The fascist goons of the Hindutva brigade are going after Arundhati Roy for speaking out in favor of Kashmiri rights and justice. This is an incredibly disturbing and frightening development. ScarletGuju, blogging from Delhi, writes: “it’s pretty troubling to hear how far people say they are willing to go to shut her up.”
For a snapshot of the recent developments that have brought things to this point, see ScarletGuju’s useful compilation of news articles in his post.
To see just how violent opposition to the Kashmiri cause has become, how volatile, watch these videos of Arundhati’s recent speech at a conference in Delhi.
The videos testify not only to the intimidating atmosphere that supporters of azadi in India are facing these days, but also to the integrity, not to mention courage, of a celebrated author and human rights campaigner who refuses to conform to the prescribed rules of celebrity.
Arundhati’s integrity is eminently her own.
So too is her courage, which I think has its moorings not only in her ideas and her convictions (you hear it in the quiet confidence of her opening one-liner: “Anybody have any shoes to throw, please throw them now!”) but in her close interaction with people in struggle. In the courage of Kashmiri youth, rising up with stones against armed soldiers and tanks, many of whom have grown up knowing no other reality than that of a violent, unjust, and unjustified military occupation of their lands. In the courage of adivasis standing up against the brutal crackdown known as Operation Green Hunt.
The Kashmiri intifada, which began with the uprising against the “Amarnath Yatra” of 2008, has clearly moved into a new phase of international visibility and recognition, thanks in large measure to the fact that this is an intifada in the strictest sense–a mass uprising–and cannot be written off or branded as just so much “jihadi terror.”
The international left has an important responsibility today. The escalating crisis in the subcontinent, or rather, the intersection of various crisis faultlines, has exposed the reality of the occupation of Kashmir to the world.
The international left must amplify the demands for azadi that are echoing across Kashmir today, and express our solidarity with Arundhati and her fellow activists.
- What I said is a call for justice, says Arundhati (topinews.com)
- Arundhati Roy threatened with sedition charges over Kashmir comments (mhpbooks.com)
- In praise of Arundhati Roy (newstatesman.com)
- Arundhati Roy and Kashmir’s struggle for justice | Murtaza Shibli (guardian.co.uk)
- Foreign Policy: Arundhati Roy Should Not Be Silenced (npr.org)