secede in a democracy and/or republic. Democracy/Republicanism does not mean you can do whatever you want whenever you want. To the contrary democracies/republics confer to their people the power to elect representatives in return for the right to rule over them.

    ‘It seems to me that the people of Kashmir are conflicted. There are those that want to be Pakistanis and those that want to be Indians. No-one appears to want to be a Kashmiri. Correct me if I am wrong.’

    There factions of Kashmiris that want to join with Pakistan, there are factions of Kashmiris that want to become independent, and there are factions of Kashmiris that want to join with India (mostly Kashmiri Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, etc.).

  24. earwicga — on 29th October, 2010 at 3:45 pm  

    Shamit @17 – ‘but as usual is shamelessly quiet when police constables are killed.’

    Karan Thapar: I want to talk to you about how you view the Maoists and how you think the government should respond, but first, how do you view the recent hostage taking in Bihar where four policemen were kidnapped and kept kidnapped for eight days, and one of them – Lukas Tete – murdered?

    Arundhati Roy: I don’t think there is anything revolutionary about killing a person that is in custody. I have made a statement where I said it was as bad as the police killing Azad, as they did, in a fake encounter in Andhra.

    http://indianvanguard.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/india-is-a-corporate-hindu-state-arundhati-roy/

  25. Sajn — on 31st October, 2010 at 12:16 pm  

    “That presumes that parts of a country that have been part of a country for decades have presumptive right to secede at will, that is something that is not generally accepted.”

    Kashmir has never been part of India. It was and is a disputed territory that was taken by force. The only way this will be resolved, peacefully, is for the plebiscite promised by the UN and agreed by India and Pakistan to take place.

    One thing I think that is virtually garaunteed is that most of us will vote for either union with Pakistan or independence which is why the Indians will never fulfill their promise for the plebiscite.

  26. Cronous — on 31st October, 2010 at 6:26 pm  

    @Sajn

    “Kashmir has never been part of India. It was and is a disputed territory that was taken by force.”

    I get it because you assert something it must be true? India’s claim is based upon Hari Singh’s instrument of accession. The same process was involved with accession of Kalat to Pakistan as well as virtually all of the 560+ princely states under the British Raj. Simply screaming your personal conclusions means nothing to me.

    “The only way this will be resolved, peacefully, is for the plebiscite promised by the UN and agreed by India and Pakistan to take place.”

    All the UN resolutions on Kashmir were taken under Chapter 6 which are recommendatory/suggestive in nature unlike UN resolutions on Israel/Palestine (taken under Chapter 7) which are required. Therefore India is not required to nor has any obligation to have a plebiscite.

    “One thing I think that is virtually garaunteed is that most of us will vote for either union with Pakistan or independence which is why the Indians will never fulfill their promise for the plebiscite.”

    And if there is a plebiscite in Balochistan, I think it is likely most of them would opt for independence, so what exactly is your point? Sorry but the world does not condone breaking apart nation states based upon ethnoreligious sepratism, not to mention Kashmiri Hindus, Buddhists, and Sikhs have no desire to be part of any independent or Pakistanified Kashmir.

  27. Vikrant — on 31st October, 2010 at 7:31 pm  

    While I defend Arundhati Roy’s freedom of speech – I deplore her politics.

    The latte drinking global liberal elite – fans of Chomsky club love her and her mindless politics – which espouses a different form of extremism.

    Just like the god children of Faux news, no one can deny there is this uber elite liberal club who love to pontificate on their chosesn issue. Similar situations that does not neatly fit within their paradigm of fairness would not get a line of support from this group.

    Spot on mate!

  28. Ravi Naik — on 1st November, 2010 at 1:22 am  

    The latte drinking global liberal elite

    Why is (caffè) latte associated to global liberal elites? I hear Fox News using that term all the time, and have no idea why.

  29. Vikrant — on 1st November, 2010 at 3:37 am  

    Why is (caffè) latte associated to global liberal elites? I hear Fox News using that term all the time, and have no idea why.

    Real honest Americans get their caffine at a local diner or a Dunkins. Didn’t yer know that?

  30. Shamit — on 1st November, 2010 at 10:45 am  

    “Kashmir has never been part of India. It was and is a disputed territory that was taken by force”

    Rewriting history I see but facts are a bit different, Sajn.

    First, there was a standstill agreement between Kashmir and Pakistan in 1947 which in legal sense meant “status quo”.

    But, in October 1947, a group backed by the Pakistani Army invaded Kashmir to force Hari Singh’s hand. Hari Singh turned to Mountbatten and the Government of India said help would only come if Kashmir aceeded to the Republic of India. Which Hari Singh did and 70% Kashmir could be freed from PAKISTANI intruders before the UN cease fire took place.

    for the plebiscite promised by the UN and agreed by India and Pakistan to take place.

    The security council in its original resolution in 1947 called for withdrawal of the Pakistani army from all parts of Kashmir and India was to hold a plebisite.

    However, India has not held a plebisite. And it has legal justification – the Security Council resolution also required the Withdrawl of all Pakistani Forces which did not happen.

    Instead, Pakistani leaders and ex leaders have gone on record saying they have supported terrorism in the valley and their former President Musharraf has openly claimed moral justification in invading Kargil – another war which Pakistan lost. In fact, the Pakistani armed forces have been good at losing wars they start – and also committed genocide in Bangladesh.

    Pakistan has failed to comply with security council resolutions and hence seeking moral and legal superiority is simply dumb. Not only did they not comply with UN resolutions, they in fact, gave away part of the areas they occupied to China.

    On this blog, people know a few things – so, when you try a moral or legal argument, I suggest you check facts (preferably not from Wikipedia please) and then post your rather imbecile comments.

    ******************************

    Earwicga – I am glad that she has said that.

    However, she was silent in the initial stages and on a couple of programmes, she argued rather differently.

    90% of the political blogs are extremely partisan and I usually do not put much weight on their perspectives.

    ******************************

  31. Ravi Naik — on 1st November, 2010 at 1:14 pm  

    I do not think she comes well in that interview (#24). First Roy says “Maoists today are fighting to implement the Constitution”, and then “Well, their ultimate goal, as they say quite clearly, is to overthrow the Indian state and institute the dictatorship of the proletariat”.

    We can disagree with her positions including her choice of beverage, but it is shameful that the Indian government threatened her with sedition. This is not a democracy to be proud of.

  32. Shamit — on 1st November, 2010 at 2:23 pm  

    To its credit, the Indian Government actually did not threaten her with sedition. And the Home Minister, yesterday made it clear they are not going to bother with pressing charges, which I predicted @8.

    *************************************

  33. Ravi Naik — on 1st November, 2010 at 3:51 pm  

    To its credit, the Indian Government actually did not threaten her with sedition

    So where did the ‘threat’ come from?

  34. Vikrant — on 1st November, 2010 at 5:38 pm  

    So where did the ‘threat’ come from?

    The 24-hour bullshit cycle of the Indian media!

  35. Shamit — on 1st November, 2010 at 5:44 pm  

    No points for guessing Ravi – it was the BJP and their acolytes.

    Add to that the collective wisdom of the typical 100 rupee crowd that comes on almost all TV news shows and says nothing. It was a non story until the media made it a huge story – call in the domino effect.

    The initial official reaction was we are examining the content of the speech – and the final official reaction was we are not going to take any steps. And there was a nuanced response from Chidambaram – who said not doing something makes a bigger statement than doing something.

    I am sure the nuanced position would be lost on most who were hyper ventilating about this.

    Can you imagine a comment by Arundhati Roy made it to Pickled politics – so did yemen – but a noble prize winner’s wife being put under house arrest in China and the torture the nobel peace prize winner has gone through failed to make the cut.

    Oh I forgot – I guess when the beijing consensus is the ultimate aspiration of all our economics geniuses – few millions disappearing or a mother forced to abort a baby in the 8th month – they cannot be and should not be stories. After all, they are not Palestinians and Muslims – so why should we care?

    Now do you see my point about the latte drinking guardian reading stupid elite – I don’t blame Sunny for this. Sunny has a political audience he caters too – and feeds them the stories that they love. And in his position I would do the same. That’s how Huffington Post came into being.

    But what does this tell you about that audience?

  36. Shamit — on 1st November, 2010 at 10:18 pm  

    Vikrant –

    How’s it going mate? How’s senior year treating you?

    So how many credits do you still have left to do?

  37. john — on 1st November, 2010 at 11:52 pm  

    Cronous
    “That presumes that parts of a country that have been part of a country for decades have presumptive right to secede at will, that is something that is not generally accepted.”

    You mean like the mainly Christian Southern Sudan?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11565124

  38. john — on 1st November, 2010 at 11:55 pm  

    Shamit
    “In fact, the Pakistani armed forces have been good at losing wars they start – and also committed genocide in Bangladesh.”

    Which you clearly support as you support the Indian army using violence to quell the Kashmiris democratic desire for independence much as the Pakistanis did with the Bangladeshis.

  39. Shamit — on 2nd November, 2010 at 12:15 am  

    “Which you clearly support as you support the Indian army using violence to quell the Kashmiris democratic desire for independence ”

    No I do not support the human rights violations committed by the Indian army in Kashmir – and you should read the whole thread before commenting on what I think.

    Have you read what I said at 8- if you didn’t have a look. Again, read and think before you open your mouth.- same advice i gave to sajin.

    And about democratic rights – what about killing of kasmiri pundits and pushing them out of kashmir – what about their human rights? Oh again litle or no knowledge – tryig to spiin.

    Piece of advice – before you spin something you really ought to know what they might come back with. In this instance, reading the thread or my comments before today could have helped.

    idiots have taken over this blog. -

  40. Shamit — on 2nd November, 2010 at 12:18 am  

    However, Indian army committed genocide like Sudan and Pakistan is a stretch to far – if they did so, mirwaiz umar farooq or gheelani and scores others would not have been around. But John (or whatever your name is) – you have an agenda.

    And reading your comments you seem to push the religious angle too much for sanity.

  41. john — on 2nd November, 2010 at 12:31 am  

    “However, Indian army committed genocide like Sudan and Pakistan is a stretch to far”

    Nah they just do that to non-Hindus in places like Gujurat in 2002. The Indian army in Kashmir has committed numerous massacres and human rights violations. Read the reports from human rights groups.

  42. Shamit — on 2nd November, 2010 at 11:02 am  

    Indian Army was not involved in Gujarat.

    I agree Indian army has committed series of human rights violations in Kashmir and I have always argued the special powers act should be rescinded.

  43. jahan — on 2nd November, 2010 at 6:29 pm  

    “Indian Army was not involved in Gujarat.”

    Oh please. The organs of the Indian state (police, politicians) directly were involved in the genocide of Gujurat’s Muslims even if the army wasnt:

    http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2002/04/30/we-have-no-orders-save-you

    ‘We Have No Orders To Save You’
    State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat
    April 30, 2002

    State officials of Gujarat, India were directly involved in the killings of hundreds of Muslims since February 27 and are now engineering a massive cover-up of the state’s role in the violence, Human Rights Watch charged in a new report released today. The Indian parliament is scheduled today to debate the situation in Gujarat, and may vote to censure the Indian government for its handling of the violence. The police were directly implicated in nearly all the attacks against Muslims that are documented in the 75-page report, ‘We Have No Orders to Save You’: State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat. In some cases they were merely passive observers. But in many instances, police officials led the charge of murderous mobs, aiming and firing at Muslims who got in the way. Under the guise of offering assistance, some police officers led the victims directly into the hands of their killers.

    Panicked phone calls made to the police, fire brigades, and even ambulance services generally proved futile. Several witnesses reported being told by police: “We have no orders to save you.”

  44. Shamit — on 2nd November, 2010 at 10:45 pm  

    Jahan-

    Did I say the police was not involved?

    If you were a regular on this blog you would have known that I think Narendra Modi along with the then Home Minister, DGP, Police Commissioner, IGs as well as the DIGs should have been charged with murder. They committed the offences of non feasence as well as malfeasence – both are sackable offences – add to that the criminal charges.

    They failed to protect those they were sworn to protect, and in fact committed ethnic cleansing – and should have been sacked and arrested that very night.

    I still don’t understand how can Modi still be CM.

    While I personally like Atal Behari Vajpayee, Gujarat would always remain a big blotch on his career and on Indian democracy. As Prime Minister of the day, he failed to act and protect Indian citizens and was complicit indirectly in the murder of thousands of innocent citizens of India and violating his oath of office and the Constitution of India.

    However, Gujarat has little to do with this thread – except for you lot grasping religion as a straw and trying to defend a failed state.

    Simple question to you lot – if you believe so much in the UN – why didn’t Pakistan take out all its armed forces from the disputed territory as was required by the security resolution?

    Second, why did Pakistan start training and aiding terrorists who killed and pushed out the kasmiri Pandits and thousands of other innocent Muslims?

    Third, why did you start Kargil even when the then Prime Minister Sharif was trying to get peace moving.

    And as far as the referendum goes it would never happen because Pakistan occupying parts of Kashmir and handing over parts to China along with infiltration and terrorism has finished that option.

    India has found political solution in its North East – if wankers in Pakistan stays out then India will find one in Kashmir as well. But Pakistan cannot do that – because its a fucking failed state.

    And after 26/11 and george headley’s confessions – are you really claiming the moral high ground.

    Must be joking right.

  45. kELvi — on 2nd November, 2010 at 11:32 pm  

    Kashmir has never been part of India. It was and is a disputed territory that was taken by force. The only way this will be resolved, peacefully, is for the plebiscite promised by the UN and agreed by India and Pakistan to take place.

    A lot of mouth breathers here seem to assume that India is an entity that was created by the British colonials around 1947 and endlessly argue whether some region is an integral part or some document of accession was signed or not. Mistake. India as a national entity in 18th-20th century terms may have emerged in 1947. But as a pre-18th century entity it is >5000 years old. The Indian Constitution merely gives a modern form to a millennia old entity. The founding parents of this modern constitutional entity – the best and brightest group of men and women ever to assemble in the last 300 years of human history, the Constituent Assembly of India – also adopted certain modern means of integrating the union, such as documents of accession and plebiscites. The objective without exception was to create a modern constitutional state by integrating as many states as possible – and this originally encompassed Pakistan’s Punjab and Sindh, all of Jammu&Kashmir – Gilgit and Baltistan, India’s Northeast, Bangladesh, and parts of Northern Burma, every island in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea and all of today’s Indian States. It was also sought to work out the most favourable terms of mutual coexistence by whatever means possible with Nepal, Maldives, SL, Bhutan and Sikkim. It was an imperial project and entirely India’s discretion to do so as directed by an elected Constituent Assembly. As an Indian I offer no apology and disregard any demand for the same. I share the the sentiments of every Indian realist thinker from the time of Kautilya to his modern day counterpart Dr. Ambedkar that this is the best arrangement to ensure the prosperity and well being of India’s billions for millennia to come.
    That is why India used the instrument of accession to march into the Kashmir Valley and exterminate the thugs of the Pak Army in 1948. That is why India threw out the Nawab of Junagadh, and dethroned the Nizam of Hyderabad and threw the Portuguese of Goa. That is why India threw out the Ranas and installed the Tribhuvans and is still trying to kipper the Chinese stooges – the thugs Prachanda and his flunky Bhattarai. In Sri Lanka India first supported the LTTE then realising its bloody blunder tried to suppress them paying a steep price in blood, and then many years later helped the Sri Lankan government exterminate the LTTE thugs with the most crucial action of the war – destroying the LTTE’s supply routes. India annexed Sikkim, tries to keep the Bhutanese happy, even though the Bhutias cleansed the country of its Hindus. India continues to shelter the Dalai Lama even as cowardly Western nations and thta publicity hound Arundirty Roy has never once sympathised with him. India tries its best with its limited resources to keep itself together because this is a task of millennia. And BTW there was this war in Bangladesh when India and that great leader defied even the US in aiding the Bangladeshis win independence. India has always been a multi-cultural mosaic and a jumbled Rubik’s cube of numberless dimensions and stands in complete contrast to the original monocultural state – China, which too BTW decided to reconstitute itself after 1949 with pretty much the same aims as India, and with no scruples whatsoever. This is the way national states (India) and state nations (China, USA, France, Imperial Rome etc) work. You trade off some freedoms for the hope of a secure, long and predictable lifespan. That’s why we like to live in them rather than anarchies like the Papuan Highlands, Somalia, Afghanistan, or Chechnia or Pakistan’s badlands.

    The Kasmiri Valley agitation is a movement not for some “independence” but a religious movement to establish a Shariat.

    As Arnab De puts it,
    http://greatbong.net/2010/08/11/of-azaadi-and-kashmir-and-other-false-words/

    So none of the traditional characteristics of freedom struggles hold here. But it is true that Kashmiris are fighting. But not for independence. They are fighting to establish a theocratic Islamic Shariyat state, aligned with or as an intrinsic part of Pakistan, where “independence” is defined somewhat as it is defined in Qatar, with subjugated status for minorities, and where the establishment of “liberty, equality and fraternity” , the ideals of any freedom struggle, is farthest from the minds of the stone-throwers and those that support them. But then one can say—”So? So they want to establish an Islamic state. That’s their decision. What right does the Indian government have to interfere?” This brings us to my second bone of contention. The word “Kashmiri”. Like “independence” this too, in this context, is a false word. A better more honest descriptor would be “Kashmiri Sunni Muslims”. There was a time when Kashmiris meant both Hindus and Muslims but then the Kashmiri Hindus were killed and driven out from the state by “Kashmiris”. Since these Hindus are not part of the “freedom struggle” it is not fair to use the word “Kashmiri” to refer to the agitators, who since they use Islam as their reason for wanting “independence” and identify themselves solely by their religious orientation, should also not object to being called what they actually are—Kashmiri Suni Muslims.

    India will not let up its pressure upon the Kashmir Valley, even if it appears to step back every now and then, because there is no right to secession in the Constitution, the Indian Constitution supersedes all foreign determinations, and every Indian has a veto on anarchic movements in any part of the land. So a few stone throwing thugs or a bunch of money grubbing jihadophiles like Shabbir Shah, Geelani and Yasin Malik don’t get to determine the fate of the Kashmir Valley, every Indian has a say in it. Pakistan should know better because in the last 25 years it has tried to foment terrorism and support secessionist movements in India it has steadily fallen apart, while India has thrived economically.

    And Jahan the Indian Armed Forces restored order in Gujarat in 2002, and without them the violence would have spread much farther than the confines of state. Check out the pages of The Hindu

    http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/2002/03/01/stories/2002030103030100.htm
    The Army units, frantically called by the Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, as the situation seemed to slip out of hand, started arriving in Ahmedabad and are likely to be deployed in the city on Friday.

    http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/2002/03/01/stories/2002030106000100.htm
    Briefing presspersons after nearly an hour-long meeting of the CCS, presided over by the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Union Home Minister, L.K. Advani, said the decision to keep the Army on standby was taken even as 11 companies of the Central para-military forces were rushed to Gujarat.
    “By this evening, the Central forces would be there to assist the local police in maintaining law and order in violence affected areas in Gujarat,” Mr. Advani said.

    http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/2002/03/02/stories/2002030203050100.htm
    AHMEDABAD, MARCH 1. The Army began flag marches in the worst-affected areas of Ahmedabad, Baroda, Rajkot and Godhra cities and the `shoot at sight’ order was extended to all 34 curfew-bound cities and towns in Gujarat as the orgy of violence in the aftermath of the Godhra train carnage continued unabated for the second day today.

    Not only the Army but also other central paramilitiaries such as the BSF, CRPF and the CISF have helped civilian authority on several occasions to put down communal violence. I would disregard tendentious accounts such as the source you have cited, as the reports were prepared on the basis of coerced testimony without any field work. I would rather go by the courts that have held exhaustive hearings and convicted several perpetrators. Modi bad as he is is definitely better than Rajiv Gandhi who did nothing during the Sikh pogrom in 1984 and is a saint compared to the thugs of the Kashmir Valley that include cutthroats such as Yasin Malik. Gujarat continues to be a state where Muslims live, thrive and prosper and are better off than their coreligionists in several other states including West Bengal, and AP. And also if you remember that tailor Qutubuddin Ansari the tailor whose picture broke through our conscience? After moving from Ahmedabad to Kolkata in 2003 he moved back and as of 2008 was reported to be running his tailoring business without any fuss.
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Why_my_photo_in_terror_mail_asks_riots_face/articleshow/3491430.cms

    This is not to say that things are back to normal or that the events of 2002 should be forgotten – never. But compare that with the fate of 500,000 Pandits who were cleansed from the Kashmir Valley in 1989 and the 500,000 who have since 1948 been deliberately pushed out the Valley. Unless they are willing to turn into slavish dhimmis (like Hari Kunzru) they have no hope in the Valley. The ethnic cleansing of the Kashmir Valley is the untold human tragedy of our time, not because it was tragic and gruesome, but because it remains unacknowledged. Barring Ram Guha no Indian “intellectual” has bothered to talk about it. To quote Guha from “India after Gandhi…”

    These women and men were not killed in the cross-fire, accidentally, but were systematically and brutally targeted. Many of the women had been gang-raped before they were killed. One woman was bisected by a mill saw. The bodies of men bore marks of torture. Death by strangulation, hanging, amputations, the gouging out of eyes, were not uncommon. Often bodies were dumped with notes forbidding anyone on pain of death – to touch them.

    This was on the scale of that other great genocide of our time, the Pakistani Rape of Bangladesh and the Partition pogroms in Kolkata and Noakhali which finally drove the only Hindu member of Jinnah’s Cabinet – Jogandra Nath Mandal – to quit Pakistan for good in 1950.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.