Author: Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy is a novelist born in Shillong. Her latest novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is out in paperback.

January 13, 2020 /

Over the last two days we’ve been hearing about the arrest of a senior police officer—Davinder Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) who was working with the hijack unit of the Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP), at the Humhama Airport, Srinagar. Last year he received the President’s medal for gallantry. More recently he was a part of the reception committee to welcome the fifteen members of the EU Parliament who visited Kashmir in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370 (and probably wanted to experience at first hand the spectacle of its locked down population and jailed leaders). Davinder Singh was arrested in southern Kashmir on Saturday (Jan 11th) in an operation by his colleagues of the JKP, who intercepted the car he was riding in with two very senior militants and a cache of weapons. The police have said his is a “heinous crime” and that they are treating him as a militant.
Most people may not know who DSP Davinder Singh is. But for many long years he has loomed over those who have studied and written about the December 13, 2001 Parliament Attack – a malign presence whose impunity knew no bounds. RAIOT republishes Arundhati Roy’s introduction to 13 December, A Reader: The Strange Case of the Attack on the Indian Parliament. It was published six years before Afzal Guru was hanged. And Davinder Singh has a starring role in it. Today, thirteen years later, the thirteen questions she poses in this piece remain unanswered.

May 13, 2019 /

#ArundhatiRoy
“I have never felt that my fiction and nonfiction were warring factions battling for suzerainty. They aren’t the same certainly, but trying to pin down the difference between them is actually harder than I imagined. Fact and fiction are not converse. One is not necessarily truer than the other, more factual than the other, or more real than the other. Or even, in my case, more widely read than the other. All I can say is that I feel the difference in my body when I’m writing.”

August 30, 2018 /

Recent analyses of real voter data as well the Lokniti-CSDS-ABP Mood of the Nation survey have shown that the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are losing popularity at an alarming pace (for them). This means that we are entering dangerous times. There will be ruthless and continuous attempts to divert attention from the reasons for this loss of popularity, and to fracture the growing solidarity of the opposition. It will be a continuous circus from now to the elections—arrests, assassinations, lynchings, bomb attacks, false flag attacks, riots, pogroms. We have learned to connect the season of elections with the onset of all kinds of violence. Divide and Rule, yes. But add to that—Divert and Rule. From now until the elections, we will not know from when, and where and how the fireball will fall on us, and what the nature of that fireball will be.

June 27, 2018 /

At a book reading in Kolkata, about a week after my first novel, The God of Small Things, was published, a member of the audience stood up and asked, in a tone that was distinctly hostile: “Has any writer ever written a masterpiece in an alien language? In a language other than his mother tongue?” I hadn’t claimed to have written a masterpiece (nor to be a “he”), but nevertheless I understood his anger toward a me, a writer who lived in India, wrote in English, and who had attracted an absurd amount of attention. My answer to his question made him even angrier.
“Nabokov,” I said. And he stormed out of the hall.