From now to the elections, it will be a continuous circus of arrest: Arundhati Roy
Pulitzer awardee writer and activist Arundhati Roy alleged that the Narendra Modi government is following ‘Divert and rule’ to distract the attention of the people from the reasons of falling popularity of the BJP government. At a press conference on Thursday evening, Arundhati alleged that in the run up to 2019 elections, the BJP will “try to derail everything” because they are losing popularity.
She was quoted in a report by The Indian Express saying, “Modi government is following divert and rule. We will not know from where and how and when and what kind of fireball is going to fall on us. They are trying to distract us.”
Her statement in The Caravan said, “Recent analyses of real voter data as well as the Lokniti-CSDS-ABP Mood of the Nation survey have shown that the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are losing popularity at an alarming rate for them. We know that since 2002 riots of Gujarat, whenever popularity and power of the ruling party (BJP) goes down, a dangerous situation is created and riots occur.”
“From now to the elections, it will be a continuous circus of arrests, assassinations, lynching, bomb attacks, riots and pogroms. We have learnt to connect the approach of the elections with the approach of all kinds of violence,” she said in the same report.
She launched a series of attacks at the Narendra Modi-government and said that the policies such as demonetisation and introduction of Goods and Services Tax were “anti-dalit”, anti-minority” and “anti-poor”. “While the poor have suffered enormously, several corporations close to the BJP have multiplied their wealth several times over. Businessmen like Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya have run away with thousands of crores of public money while the government looked away,” her quote in Indian Express said.
The Press conference was called at the Press Club of India to denounce the arrest of activists: Lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, journalist-academician Gautam Navlakha, writer Arun Ferreira, poet Varavara Rao and activist Vernon Gonsalves.
She condemned the arrests as “ruthless and continuous attempt to divert attention from the reasons for this loss of popularity and fracture the growing solidarity of the opposition.” She also added that, “by arresting public interest lawyers and human rights activists, the government is actually isolating lakhs of people because these are their representatives, the helpers of the poorest of the poor.
She also pointed out at the investigations by the Karnataka police on the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh and said that the probe has “unveiled several Hindu right-wing organisations like the Sanatan Sansthan”.
The Booker-winning novelist and activist at the forefront of many social and environmental struggles, Roy, asked the people to not allow their “attention to stray from even when strange events befall us”.
Some other eminent figures like Prashant Bhushan, Aruna Roy, Kavita Srivastava, Kalyani Menon, Adv. Sanjay Parikh, ND Pancholi, Wilson Bezwada and Harish Dhawan also spoke on the occasion and condemned the arrest of the activists.
Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan said that the Constitution and democracy were in danger and the masses have to come together in order to save it.
Former civil servant Aruna Roy also condemned the arrests and said, “They wanted to scare the people. This is a question of people’s democratic and constitutional rights,” The Caravan quoted.
Kalyani Menon pointed out an irony that those who are working for constitution and propagating it are being called the enemy of the country.
The Maharashtra Police had arrested the activists as part of its probe into the ‘Elgar Parishad’ conclave in Koregaon-Bhima village near Pune on December 31 last year, triggering massive outcry all over the country.