Controversial writer-activist Arundhati Roy has added one more statement to her long list of bizarre and outlandish statements. On 30th August 2018, she decided to join the ongoing debate over Rafale deal, but in doing so she upgraded the French multirole fighter jet to an aircraft carrier. At a press conference, she said “but the real fire of make in India, is the Rafale aircraft carrier deal”, taking a jib at the incident of fire at Make in India event held at Mumbai in February 2016.
The real fire of Make in India is the new Rafale aircraft carrier deal. The PM announced this deal in Paris against all known protocols: Arundhati Roy, Author #MaoistCrackdown pic.twitter.com/WYJn15IlAU
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) August 30, 2018
Although it was just a minor goof-up this time, she has made many more seriously and outrageously wrong statements in the past.
While speaking at an event at Northwestern Law School in Chicago in 2013, she described the event of Godhra train burning case as:
“A train full of pilgrims coming back from the destruction of this Ayodhya mosque which was disputed. The train caught fire; nobody knows who set fire to the train and 57 pilgrims were burnt…”.
It was a foreign audience so nobody could point out to the her that the Ayodhya mosque was demolished in 1992 and Godhra train burning happened in 2002. It is, of course, very difficult to believe that it was a genuine mistake since both the incidents are two of the most talked about events in contemporary Indian history. The logical conclusion would be that she most likely still chose to do this since she knew the profile of her audience and was confident that she would get away with her bizarre lie.
In 2010, she wrote a three-part series in The Guardian comparing Maoists with Mahatma Gandhi. She argued, Maoist guerrillas are Gandhis, but with Guns. Narrating her visit of a Maoist camp, she wrote:
“There are no signs that almost a hundred people had camped here, except for some ash where the fires had been. I cannot believe this army. As far as consumption goes, it’s more Gandhian than any Gandhian, and has a lighter carbon footprint than any climate change evangelist. But for now, it even has a Gandhian approach to sabotage; before a police vehicle is burnt, for example, it is stripped down and every part is cannibalized. The steering wheel is straightened out and made into a bharmaar barrel, the rexine upholstery stripped and used for ammunition pouches, the battery for solar charging.”
Gandhian approach to sabotage, it seems! Take a moment to absorb this – she finds terrorists cleaning up their camp to remove evidence, Gandhian. Most gangs and criminals would resort to this to reduce their carbon footprint. She thinks terrorists making deadly weapons out of captured police vehicles is Gandhian! One wonders if she also thinks that the murder of innocents by Maoists is the ‘Gandhian way’?
She also finds the ability of trained Maoist terrorists to carry loads of backpack, rifle, ammunition, provisions while walking in the darkness in a forest, ‘amazing’. In fact, she is so impressed by it that she calls it a miracle. Terrorists should also take her along on their ambush missions, to impress her with their sharpshooting capabilities, to demonstrate their efficient mass killings with their handmade bombs so that she can write how the boys and girls are so talented.
Again in 2010, Arundhati Roy had attended a conference on “Azadi-the Only Way” along with Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others, where several anti-India statements were made and after a petition filed against them, police had filed an FIR her and others under various sections including sedition.
On several occasions, she has argued that only way to solve the Kashmir problem is the independence of Kashmir. It is safe to say that Arundhati Roy stands against the independence, sovereignty and integrity of the country. She stands for breaking India into tiny pieces, she talks in favour of an armed struggle to meet that goal and lies through her teeth to make her points. After the trail of statements left behind by Arundhati Roy, her statements on Rafale seem like a mere gaffe.