I have to admit that at one time I really admired Arundhati Roy for her first and only readable book – The God of Small Things. I was aboard then and when one lives abroad for a while, one appreciates India more for its support system; for its ancient history and for what the country went through for 1000 years.
I wish Arundhati had spent 20 years abroad and travelled to 60 countries, as I did as a filmmaker and a journalist so that she could have a better understanding of her homeland. She would not have spent her fame in attacking the police and the armed forces who were fighting both Maoists and Pakistani terrorists in India.
It is surprising for someone who claims to be “for the persecuted”, that she has never written a line on the lakhs of Hindus of Kashmir who were ethnically cleansed overnight from Kashmir and killed by the thousands.
She has perhaps not done her homework on what was really happening in the heartlands of the Maoists and how they killed the tribals mercilessly and sliced their stomachs and their babies if they would not join their cause. She has perhaps never inquired on why there was no development allowed to take place in such places. No schools, no voting, no democracy and most of all no human rights for the original inhabitants of Maoist infested areas.
It’s unfortunate that she goes around the world talking against Gandhi, India and the armed forces and police but she cannot give a figure on how many security forces died to protect India – more than all the wars fought with Pakistan and India.
The stand that she takes at times is dangerous for India because she openly tells the citizens to defy its rules, even when it as innocuous as the National Population Register, which every country I have visited also has. It seems she just wants to be in the news even at the cost of something that will make citizens of India secure.
I wonder how she would have acted if she had been born in China?
Her actions are dangerous not because they can bring this great civilisation down but because they can incite people to rebel. Rebellion just for the sake of it is arbitrary and creates a dysfunctional society. She forgets that India is much more diverse and younger than what it was when she won the Booker Prize decades ago.
It seems she has a mission to try and knock down India at every platform available to her. She seems to have been doing this for years, no matter which government is in power. One wonders if her negativity is her strength?
She uses the very freedom that India gives her to knock the country down. This, while she contends there are no freedoms left in India.
She is a fiction writer after all, and for fiction, you don’t need facts. You need just your views and an agenda. She has both. But she cannot grasp that the 30 somethings who make up the majority of India and speak in Hindi or regional languages are totally out of her ambit. Even the young English speaking youth would not know who she is. This is how irrelevant one can get and still think it matters.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.