“First of all, “intolerance” is the wrong word to use for the lynching, shooting, burning and mass murder of fellow human beings. Second, we had plenty of advance notice of what lay in store for us — so I cannot claim to be shocked by what has happened after this government was enthusiastically voted into office with an overwhelming majority… Whole populations — millions of Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and Christians — are being forced to live in terror, unsure of when and from where the assault will come.”

—Arundhati Roy

 

Roy in a piece for The Indian Express informed the public that she was very pleased to have found (from somewhere way back in her past) a National Award that she could return, because it allowed her ‘to be a part of a political movement initiated by writers, filmmakers and academics in this country who have risen up against a kind of ideological viciousness and an assault on our collective IQ that will tear us apart and bury us very deep if we do not stand up to it now’.

For Roy, if we do not have the right to speak freely, we will turn into a society that suffers from intellectual malnutrition — a nation of fools. Across the subcontinent, it has become a race to the bottom — one that the New India has enthusiastically joined. Here too now, censorship has been outsourced to the mob. And time is proving her decision of returning the award as a protest against Modi’s government that is responsible for the growing fascism in India a morally upright one.

(Note: The image was taken after her release from jail.)