Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice -Arundhati

Yahoo News | Tue, Oct 26 2010 | 03:15 PM

Even as the Centre mulls action against Arundhati Roy for her seditious speeches on Kashmir, writer Arundhati Roy issued a statement refuting the allegations that her speeches on Kashmir were anti-India.

Social activist Arundhati Roy listens to a speaker during a press conference organized by People's Union for Civil Liberties, PUCL, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, May 17, 2006. The PUCL condemned the arrest of their Chhattisgarh state general secretary Binayak Sen on May 14 for alleged links with banned Maoist groups. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)"I write this from Srinagar, 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," she said in a statement on Tuesday.

"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," she said.

She further said, "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."

Earlier, advocating the right to self-determination for the people of Kashmir, author-activist Arundhati Roy Sunday contended that in 1947, British imperialism was replaced with Indian colonialism which ‘continued to subjugate the people of India’.

Speaking at a seminar titled ‘Whither Kashmir? Freedom or Enslavement,’ Roy asked Kashmiris to ponder on the type of society they have in mind for themselves.

‘Imperial colonialism is fast being replaced by corporate colonialism and Kashmiris would have to make a choice whether or not they wanted the Indian oppression to be replaced by a future corporate oppression of the local masses,’ she said.

‘Your struggle has increased the consciousness in India about the oppression you face, but you must decide what type of society you have in mind once you are allowed to decide your future,’ she said.

Attacking the Indian government for the ‘oppression of the Kashmiri people’, she said India has been using Kashmiris recruited in the army and paramilitary forces to suppress the voices of dissent in the Northeast and vice versa.

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