Monday, November 01, 2010

The Arundhati Roy Affair over Kashmir

Today I am off to Kerala for a short vacation, for some rest and recuperation, R & R, as they are called. I am travelling by Garib Rath, the train service introduced by Lallooji, thank you, ji!

Something about the Arundhati Roy incident about secession has been bugging me. I want to write about it, but I don't know what. I am a confessed admirer of her writing and her activism for the poor, but I don't know if a writer should take sides in political debates. In my humblest of opinions, a writer's duty is to observe and not to jump into the fray. A writer should be a voice of reason and not a strident voice of anything besides. She has ended in a sticky situation because of her talk on a public platform. Such platforms have to be chosen with great deliberation, with prudence. I don't know the basics of the Kashmir questions, nor am I in a position to comment knowledgably. But I know this: Kashmir is something we have bungled very badly.

There's news that some rightist activists have damaged property at her residence. That's something unlawful and shouldn't be encouraged. It is said that the news broadcast vans appeared even before the protesters did. So did the rightists tip of the news channels so they could watch the tamasha they created in the evening in the comfort of their drawing rooms? Whatever happened to law and order?

Dilip D'Souza, who is a better writer by far, has put it succinctly in this blog post.

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