UPDATE: Arundhati’s brutally frank piece where she asks this question:
The unimaginable sums of public money that are needed to keep the military occupation of Kashmir going is money that ought by right to be spent on schools and hospitals and food for an impoverished, malnutritioned population in India. What kind of government can possibly believe that it has the right to spend it on more weapons, more concertina wire and more prisons in Kashmir?
“India needs azadi from Kashmir as much as Kashmir needs azadi from India.”
Arundhati Roy is a rare, independent voice in the mainstream shrill. Her statement on Kashmir is a unique sentiment of nailing the problem when all others are busy singing to the tunes of jingoism, communalism, terrorism and of course the Pakistani ‘hand’. This report is a little sample:
SRINAGAR: Activist and author Arundhati Roy, who was present at the massive Monday rally, said that the people of Kashmir have made themselves abundantly clear.
“And if no one is listening then it is because they don’t want to hear. Because this is a referendum. People don’t need anyone to represent them; they are representing themselves. As somebody who has followed people’s movements and who has been in rallies and at the heart or the edge of things, I don’t think you can dispute what you see here,” she told TOI .
Roy also said that “since the 1930s, there have been debates and disputes about who has the right to represent the Kashmiri people, whether it was Hari Singh or Sheikh Abdullah or someone else. And the debate continues till today whether it is the Hurriyat or some other party.”
Then she added, “But I think today the people have represented themselves.”
Roy concluded with words, “India needs azadi from Kashmir as much as Kashmir needs azadi from India.”