Public statement from Arundhati Roy after the attack on her house

SOMETHING FOR THE MEDIA TO THINK ABOUT

A mob of about a hundred people arrived at my house at 11 this morning (Sunday, October 31, 2010.) They broke through the gate and vandalized property. They shouted slogans against me for my views on Kashmir, and threatened to teach me a lesson. The OB Vans of NDTV, Times Now and News 24 were already in place ostensibly to cover the event live. TV reports say that the mob consisted largely of members of the BJP’s Mahila Morcha (Women’s wing). After they left, the police advised us to let them know if in future we saw any OB vans hanging around the neighborhood because they said that was an indication that a mob was on its way. In June this year, after a false report in the papers by Press Trust of India (PTI) two men on motorcycles tried to stone the windows of my home. They too were accompanied by TV cameramen.

What is the nature of the agreement between these sections of the media and mobs and criminals in search of spectacle? Does the media which positions itself at the “scene” in advance have a guarantee that the attacks and demonstrations will be non-violent? What happens if there is criminal trespass (as there was today) or even something worse? Does the media then become accessory to the crime? This question is important, given that some TV channels and newspapers are in the process of brazenly inciting mob anger against me. In the race for sensationalism the line between reporting news and manufacturing news is becoming blurred. So what if a few people have to be sacrificed at the altar of TRP ratings? The Government has indicated that it does not intend to go ahead with the charges of sedition against me and the other speakers at a recent seminar on Azadi for Kashmir. So the task of punishing me for my views seems to have been taken on by right wing storm troopers. The Bajrang Dal and the RSS have openly announced that they are going to “fix” me with all the means at their disposal including filing cases against me all over the country. The whole country has seen what they are capable of doing, the extent to which they are capable of going. So, while the Government is showing a degree of maturity, are sections of the media and the infrastructure of democracy being rented out to those who believe in mob justice? I can understand that the BJP’s Mahila Morcha is using me to distract attention the from the senior RSS activist Indresh Kumar who has recently been named in the CBI charge-sheet for the bomb blast in Ajmer Sharif in which several people were killed and many injured. But why are sections of the mainstream media doing the same? Is a writer with unpopular views more dangerous than a suspect in a bomb blast? Or is it a question of ideological alignment?

Arundhati Roy
October 31, 2010

17 thoughts on “Public statement from Arundhati Roy after the attack on her house

  1. Is the government really showing “maturity” in not pursuing sedition charges? Or has it decided that it looks better to put on a publically “mature” face while condoning or maybe encouraging the vigilantes to mete out the punishment?
    I say this from the U.S. in ignorance–I am just always suspicious of the motives of the state in a situation like this.

  2. Pingback: Public statement from Arundhati Roy after the attack on her house « Red Ant Liberation Army News

  3. ms Arundhati Roy,a booker prize winner,a human rights and peace activist has dedicated his life to the cause of humanity and equal rights for all .but the radical hindus,capitalists,interest groups,dont want to listen to her and want to silence her at any cost,although state has dropped sedation charges against her in view of obama visit and geopolitical scenerio,but radical hindu outfits have launched a full onslaught on her,and state is acting like a mute spectator.i am with Arundhati,and i love her.

  4. Hi., I don’t agree with Roy’s views on Kashmir or for that matter on naxalism!

    However agreement is not a prerequisite for civility and that is the beauty of democracy. One has the right to speech and Ms Roy has hers. The state, “state actors”, “non-state actors” or MSM should avoid doing silly, rash and stupid things that does their repute a lot of harm only!

  5. These methods of silencing the voice of the people was and is extensively practised in Sri Lanka. The Indian government gave 100% support behind the scene while publicly denying. Now they are adopting the very same method in India.
    Indian government did similar thins in Nepal. Every attempt at Liberation in South Asia is ctushed by the Indian government.
    It has become necessary for the Indian people to be liberated for the people of South Asia to be liberated.
    The oppressors everywhere have joined together. It is time for the oppressed to join together.

  6. Arundhati Roy only said was a true person will.. we are shouting the same slogan for decades .. i respect the lady for her courage. we Kashmiris are suffering under the hands of Indian Govt.. its high time that India Citizens stop being part of political games and support humanity.. People like Arundhati are safeguarding the secular ingae of India.hates off to the lady

  7. People in kashmir have suffered no doubt , I strongly feel that ARMY SPECIAL POWER’S ACT should be scrapped but at the same time we cant compromise on the security of the nation .The only viable alternative is economic development of the region and we should concentrate fully on that .

    The Indian government has been too liberal in dealing with the social activists ,not because they don’t want to but they fear the media .It is because of the media that people like Arundhati Roy have become popular .In order to stay in media glare they can do/say anything , even if it is against their motherland .I would suggest her to work for the plight of kashmiri people and not to get media attension .

    BUT I THING IS SURE KASHMIR ,WAS /IS, AND WILL. REMAIN AN INTEGRAL PART OF INDIA .

  8. Hi…i’m very glad that you posted this article…it is especially important to use internet as freely as possible, bcoz, as we all know by now, ratified by Arundhati’s dispositions too, ‘free media’ is a myth…i don’t remember the last time she appeared on a national news channel, simply bcoz the 24/7 ones won’t risk her coming on their channels, bcoz she knows ‘too much’…it is pathetic to say the least how the ‘mainstream media’ in indulging in Arundhati Roy bashing…today, 15th November ’10, TIMES NOW Channel played a video of being surrounded by reporters, while she was exiting some place, wherein her title appeared as this at the bottom of the screen – Arundhati Roy, ‘Self-Appointed’ rights activist…it only makes you want to abuse them…Great Blog!

  9. I’m happy that you were not harmed in any way and I hope that this won’t discourage you in any way at all. I love the work you do. You have touched the hearts of many people including myself, keep up the great work and keep you head up!

  10. I am the secretary of the Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist) and have already published a full page article on the attack against Arundati in the Sunday Leader. I repeat that Arundati Roy is a monument and a shining symbol of freedom and justice. She is a hope of the future. I respect her stand on Kashmir and on the Maoist revolt in India.

    Hands off Arundati!

    Com. Surendra

  11. Hi, I just wanted to say, that your book the most captivating I have read sinceso many years. I was living in a remote place in Pakistan and needed to take smething to read while I was there. So I decided to take a novel I had read earlier of Ernest Hemingway (the Sun Also Rises) & a copy of Children of a Smaller God. Hemingway seemed almost trash in comparison. I’m sorry, but I had really liked his works earlier. Please do keep writng, there must be more where the first one came from. Good luck, Shamshad.

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