“We are living in dangerous times”- Arundhati Roy

Addressing a press conference, writer and Booker prize winner was  clear in her denouncement of the ruling BJP regime for the arrest of the high-profile activists under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. “In the India of today, to belong to a minority is a crime. To be murdered is a crime. To be lynched is a crime. To be poor is a crime. To defend the poor is to plot to overthrow the government,”she said.

“Divert and Rule” strategy of BJP

Calling it a “Divert and Rule” strategy, she said that the BJP and PM Modi were losing their popularity at an alarming rate, forcing this diversion so that the real issues are pushed away from public scrutiny. The 3 issues she raised were the  huge failure of demonetization exercise(leaving thousands jobless and ruining small wage-earners), the massive corruption behind the Rafale deal(given from HAL to Anil Ambani’s company, which had never built a plane in their lifetime) and the systematic destruction of education sector.

“A continuous circus from now on till elections”

Stating that from 2002, we have learned to connect the season of elections with the onset of all kinds of violence, she said, “We are entering dangerous times. There will be ruthless and continuous attempts to divert attention. It will be a continuous circus from now to the elections – arrests, assassinations, lynchings, bomb attacks, false flag attacks, riots, pogroms.”

The press conference held in the national capital showed a coming together of many activists, including Aruna Roy, Prashant Bhusan, Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani and Bezwada Wilson of Safai Karamchari Andolan.