Ms. Arundhati Roy wrote an op-ed piece for the NewYork Times on Kashmir recently (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/09/opinion/09roy.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1289318423-JI2XgtFGUtljFN9P4bv7vQ) – and as with all her articles, she paints the Indian government as a dictatorial oppressor; even as she paints much of India as extremist Hindu terrorists! And she manages to do all of this with charm and elan, making beautiful comparisons between children and apples.
As usual, she has her communist leanings propelling her to paint a terribly skewed picture of modern India in the western media and unfortunately, she is quite a capable writer – enough so that people will believe her. While I do not condone what is happening in Kashmir, and I am of the opinion that there is no current solution that is going to lead to peace in the the region (with the exception of possibly a special administrative region/autonomy – type one), I am still unaware of why Ms. Roy is still free and not behind bars!
In the article she makes references to her possibly being arrested on the charges of sedition. I read up on it, and based on what she has said, I think we have enough grounds to charge her for sedition. It just seems to me that the government is happy to let her be as long as the media presents her in a negative light. Once the media starts to see the reason in her ramblings, the government will probably step in.
Her comments on Maoists bothered me terribly, less so these comments on Kashmir. This is possibly because Kashmir is such a unique case, and has been for such a long time. Further, armed rebellion is being funded directly by known sources and both parties are equally responsible for attacks against civilians. Plus the Kashmir issue was always murky – right from independence, and clear consensus has never been achieved. It is my opinion that it is high time that we in South Asia resolve this issue once and for all. Involving foreign parties (such as the US) may not be the best idea since these parties generally have vested interested behind their arbitration. Although, an external observer would probably help in reaching a consensus – maybe we pick Russia? In any case, with the region growing quickly and with improving living conditions, it is imperative that this bottleneck be eliminated, if we as a region want to stand at par with global giants.