[Reader-list] Statement by Arundhati Roy on the Attack on her Residence

Rajkamal Goswami rajkamalgoswami at gmail.com
Mon Nov 1 02:50:41 IST 2010

Dear All,

While I completely condemn the attacks, I wish to bring to your notice
a response that I wrote in reply to Swapan Dasgupta's article titled
"Deny Arundhati claim to fame" published in Sunday Pioneer, October
24, 2010. The link to it is below. I am putting it here now because it
seems all the more relevant in the aftermath of the attack. Most
comments to that article was mostly irrelevant and personal abuse at
Ms Roy. Needlessly I was deeply saddened and was forced to write it.

Nirguna said...
"..........However, it is also a fact that the organisers were banking
on spirited protests against Geelani to elevate a vicious message into
a debate over free speech and democracy. The ease with which some TV
channels fell into the trap was indicative of the larger gullibility
of India's liberal establishment......."

Dear Mr. Dasgupta,
Hats off to you. Never once in your article you have tread beyond the
issue and your opinion about it, which can be summarized in a nutshell
in the two sentences from your article that I have quoted above.
Your article vindicates me of the feeling of pity for those, who
resort to taking personal jibes and potshots at her at every other
opportunity (like a few readers in this forum and Ram Guha to cite an
illustrious example). I find that in extremely poor taste. It’s not
fair to extrapolate your disagreement to the guarded realm of personal
People reacting at her with great spite (mostly without even caring to
read or listen to what she has actually said and in what context,
Arnab Goswami-one good example), is becoming boring day after day.

I admire Ms Roy because there is less pretension and more consistency
in what she writes and has been writing about. Her politics is clear.
And most times even her most extreme rhetorics are deeply rooted in
facts. And that she talks for a bunch of people about whom most
mainstream celebrities/journalist donot talk about, is another thing
that I admire. Her only fault is that she uses the language of the
scum bags of our society, to undermine them. That media choses to
carry her front page ( I was surprised to see a Hindu front page top
story on her over the sedition charges) is not her fault. As you
rightly said in your article, we are the ones who steer her into the
throes of public domain, mostly through mindless personal attacks at
her. We are the ones who deserve the blame, not her.
October 31, 2010 2:41 AM

the link to the comment:

Article link: http://www.swapan55.com/2010/10/deny-arundhati-claim-to-fame.html

PS: Nirguna is my blog name.



On 11/1/10, SJabbar <sonia.jabbar at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am truly horrified by these attacks.  Very, very sorry to hear that this
> happened. Have no words that can adequately express my disgust.
> On 31/10/10 10:31 PM, "shuddha at sarai.net" <shuddha at sarai.net> wrote:
>> Dear all,
> the disgusting and obscene attacks on Arundhati Roy in sections of
>> the media
> and even, unfortunately on a forum like this one by right wing
>> hooligans
> (including some on this list) is now being complemented by attacks
>> and
> vandalism at her residence, in the full glare of the media. It is not Ms.
>> Roy
> who seeks out media coverage, it is the thugs who attack her who
>> pre-arrange to
> have television OB vans in place while they attempt to ransack
>> her residence.
> Those interested may read the statement below by Arundhati
>> Roy in response to
> the most recent attack,
> best,
> Shuddha
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> SO
>  A mob of about a hundred people arrived
>> at my house at 11 this morning (Sunday
> October 31st 2010.) They broke through
>> the gate and vandalized property. They
> shouted slogans against me for my views
>> on K...ashmir, and threatened to teach
> me a lesson. The OB Vans of NDTV, Times
>> Now and News 24 were already in place
> ostensibly to cover the event live. TV
>> reports say that the mob consisted
> largely of members of the BJP¹s Mahila
>> Morcha (Women¹s wing). After they
> left, the police advised us to let them know
>> if in future we saw any OB vans
> hanging around the neighborhood because they
>> said that was an indication that a
> mob was on its way. In June this year,
>> after a false report in the papers by
> Press Trust of India (PTI) two men on
>> motorcycles tried to stone the windows of
> my home. They too were accompanied
>> by TV cameramen.
> What is the nature of the agreement between these sections
>> of the media and
> mobs and criminals in search of spectacle? Does the media
>> which positions
> itself at the Œscene¹ in advance have a guarantee that the
>> attacks and
> demonstrations will be non-violent? What happens if there is
>> criminal trespass
> (as there was today) or even something worse? Does the media
>> then become
> accessory to the crime? This question is important, given that
>> some TV channels
> and newspapers are in the process of brazenly inciting mob
>> anger against me. In
> the race for sensationalism the line between reporting
>> news and manufacturing
> news is becoming blurred. So what if a few people have
>> to be sacrificed at the
> altar of TRP ratings? The Government has indicated
>> that it does not intend to
> go ahead with the charges of sedition against me
>> and the other speakers at a
> recent seminar on Azadi for Kashmir.
> So the task
>> of punishing me for my views seems to have been taken on by right
> wing storm
>> troopers. The Bajrang Dal and the RSS have openly announced that
> they are
>> going to ³fix² me with all the means at their disposal including
> filing cases
>> against me all over the country. The whole country has seen what
> they are
>> capable of doing, the extent to which they are capable of going. So,
> while the
>> Government is showing a degree of maturity, are sections of the media
> and the
>> infrastructure of democracy being rented out to those who believe in
>> mob
> justice? I can understand that the BJP's Mahila Morcha is using me to
>> distract
> attention the from the senior RSS activist Indresh Kumar who has
>> recently been
> named in the CBI charge-sheet for the bomb blast in Ajmer Sharif
>> in which
> several people were killed and many injured. But why are sections of
>> the
> mainstream media doing the same? Is a writer with unpopular views
>> more
> dangerous than a suspect in a bomb blast? Or is it a question of
>> ideological
> alignment?
> Arundhati Roy
> October 31st
>> 2010
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