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‘Human rights’ campaigner Arundhati Roy abandons her principles for the PEN prize

Editor's Choice‘Human rights’ campaigner Arundhati Roy abandons her principles for the PEN prize

LONDON: The fact that Arundhati has decided to accept this award means that she has no issue with PEN’S silence on the Gaza war.

Arundhati Suzanna Roy has for decades championed herself as a human rights campaigner targeting India and Hindus relentlessly. However she has now exposed herself as a hypocritical human rights activist. Her only aim is to denigrate India and Hindus. As the news of possible prosecution of Arundhati by Indian courts for anti-national activities came through, the anti-India forces scrambled to protect her.

The US-based organisation called PEN has awarded their annual PEN Pinter 2024 Prize to Arundhati. PEN is an organisation which claims to promote freedom and free speech. A committee of three, comprising Ruth Borthwick, Chair of English chapter of PEN, actor Khalid Abdalla and writer Roger Robinson awarded the prize to Arundhati. The PEN prize will include around $30,000. Actor Khalid Abdalla called Roy a “luminous voice of freedom and justice”.

However behind the scenes there was a revolt brewing in PEN. The staff members were objecting to the fact that PEN was not speaking out about the Gaza war. To add to their woes 31 authors and translators have withdrawn their work from consideration for or declined PEN America’s 2024 literary awards over the organisation’s “failure to protect” Palestinian writers in Gaza. An open letter from writers and literary professionals to PEN America calling on the organisation to take a stronger stance on the Israel-Gaza war has reached more than 500 signatories.

The fact that Arundhati has decided to accept this award means that she has no issue with PEN’S silence on the Gaza war. This means Arundhati does not really care for human rights. She is only driven by her hatred of Hindus and India.

Another organisation which quickly came to defend Arundhati is the UN Human Rights. A top official voiced concern over the use of anti-terror law in India to silence critics and urged the authorities to drop cases against author Arundhati Roy over her comments on Kashmir. Volker Turk, the head of UN Human Rights Office said: “We are concerned by the use of UAPA anti-terror law to silence critics. We call for review of law and release of human rights defenders detained under it. We urge authorities to drop cases against Arundhati Roy and Sheikh Showkat Hussain over comments on Kashmir.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was quick to back the UN Human Rights Office. He said: “In India, we see a concerning increase in anti-conversion laws, hate speech, demolitions of homes and places of worship for members of minority faith communities. At the same time, people around the world are also working hard to protect religious freedom.”

This statement sends a clear message to PM Modi. The US wants anti-conversion laws repealed. It wants the flow of millions of dollars to continue coming into India for missionary work. It wants the demolition of homes and places of worship stopped in India.

Demolition of homes are carried out against criminals and no churches have been demolished. The last sentence is simply ridiculous. Blinken says that people around the world are trying to protect religious freedom. There are dozens of countries in the world where there is no freedom and where religious minorities are targeted mercilessly. There are many other NGOs which are deeply biased and agenda driven. The Freedom Index which is mainly financed by the US has ranked India behind most nations as far as freedom is concerned. India is even behind Pakistan and Afghanistan when it comes to freedom according to this set up. A country that carried out the world’s largest election exercise is placed behind Pakistan and Afghanistan. The sheer chicanery employed is brazen and worthy of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister. Another organisation which passes around as respectable and crunches out statistics is the Pew Research. It is controlled by the John Templeton Foundation which is a Christian organisation deeply rooted in Evangelical Christianity. According to this organisation two-thirds of Indians back autocracy rather than democracy. The human rights caravan made up of Indian academics and secularists as well as agenda driven NGOS quickly gave credibility to Pew Research.
How they cooked up these figures is anyone’s guess. The inference here is that Modi cannot be trusted as a democratically elected leader.

Unfortunately, India is still seen as a weak link and a fertile ground for missionary work. The rebuttals by foreign secretary Jai Shankar are too polite and measured. This simply is not enough. India has to set up an alternative human rights group which monitors human rights abuses in the US, compiles a historical record of the ethnic cleansing of the native Indians of the US and the horrors of slave trade as well as the continuous racism towards black people. Germany, Australia, New Zealand all need to be reminded of their very dark pasts.

Indian academicians and human rights activists abroad should have their citizenship rights cancelled if they knowingly and deliberately peddle false propaganda against India. A war of ideas, religious domination aimed at dismantling and destroying India’s history, heritage, culture, way of life and also of breaking up of India is going on full speed ahead in which many groups are working in a sync. The need of the hour is for the Indian nation to rise from its slumber. Even those who are aware of the dangers India faces are shadow boxing in their own comfort zones. They simply do not want to come out of their cosy status quo.

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