Screengrab from YouTube/ University of Westminster
A video is being circulated on social media that shows Arundhati Roy criticising India for using the army against its own people. While numerous people on social media are slamming her for making such comments especially after Article 370 having been scrapped, our research reveals that the video is from 2011.
The now-viral clip is from Roy’s talk with Professor Dibyesh Anand on democracy and dissent in China and India at the University of Westminster Regents Campus. The 86-minute video was uploaded on YouTube on Jun 18, 2011.
In the video where the Booker prize-winning novelist looks much younger than what she looks now, Roy can be heard saying that Pakistan has not deployed the army against its own people in the way “democratic” India has.
The video begins with the author claiming that the Indian military has been at war with Muslims in Kashmir and Hyderabad, tribal people in the North East, Sikhs in Punjab and Christians in Goa since 1947.
Within moments of the video going viral, the hashtag #ArundhatiRoy began trending on Twitter in India. Many have accused her of speaking the half-truth. Not just Indians, even Bangladeshis are unhappy about the comments she made, with several people calling out her “double standards” for forgetting the atrocities perpetrated on East Pakistan back in the 1970s.
Foreign Policy analyst Sameera Khan came out in her support, saying she is being misquoted on purpose.
Arundhati Roy was misquoted. She didn’t say Pakistan has never deployed its army against its own people. Her exact words were: “The PAK state hasn’t deployed its army against its own people IN THE WAY the IND state has.”
Now, Roy has been embroiled in controversies for years given her unabashed support for an independent Kashmiri state and comments on other politically volatile and sensitive issues. The Indian author and human rights activist is often accused of making seditious comments.
Tarek Fatah, a Canadian journalist known for being a strong critic of Pakistan military excesses, shared the video from his official Twitter handle and wrote: “[She said] Pakistan has never deployed its military against its own people. Was she blind and deaf when 3M [million] died in the Bangladesh genocide by Pakistan Army in 1971? Is she unaware of #Balochistan? She’s literally reading off a Pakistan ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan] briefing note.”
#ArundhatiRoy claims Pakistan has nvr deployed its military against its own people. Was she blind & deaf when 3M died in the Bangladesh genocide by Pak Army in 1971? Is she unaware of #Balochistan? She's literally reading off a Pakistan ISI briefing note. https://t.co/09SyUHURF6
Several other netizens, including Pakistanis themselves, joined the rhetoric, echoing similar thoughts and trashing the author’s claims.
The knowledge & understanding of history in this video is that of a primary school student of Pakistan where they teach only hatred for India & Hindus. Pakistani school textbook writers have competition.
Hello Madam #ArunDhatiRoy can you utter a word about this Pakistani fighter jet bombing the innocent Baloch villages in occupied Balochistan? There uncountable photos and videos where you can see Pakistani jets, tanks are being used to crush the Baloch https://t.co/5svwivyQ8z