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03 March 2019

Our Captured, Wounded Hearts: Arundhati Roy On Balakot, Kashmir And India


With his reckless “pre-emptive” airstrike on Balakot in Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inadvertently undone what previous Indian governments almost miraculously, succeeded in doing for decades. Since 1947 the Indian Government has bristled at any suggestion that the conflict in Kashmir could be resolved by international arbitration, insisting that it is an “internal matter.” By goading Pakistan into a counter-strike, and so making India and Pakistan the only two nuclear powers in history to have bombed each other, Modi has internationalised the Kashmir dispute. He has demonstrated to the world that Kashmir is potentially the most dangerous place on earth, the flash-point for nuclear war. Every person, country, and organisation that worries about the prospect of nuclear war has the right to intervene and do everything in its power to prevent it. 



India has built around itself an aura of a global power whose time has come. For at least the last two decades it has been inflating itself as military-economic-cultural juggernaut that is gaining in size and strength with each passing year. While it may be true that India has made significant strides in all three areas, Indians made one unwitting mistake — they took their eye off the in-swinging ball. In the exuberance of sudden global attention, the Indian storytellers of the political-media combine veered from fact into fiction. Most did not detect this gradual transformation of the India story from what it was to what they wished it were. There were voters and viewers to be won and nothing wins them over more effectively than a well-told story. Keep reading  >>>>