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

We wish Arundhati Roy a long life on her birthday to continue leading us through these dark times Featured

 

Gurpreet Singh  

On November 24, the world renowned author is turning close to 60, but isn’t giving up her fight for a just society.  

This year's birthday of Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy coincides with the incarceration of dozens of scholars and writers who are rotting in jails in the world’s so called largest democracy.  

Among them are some of her closest allies, like disabled Delhi University Professor G.N. Saibaba, and Anand Teltumbde, who was arrested early this year. Their only crime was daring to question the power, and standing up for the religious minorities and oppressed people who face state violence under a right wing Hindu nationalist regime.  

Attacks on minorities and political dissidents have grown ever since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014. His supporters continue to hound Roy and likeminded authors and activists.   

Undeterred by threats and intimidations, she continues to write and speak against the rising tide of fascism.   

Her latest book of political essays confirms her unwavering commitment toward human rights and social justice. Azadi (freedom) presents the true picture of India under an extremely intolerant government, a picture that otherwise remains obscured by embedded journalists.  

She pulls no punches while challenging the tyrants occupying high offices in New Delhi, and speaks about the imprisonment of fellow writers. Not only has she become a voice for those detained scholars, but also for political prisoners and those fighting for emancipation in occupied territories, such as Kashmir within the Indian union. One of her latest essays is about how the poor and minorities are being made to suffer more under pandemic caused by COVID 19.  

In a nutshell, this compilation of powerful and thought provoking essays is a call for freedom from the shackles of a barbaric state, and the structural violence affecting marginalised sections (religious minorities, Dalits or so called untouchables, and Adivasis, the original inhabitants of India), and neo-colonialism, all in the name of the free market.  

In such hopeless times, we wish Arundhati Roy a healthy long life, so that her march goes on till there is an end to this seemingly long and depressing tunnel. At least gift yourself with Azadi on her birth anniversary, to show your support for her beautiful work, and to empower others by educating them about what has been going on in India.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 24 November 2020 03:26
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