‘It is a shame that people cannot talk about the economic order and do not know the frontiers of their battle’

Noted writer Arundhati Roy has regretted that it had become part of the Indian culture to accept inequality in society.

Indians had a fond hope that they will live in an equal society when the Naxalbari movement was launched against the zamindari system in the 1970s. The slogan then was ‘land to the tiller’, but now their demand has transformed to retention of whatever land is left with them, she said, addressing a meeting of the Revolutionary Writers Association against the ban on Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF).

Ms. Roy criticised Indian society as the most “rotten” in the world with its people failing to fight against injustice. “It is a shame that they cannot talk about the economic order which threatened society.” People did not know the frontiers of their battle. As a result, the governments doctored their minds and they were left lurching between Islamic terrorism on one hand and Maoism on the other. The governments had adopted the British policy of deploying their forces to deal with terrorist activities from far and wide, she said.

She called for new alliances between people to fight the assault from the governments. However, the anger of people had come down by 30 per cent, while there was an equal rise in the strength of security forces since economic reforms were initiated in the country in 1991.

Political parties resorted to hypocrisy by stalling Parliament and organising ‘Bharat bandh’ over foreign direct investment in retail trade. The parties did not think about FDI when it was allowed in mining and infrastructure projects, Ms. Roy added.

She warned that the army would be deployed in Chhattisgarh to deal with Maoist activity. Earlier, AP Civil Liberties Committee vice president Suresh said that the government had banned RDF, although it did not have an organisational network in the State. Revolutionary writer Varavara Rao attended the meeting.