"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.

Canada should give Arundhati Roy honorary citizenship and break silence over growing fascism in India Featured

Gurpreet Singh



It is time for Canada to stand up and break its silence over what is going on in the world’s so called largest democracy.

One way of doing this would be to give India-based world renowned author Arundhati Roy Honorary Canadian Citizenship, an honour earlier given to political figures such as Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Aung San Suu Kyi for standing up for human rights and democracy in other parts of the world. Though Suu Kyi was stripped of the Honorary Citizenship recently for remaining indifferent to the persecution of Rohingya Muslims by the Buddhist extremists and army officials, the fact remains that Canada had earlier recognized her resistance against military dictatorship.

Roy, whose birthday falls on November 24, has been to Canada at least twice, including her last visit in connection with the launch of her latest novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Her previous novel, The God of Small Things got her the Booker Prize Award. Both novels give voice to the poor and marginalized in India. While her first novel takes a critical look at the Indian left for its hypocrisy on the question of caste-based oppression, the second one is more critical of the current right wing Hindu nationalist regime under which the minorities continue to be tormented.

Roy is a no nonsense writer who has established herself as a powerful essayist. She has traveled extensively, displaying her ability to question the power anywhere in the world. She has faced threats and intimidation for writing in defence of the people of Kashmir fighting against state violence for their right to self-determination. She is one of the rare authors who have taken pains to travel to tribal areas to understand the root cause of the Maoist insurgency which the Indian state has frequently branded as the single largest internal security threat.

An exceptional writer with a poor person’s lens, she was in the forefront of the struggle against a controversial dam in Gujarat that displaced many indigenous peoples. She has also challenged the conventional history by questioning Mahatma Gandhi on his position on the caste system and race. Recently she has come out in public to openly criticise Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who represents the Hindu supremacist group RSS that aspires to turn India into Hindu theocracy.

An online petition https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-1896 launched by Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI) on October 19, is gaining momentum and has already gathered more than 100 signatures. Sponsored by Member of Parliament from Surrey, Randeep Singh Sarai, the petition needs 500 signatures by February 2019. Sarai had earlier written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on behalf of IAPI and others asking to strip Suu Kyi of her Honorary Citizenship.  

On her birthday, we appeal all Canadian citizens and residents to sign the petition and help us in breaking the silence over growing fascism in India under Modi government. Notably, Canada has also given Honorary Citizenship to Malala Yusufzai – a young Pakistani woman who survived a violent attack by Taliban for defending the right to education for girls in her country. If Canada can be considerate for what is happening in Pakistan in the name of faith, it must not overlook what is happening next door in India under the garb of secularism and democracy. The Hindu extremists have assassinated several progressive writers and scholars, while Muslims and Dalits or so-called untouchables are being targeted with impunity, and yet Canada remains indifferent. Together we need to change this.


Rate this item
(0 votes)
Super User

Selfies labore, leggings cupidatat sunt taxidermy umami fanny pack typewriter hoodie art party voluptate. Listicle meditation paleo, drinking vinegar sint direct trade.


Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Latest Tweets

It’s not March.
💙 #NationalDoctorsDay
@thanthanli 🌴 🌴 🌊 🌊🏄‍♂ 🌊 ⛱️🌴🌴
@soexya_Sid sending positive energy your way
Follow Twitter on Twitter

Post Gallery

Indigenous activist Cecilia Point and former Vancouver Park Board Commissioner Niki Sharma honoured at annual anti racism event in Surrey

Historical heroes and robot dinosaurs: New games on our radar in April

TG G6 will have dual 13-megapixel cameras on the back

KJerry's will sell food cream that tastes like your favorite video

Asia's best restaurant has a frustratingly confusing menu of only 17 emojis

Hynopedia helps female travelers find health care in Maldivs

Here's how to make Kevin's famous fish cutlet from 'The Office'

Netcix cuts out the chill with an integrated personal trainer on running

Science meets architecture in robotically woven, solar-active structure