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Arundhati Roy Voices Concerns on the State of Minorities in India

– Mohd Naushad Khan

Noted Indian writer and activist, Arundhati Roy, who is a well-known critic of the treatment of minorities in India, has expressed serious concern of the double standard of the leaders of the western world on democracy and how these leaders have turned a blind eye towards hatred and violence against minorities. Talking to Al Jazeera on September 8, when India was in full preparation to host G20 Summit, Roy expressed her concerns on the state of minorities in India.

She said: “Joe Biden and Macron, all these people who talk about democracy, they know exactly what’s going on here, they know that Muslims have been massacred, their homes have been bulldozed, they know that Muslims have been ghettoized. They also know that the people who are now accused of lynching, murdering Muslims are leading religious processions through these ghettoes.”

She opined, “They know the vigilantes are out there with swords calling for annihilation, calling for mass rape of Muslim women, they know all these. But that doesn’t matter because as always with certain western countries, it is democracy for us and dictatorship or whatever else it is for our non-white friends.

“The state of India is very precarious, very contested. We have a situation in which the Constitution has been effectively set aside. I would say that it would be foolhardy for you to think that a country of 14 billion people that used to be a flawed democracy is now falling into a kind of well. I can only use the word fascism, you know, and if you think it’s not going to affect the rest of the world, you’re extremely wrong.”

The celebrated author further said: “It isn’t a cry for help; it’s a cry to say, look around at what you are actually helping to create. And it’s blown up into something else that’s extremely dangerous and that people should understand it is not going to just be a problem for India.  We don’t here expect anybody to pay attention in ways that they should anybody from the outside because all of them have dollar signs in their eyes and they are looking at what they think of as this huge market of a billion people.”

On the market driven mentality, she said, “What they don’t realize is that market won’t exist when this grand country falls into chaos as it is. The beauty and the grandeur of India is being reduced into something small, snarling and petty and violent. And when that explodes, I think there will be nothing like it.”

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