Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, living in India since 2004, has criticised the celebrated Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy for her comment made eight years back in which she compared India and Pakistan in connection to the wars waged against their own people.
Tasleema, in her tweet on Thursday, said, ‘How brutal the Pakistani army was. They raped 200,000 women and killed three million in East Pakistan.’
‘They robbed our house, almost killed my father. Why did Arundhati say Pak army didn’t attack people in their own country? She was thoughtless in 2011. Been thoughtless also for the past 8 years?’ Tasleema added.
On August 17, Taslima tweeted in support of the scrapping of Article 370 of the Indian constitution which gave Kashmir a special status.
‘Article 370 had to go. Sharia law or Islamic law should go too. The method that was used to abolish 370 is actually much more needed to abolish anti-women sharia law and to establish a Uniform Civil Code based on equality,’ she wrote.
Tasleema’s Thursday tweet came a day after Arundhati both apologised and clarified her position on the comment made during the discussion on democracy in 2011 that triggered a row. In a video that went viral, Arundhati was seen arguing that Pakistan had never used military force against its own people.
After India cancelled the special status of Kashmir and imposed curfew recently, the statement Arundhati issued read as follows: ‘As tensions rise to dangerous levels between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, a nine-year-old video clip has resurfaced on the social media, in which, while speaking of the endless wars the Indian government waged against its own people, I seem to be saying that Pakistan has never deployed its army against its “own” people the way India has.’
She also claimed that what Pakistani army was doing in Baluchistan and the genocide that it committed in Bangladesh had never been ambiguous and she always addressed these incidents as part of her activism.
However, Arundhati did not apologise for her stance on Kashmir and the Indian army’s use of force against different minority rebels across the country as she mentioned in her 2011 talk.
‘Who are these people that Indian state has fought? In all the northern states, they are the tribal people. In Kashmir, it’s the Muslims, in Telangana, it’s the tribal people. In Hyderabad it is the Muslims and Christians and in Punjab it was the Sikhs,’ she said.
She also stated that the upper caste Hindu state perpetuated the war against the minorities. She further mentioned that for the past years she had been writing on armed struggles and was labelled by the Indian authorities as a sympathiser of the terrorists and Maoists.
She also claimed that she would withdraw her position if anybody could demonstrate to her that people belonging to the minority groups got justice at any institution in India.
The writer in her articles published recently in the western media outlets also criticised the Indian government’s arbitrary actions against the Kashmiri people.
In her article titled ‘Kashmir Is Potentially the Flashpoint for a Future Nuclear War’, published in the Huffington Post in March, she claimed that Indian prime minister ‘Narendra Modi had demonstrated to the world that Kashmir was potentially the most dangerous place on earth.
In other articles and talks, she also said that Kashmir was never been a part of India and needed freedom.
‘Last week it unilaterally breached the fundamental conditions of the Instrument of Accession, by which the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India in 1947,’ reads Arundhiti’s article titled ‘The Silence Is the Loudest Sound’, published in The New York Times on August 15.
‘In preparation for this, at midnight on August 4, it turned all of Kashmir into a giant prison camp. Seven million Kashmiris were barricaded in their homes, internet connections were cut and their phones went dead,’ it added.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Diaspora