Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Arundhati Roy re possible sedition charge - Oct 26th 2010

Dear all of you,
I am sending this from Srinagar. This is my statement in response to the news that I may be arrested soon on charges of sedition. It would be lovely if the whole statement is carried— which is why I am not sending it to the wire services.
All the best


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.

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 ‘insaf’—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.

Arundhati Roy

October 26 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Glory Days

India's thrilling, tear-inducing, goose-bumping gold medal win at the CWG 2010's 4x400m Women's Relay event.

Utter fantasticness. Wooo hooo! You know the result before-hand, but does that take away from the adrenaline rush? :) Nope.

Well done, Manjeet Kaur, Sini Jose, Ashwini Chidananda Akkunji and Mandeep Kaur. These lovely ladies finished the race in 3:27.77 seconds, bringing in India's first ever track gold for women at the Games. Way back in 1958, the 'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh took the gold in the men's 400m at the Cardiff Games. There has been no other track gold for India at the Games.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tripping on Arabic Pop

That's what I've been doing these past few days.
Primary reason being my unhealthy love for the language that is Arabic, with its depth, poetry, romance, and heavy throatiness.
The other being, it is good music. I don't listen to popular Angrezi music much because that often inspires me to attempt to kill myself, but Arabic pop is fun, fun, fun.
But I am a dilettante fan. Have no real knowledge of real great Arab greats. A cursory Google search lands me the usual suspects: Amr Diab, Nancy Ajram, Elissa, Khaled, Ramsy etc. Amr Diab of course seems to be the ishtaar of the lot, and has been since my school days.
In any case, that's my trip currently. And a few important observations after YouTubing Arabic music videos:
1. These modern vids are classy, shot very nicely.
2. The women are gorgeous.
3. The men are gorgeous.

Here's Nancy Ajram with 'Enta Eih'. English subs for your viewing pleasure.

Missing the School

It's been almost a month since I was at HPS Breswana. Miss these imps.
Here they are, demonstrating the hilarity of the word 'Akimbo'. :)
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