[Reader-list] Prosecute the anarchist for treason
Aditya Raj Kaul
kauladityaraj at gmail.com
Thu Nov 11 21:40:29 IST 2010
*Prosecute the anarchist for treason*
November 11, 2010 9:43:40 PM
*Akul Nishant Akhoury*
*Any leniency shown towards Arundhati Roy for espousing separatism in the
garb of exercising her right to free speech will be an insult to the
nation’s integrity and sovereignty*
Arundhati Roy has clearly violated the Lakshman *rekha*and has mocked at
Article 19 of the Constitution that gives her the freedom to speak. The same
Article, however, puts reasonable restrictions and limits the ways, she can
exercise it. With her latest barb on Kashmir issue, she has clearly crossed
the limits, beyond which she cannot be allowed to enjoy the rights. Her
statement portrays her as an anarchist, not the way political theories
define an anarchist, but an anarchist in beliefs and ideas, who finds solace
Arundhati Roy’s statement on Kashmir has violated all the restrictions put
upon Article 19. While her statement is not only provocative, it also
espouses serious danger of hurting the sentiments of patriotic Indians and
particularly patriotic Kashmiris. Her statement has damaged the public
order, security of the state, decency and morality and challenges the
integrity and sovereignty of the nation.
By raising question upon the integrity of a state, she has not only hurt the
popular sentiments but has also tried to legitimize the separatists’ ideas
of Indian position on Kashmir. Her latest salvo that India has colonized
Kashmir is not only derogatory to the ideals of Indian national movement but
has also shattered the high moral grounds that India has always taken
against colonialism and imperialism in any form. Her barbs echo Pakistan’s
stand on Kashmir vis-à-vis India, and has the potential to weaken the Indian
According to the provisions of the Constitution, read with the amended
provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, even an advocacy of
secession from the Union does not enjoy protection and those advocating such
ideas can be penalised.
Going by the provisions, Arundhati Roy has secured for herself a maximum of
ten years of imprisonment.
The successive Governments should be blamed squarely for patronising the
pseudo-intellectuals and not dismantling the threats posed by them to the
society. Arundhati Roy has seldom realised that an educated person like her
commands certain respect and position in the society. Such a position comes
with certain responsibility towards the country and countrymen. Their ideas
are thought-provoking and carry weight. However, apart from damaging her own
image, she has also made the common man to fear similar pseudo-intellectuals
that each time they would open their mouth, would pour venom and damage the
tolerant fabric of the nation.
Legally speaking, the law may look into the grave nature of her statement.
No legal expert can deny that her crime is grave. A person speaking in his
house on such an issue may avoid prosecution, but a provocative speech at a
public forum cannot be ignored by any ethical and democratic standards. If
challenged, the court may look into the intensity of her advocacy for such a
cause. The quantum of sentence would be decided on that ground.
Constitution guarantees such a freedom of speech and expression so that
people use the right and raise voice against the tyranny of the state and
the individual. But Constitution never gives the freedom to misuse the right
and wage a war against the ideals of the nation.
By advocating the separatists’ line, Arundhati Roy has legitimised weeks of
violent protests in Kashmir and has also questioned the idea of nation that
India is. Defying long ago the two-nation theory, Kashmir had preferred to
remain independent but later merged with the Union after finding threat to
its ‘independent’ existence. Maharaja Hari Singh realised immediately that
going with India was better than remaining independent as the State did not
have the resources to remain independent against the nefarious designs of
According to the Government of India Act, 1947, and agreed to by the
Congress and the Muslim League, the dominion of India was to be divided
between India and Pakistan, with the princely states given an option to join
either of the two nations, but in no case could have remained independent.
Sovereignty of either of the two states was to be exercised over the
territory. Maharaja Hari Singh willingly signed the Instrument of Accession,
against the maverick Pakistan’s misadventure to capture Kashmir in a bloody
war. And the history is well known. *Azadi* for Kashmir in essence means *
azadi* to join Pakistan, which has been rejected by the Kashmiris
themselves, at least evident in over 50 per cent voting each time the State
went to vote. Stirring the hornet's’ nest in such a situation is nothing but
a move to gain cheap popularity.
An unknown face until 1996, she rose to fame after winning Booker for *God
of Small Things*(1992-96). She was fast enough to realise that road to quick
fame or infamy is only by remaining in controversy and propagating ideas
that run against the sovereign will of the nation. Henceforth, she never
Be it contempt of court in Narmada rehabilitation case, advocating Maoists
in their misadventure, or her views on 2001 Parliament attack case and
26/11, Arundhati Roy managed to remain in limelight by making politically
incorrect statements all the time. In none of the instances she has conveyed
any sense to the intelligentsia and the middle class that she has a bit of
respect for the established idea of nation that India is.
She calls India not a democratic nation. She supports Maoists who are avowed
enemy of the state. She calls India a nation that has colonised Kashmir.
With all the negative aspects of Indian state, she still prefers to stay in
India, so that she can stay here and criticise the nation. Staying in India,
Arundhati Roy is conspiring against the Indian state, and thus, should be
prosecuted for treason.
Any leniency shown towards her would not only be an insult to the idea of
national pride and but also the motherland, for which freedom fighters laid
down their lives. At the same time it would be warranted to deny her of all
the platforms from where she could raise such ideas.
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