NEW DELHI: Author-activist Arundhati Roy on Wednesday kicked up a controversy when, at an event organised here to protest against CAA-NCR-NPR, she urged people to give false information to the government and sabotage its attempt at maintaining a National Population Register.
“What is NPR? It has happened before. They (government officials) will come to your homes. They have started coming. They won’t ask any questions, they won’t ask for documents... But from NPR, the data base of NRC will be prepared,” said Roy, during a discussion outside Arts Faculty at Delhi University’s north campus.
Urging people to fight the government, she said: “We have to fight them for the four years. But, we should not give them four years; we must have a plan. When they come to your house, give them some other name like ‘Ranga Billa, Kung-Fu Kutta’. Give your address as ‘7 Race Course Road’. Let’s fix one phone number. A lot of subversion will be needed. We were not born to face lathis and bullets.”
“If Adivasis and Dalits speak up, they are called tukde-tukde. If students speak up, they’re called urban naxals. If Muslims do, they are labelled as terrorists,” she said.“In this era, we will all have to save each other,” she added.
As PM Narendra Modi dismissed the existence of any detention camps and appealed to the youth to not fall prey to such rumours trying to divide the country, Roy said: “How could he so easily lie about the detention camps even though he knew he would be caught? It is because godi (friendly) media is with him. You should feel shame. You are telling people to stop spreading rumours. Check your own social media!”
Legal experts, however, said lying to the government authorities can have legal implications. “Why should someone make a false statement? I don’t see a reason for doing so. You are making a misrepresentation. It is a question of fraud,” said former Additional Solicitor General of India A S Chandiok. He added though that Roy’s comments may be put in the context of her speech.
Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, however, referred to Giani Zail Singh’s statement when produced before a court during the British Raj to justify misrepresentation as an answer to the oppressive system.
Roy also said that all sections of citizens are fighting against CAA-NRC, but it’s the Muslims who are being targeted.
(With ENS inpus)