We will turn into a nation of fools: Arundhati Roy

Five quotes from author of The God of Small Things' note on why she's returning her National Award for Best Screenplay, 1989.

 |  2-minute read |   05-11-2015
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Well known author and activist Arundhati Roy has joined the league of writers and filmmakers who have returned their awards as a protest against the growing intolerance in the country.

The 55-year-old author won the national award in 1989 for the film "In Which Annie Gives it Those Ones". She also a Booker Prize winner for her book The God of Small Things.

These are the reasons she gave:

1. I want to make it clear that I am not returning this award because I am "shocked" by what is being called the "growing intolerance" being fostered by the present government. First of all, "intolerance" is the wrong word to use for the lynching, shooting, burning and mass murder of fellow human beings.

2. These horrific murders are only a symptom of a deeper malaise. Life is hell for the living too. Whole populations - millions of Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and Christians - are being forced to live in terror, unsure of when and from where the assault will come.

3. It doesn't matter whether we agree or disagree with what is being said. If we do not have the right to speak freely, we will turn into a society that suffers from intellectual malnutrition, a nation of fools.

4. I believe what artists and intellectuals are doing right now is unprecedented, and does not have a historical parallel. It is politics by other means. I am so proud to be part of it. And so ashamed of what is going on in this country today.

5. I turned down the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2005 when the Congress was in power. So please spare me that old Congress-versus-BJP debate. It has gone way beyond all that.

Read full story here.

Also read: How can you scream intolerance as well as freely abuse Modi?


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