BUBANESWAR: Writer Arundhati Roy was at the receiving end of her own tactic of dissent and protest here on Sunday when ABVP activists tried to stop her from attending a meeting on tribal rights for her controversial remark last month supporting ”azad Kashmir”.
The activists of the youth wing of the BJP [the Hindu supremacist opposition party in the Indian government–ed], wearing black badges, shouted slogans like ”Gaddar (traitor) Arundhati hai, hai”, and, ”Arundhati go back” just as she got down from the car to reach the meeting venue, said an eyewitness, and added, ”They waved black flags and also chucked one of them at her.”
A scuffle between ABVP workers and Roy’s supporters, comprising representatives from anti-land acquisition lobby, followed. Her supporters cordoned off the venue at Swadheenta Sangram Manch to stop the ABVP activists from disrupting their meeting.
While some of Roy’s lathi-wielding supporters chased the ABVP men, said to be around 12 in number, the latter hurled shoes at them. At least two people were injured in the melee that went on for half-an-hour until the cops arrived and picked up eight ABVP men.
Talking to reporters, Roy said, ”They (ABVP) have a right to protest, I have a right to speak,” and added that she was sticking to her opinion on Kashmir. She had said, ”Kashmir was never an integral part of India. It’s a historical fact.”
Times of India, November 22, 2010