Author activist Arundhati Roy has said that she viewed the death of 76 CRPF personnel in Dantewada as “tragic”, rejecting suggestions that she had saluted the “people of Dantewada” after these killings by Maoists.
Taking exception to a PTI report from Mumbai based on her speech at a public meeting organised on June 2 by the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR), the writer said in a communication, “I have made it quite clear that I viewed the death of the CRPF men as tragic, and that I thought they were pawns in a war of the rich against the poor.
“What I said at the meeting in Mumbai was that I was contemptuous of the hollow condemnation industry the media has created and that as the war went on and the violence spiralled, it was becoming impossible to extract any kind of morality from the atrocities committed by both sides.”
Ms. Roy said “I made it clear that I was not there to defend the killing of ordinary people by anybody, neither the Maoists nor the government. My reaction to the killing of the CRPF men and other recent incidents of violence by the Maoists are a matter of public record.”
The report quoted Ms. Roy as having said that she would continue to back the Maoist armed struggle even if she was put behind bars and that “it ought to be an armed movement“.
Denying that she had said anything like “it ought to be an armed movement”, Ms. Roy said her exact words were “I think it is much more interesting to interrogate the resistance to which we belong.
“I am on this side of the line. I am very clear about that. I don’t care, pick me up, put me in jail. I am on this side of the line. But on this side of the line, we must turn around and ask our comrades questions.”