Arundhati Roy has raised concerns over escalating tensions in Manipur India is burning, raises concerns over alarming rise in sexual violence cases. Indian writer Arundhati Roy

Renowned Indian writer Arundhati Roy says India is burning, raises concerns over alarming rise in sexual violence cases

Raises concerns over escalating tensions in Manipur & terms events there as a form of ethnic cleansing

KERALA  ( Web News )

Renowned Indian writer Arundhati Roy has raised concerns over escalating tensions in Manipur and terms events there as a form of ethnic cleansing.

Speaking at the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Hall in Thrissur, Arundhati Roy highlighted the Union government’s perceived complicity, the State’s partiality, and the division within security forces over the issue.

She was in the city to receive the Navamalayali Cultural Prize awarded by Navamalayali Magazine. In her address, she pointed out that the Manipur crisis was not an isolated incident, as its repercussions were evident in other regions like Haryana. She stressed that various parts of the country were currently experiencing turmoil and instability.

Shedding light on the alarming rise in cases of sexual violence, Roy expressed her distress over the normalisation of rape and the appalling support some women were providing to such heinous acts.

She further emphasised that this trend was not limited to Manipur and was actually indicative of a broader, disturbing, societal trend.  She added that today India is burning.

Indian booker prize-winning author and activist Arundhati Roy.

“Rape has been used as a tool of violence. Today, we are in a situation where women are justifying rapes. Where women are telling men to rape other women. Not the case of only Manipur. Irrespective of who is raping who, women stand for that community. This means we have gone psychotic. Today, we have a situation where the police are handing over women to a mob to be raped. Something has gone wrong,” she said.

She expressed deep concern about the misuse of power and authority in various parts of the country and added the instances where individuals accused of severe crimes were leading religious processions or inciting violence without facing appropriate consequences.

“In Haryana, people who are accused of burning two Muslim men alive, are leading religious processions. A railway protection officer shooting Muslims saying you must vote for Modi. The man has actually absorbed the propaganda going on in the country,” she remarked.

Describing the deteriorating state of the country, Roy pointed out how the atmosphere in Delhi had become fraught with fear, noting mobs collect over even minor provocations. She underlined the vulnerability faced by minorities, particularly Muslims, and the growing sense of insecurity due to the atmosphere of intolerance.

“It’s a different phase altogether. I live in Delhi, I am so scared on the road, one little thing happens, and fifty men with their orange scarfs will come. They’ll know who I am. Imagine if you are a Muslim, you might have a parking problem that can end in your death, in your lynching. This is the country that we are living in now. It’s a shame that we are not saying anything,” she added.

Roy also criticised the government’s seemingly misplaced priorities, referencing to instances where critical issues were being overshadowed by trivial matters. She highlighted the example of the Prime Minister’s tweeting about his dinner, while grave incidents were occurring across the country.

Urging the people of Kerala to recognize the impending challenges, the writer warned that the issues were not restricted to specific regions and were gradually expanding. She emphasised Kerala’s unique political consciousness and intellectual growth and called on the state to play an active role in addressing the crisis. Roy advised Kerala to dispatch a study team to Manipur to assess the situation firsthand and offer assistance.

Arundhati Roy maintained, “Kerala, which can be described as a miracle in terms of political consciousness and intellectual growth, has more responsibilities at hand. Kerala should send a study team to Manipur and provide help. If you don’t do anything now, your future generations will be ashamed of you.”