Arundhati Roy returns Indian National Award

arundhati-roy41[1]India’s world renowned author, critic, speaker and human rights activist, Arundhati Roy has just joined the list of over hundred of Indian academics, authors, artists, journalists, etc. who have returned their national awards in protest to Hindu extremism under prime minister Modi’s Hindutva government.

On November 5, 2015, in an Op-Ed at The Indian Express, she explained why she decided to return her 1989 National Award for Best Screenplay.

Today, we live in a country in which, when the thugs and apparatchiks of the New Order talk of “illegal slaughter”, they mean the imaginary cow that was killed – not the real (Muslim) man who was murdered. When they talk of taking “evidence for forensic examination” from the scene of the crime, they mean the food in the fridge, not the body of the lynched (Muslim) man. We say we have “progressed”, but when Dalits are butchered and their children burned alive, which writers can freely say, like Babasaheb Ambedkar once did that “to the untouchables, Hinduism is a veritable chamber of horrors”, without getting attacked, lynched, shot or jailed. Which writer can write what Saadat Hassan Minto wrote in his “Letters to Uncle Sam”? It doesn’t matter whether we agree or disagree with what is being said. If we don’t have the right to speak freely, we will turn into a society that suffers from intellectual malnutrition, a nation of fools. Across the subcontinent it has become a race to the bottom – one that the New India has enthusiastically joined. Here too now, censorship has been outsourced to the mob,” she wrote.

On November 2, the ruling BJP threatened to behead Karnataka state’s chief minister Siddaramaiah if he dared to eat beef. BJP leader SN Channabasappa said that he would love to use Siddaramaih’s head as football to play. The chief minister said that he would eat beef if he wished and that BJP did not have the right to question him on that.

Several BJP leaders have said that producer-actor of Bollywood masterpiece, My Name is Khan, Indian-born Shah Rukh Khan is a traitor and should migrate to next-door Muslim-majority Pakistan.

On March 2, 2015, BJP religious preacher,  Sadhvi Prachi, called upon India’s 840 million Hindus to boycott movies by Bollywood Khans as they promote Love Jihad (Hindu girls’ Muslim preference over fellow Hindus).

Arundhati Roy said that she was proud to return her national award – not because she was shocked by Hindu extremists’ intolerance toward other religious communities, because word intolerance doesn’t describe fully what’s going on in India now. She also said that she warned this was going to happen if Indians voted for BJP.

I cannot claim to be shocked by what has happened after this government was enthusiastically voted into office with overwhelming majority,” she said.

Arundhati Roy, who refused to accept India’s Sahitya Akademy award from Congress government in 2005, said: “Spare me from old Congress vs BJP debate.”

In response to this mass award returning campaign, India’s culture minister, Mahesh Sharma, suggested that unhappy writers should stop writing if they found country’s cultural climate not conducive to their work.

6 responses to “Arundhati Roy returns Indian National Award

  1. I have no sympathy for the intellectual class who have taken favours a plently from Govts in power. Now the purse strings have been tightened, and that is real cause for which they are yelping. India has always been a tolerant society and you see mosques, temples, gurdwarars and charches exist together.

    • Yes, India was “tolerant” only under Muslim rule, as Pandit Nehru admitted in his book, ‘The Discovery of India’.

      “When London was a city of 15000 unwashed people, India was living in its Golden Age during Mughal empire,” Eric Margolis, Canadian author of ‘War at the top of the World’.

      Muslim rulers never demolished, burned or raided temples, churches or gurdawaras. After the partition, Hindu mob demolished over 3000 mosques, burned churches and carried massacre at Sikh Golden Temple in 1984.

      • All can have an opinion but we need to be realistic.
        Millions of statues have been defaced,destroyed and temples destroyed.You can visit the Qutb Minar in Delhi for reality to strike you between the eyes.
        The Jazia tax was a tax on Non Muslims . Wake up.
        Mughals never ruled over many parts of India, even Rajasthan and most of Gujarat , where the administration was under Rajput rulers.
        But this is baggage of the past.
        Modern India is secular and will always be so.
        Obviously you have no idea what is sung in Gurdwaras or read the Guru Granth sahib.
        Happy Diwali.

    • @mukul Chand – Now you’re coming out of your Hindutva filth. You want me to believe that Modi is a better Hindu than Nehru?

      Jazia (less than 1% of one’s annual savings) was paid by non-Muslims who refused to enlist in army to defend their country. Compared to that every Muslim is commanded by religion to pay 2.5% of his/her annual savings as Zakat (tax).

      Qutb Minar was as much a Hindu temple as was Ka’aba (Saudi Arabia) was Hanu Ma’an’s Mandir – as claimed by some Hindu idiot historians.

      After Emperor Akbar, all Mughal kings were children of Hindu Queen Jodha Bai, who never converted to Islam.

      Even today, Bollywood’s top hero, Sharukh Khan, who was told by one of BJP leader a few months ago to move to Pakistan – has Hindu gods in his home, and he pray in front of them along with his wife.

      Thanks – Divali is as Hindu myth as the so-called Holly Cow. Personally, I’m vegetarian but also love to eat ‘cow feet’ once a while.

      Salam, Shalom, Nameste, Sat Sari Akal, Good morning, or whatever!!

  2. sorry churches, it was a typo.

  3. Rehmat,
    I just want to tell you that I post almost all of your articles on my public timeline, except those against my favored national leader Putin.

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