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Arundhati Roy Responds to Threat of Arrest for Sedition, Sparking Debate on Free Speech in India
"Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds. Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice."
KASHMIR - October 26 - The following is a full statement by Arundhati Roy, Booker Prize-winning novelist and renowned global justice activist:
I write this from Srinagar, Kashmir. This morning's papers say that I may be arrested on charges of sedition for what I have said at recent public meetings on Kashmir. I said what millions of people here say every day. I said what I, as well as other commentators have written and said for years. Anybody who cares to read the transcripts of my speeches will see that they were fundamentally a call for justice. I spoke about justice for the people of Kashmir who live under one of the most brutal military occupations in the world; for Kashmiri Pandits who live out the tragedy of having been driven out of their homeland; for Dalit soldiers killed in Kashmir whose graves I visited on garbage heaps in their villages in Cuddalore; for the Indian poor who pay the price of this occupation in material ways and who are now learning to live in the terror of what is becoming a police state.