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Novelist Arundhati Roy could be charged with sedition

The Indian Home Ministry has given Delhi police the go-ahead to arrest bestselling novelist andactivist Arundhati Roy on charges of sedition. The charges relate to a recent event at which Roy appeared with Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelan. Roy has issued a statement in response to the news:  This morning’s papers say that ...

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The Indian Home Ministry has given Delhi police the go-ahead to arrest bestselling novelist andactivist Arundhati Roy on charges of sedition. The charges relate to a recent event at which Roy appeared with Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelan. Roy has issued a statement in response to the news: 

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.

Nobody seems to have accused Roy of actual ties to militant groups, and I would certainly hope that the police — who have not yet acted on the Home Minsitry’s recommendation — would think twice about arresting one of the country’s most internationally famous novelists for voicing an opinion, no matter how controversial. The comparisons with recent events in China are too easy to draw. 

 Twitter: @joshuakeating
Tag: India

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