The moment I read about Arundhati Roy saga, I went to Encarta to see the definition of ‘Free Speech’.
Here’s what I found: Free Speech is “Right to express uncensored opinions: the right to express any opinion publicly”
Of course, it is extremely hard for the Indian Govt, Indian media & Indian people (Yes, I’ve noticed a heavy backlash & sharp negative responses on her comments all over the web) to digest this definition getting applied to Arundhati Roy (who, as on a week ago, most Indian people were proud of).
Before anything, let me put my opinion (I hope I don’t get arrested for that! :D)
- I do not ‘completely’ agree with Arundhati’s criticism, I can completely understand how she arrived to such conclusion.
- NO country in this world can ever claim to provide its’ citizens with Full Freedom of Speech – you can’t express negativity about Nazism in Germany, you can’t criticize the Govt in China, you can’t make fun of Islam in a lot of countries, you can’t kiss in Public in UAE – BUT, certain countries are BETTER than certain other countries when it comes to freedom of speech (rated by general public acceptance)
We can NOT neglect her completely though (well, if what she said was totally wrong, no one should have really bothered about it.). Arundhati has spoken about Kashmir – a region that houses none except victims, victims for life. A region that has always suffered, cried, pleaded for help, begged for mercy. Angry & lost generations are Kashmir’s identity. Kashmir has never enjoyed its’ own greenery, it was always overshadowed by Red – the color of blood. Kashmir has never played with its’ own snow, its’ hands were always busy cremating the dead bodies. It took months of protest & more than 100 lives for India to genuinely try for a solution
Why is it that Ordinary youngsters came on the streets to protest against India & its’ security forces?
Why does the valley hate the Indian army?
Why did Arundhati choose such extreme words to speak about Indian government?
Let’s face it – India has made mistakes on Kashmir. All these protestors are NOT crazy, they have got some serious issues – no one would just come out on the street & start shouting slogans!
That’s about Kashmir. What about Arundhati’s opinions?
Does the govt want us to be puppets to agree to everything or donkeys to nod along with whatever it says?
Sedition charges against the lady are misplaced – she’s not the one who has incited any kind of Violence. Ask the Kashmiris what’s the reason of their anguish? Ask them which group of people they’re upset about? Why does every Kashmiri want ‘Azaadi’ (freedom)? – Indian army might have to swallow a bitter pill.
I wish Kashmir to be a part of India. At the same time, I want Kashmiris to want to be in India. And for that, India has to correct a lot of things that went wrong in past 60 years in that region.
We NEED Arundhati, we NEED every intellectual in India to question what’s going on. At this moment – Arundhati & Kashmir are the biggest two challenges of the world’s largest democracy & I hope India will be able to survive & happily answer both of them!