Author Arundhati Roy has said the real danger in the society was that so much violence has been digested that it has become hard to be moral. Reacting to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Paresh Rawal’s jibe against her, Roy said that she did not expect everyone would applaud her views, according to an Indian Express report. On May 22, Rawal had stepped into an ongoing controversy and said that Arundhati Roy should be tied to the front of the army jeep instead of the stone pelter. Rawal’s remark was seen as a reference to an incident in Kashmir where a protester was tied to an army jeep by Major Nitin Gogoi during by-poll to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency. Roy said that it’s part of what she does and underlined that she puts things in perspective.
Roy has been very vocal against successive governments over their policies on environment, nuclear armament and the building of dams. Roy has time to time courted controversy by speaking out on Kashmir insurgency. “I think that when we become a society in which schoolgirls have got stones in their hands and women in forests have guns in their hands, we have to ask ourselves, ‘why’, because it takes a long, long journey to push women into that place,” she told Indian Express. Roy was even charged with sedition for her controversial remarks on Kashmir in 2010. She had made the remark while speaking at a conference in Delhi.
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Meanwhile, Roy’s new novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness will have a worldwide release on June 6. According to IE report, the book is situated in the middle of the violence that has happened in Chhattisgarh, Kashmir, New Delhi, Ayodhya, Godhra and Bhopal.
Interestingly, The 55-year-old Booker Prize-winning author has never shied away from taking sides or asking questions of authorities.
Notably, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is her second fiction in 20 years since her her Booker prize-winning novel The God of Small Things was published. Roy has a wide range of non-fiction publications that cover everything from US’ invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan to India’s nuclear tests, but this will be only her second work of fiction. The book has been published by Hamish Hamilton UK and Penguin India.