Film actor Paresh Rawal was recently in the eye of the twitter storm. Mr. Paresh Rawal had published a tweet where he proposed noted writer Ms. Arundhati Roy, instead of a Kashmiri man, should have been tied to a jeep. Mr. Rawal’s tweet was in poor taste. As a member of parliament, he should respect all kind of points of view, mores so if the voice is that of dissent. Mr. Rawal faced a lot of criticism for his action. He was forced to delete his tweet. On top of this, it emerged that news to which Mr. Rawal reacted was a fake news. According to report, Ms. Arundhati Roy never gave any interview to any Pakistani channel about Indian army unable to defeat azadi proponents in Kashmir valley.
In the limited context of the current fake tweet, it may be true that Ms. Arundhati Roy did not comment on the events in Kashmir now. But if one looks her interviews on YouTube and her writings on the internet, we can understand which side Ms. Roy’s sympathy lies. I am quoting one such talk of Ms. Roy. This talk delivered at the university of Westminster, can be found on YouTube. Title of the talk is “Democracy and Dissent in China and India – Arundhati Roy with Dibyesh Anand.”
Listen to this talk or any other speech and/or writing, one may observe that Mr. Roy is extremely critical of India, Indian army and any / all institutions of India. In her many interviews and talks, including this one, Arundhati Roy openly asks why West should treat India differently? Why should India be labeled as a rising star? Ms. Roy had asserted that India has illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland, Tribal dominated areas of central India, Telengana and Goa. India has maintained her domination over these areas using armed forces.
Ms Roy even labeled Indian army to be worse than Pakistan army. She said, Indian army has killed her own people in Kashmir, North East, in naxal affected central India. It is true, many things have gone wrong in India. We are a young nation. What Ms. Roy does not tell her audience is the fact that Indian army is called only when protestors resort to violence. In many places mentioned above, Indian army was fighting rebels armed to their teeth.
In her enthusiasm to denigrate Indian state, did Ms. Roy forget about East Pakistan? Where men, women, and children were massacred by Pakistani army. Did she not know what happens in Balochistan? Where dissenters are routinely picked up killed and tortured. Or more recently, did Pakistani army not kill close to a million of her own people in tribal areas of FATA? Definitly, India does not have to fashion herself as mirror image of Pakistan. But comparing Indian army to that of Pakistani army is taking the argument a bit far.