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Arundhati Roy urges Centre to drop armed action against Maoist

Posted by Admin on October 20, 2009

Arundhati Roy, a rights activist and Booker prize-winning novelist speaks at a press conference in New Delhi. Roy voiced her concerns about the government’s proposed military offensive against Maoist rebels in the tribal-dominated areas.

Arundhati Roy, a rights activist and Booker prize-winning novelist speaks at a press conference in New Delhi. Roy voiced her concerns about the government's proposed military offensive against Maoist rebels in the tribal-dominated areas.
Bombay News.Net

Monday 19th October, 2009 (ANI)

Left-leaning organisations such as the People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) and Sanhati spoke out against Operation Green Hunt, the offensive against the Maoists, at the Press Club of India in New Delhi.

The two-hour meeting was addressed by Gautam Navlakha of PUDR, writer Arundhati Roy and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, among others.

At a moderate gathering this afternoon, Sanhati released a letter to the Prime Minister stating that a military offensive against the Maoists “would deliver a crippling blow to Indian democracy”.

PUDR activists and a small number of students and faculty from Delhi University largely made up the audience which listened to a discussion moderated by Gautam Navlakha.

Arundhati Roy warned against the government’s intention to go ahead with any military offensive against the Maoists. “There is nothing positive to say about the situation at present. Military action against Maoists is not the solution,” she said.

Reading out a Planning Commission report which indicated that the Maoists were a political movement, she said the movement was evidence of the loss of faith in democratic institutions.

“Displacing millions of people is going to have repercussions,” she said. Referring to Mahasweta Devi’s comment that India was like a cloth part silken and part tattered, she said, “The parts that were tattered are torn, and in the holes are falling the poor of this country.”

There was an overwhelming consensus on issues and the lack of internal debate. Abhijeet Phartiyal, a student of Delhi University said discourse was required to chart out new directions though he was supportive of the objective behind the meet.

Civil rights activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan agreed with the assessments of many of his fellow speakers. “There is a swirl of fake propaganda about the Maoists. Anyone questioning the government’s claims is immediately labelled anti-national,” he said.

Bombay

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