In a scathing attack on the NDA government, author and activist Arundhati Roy on Saturday said that the Narendra Modi-led government was ‘formalising’ the concept of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ even though India had been one since independence. “No doubt India has been a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ since independence but the present government is ‘formalising’ it and if given a second term, they will even walk faster on these lines,” Roy said while speaking at a seminar in Barnala.
Questioning the changing roles of the Army and police, Roy said, “The police has taken the role of the Army in Bastar while the Army has taken the role of police in Jammu and Kashmir. In Jammu and Kashmir, one can even see the Army regulating traffic. They are obtaining various details from the residences there, which is the role of the police. Contrary to this, the police can be seen with grenade launchers and other hi-tech weapons in Bastar area to target the tribals.”
The writer also spoke on the arrest of six people with alleged Maoist links for inciting riots in Bhima Koregaon. Terming the arrests as “wrong”, she said, “This government cannot tolerate any opposition and anyone speaking against the government is sent to jail. In the next one year, all the opponents will be sent to jail so that they are even unable to stand by to oppose the government.”
Roy concluded her speech by speaking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its increasing use in the industry. “Recently, I visited a mine and found that most of the things were controlled through AI. In the future, through this technology, it appears as though there won’t be any need of workers. It is the robots who are carrying out operations in hospitals; phones will be answered through AI and I think there won’t be any need of any poets and authors like us. It is nothing but a preparation for a new world where the need for humans for various jobs will be less. This will also be a step to suppress the ‘inqilab movement’ done by us for the rights of the workers. In the present time, we are being called as ‘urban Maoists’,” she said.
Activist Varvara Rao, who was also present at the seminar, alleged that selective murders were taking place in the country and a pro-market scene was being created as everything was going in private hands. Both the speakers maintained that the tribals were fighting for their rights.