Minorities are suffering in India, Arundhati Roy slams PM Modi
In an interview with BBC’s Evan Davis, author Arundhati Roy has slammed Narendra Modi-led government and said minorities in India are suffering under his leadership
In an interview with BBC’s Evan Davis, award-winning author Arundhati Roy has slammed Narendra Modi-led government and said minorities in India are suffering under his leadership.
She had appeared on BBC’s flagship show Newsnight on Monday to talk about her new book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.
Referring to Roy’s book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Davis had asked, “You mention Modi, you’re not a fan. He (Modi) does not come out of the book well. Has he been as bad as you would have feared?”
Roy replied, “Yes, because today you’re looking at a situation where the Muslim community has been ghettoised. You’re looking at people being lynched on the streets. You’re looking at them being pushed out of economic activity they participated in earlier, you know meat shops, leather work, handicrafts, all of this is under assault.”
“In India we are looking at the violence of a community trying to form itself into a nation, a Hindu nation, and somehow everyone else is a second-class citizen,” said Roy
“The violence in India is terrifying. You all must have followed the rape of the little girl in Kashmir. That happened but thousands of people marched in support of the rapists including women, in support of the alleged rapists let’s say. But the point is there was an attempt to change how that trial was going to take place. So the polarisation is so frightening.”
Roy says that anybody who hold views against the Modi government, not just her, would be stupid not to feel worried. “Certainly, there is a vindictiveness to the way they go after people,” Roy added.
On being asked if she thought that Modi was worse than ‘a Trump or the other nationalistic’ leaders around the world.
Roy replied, “So the difference is that Trump, look at Trump, I mean he’s out of control, but all the institutions are so worried about him, you know, the media is worried, the judiciary is worried, the military is worried, people are trying to manage him. Whereas in India all the elite institutions have been in some ways taken over by this. So you have school textbooks, I mean the New York Times did a story, of great world leaders with Hitler on the cover.
“You have four Supreme Court judges who came out, the senior most judges below the chief justice, who came out. It’s never happened in India, they came out and held a press conference, and said democracy is in danger, the courts are being fixed. That was what they were implying,” she said.
“One of the great irony is the people like myself constantly being accused of being anti-India or anti-national. And it is us who love that place (India), not as a nation, not as a government policy statement but so much of the music, poetry, river valleys. It is us who are fighting for the mountains, people and diversity and the things that is makes the place beautiful. We don’t have a choice but to fight”
“One of the great irony is that people like myself are constantly being accused of being anti-India or anti-national. And it is us who love that place (India), not as a nation, not as a government policy statement but so much of the music, poetry, rivers and valleys. It is us who are fighting for the mountains, people, diversity and the things that makes the place beautiful. We don’t have a choice but to fight. No battle would be worth anything if it didn’t come from protecting the things that you love,” she added.