Arundhati Roy’s point of view and India

First of all, thanks Namya for such a thought provoking article.

As the article is touching a couple of issues and POVs, let I put my views one by one:

1) A democracy can’t afford to put restrictions on speech by framing a clear cut law. Things are to be tackled case by case, situation by situation; framing a non-ambiguous law, will thwart every voice, even sane ones. And all 60 years effort will go down the drain.

2) Citizens, so-called intelligentsia, Media and any other vocal entity should be their own censors. Here I want to share what Greek philosopher Socrates used to say on self regulation. The famous philosopher believed that, a citizen should obey the law of land no matter what the situation is. He/she can protest, but that too by following the Law of land; and if the need be get ready to get the spanking. Notably, when Socrates knew, the King’s men were arriving to take him to prison or worst; rather than fleeing to the neighboring City State, he chose to abide to king’s order.

Here, Socrates differs from Mahatma Gandhi, who taught his countrymen, to break Law of land, but in a peaceful manner. And it appears we are still following what Bapu has taught us; even when we are ruling ourselves now.

3)It’s alright if someone considers himself or herself elite and no one should protest such a claim. The easiest thing to do is to ignore such a voice or opinion. But in no way can anyone justify any speech, no matter from where it comes. I’m not taking a high moral stand. But taking into consideration the changed world today; when Indians are solving customer queries of US and European citizens and an India is living in possibly every country of the world; any hate speech pointed towards any religion, caste, creed or nationality seems illogical. As no matter how people behave, they don’t want to share their cities, jobs and loved ones with outsiders.

That said. Thanks again Namya for a thought provoking write-up; and thank you too.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • namya Oct 28, 2010, 1:50 am


    thanks for your appreciation. And a very nice analysis.
    you hit it on the nail when you mention self censorship and a sense of underlying responsibility when one airs one's views.
    Wishing you the best for your new site.


  • A Bisht Dec 2, 2010, 11:30 pm

    Thanks Namya.