“Celebrated writer Arundhati Roy on Saturday refused to accept the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in protest against the Indian Government toeing the US line by ‘violently and ruthlessly pursuing policies of brutalisation of industrial workers, increasing militarisation and economic neo-liberalisation’.
“‘I have a great deal of respect for the Sahitya Akademi, for the members of this year’s Jury and for many of the writers who have received these awards in the past. But to register my protest and reaffirm my disagreement — indeed my absolute disgust — with these policies of the Indian Government, I must refuse to accept the 2005 Sahtiya Akademi Award’, Arundhati said in a statement here. ‘These essays written between 1998 and 2001 are deeply critical of some of the major policies of the Indian State’, she said. The main area of her disagreement included the government policies of constructing big dams, persuing nuclear weapons, increasing militarisation and economic liberalisation. Even today this government ‘shows a continuing commitment to these polices and is clearly prepared to implement them ruthlessly and violently,’ whatever the cost, she said.”
When Roy won the 2004 Sydney Peace Prize, her principles were clear for all to see:
“I believe that all of us should be part of an Iraqi resistance which allows it to be non-violent, to be mass based, to be secular.”