Arundhati Roy on Mumbai attacks
Well, the significance is—I mean, it’s complex, but Kashmir is really the elephant in the room, you know, behind—or let’s say, one of the elephants in the room, behind all this talk of all this terrorism and all this militancy, because Kashmir is—you know, the people of Kashmir have been struggling for independence for decades. And, you know, while America has 150,000 troops in Iraq, India has more than 500,000 troops in Kashmir holding it down.
And right now, there are elections in Kashmir, you know, what are known as free and fair elections, except that they are taking place under the supervision of this incredible presence of security forces who, you know, now are so entrenched there. And it’s not—I’m not suggesting that, you know, they’re forcing people to vote, though they have in the past. Elections have been rigged, and people have been forced at gunpoint to vote. But this time it’s slightly more complicated than that.
So what I’m saying is that we have—India has something like 150 million Muslims, who have been shamefully persecuted, who have been targeted as a community, who have had genocide, who have had the oppression in Kashmir, who have had the destruction of the Babri Masjid. And so, you are creating conditions in which you may surely go after the ones that you catch, you know, but for every one that you catch, you’re manufacturing many. You’re creating a culture in which people, young people, are seeing no justice on the horizon. They just think, OK, let me go down and let me take you with me, you know? So you’re creating a situation which isn’t just a danger to yourself, but also to the whole world.