What happened in the Indian Parliament last week was tantamount to cremating the Instrument of Accession.It was a document with a complicated provenance that had been signed by a discredited king, the Dogra Hindu King, Maharaja Hari Singh.Twenty years, a thousand pages, and now a single beautiful edition of Arundhati Roy's complete non-fiction.'Arundhati Roy is one of the most confident and original thinkers of our time' Naomi Klein 'The world has never had to face such global confusion. In an age of intellectual logrolling and mass-manufactured infotainment, she continues to offer bracing ways of seeing, thinking and feeling' TIME magazine My Seditious Heart collects the work of a two-decade period when Arundhati Roy devoted herself to the political essay as a way of opening up space for justice, rights and freedoms in an increasingly hostile environment.
For Kashmiris, in particular, this has been an old, primal fear.
Their recurring nightmare (an inversion of the one being peddled by Donald Trump) of being swept away by a tidal wave of triumphant Indians wanting a little home in their sylvan valley could easily come true.
Radical and readable, they speak always in defence of the collective, of the individual and of the land, in the face of the destructive logic of financial, social, religious, military and governmental elites.
In constant conversation with the themes and settings of her novels, the essays form a near-unbroken memoir of Arundhati Roy's journey as both a writer and a citizen, of both India and the world, from 'The End of Imagination', which begins this book, to 'My Seditious Heart', with which it ends.
That in this age of information, a government can so easily cut off a whole population from the rest of the world for days at a time, says something serious about the times we are heading toward.
Kashmir, they often say, is the unfinished business of the “Partition.” That word suggests that in 1947, when the British drew their famously careless border through the subcontinent, there was a “whole” that was then partitioned.
Last week it unilaterally breached the fundamental conditions of the Instrument of Accession, by which the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India in 1947. 4, it turned all of Kashmir into a giant prison camp.
Seven million Kashmiris were barricaded in their homes, internet connections were cut and their phones went dead. 5, India’s home minister proposed in Parliament that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution (the article that outlines the legal obligations that arise from the Instrument of Accession) be overturned. By the next evening the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019 had been passed by the upper as well as the lower house.
NEW DELHI — As India celebrates her 73rd year of independence from British rule, ragged children thread their way through traffic in Delhi, selling outsized national flags and souvenirs that say, “Mera Bharat Mahan.” My India is Great.
Quite honestly, it’s hard to feel that way right now, because it looks very much as though our government has gone rogue.