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Debating Islam
25 Oct 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com
Kashmir: Of Azadi, Geelani, and 'beti' Arundhati

By S. Arshad, NewAgeIslam.com

 

October 25, 2010

 

Should Arundhati Roy be booked under the UAPA for supporting Kashmiri separatists and endorsing their war for ‘Azadi’ from India? The debate is raging in the political circles of India following her statements allegedly inciting people to fight for a separate Kashmir in the Kashmir conference in Delhi on Oct 21, 2010.

The conference on the Kashmir issue titled 'Azadi: the only way' on October 21 in New Delhi has posed some serious questions before the country. The conference had no hidden agenda. The title of the conference was 'Azadi; the only way' and was organised by the Committee for the release of Political Prisoners. The conference  was supported and attended by Naxal organisations and some rights activists and journalists. The prominent figures among the participants and speakers were: Chairman, Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani, writer and activist, Arundhati Roy, Prof. S A R Geelani (Professor , DU and working President of CRPP), Dr Aparna, CPI-ML- New Democracy, Revolutionary poet Varvara Rao and Sujata Bhadra among others.

According to reports, Syed Ali Shah Geelani openly spoke against India and gave a call for secession, demanding Azadi from India while Arundhati Roy reportedly endorsed the demand for Azadi for Kashmir. At the same time she advised the Kashmiris not to be selective about justice and think about the travails of the Kashmiri pundits. According to a report she even gave an open call to the Kashmiris to secede from 'bhookey nange Hindustan' and exhorted the students of Aligarh Muslim University, JNU and Delhi University to 'fight for the cause of a separate Kashmir'.

Najeeb Mubaraki, the Assistant Editor of the Economic Times termed the situation in the Kashmir as a moral victory for the Kashmiri youth and lambasted the media for delegitimizing the struggle for Kashmir and blaming Pakistan for fomenting trouble in Kashmir.

"The Kashmiris have achieved a moral victory due to the ongoing movement...After 9/11, there has been a tendency to link everything in Islamic context. Indian media sometimes states that there are militants among the protesters and blame Pakistan for fomenting trouble in the Valley. This is done to delegitimize the struggle of Kashmiris,"” he said.

The statements made by the Naxal leaders, writer Arundhati Roy and other human rights activists have created uproar in the political circles and has kicked off  a debate on whether the statements come under sedition and the participants should be booked under the law for giving a call for revolting against the country.

The BJP was quick to react. Its senior leader Arun Jaitley launched a scathing attack on the government alleging it of allowing the secessionists to hold the conference in Delhi and speak against India openly. According to the party, the act was high treason and should be dealt with an iron hand. The English daily Pioneer published from Delhi demanded that Arundhati Roy should be prosecuted under the UAPA for inciting the students of Universities and Kashmiris to revolt against India.

""Why Arundhati Roy has not yet been charged with anti-national activities and prosecuted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention Act). The same law has been used for arresting and prosecuting individuals who are guilty of far less? Are we then to presume that she enjoys immunity for the law?, asks the editorial in the Daily Pioneer.

Arnab Goswami, the news anchor of the programme News Hour on Times Now, even wondered why the participants were not immediately imprisoned under Section 124 of IPC because, according to him, ‘no State permitted the advocacy of secession and self determination’.

But the former Information Commissioner, Wajahat Habibullah had a different opinion. He said that if the Kashmiris were demanding greater autonomy or 'greater azadi' within the framework of the constitution, we should not be afraid of the term 'azadi'. However, if they demand separation from India, we should engage in a debate with them rather than putting them behind bars. He said that taking draconian action against Geelani or Arundhati Roy would further aggravate the situation rather than solving the issue.

Civil liberties advocate Prashant Bhushan had similar views, ""There is no question of Roy and Gilani being liable to criminal proceedings for their speeches as a constitution bench of the Supreme Court clarified in 1962 in Kedar Nath vs State of Punjab that nothing would be sedition unless there was a call for armed revolt or for use of violence," he said.

Shuddhabrata Sengupta, artist and writer, who was one of the speakers in the conference is of the view that the holding of the conference or the statements made in it did not tantamount to sedition or treason in international law.

"Under the US Law it is perfectly legal to advocate self-determination and secession, if done peacefully, even to the extent of burning or destroying or desecrating symbols of state authority like the national flag. Furthermore, several constitutions, such as the constitutions of Canada, Ethiopia, Austria and France, implicitly or explicitly, provide for a legal expression of right to self determination, provided it is exercised in a peaceful and democratic manner, as part of the freedom of expression principle." he said.

However, the Home Minister has said that the entire programme had been videotaped and if it was found prima facie that the laws had been violated, appropriate action would be taken.

Irrespective of whether they are booked for treason or sedition or not at the moment, the Kashmiri separatists achieved one thing. They succeeded in taking their ‘war for azadi’ out of Kashmir and roping in the support of other disgruntled sections like the Naxals and of course, of beti Arundhati as called fondly by the ‘Qaide Inquilab’ Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

How this ‘unholy’ alliance is going to benefit the Kashmiri separatists and the Naxals is anybody’s guess .Political analysts are baffled by the bizarre bonhomie between the two movements that do not recognise the state of India. While the Naxals believe in bringing about a violent coup to establish the rule of the proletariat based on Marxist-Leninist ideology that believes that religion is the opium of the masses, the Kashmiri separatists want to get independence from India to establish nizam-e-Mustafa (Islamic system) in Kashmir.

Another disturbing report says that the ISI has advised some Kashmiri separatist leaders to make inroads into Naxal ranks. Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s conference in Delhi clearly seems to be a concerted effort by Geelani along the ISI directives. And he seems to have achieved some success in it. If this is true then the government should take this development very seriously and nip this unholy alliance in the bud.

With all its might the ISI could not achieve much success by pushing terrorists into India and organising attacks in the country. It, has therefore, changed its strategy and has planned to get the services of Naxals who have a powerful presence in about 150 districts of the country. By doing a conference with the Naxals, Geelani has given the indication that he can go to any extent to achieve his goal. So far as Geelani’s promise that his Nizam-e-Mustafa will treat the minorities equally and will give them all the rights they are entitled to, one should be reminded that Jinnah had also promised Hindus that Pakistan would be a secular state. But what actually happened later is there for everyone to see. Even if Kashmir wins freedom, and minorities were to take his promise seriously, Syed Geelani who has seen more than 80 springs of his life is not going to live forever. After him, surely, Kashmir too will go the Pakistan way.

In the light of the reports that are coming in, the likes of Arundhati should take a second look at their stance and take some lessons from history.

Copyright 2010: New Age Islam Foundation

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamDebate_1.aspx?ArticleID=3578

 

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COMMENTS
Ghulam Mohiyuddin

 I agree with Swapan Dasgupta who said, "An Arundhati Roy charged with sedition for daring to question India’s ‘occupation’ of Kashmir will be the best thing to have happened to a movement that never quite succeeded in putting the stone throwers on par with the Palestinian intifada".
He added, "Jaitley is right about the law and the Constitution but he is wrong about the political wisdom of prosecuting secessionists for non-violent offences."
As Dasgupta said, secessionism has to be countered militarily and through arguments. A spectacle of a court trial is the last thing we want.
I suspect that Jaitley was making only a political speech, but P.Chidambaram decided to take him at his word!

Lee Jay Walker

I am clearly an outsider on this issue but I often quote B. RAMAN and I quoted him on my last article which can be viewed at the following: 

B. RAMAN highlights this issue and he states the following - please read all because he makes good points, like usual.

ARUNDHATI ROY VS THE STATE

B.RAMAN

http://ramanstrategicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/10/arundhati-roy-vs-state.html

S. Arshad

 

There is no question of misquoting Arundhati Roy. I never said that in my article. The sentence is:

 

"According to a report, she even gave an open call to the Kashmiris to secede from 'bhookey nange Hindustan' and exhorted the students of Aligarh Muslim University, JNU and Delhi University to 'fight for the cause of a separate Kashmir'".

 

In my article I just qouted reports from newspapers and websites. There are half a  dozen reports saying the same thing. Mr Sameer has mixed up two points. One: whether she made the statement about 'bhooke nange Hindustan'. Two: whether she supported the Kashmiri separatists' demand for secession from India.

 

Given below are the links to the reports that appeared on the internet and newspapers.

-----

 

The pro-azadi harangue of All-Party Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, whose pro-Pakistan and anti-India views are common knowledge, need not distract attention from the open call to Kashmiris to secede from “bhookey-nangey Hindustan” by author-activist-anarchist Arundhati Roy who incited students of Aligarh Muslim University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University to “fight for the cause of separate Kashmir… a cause that is your future”. This is not the first time Arundhati Roy has brazenly indulged in encouraging enemies of the nation and urging terrorists to wage war on the state. In the past she has joined secessionists in Srinagar, most notably during the anti-Amarnath Yatra agitation, and lent her voice to their demand for azadi. She has also portrayed Maoists as ‘innocent victims of state terror’ and not hesitated to gloat over the killing of security forces by the far-Left insurgents. If secessionists and insurgents pose a serious danger to our internal security, as the Prime Minister has once again reminded us on Friday, then the threat emanates as much from killers with guns as their publicists like Arundhati Roy. The cloak of ‘intellectual dissent’ is a convenient cover for their treachery.

 

Excerpt from the editorial in the Daily Pioneer, 23rd October 2010

-----

 

 

 

‘Kashmir should get Azadi from bhookhe-nange Hindustan’ - advice Suzanne Arundhati

21/10/2010 14:51:33 

 

Arundhati promotes secession

Deepak K Jha | New Delhi - Daily Pioneer

 

Kashmir should get Azadi from bhookhe-nange Hindustan,” said Arundhati Roy at a seminar where the Maoists hosted Kashmir secessionist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, which witnessed large scale protests by Kashmiri Pandits. A large number of protesters were detained at the behest of Parliament House attack accused SAR Gilani, who moderated the seminar promoting secession in the heart of the national Capital on Thursday.

 

http://www.haindavakeralam.com/HKPage.aspx?PageID=12410&SKIN=B

------

 

 ‘Kashmir should get Azadi from bhookhe-nange Hindustan’ : Arundhati Roy

 

Arundhati promotes secession

October 22, 2010 1:58:54 PM

 

Deepak K Jha | New Delhi

 

Says ‘Kashmir should get Azadi from bhookhe-nange Hindustan’

 

Kashmir should get Azadi from bhookhe-nange Hindustan,” said Arundhati Roy at a seminar where the Maoists hosted Kashmir secessionist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, which witnessed large scale protests by Kashmiri Pandits. A large number of protesters were detained at the behest of Parliament House attack accused SAR Gilani, who moderated the seminar promoting secession in the heart of the national Capital on Thursday.

 

The seminar was disrupted many a time when author-activist Arundhati Roy, a known Maoist sympathiser, openly preached secession while expressing her views and urging the audience comprising Kashmiri youth, students from AMU and also from DU to stand up and fight for the cause of a separate Kashmir and to get a fair play in the name of “Idea of Justice”.

 

“India needs Azadi from Kashmir and Kashmir from India. It is a good debate that has started. We must deepen this conversation and am happy that young people are getting involved for this cause which is their future. Indian Government is a hollow super power and I disassociate with it,” Roy said amid great applause from separatists. “Earlier we used to talk about our head held high and now we lay prostrate to the US,” she added. Referring to one of her earlier writings, Roy mentioned that Kashmiris have to decide whether they want to be with or get separated from “bhookhe-nange Hindustan where more than 830 million people live on Rs 20 per day only”.

http://www.indiandefence.com/forums/f31/%91kashmir-should-get-azadi-bhookhe-nange-hindustan%92-arundhati-roy-2373/

-------

 

Kashmir should get Azadi from Hindustan - Arundhati

India Forum: Comments, Opinion - Information Resource

News Summary: Kashmir should get Azadi from bhookhe-nange Hindustan, said Arundhati Roy at a seminar where the Maoists hosted Kashmir secessionist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, which witnessed large scale protests by Kashmiri Pandits. A large number of protesters were detained at the behest of Parliament House attack accused SAR Gilani, who moderated the seminar promoting secession in the heart of the national Capital on Thursday.The seminar was disrupted many a time when author-activist Arundhati Roy, a kno.....read more in: Kashmir should get Azadi from Hindustan - Arundhati

http://www.forum.ivarta.com/Kashmir-should-get-Azadi-from-Hindustan-Arundhati/549413.htm

-------

 

Azadi from 'a hollow super power'

 

The situation became tense when noted author Arundati Roy began her speech.

 

India needs Azadi from Kashmir and Kashmir from India. It is a good debate that has started. We must deepen this conversation and am happy that young people are getting involved for this cause which is their future. Indian Government is a hollow super power and I disassociate from it,” Roy said.

 

“Earlier we used to talk about our head held high and now we lay prostrate to the US,” she added.

 

Referring to one of her earlier writings, Roy mentioned that Kashmiris have to decide whether they want to be with or get separated from an India where more than 830 million people live on Rs 20 per day only”.

http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?698138

------

 

 

Kashmir has never been integral part of India: Arundhati

Press Trust Of India

Srinagar, October 24, 2010First Published: 19:37 IST(24/10/2010)

Last Updated: 10:50 IST(26/10/2010)

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Activist Arundhati Roy, who created a controversy the other day by questioning Jammu and Kashmir's accession to the Union, on Sunday harped on the same thing saying that the state was never an integral part of India. Roy was speaking at a seminar on the theme 'Wither Kashmir: Freedom or enslavement' organised by Coalition of Civil Societies (CCS) here.

"Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is an historical fact. Even the Indian Government has accepted this," the Booker Prize winner said.

 

http://www.hindustantimes.com/kashmir-has-never-been-integral-part-of-india-arundhati-roy/h1-article1-617344.aspx

--------

Sultan Shahin

I didn't write this article, Mr. Sameer.  I hope the author will clarify where he got the quotation, if he has used a wrong quotation. That, of course, is indefensible and obnoxious and inexcusable - misquoting people. But, pray tell me where I have misquoted any one. You say I am a habitual offender. Please do present some examples, even one. I would be grateful to be able to correct myself and save the hapless victim of misquotation.

sameer

It is pathetic and a criminal offense to misquote a speaker. I was there whole life of seminar and listened speakers ardently. Arundhati never asked for 'secession from bhooka nanga Hindustan.'  What she exactly said what that "when I was in Kashmir in 2008 during Amaranth agitation. I heard slogans like Bhooka Nanga Hindustan--Jaan sey piyara Pakistan. I derided such slogans." In fact she criticised such slogans. Kindly don't misquote. Mr. Sultan Shahin has been doing it too often to buttress his argument.

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