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Arundhati slammed after video from 2011 criticizing Indian army goes viral

  • Published at 11:37 am August 27th, 2019
Arundhati-Roy-Chobi-Mela-talk-Midas-Centre-Mahmud-Hossain-Opu-05.03.2019
Indian novelist Arundhati Roy poses for photos on stage at an interaction, organized as part of the Chobi Mela International Festival of Photography, held at the Midas Centre in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

She faced criticism on social media for the controversial remark

A video of Indian author Arundhati Roy has resurfaced on social media, where she criticized India for using the army against its people.

In the video, which is from an event in 2011, she seemed to suggest that Pakistan has not used army against its people the way India has, raising dismay on Twitter. 

She was speaking at a conference on Democracy and Dissent in China and India at the University of Westminster University of Westminster Regents Campus.  

She stated that since India’s birth, the country has been waging war on indigenous people in Kashmir and the state of Telangana, Sikhs in Punjab, Christians in Goa, and Muslims in Kashmir and Hyderabad.

She added Pakistan has not deployed army against its people the way India has. 

The video, resurfacing shortly after India revoked Article 370 from its constitution, led to outrage among netizens. 

After the video spread online, the Booker-prize winning novelist faced censure of the social media users of India, as the hashtag #ArundhatiRoy trended on Twitter.

The netizens slammed her for the statement made years ago.

Canadian journalist Tarek Fatah, recognized as a strong critic of Pakistan and its military, wrote on twitter: “[She] claims Pakistan has never deployed its military against its own people. Was she blind and deaf when 3 million died in the Bangladesh genocide by Pak Army in 1971? Is she unaware of Balochistan?”

Many Indian twitter users agreed with Fatah and criticized Roy’s comments. Twitter user @TheBharatGuy called her a "pseudo intellectual" and wrote: “At the time when Pakistan is building at #UNSC for Kashmir, #ArundhatiRoy sold her soul long back just to stay in the limelight.” 

Another user, @TheJaggi, said: “Something seriously wrong with Arundhati Roy that she can speak lies so confidently without fear of challenge. And why are journalists who listen to such rubbish not questioning her claims?”

A few Pakistani nationals also disapproved of Arundhati Roy’s remarks, saying that they appreciate “no double standards” when assessing the history of their nation. 

Pakistani lawyer and writer, Ayesha Ijaz Khan, @ayeshaijazkhan, tweeted: “I respect Arundhati Roy immensely for mincing no words in her criticism of the Indian state and its human rights violations. And I also respect Pakistani voices who are critical of human rights violations carried out by the Pakistani state. I don’t have double standards."

Ms. Roy has since clarified her comments.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article misquoted Ms. Roy. The misquote has been corrected. Dhaka Tribune regrets the error.