True to her reputation as an iconoclast, writer and politic activist, Arundhati Roy on Sunday came down heavily on the hullabaloo over the ‘royal visit’ to Kerala.
With just a day before the arrival of Britain’s Prince Charles and wife Camilla Parker Bowles to the city, Arundhati said the upbeat mood of the city belies those who think that the colonial era has ended in the country. “They are still in the thralls of our colonial past,” she said during the sidelines of a book release organised by DC Books in the city.
She was referring to news reports that suggested that the city is undergoing a makeover for the royal visit. Damaged roads are being repaired, tiles of the general hospital have been replaced and security has been beefed up in the city as part of the visit. During her talk as part of the book launch, she spoke on a number of burning issues of the nation like Gujarat Minister Narendra Modi, media, brutal methods to interrogate Maoists and much more.
Outspoken as ever, everything from corruption in media firms to Modi to police atrocities against Maoists in the hinterlands came under the sharp criticism of the Booker-winning novelist.
“Modi is not a tragedy that is waiting to happen, it is a tragedy that has already happened. How can person of such a fascist reputation be proposed to the post of Prime Minister,” she asked on Modi’s nomination as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate.
On the interrogation of Maoists in the hinterland, Arundhati said the government is on a mission to silence dissenting voices.
“Even non-violent protests are brutally silenced. Anybody who does something that the state does not wish, is a Maoist in the eyes of the state. The hinterlands are being more and more militarised in the pretext of Maoist threat,” she said.
In spite of this imminent crisis in the nation, she said the young generation is increasingly emulating countries like America which have a colonialist and genocidal past. However, resistance is growing from the grassroots, she said.
Each individual is fighting back at the grassroots level. These individual fights can be seen as a mass movement, she said. Media houses were also not spared from her verbal attack. Media is being influenced by vested interests, she pointed out citing reports on mining mafia even as many of the media houses are being controlled by mining owners.
She was in the city as part of the release of the Malayalam translation of her book Broken Republic.
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