Arundhati Roy on Reckless Modi & Kashmir


‘It is now Pakistan’s turn to weep’: Modi boasts about India’s ‘mother of nuclear bombs’ at rally’,
RT.com, April 18, 2019

“Amid rising tensions, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he has called Pakistan’s nuclear bluff by launching airstrikes while also claiming that New Delhi has the “mother of nuclear bombs.”

“Earlier, terrorists from Pakistan would come here and go back after conducting an attack. Pakistan would threaten us, saying it has the nuclear bomb and will press the button,” Prime Minister Modi said at a campaign rally at Surendranagar in Gujarat on Wednesday.”

“The bombastic rhetoric comes amid ongoing tensions and tit-for-tat airstrikes in recent weeks, which have been marred by sporadic cross-border firefights and violence in the aftermath of a suicide bomb attack in Pulwama in February which killed 40 Indian paramilitary officers.” [snip]

“Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the bombing and India subsequently accused the Pakistani government of turning a blind eye to the group’s activities.

“Pakistan has been threatening us for a long time with its nuclear capability but the IAF called its bluff with its strikes,” Modi said. His comments came following governmental denials that an Indian military attack in Pakistan was imminent, and may be carried out in mid-April.”

Over the weeks an information/perception war has developed between Islamabad and New Dehli, regarding Indian military planes shot down (or not), number of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) members killed in training centers (or not)…all during the run-up to the election for Prime Minster of India.  This fellow’s opinion is that Imran Khan had  been winning it at the time, with caveats at the bottom.  Right now it looks as though it will be a contest by Thug Narendra Modi (BJP party) and Rahul Gandhi (Indian Nat’l Congress party).

The Congress manifesto is here, for the underclass, largely:

“Modi’s party came down hard on Congress for its pledge to amend a law that gives special powers to armed forces battling the Kashmir rebellion, in a bid to balance security needs and human rights concerns.”

“Congress, which had accused the government of trying to suppress dissent after the sedition law was recently used against students marking the execution of a Kashmiri rebel, said it would scrap a law it said has been “misused and, in any event, become redundant”.

The law isn’t mentioned explicitly, but the Modi government has run riot with the use of he draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act on Wikipedia.  It’s not clear how many Muslims and dissidents have disappeared under his rule (thousands, Arundhati Roy says in the video below).  As to whether or not Gandhi would hold a plebiscite election for Kashmir and Jammu, I can’t find anything recent, but it’s doubtful, as Kashmiris had noted in 2013.

India’s BJP releases manifesto before elections, the BJP promises to scrap Article 35A, which prevents non-residents from buying property in Indian-administered Kashmir’, April 8, 2019, aljazeera.com

“Political leaders in Muslim-majority Kashmir, where India is fighting an armed rebellion against its rule, have warned that repealing the law would lead to widespread unrest.

Modi has made his strong stance on national security a key part of the BJP’s election campaign, following a recent flare-up in tensions with arch foe Pakistan, which also lays claims to Kashmir.”

Nationalism is our inspiration,” Prime Minister Modi said at the release of the BJP’s election manifesto at the party headquarters in New Delhi.”

“Al Jazeera’s Faiz Jamil, reporting from New Delhi, said these manifestos are the intent – not necessarily what the governments are going to do.

“Among the more controversial promises is to create a uniform civil code – currently under the constitution, different religions have different civil code rights, particularly for marriage and inheritance,” he said.

“They also want to pass the citizenship bill – a measure that would allow immigrants from neighbouring countries who are not Muslim to get Indian citizenship.”

AKA: ‘Why hold a plebiscite when we’re welcoming second-class citizens to be Indian?’

But of course, the Elephant in the Room between two nuclear powers is still: Kashmir.
(click for larger)

Why has Kashmir been forgotten?, Amid all the talks of India-Pakistan war, the issue at the very heart of present tensions has been completely ignored’, March 2, 2019, aljazeera.com

“Uncertainty and fear took over our home region on February 14, when a suicide attack in the Pulwama district of Indian-administered Kashmir killed more than 40 Indian soldiers. We were quickly and collectively denounced as national traitors, harassed and attacked across Indian cities. The Indian media and political elite called for “revenge” and started beating the drums of war.

The Indian government imposed a curfew, cut down the speed of the internet and deployed more troops in Kashmir. The police and security agencies carried out hundreds of overnight raids, arresting political leaders and activists. Jamaate-Islami, a political and religious organisation, was banned.

Meanwhile, the Indian military was put on high alert and raids were launched on targets in Pakistan, which prompted a Pakistani response. Heavy shelling across the Line of Control (LoC) which separates Indian- from Pakistan-administered Kashmir began.

Many Kashmiris were forced to flee, others started to stock up on food and other basic goods, fearing an escalation. Big red crosses were painted on rooftops of hospitals in the hope that the fighter jets constantly circling above would not hit them.

The Kashmiri people, who have already lived through decades of daily aggression against their bodies, homes, psyches, and memories, are now facing the real possibility of an all-out war.” [snip]

“When international media talks of the history of India-Pakistan antagonism, it fails to recognise the fact that Kashmiris have borne the brunt of it. When Indian media talks about “terrorism”, it fails to mention the fact that Kashmir is one of the most heavily militarised zones in the world.”

[Reuters/Danish Ismail]

“There was a certain irony in calls by Indian officials and public figures calling for Pakistan to uphold the Geneva Convention in its treatment of the captured Indian pilot. In Kashmir, India has failed to apply not just the Geneva Convention, but much of international law for that matter. Kashmiris are still being jailed on political charges and used as human shields, while the United Nations resolution which mandates a referendum on self-determination to be conducted in Kashmir is yet to be implemented.

“Dominant narratives propagated by the Indian state and the mainstream media are muffling Kashmiri voices. At this moment, it is important to hear them speak and tell their stories of war. The killings, torture, enforced disappearances, sexual violence, mass blinding through the use of pellet shotguns, and everyday harassment in Kashmir cannot be swept under the carpet and ignored. This violence needs to be made visible because continuing or escalating the current security policies of the Indian government will only result in disaster.

Indians have to realise that there will be no peace until the Kashmir issue is resolved. If they truly want “no war”, then they have to push first and foremost for the demilitarisation of Kashmir. And if they want international law respected, they should do so as well and hold the plebiscite mandated by the UN. Kashmiris should be allowed to decide their own fate.” 

Arundhati Roy: Modi ‘reckless’ in Kashmir (14 brief minutes)

(AKA: feckless thug modi)

She looks just so tired, doesn’t she?  Small wonder…

For further reading, ‘Arundhati Roy: #Me Too Urban Naxal’, Sept. 3, 2018, Café version, c99percent version.

“To be lynched is a crime. To be poor is a crime. To defend the poor is to plot to overthrow the government, the vulnerable are being cordoned off and silenced. The vociferous are being incarcerated.”

I Don’t Believe There Are Only Two Genders. I See Gender As A Spectrum And I’m…’ [somewhere on that spectrum], outlookindia.com

‘John Bolton Greenlights Indian Military Attack on Pakistan’, February 17, 2019, Café version, c99percent version

Kashmiri Awareness

@narendramodi "Removing Pakistan from the world map is more important sir"

India’s ‘Cashless Society’ and the Destruction of the Rupee’, theepochtimes.com, Nov. 5, 2018
(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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wendy davis's picture

Set Julian Assange free’: N Ram, Arundhati Roy, Romila Thapar and others decry attack on press’, scroll.in, April 15, 2019

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I'm glad to see that the USA and USSR were not the only countries with crazy leaders.

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wendy davis's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

person, eh? : ) lotta different leaders in the USSR (right sidebar), but as Miz Roy said in the interview if you'd had the time to listen: fascists as in: mussolini/hitler.

it depresses the hell outta me, cuz it didn't have to be this way. but india is allied with amerika now, when not long ago thug modi had been barred from even entering the US of A before his charm offensive in whatever year, based on "money".

thanks for reading, Voice.

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@wendy davis
Religion. Not the opium of the people but the crack cocaine of the people.

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wendy davis's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

than i about the history of pakistani thugs, but i did bingle and discover the 1971 india-pakistani war over bangladeshi independence, and it sounds as though pakistan was brutal as all giddy-up. but essentially geopolitical relations can and do change due to any number of interests: trade, common enemies, crises, and whatnot.

i should have looked up benazir bhutto to refresh my memory, but i'll always remember that hellary clinton had signaled to her that she should return from exile, she would be safe. iirc, she'd been assassinated within days. but as my memory is crap, don't count on it. ; )

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@wendy davis

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wendy davis's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

but often different thugs, different days (as in presidents and their militaries), eh?

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@wendy davis

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wendy davis's picture

but i rise far before first light, and (especially mine eyes) play out about now. tonight's closing music will be a traditional kashmiri folk song. g' night, light a candle or pray for those on the planet who're suffering under caste or class oppression. i'm pretty sure that it's a harmoniunm the man in the gold shirt is playing. g' night.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@wendy davis

has sorta a haunting sound, but nice.

Appreciate that you sign off, leaving us with music.

Nice touch!

SmileBlue

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

wendy davis's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

strange to western ears, yes? i do hope you'd had the time to listen to miz roy in the interview; she's one brave woman, and had been charged with sedition in 2010 for speaking out against the government under 'Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act of 1967'. if convicted, she and the otherscould have been sentenced to life in prison.

no wonder she admits to being afraid. but here she still is...having to speak out.

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lotlizard's picture

@wendy davis  
Made in India. What’s not to like? Well, I guess the timbre isn’t to everyone’s taste . . .

The Vaishnava temples and Hare Krishna devotees in Germany use ’em all the time for singing bhajans. I was at a temple for Janmashtami (Krishna’s birthday) once — they were having a bhajan marathon and I ended up staying up all night, singing along. The mantras and the voices and the harmonium and the drums get you into this trance state and you feel like it could go on forever and you wouldn’t mind at all.

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wendy davis's picture

@lotlizard

vignette; thank you! it's news to me that the hare krishna devotées use them; i mainly know them from airports and sidewalks, thus: no harmonia. i can absolutely imagine the trance state you describe.

when i'd first been introduced to karine polwart's tribute to the occupy movement, i'd had to look it up. i hope this version embeds again by now; for a time it wouldn't.

on edit: it still won't, but one can click thru to watch it on youtube. one of my all-time favorite songs. and her Scottish brrrrogue accent knocks my socks off, too.

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wendy davis's picture

this morning at RT.com: ‘No place for barbarism in our region’ – India’s Modi on church attacks in neighboring Sri Lanka', rt.com

'Narendra Modi, a man with a massacre on his hands, is not the reasonable choice for India', the guardian, april 7, 2014 (one outtake)

“Let's look at the carnage of 2002 first. On 27 February that year, a train coach carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire in Godhra station in Gujarat. Fifty-eight people died. Within hours and without a shred of evidence, Modi declared that the Pakistani secret services had been to blame; he then had the charred bodies paraded in the main city of Ahmedabad; and let his own party support a state-wide strike for three days.

What followed was mass bloodshed: 1,000 dead on official estimates, more than 2,000 by independent tallies. The vast majority of those who died were Muslim. Mobs of men dragged women and young girls out of their homes and raped them. In 2007, the investigative magazine Tehelka recorded boasts from some of the ringleaders. One, Babu Bajrangi, boasted of how he slit open the womb of a pregnant woman.”

of course his apologists claim he was guilty only of 'turning a blind eye..' to the pogrom.

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lotlizard's picture

@wendy davis  
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/sep/28/ayodhya-mosque-india-guard...

Bharata Janata party incitement to inflammatory sectarian provocations and violence goes way back.

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wendy davis's picture

@lotlizard

history about which i was utterly unaware. hard read, miz lizard, but i should say 'thank you'. 'arcane religious disputes'?

i should have edited my remarks about genocidaire namasté modi to include genocidaire paul kagame, whom his apologists also minimize to his having 'turned a blind eye'. and now he's BFFs with obomba, susan rice, sammie power, et.al., and was even in Davos this year with the other oligarchs who meet...for the benefit of ordinary citizens of the planet.

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wendy davis's picture

who lives in greece (wayne hall) brought this historical narrative from 2012, with such a long comment stream (and white letters on almost black) that may or may not be of interest to you:

'The Green Left Nuclear Weapons Debate B'

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orlbucfan's picture

Hindu Fundies are just as bad as their ilk in other (organized) religions. Rec'd!!

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" Our solutions to the climate crisis must match the demands of physics."
c/o truthout

wendy davis's picture

@orlbucfan

by chance jerilyn merritt (or close on edit: scofield?) who's spiked the discussions? i seem to remember either quoting her on one of my more recent diaries on modi, or hearing that she writes from india now.

good on ya for your interest, amigo/a. so few are, yet the stakes are unbelievably high w/ two nuclear powers at a (for now) low-intensity war.

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orlbucfan's picture

@wendy davis Yves Smith has built that site into a intelligent cyber-newspaper. Yes, I've been following the Indian elections on there. The religious Fundies there are the same mindset as the ones here. Bad news. Sad

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" Our solutions to the climate crisis must match the demands of physics."
c/o truthout

wendy davis's picture

@orlbucfan

so...she isn't especially hoping for rahul gandhi Congress party to beat modi? i tried searching her recent posts at NC, didn't find anything on topic. i will say i hated seeing that she seems to have been sucked into the ocasio green dream, though.

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Deja's picture

If this is the Modi that Big Al has brought up, regarding Tulsi being tight with, I can see his concern. If not, then I've got it all wrong.

It reminds me a bit of Israel, except that Kashmir is a whole region, with two a-holes fighting over it, and killing the inhabitants after terrorizing them. Unless I've got it all wrong. It can be a bit complicated for me. Those poor people, nonetheless.

As for painting red crosses on hospital roofs. Let's hope no one decides to read the US playbook, and target them, especially, due to claiming terrorists are inside.

Looking at the map, I'm wondering what China has to say about all this happening next door?

Yes, she looks tired, but striking, imo. Love her hair. It's what I thought before I began reading. Striking. Hopefully that's not a poor choice of words lol.

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wendy davis's picture

@Deja

who'd either sponsored legislation (but at least voted for) to end the blockade on him entering this clusterfuck nation in (iirc) 2014 as he was on track to become the next PM of india. she then took him on two tours across amerika, seconds one (iirc) mainly to Silicon Valley. oy! a nation of 1.4 billion! what a great market for tech! especially in a demonetized economy i could grab some stuff outta one those diaries i'd included in the OP, but you get the drift.

i've wondered aloud before if a word or three from tulsi might incentivize him to either hold the self-determination plebiscite or tear up the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act by which draconian rules have disappeared thousands under modi. anti-war is...as anti-war does, in other words.

yep, arundhati's gorgeous, and i love her mellifluous voice. such depth of soul in her eyes. laughed at 'striking, if that's not a poor choice of words'.

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Deja's picture

@wendy davis

i've wondered aloud before if a word or three from tulsi might incentivize him to either hold the self-determination plebiscite or tear up the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act by which draconian rules have disappeared thousands under modi. anti-war is...as anti-war does, in other words.

Yes! I'd like to see that too.

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wendy davis's picture

@Deja

"It reminds me a bit of Israel, except that Kashmir is a whole region, with two a-holes fighting over it, and killing the inhabitants after terrorizing them.'"

as i understand it, meaning fwiw: pakistanis have no beef with kashmiris, their sin according to bolton and the western empire is funding the JEM, which may or may not be true, but miz roy addresses with brilliant aplomb, and her words reminded me a bit of the young angela davis's mix tape:

'and then you ask ME if i approve of violence...'

but yeah, it's indeed a bit like israel. kill, detain, imprison, torture...and sort it out later. or really: never sort it out; it is what it is.

sino-pakistani relations started out very rocky in the 50's (post raj, lord mountbatten) but have improved to better to chinese support financailly and militarily, as i understand it.

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wendy davis's picture

who's ahead in the polls, but failed to get into the NYT even in a private window: busted! but the piece said much as arundhati had said, the farmers are furious, and rioting in the streets 35,000 strong and intend to vote. she's also aid that for now rahul gandhi was polling poorly, but something could happen to change that. wonder if this is what she'd meant? of course this is dated march 6.

and also this is heartening, imo:

this...not so much:

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wendy davis's picture

happy easter, as well, and i'd thought: my stars; we never put up our easter wreaths and such.
but as our christmas tree is still up...the i'd twigged: OMG! visitors g=here must think we're fuckin' crazy! well, i guess they may be right, but then a polyester tree doesn't require all that much watering, yanno? and it looks sooooo cheery!

mr. wd and i have a sunday night date to watch two masterpiece theaters on salt lake city pbs, so it's closing time for me. kashmiri folk dance and song; g' night. thanks for all the interest and comments.

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Cassiodorus's picture

won/t the Coriolis effect send the fallout into India?

Just askin'.

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"Can't you see/ It all makes perfect sense/ Expressed in dollars and cents/ pounds, shillings, and pence" -- Roger Waters

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

but arundhati says in the interview, modi (or india) seems to believe in 'limited nuclear war', which concept is as alien to me as 'survivable nuclear war'.

the hidden nuclear nation beyond the known Big Eight is israel, of course quite militarily allied with india. a quick bingle brought me to april 17:

'India’s Army Approves ‘Emergency Purchase’ of 240 Israeli Anti-Tank Guided Missiles; The Indian Army approved the import of 240 Spike anti-tank missiles and 12 launchers earlier this month', thediplomat.com (srsly)

"Following the February 2019 military standoff between India and Pakistan following the Balakot airstrikes, the Indian Army’s vice chief of staff has been given authority to procure goods and materiel worth up to $72 million without prior approval from the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) under an emergency purchase provision."

but that's how it goes, yes? parity, then increases, attempts at weapons parity, MADD, when does it end? as far as i understand it, even signatories to the non-proliferation...keep upgrading to more dangerous nukes.

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