Arundhati Roy turns a year stronger

We wish her a long life on her birthday to continue leading us through these dark times  
Arundhati Roy
On November 24, the world renowned author is turning close to 60 but isn’t giving up her fight for a just society. Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy’s birthday this year coincides with the incarceration of dozens of scholars and writers who are rotting in jails in the world’s so called largest democracy.  

Among them are some of her closest allies, like disabled Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba and Anand Teltumbde, who was arrested earlier this year. Their only crime was that they dared to question the power and stand up for the religious minorities and the oppressed people who are facing state violence under a right wing Hindutva nationalist regime.  

Attacks on minorities and political dissidents have grown ever since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014. His supporters continue to hound Roy and likeminded authors and activists. Undeterred by threats and intimidations, she continues to write and speak against the rising tide of fascism. Her latest book of political essays confirms her unwavering commitment toward human rights and social justice.

Azadi (freedom) presents the true picture of India under an extremely intolerant government that otherwise remains obscured with the virtue of embedded journalists.  

She pulls no punches while challenging the tyrants occupying high offices in New Delhi and mentions the imprisonment of fellow writers. Not only has she become a voice for those detained scholars, but also political prisoners and those fighting for emancipation in occupied territories, such as Kashmir within the Indian union. These include one of her latest essays on how poor and minorities are being made to suffer more under pandemic caused by COVID 19.  

In a nutshell, the compilation of these powerful and thought provoking essays is a call for freedom from the shackles of a barbaric state, structural violence affecting marginalised sections, such as religious minorities, Dalits or so called untouchables and Adivasis or the original inhabitants of India and neo colonialism in the name of free market.  

In such hopeless times, we wish Arundhati Roy a healthy long life so that her march goes on till there is an end to this seemingly long and depressing tunnel. At least gift yourself with Azadi on her birth anniversary to show your support for her work and get others empowered by educating them about what has been going on in India.  

*The opinions expressed in this blog are the author’s own.

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