06 June 2011
Arundhati Roy, Booker Prize winning novelist and political activist, speaking to reporters on her new book, a collection of essays on the Maoist guerrilla movement in India entitled 'Broken Republic', argues the case for violent resistance in the face of brutal oppression.
"If you're an adivasi[tribal Indian] living in a forest village and 800 CRP [Central Reserve Police] come and surround your village and start burning it, what are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to go on hunger strike? Can the hungry go on a hunger strike? Non-violence is a piece of theatre. You need an audience. What can you do when you have no audience? People have the right to resist annihilation." said Roy.
Such views have led to the accusations of sedition and treachery in India. However Roy, who has always maintained that she does not actively endorse armed struggles or violence, remains resolute in her conviction that when faced with ruthless oppression, the oppressed are too often left with no other option.
Describing her time living with the Maoist rebels in 2009 as "some of the most amazing moments of my life", Roy reflected that "it was such a wonderful thing to see those people standing up to the most powerful forces in the world."
See her recent interviews with The Guardian and The Financial Times in full here:
See here for her interview in November 2009 on the conflict in Sri Lanka, where she asserted that the LTTE "was cultured in the crucible of monstrous, racist, and injustice acts that the Sri Lankan government and to a great extent Sinhalese society visited on the Tamil people for decades.”.