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Charge Nehru with sedition, Arundhati tells Delhi

by on 11/29/2010

Source: DAWN

 arundhati-roy jawaharlal-nehru-

NEW DELHI, Nov 27: A Delhi court ordered police on Saturday to file charges against a Kashmiri resistance leader and his Indian supporters who have been accused by the national media of sedition.

However, writer activist Arundhati Roy, one of the alleged participants in a recent ‘anti-national’ seminar, said police should first file sedition charges against Jawaharlal Nehru because the country’s first prime minister believed the Kashmir dispute could only be settled by the people of Kashmir.

Delhi’s Metropolitan Magistrate Navita Kumari Bagga directed the police to lodge an FIR against hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Ms Roy and five others on the charge of sedition for their alleged anti-India speeches.
Ms Bagga, under pressure from rightwing Hindu petitioners, slammed the police for their prolonged inaction and ‘weird’ reply that no offence was made out against Mr Geelani and Ms Roy, whose speeches had triggered a nationwide controversy.
Ms Roy said it was a frivolous case which had sought to shift the focus away from the raging financial scandals that have rocked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government. Leading media personalities, some of them questioning her patriotism, were caught in the net of a damaging probe.

In a press statement, Ms Roy listed a number of occasions when India’s first prime minister had described the Kashmir dispute in a manner which would offend most Indians today. She urged the police to file an FIR against Mr Nehru posthumously.

According to Ms Roy, in his statement in the Indian Constituent Assembly on 25th November, 1947, Mr Nehru said: “In order to establish our bona fide, we have suggested that when the people are given the chance to decide their future, this should be done under the supervision of an impartial tribunal such as the United Nations Organisation. The issue in Kashmir is whether violence and naked force should decide the future or the will of the people”.

In his statement in the Indian Parliament on 7th August, 1952, according to

Ms Roy, Mr Nehru said: “Kashmir is very close to our minds and hearts and if by some decree or adverse fortune, ceases to be a part of India, it will be a wrench and a pain and torment for us. If, however, the people of Kashmir do not wish to remain with us, let them go by all means. We will not keep them against their will, however painful it may be to us. I want to stress that it is only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir…

However sad we may feel about leaving we are not going to stay against the wishes of the people. We are not going to impose ourselves on them on the point of the bayonet”.

Ms Roy said the Indian government was clearly violating Mr Nehru’s pledge by seeking to bludgeon the people of Kashmir into submission.


From → Kashmir Dispute

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