India should let Arundhati Roy speak up her mind, not prosecute her.
BY BASHY QURAISHY | Tuesday, 2 November 2010.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark— My advice to the Indian power elite is to let Arundhati Roy speak her mind for justice for all – Indians, Pakistanis and most of all for Kashmiris.
[There are early signs of a whisper campaign and prosecution against Ms. Roy inside India. A mob of extremist Hindu political group has attacked her house. Prominent Indian news outlets confirmed a sedition case was being prepared against her. Normally the accused in Indian sedition cases receive harsh treatment. Other reports suggest she might be dragged to court in other cases as a means to get to her in an indirect way. Roy has angered the Indian government and other hardliners by saying Kashmir ‘is not an integral part of India’.]
Prosecuting Roy has two distinct disadvantages for India. It will shame India forever because the whole world is watching and it would also show the ugly face of a sham democracy where 600 million people live on $1 dollar a day.
Indian leaders and religious forces do not get tired of reminding the world how democratic India is, while simultaneously denying the Kashmiris and other minorities their right of self-determination.
It would do India a great deal of good if it lets Kashmiris decide their own fate through a referendum [India is obliged to that anyway because it has signed a UN resolution concerning this issue]. Kashmiris can join India or Pakistan. A free Kashmir will help India create a better relationship with Pakistan and help to eradicate extremism and terrorism and minimize horribly huge military expenditures in both countries.
Bashy Quraishy is a PakNationalists.com columnist and an author of seven books on minorities in Europe. See his biography in the right sidebar of this page. He can be reached at
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