VIGIL book on NGOs -
NGOs, Activists and Foreign Funds
Page 18 of 41
20. Roy on a speaking tour of Pakistan, regaling Pakistani audiences
´The internationally acclaimed writer of ´The God of Small Things´ was the key speaker at the seminar and shared the podium with former Foreign Minister Sardar Assef Ahmad Ali, Shekhar Gupta, editor of The Indian Express, N. Ram from The Hindu, and Najam Sethi, editor of The Daily Times´ (http://www.dawn.com/2002/08/19/local2.htm) It´s only when you want to control somebody that you produce a flag. While they talk about war, let´s focus on human evolution and progress. These are the issues we should be thinking about, not these spurious theatrics of nation-states. Human society cannot exist when they are administered by nation-states and nation-states can´t survive with nuclear bombs When you are accused of being an anti-national, the unspoken thing is that you are anti this nation and pro some other nation. It´s not that I am an anti-national, but I am deeply, deeply suspicious of nationalism, deeply suspicious of flags, those funny bits of cloth which shrink the human mind,´ she said amidst tumultuous applause.
As thousands of people hung on Ms Roy´s every word, she said that following a military standoff between India and Pakistan some months back, when foreigners had flown out and war correspondents had flown in, a lot of people had asked her whether or not she would leave the country. She said: ´I used to wonder where I would go. I used to think where I could buy a new life. I am certain that the reason why war talk started in India was that the Government wanted to take world attention away from Gujarat.´ She observed that the Indian Government shamelessly supported Narendra Modi ´who oversaw the genocide in Gujarat.´
In a voice cracking with emotion, she said that if she received prior information that India was going to fire a nuclear missile at Pakistan, she would come here to receive it. Now that´s a real tempting notion!