Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Pity You Ms. Roy

I generally avoid commenting on a topic of which I don't have the full knowledge. And more so, I avoid to pass remarks on those whom I don't know and whom I don't understand. But I just can't hold myself this time. I feel disgusted with this lady's comments and her 'do-anything' to get the limelight attitude. Those who have not gotten whom I am speaking of, its Arundhati Roy, and what provoked me is her statement to justify her yesterday's remarks, which can be found at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/I-pity-the-nation-that-needs-to-jail-those-who-ask-for-justice-Arundhati-Roy/articleshow/6814239.cms

From the days of Narmada to Maoist to Kashmir... Arundhati Roy has always been a lime light seeker. In the name of greater good, social justice etc etc.... she has always tried to project herself as the 'Defender of Justice'. And what has been her strategy? Pass some controversial remark so that you get media attention. If you don't believe me just do a background research on her and you will come to know how she has always done this. To rise against injustice is essential but to use the same as a propaganda even when there is no clear cut demarcation of justice/injustice, is gross. This is what she has been doing. When you speak against the government, you sell like hot potatoes in media coz they get to run their news channels 24x7 even when there is nothing to report, and you provide them a topic to call on a panel of experts who might themselves be as ignorant as any other person but who will give their comments as the Ph.D who has done complete in and out research on the topic. The media has always projected the weaker side as the sufferer, irrespective of justice and injustice, and in the process you become their Messiah! Be it Narmada, where Ms. Roy took side where majority of the cases were fake, or Maoist where she tried to rebrand them as martyrs or now Kashmir where once again she has outspoken herself, I find her credibility diminishing and raises questions on the sanity of her thoughts.

First of all, when you release a statement a day after your remarks to justify the same, it says something. It shows your desperation to justify yourself. If you believe them then why do you need to justify them?
And what crap do you use for justification! Let me quote directly from the statement,  

"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..." 
Dalit soldiers!!! what type of remark is this! Are you a politician now, trying to get the support of the dalit community for your statements? Or are you trying to create rift in our defense forces on the bases of caste and religion... Or there is no other soldier in the valley and the ones who are there have a badge on their chest saying, we are dalit soldiers! 

"Yesterday I traveled to Shopian, the apple-town in South Kashmir which had remained closed for 47 days last year in protest against the brutal rape and murder of Asiya and Nilofer, the young women whose bodies were found in a shallow stream near their homes and whose murderers have still not been brought to justice. I met Shakeel, who is Nilofer's husband and Asiya's brother. We sat in a circle of people crazed with grief and anger who had lost hope that they would ever get 'insaf'—justice—from India, and now believed that Azadi—freedom— was their only hope."
Come to your senses Ms. Roy. Is this problem just restricted to Kashmir? I request you to please visit any nearby police station in any part of India and you will find there will be cases of rape and murder where justice has still not been done. So, should we all stand for 'Azadi'! Every village of India as a separate country. Is it a justifiable reason to give the type of statement you gave yesterday?

"I traveled with a young man who told me how three of his friends, teenagers in Anantnag district, had been taken into custody and had their finger-nails pulled out as punishment for throwing stones."

Have you even checked the credibility of this? Have you tried to find out whether throwing stones was the actual reason, if in any case this punishment has actually been given? I am sure you have not. In fact you never....be it in Narmada or Maoist or Kashmir.... its not your area of interest. You just want the media hype. You talked to separatist and according to you, you talked to 'People of Kashmir', which I seriously doubt... but have you also talked to the soldier there. Have you seen what treatment he is receiving there. Well, I don't know about you but I have talked to some of the soldiers posted in Kashmir and they are the miserable lot, who are the punching bag of everything... who are told to restraint control when they are being open fired upon.... Have you ever... ever in your life.... raised you voice on such issues? 
"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.."
First of all, the mere fact that you can make such statements in public and then can pass a justification the next day speaks for the freedom we enjoy in this country.... the freedom you enjoys in this country. If it would not have been for this, you would have been deported to some dark corner of the country during Narmada only to be lost and forgotten with time.... So, don't pity my nation. Pity yourself for not appreciating what it has given you. Pity yourself for always complaining.....

Its always easy to point out flaws and believe me you can find flaws even in God if you set upon doing so. But the challenge is to find the solutions. If you want to contribute then contribute by providing solutions, which by the way, you have never done... have you ever come forward to support government in any of the schemes that it runs for the welfare of its people, the very people for whom you claim to fight for? I don't think so. For a change, use your intellect for constructive purpose to resolve the problem not to create another problem. But alas! I am sure you will never do it.... Because I significantly doubt your purpose, which I now believe is to get attention...


Ujj said...

Pretty much a balanced post but I think there are a few logical fallacies.

firstly you missed her point regarding the Dalit soldier. She's not trying to emphasize the 'Dalit' in her point on soldiers but in fact highlighting the state of the graves of those soldiers in the army who are dalit (ref: garbage heaps in Cuddalore).

I think you're last argument in which you ask her to come forward to defend government schemes is quite naive. Just because she brings to the forefront(according to her) the problems of the weak or oppressed doesn't mean that she is ignoring anything and everything good that has happened in this country. It merely means that her agenda is not to address those things (reasons debatable). Also by your own logic, even if she would have actually appreciated govt efforts, they would not have been brought to the forefront by the media.

lastly, you say 'If you want to contribute then contribute by providing solutions'. I guess she can always defend herself by saying identifying a problem is the first step towards solving it.

my own views on this(Kashmir issue, not other concerns of Ms Roy) are quite divided, hence whats above is just a logical analysis of your post and her comments.

imho she can only be argued with by demonstrating to her that what she's advocating isn't in fact justice and thats something thats very few people are doing. instead everyone's spewing anger against her for media-lime-light mongering, which is quite silly, considering standing up for a social cause will get one media coverage but it would also make one an object of hatred for the millions who consume the media. don't think becoming a universal hate figure would be an agenda for an author who depends on people to buy her books.

Aakash said...

Good Analysis... you present a second point of view. But following is my argument:

I don't believe that Army discriminate between soldiers on the basis of caste. So, state of graves of those soldiers who are dalit will be miserable as compared to others is totally out of question. Infact how can she say that if thts wht she want to say! are there separate grave of dalit soldiers? I re-read her statement after your comment... I still believe I understood it correctly. The use of the word Dalit is objectionable and points of different motives.

Point number 2: I totally agree with you... her agenda is not to address the +ve government schemes. Buts thts exactly my point is! Contribute constructively.

Problem identification! Just observe the trend... the various points at which she has shot to limelight.... The problems had already been identified and accepted as problems in all those cases... and then only she comes into picture because thats the hot zone.

Last point: -ve publicity is also a publicity and sometimes more effective... Osama is universal hate figure but i bet if he comes out with a book, it would b the Best Seller of all times. But sometimes its not for tangible benefits that people seek publicity but just they enjoy it. I believe thts the case with her.

Ujj said...

no man the point isn't about Army being at fault. its about the people. she is talking about people of Cuddalore who can't view their martyrs without the film of caste system due to which dalit soldiers can't be buried alongside other soldiers.

Amit said...

again, I too have limited knowledge on the subject but I don't understand why her pity is for

I dont understand what she means by saying the voice of millions of people when the most recent kashmir elections saw the highest turnout (62 %) since 1980, and selected a govt with pro-india stance
I don't understand why she is pitying the democracy of India while government have not yet initiated any charges aginst her. If she has the rights to speech, so do others. That need not be the govenment's voice
I don't understand her pity on country's law and order as I guess no country exist in the world where 100% communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters, rapists are behind bars.
If she is going to pity our country for this and acquisition of land for development and etc.etc. I guess she will have to start pitying almost every country on the map of the world.
The are issues and issues needs to be resolved, not pitied upon....

And on the lines of 1000s of hate comments going against her - We don't need her pity

Ujj said...

couple of very good points by neo.

however i strongly disagree with the fact that she should not 'pity' our country just because there are other democracies in the world also where criminals aren't behind bars. imperfection is a human characteristic yes, but that doesn't mean that we go through our lives not trying to make things better and accepting things as they are. i don't think one can attack her using this line of argument.

one of the things which i strongly feel one should attack her on is that she justifies and condones violence as an act of protest. if one has to lecture people on human rights, one has to first demonstrate higher moral ground and thats where all her arguments fall on their heads. she's trying to, in her opinion, fight for the right causes using, in her own opinion, the wrong weapons of choice. a perfect example of confused state of mind.

Sidharth said...

The very first thing that comes to my mind when the media speaks about "stone pelters" and "azadi demanders" is the good voter turn out during elections. It speaks loud about what Kashmiri people want. And I dont think any major event has happened since then that they suddenly turn against their own country.

Using Dalit word is a typical Politician. This looks to be definite to provoke rift.

The most hurting part of the speach was "Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this" (http://news.rediff.com/slide-show/2010/oct/26/slide-show-1-arundhati-roy-speaks-up-on-sedition-charges.htm) It is well known fact that Kashmir is leagally part of India after acession treaty was signed by Raja Hari Singh. It is morally part of India because Kashmiris come out and vote under the Indian democratic system inspite of threats fron terrorists. How can an Indian even think like this on an integral part of his country. There is absolutely no logic and sense in this statement, and ment to gather limelight.

Ofcourse, controversies are helpful for one to sell books (and also movies) especially west will read them for sure (they arethe one who gave her booker prize, and award everything that shows 3rd world countries in a state of pitty).

Sidharth said...

And this is what she says to international media

please have patiance and go through these links

At one place she says we cant have fair elections if there is a lot of miltary forces, Madam what do you want: after warnings from dozens of terrorists we would leae our country men without any security?

She goes on to say "They (average Indian) wouldn’t be able to tell you about the dubious morality of India holding on to this place."


"The point is that it doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that Kashmir was never a part of India. It was an independent kingdom." India had more than 500 princly states Madam. But the fact is "India" existed from Afganistan to Burma (OK. this is about 500 years ago).

Masterpiece: "If they (Kashmiris) were given only an option between India and Pakistan, I think—I’m no one to say this, but I’m just saying my gut feeling is that Pakistan would win hands down. But what India says is Pakistan is fueling terrorism in Kashmir. I think people see Pakistan as somewhat self-serving yet very important support for the freedom movement in Kashmir. People understand that it’s self-serving, but people still see it as support for what they see as a freedom movement."

When one says this, I dont consider her as Indian any more "India needs azadi from Kashmir just as much if not more than Kashmir needs azadi from India."

I thank God that this was not a trending topic on Twitter.

You can also read this if you have time:


nirvana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nirvana said...

I think the only comment that irked the masses is saying that "Kashmir has never been an integral part of India". True not a fair comment but I can understand the concern she is trying to highlight as its a fact that majority of Kashmiris want to be separate. One of my friends has kashmiri friends who had to leave kashmir due to never ending terrorism and they are sooo fed up of this whole issue that they'd rather live the rest of their lives in peace once separated than carry this drama for the next generation that's already in ruins.

I disagree with ur point that Ms. Roy does this to gain media attention. Come on! She is a well known face not because she is a social activist but as a Novelist, essayist. India is a democratic country and she has the same right to voice her opinion as U via this blog! Why would u pity her! Before u voice such strong opinions, tell me something - DID U CAST UR VOTE THIS YEAR?? How r u contributing to the so-called change that u expect from this female? The reason she has tried to justify herself after those comments are obvious as we Indians have the habit of jumping our guns at any comment...And just because rape and other crimes happen in all states of India, her bringing this to our attention is not a crime man! Probably Ignorance is bliss for some people but as an activist I think there was nothing wrong with that! I am not siding her opinion but what the need of the hour is to find an amicable solution on Kashmir rather than what she/he commented and why and then the whole melodrama!

Let's not forget the main issue is not Mr. Roy but Kashmir and the people living there (barely). Why should anyone target someone for voicing her opinion, our politicians do that crap everyday!

Btw its me Paru.

Aakash said...

@Paru: I won't comment on wht u posted, but will suggest you to go through some of the comments posted here. It will give u a better idea what we are talking abt. u have missed the point.

Sidharth said...

@Nirvana: YES, I did cast my vote this year, and the year before (All Municipal, State Assembly, and Lok Sabha).

What I do? I work for a NGO for upliftment of tribals. I have gone to the tribal villages many times. Lived with them straight 7 days once. I know this is a small part of many problems, but if all of us can take a cause and work towards that, it will make a difference.

You think only wrong comment she made was telling that Kashmir is not part of India.

What abaout her telling that Kashmir is a brutal miliatary occupation. In such a case she would not have been allowed even to go there leave alon speaking something on it. People like Geelani would not have existed.

Her highlighting the a generic (rape of a lady) problem as a specific problem to Kashmir, and the context and place where it has been told speaks loud.

Yes, we need to focus on problems in Kashmir and not on Arundhati Roy, but I have a genuine concern that such speeches will increase the problem in Kashmir.

"The reason she has tried to justify herself after those comments are obvious as we Indians have the habit of jumping our guns at any comment": Now we are not allowed to comment also in a free nation when some one calls part of our country as it was never a part. I am sorry, it hurts and I cant stop myself to reply to that. I need not tell what would happen when someone dares to speak something like this for *any other* country in this world. The price is tollerance is that you need to me more and more tollerant, else you are tagged non-tolerant.

I can proove that that this is to get media attention, but these people who have lived in India and used all its resources, have never found anything good here to tell to international media. They know that international media gives a lot of attention when they find "these poor people in 3rd world coutnries" so that they can pitty us and send us some 3rd grade help. I dont calim it is to get media attention in India, I have a feeling that this is to get attention in Itnernational media (which I cant proove and you may nto believe, its OK).

btw, did you have the time to go through an interview she has given to international media, whose link I posted in my prevoius comment.

Ujj said...

@Sidharth why are you so obsessed with the international media? or what the rest of the world thinks of us? by your logic, you would not be so upset about her making those comments as long as the international media didn't cover it. is that correct? i hope not.

we need to look at things objectively and set our own standards. its because of the above mentioned mentality of proving ourselves to be worthy of someone else's attention (in this case the rest of the world) that has put us in soup for years. we should strive to make our country more just not because we want to show the rest of the world that we are no longer the third world, but because its the right thing to do.

we cannot come to a conclusion as to 'why' she is saying all this, but what we can do is objectively look at 'what' she is saying and argue on that.

Sidharth said...

Just try Googling and you will find that this thing has spread everywhere. I am afraid that at a time when India also needs international support to fight terrorsim in Kashmir, such statements are definately anti-India and goes a long way in puting people against us (Because these statement are being made by an international figure).

Ofcourse we need work to make our country better because it is a right thing to do. And most of my arguement (except 1 point) was on what she has said. Apart from the fact that such statements hurt (and speaking against it is only human) large part of it is false, it puts us as on a bad potrait, and I strongly feel today, we need support from everywhere to fight terrorism.

Ujj said...

@Sidharth i doubt think international support has anything whatsoever to do with a country's internal matters. unless its taken to an abominable extreme like in case of Darfur et al.

all international support emanates from every country's own needs. Pakistan gets an annual military aid of $1bn (this year $1bn+$2bn) from US not because US is concerned about them but because they need access to Afghan via Pak and won't get it from Iran.

international support will fall in place because of totally other reasons. trade and business works according to the free market and profit. we don't need to lip serve the world to get their support. India's has been the good boy of the South East Asia class for long, hasn't translated in any international support for our fight against terrorism at all.

Sidharth said...

@Ujj Hope that what you say is correct. Its true that business and open market economy helps one get support. But I beleive that if one's image is bad at international level on a certain issue, it is difficult fot a nation to support it.

At best, no one will be influenced by her comments. But if someone makes false statements against your coutnry(Kashmir never a part of India, brutal military occupation), its not bad if you reply to that.

Ujj said...

@Sidharth i'm all for replying to her. just against the idea of attacking her for saying the things she said by calling it attention craving.

Sidharth said...

I wonder why learned people say against well establish facts (that is say false statements), which are known to agner people.