Pulling Fingernails won’t turn Kashmiris into Indians [Arundhati Roy]

Arundhati Roy shakes hands with JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik during a photo exhibition entitled “Voices for Peace, Voices for Freedom”, in New Delhi. PHOTO: AFP



by Arundhati Roy


  • Pity the nation  that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds

  • Pity that nation that jails those who ask for justice, while communal killers, mass murderers,  corporate scamsters,  looters,  rapists and  those who prey on the poorest of the poor,  roam free

  • No one should be killed, raped, imprisoned or have their finger-nails pulled out in order to force them to say they are Indians


SRINAGAR, Indian held Kashmir—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.

The event in the heart of New Delhi where Freedom For Kashmir slogan was chanted for half an hour as India’s Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy said Kashmir is not an integral part of India. Kashmir freedom leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani is seen left  in the picture.i [BCCL]

Yesterday I traveled to Shopian, the apple-town in South Kashmir which had remained closed for 47 days last year in protest against the brutal rape and murder of Asiya and Nilofer, the young women whose bodies were found in a shallow stream near their homes and whose murderers have still not been brought to justice.

I met Shakeel, who is Nilofer’s husband and Asiya’s brother. We sat in a circle of people crazed with grief and anger who had lost hope that they would ever get ‘insaaf’ – justice – from India, and now believed that Azadi – freedom – was their only hope. I met young stone-pelters who had been shot through their eyes. I traveled with a young man who told me how three of his friends, teenagers in Anantnag district, had been taken into custody and had their finger-nails pulled out as punishment for throwing stones.

In the papers some have accused me of giving ‘hate-speeches’, of wanting India to break up. On the contrary, what I say comes from love and pride. It comes from not wanting people to be killed, raped, imprisoned or have their finger-nails pulled out in order to force them to say they are Indians.

It comes from wanting to live in a society that is striving to be a just one. 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, while communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters, rapists, and those who prey on the poorest of the poor, roam free.”

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5 replies to “Pulling Fingernails won’t turn Kashmiris into Indians [Arundhati Roy]

  1. Arundhati Roy is correct in what she says, but that is not applicable when it comes to a nation’s security and sovereignty that is more precious than the lives of those who perish in order to defend a nation.

  2. A lady with international repute…Arundhati Roy is to be arrested soon ,….I think see already under arrest …..Let her move only in Kashmir and Pakistan and Afghanistan ….A Big prison ofcourse .

  3. India will have to accept Kashmir as a disputed territory.
    As a Kashmiri I will never accept Indian rule in valley. GO INDIA, GO BACK. (We want freedom!). Freedom is our birth right and we will achieve it soon. (Insha’Allah)

  4. Yes, though pulling the finger nails Kashmiris won’t turn Indians but through cutting the finger itself for which we are ready to pay even the blood money.

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