Arundhati Roy not anti-Indian: Ananthamurthy

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UR Ananthamuthy
Udupi, Dec 23: After Azam Khan's Kashmir rhetoric that raised quite a few eyebrows yesterday on Dec 22, its now the turn of renowned writer and Jnanpeeth awardee U R Ananthamurthy to hog the limelight for his comments.

Ananthamurthy was attending a literary function at Udupi when he opined that Arundhati Roy should not be victimised for her frank comments on Kashmir. He also elaborated that she has voiced the problems of Kashmiri's and stood for their human rights. He said, ''the concept of nationalism, after what one saw in the Ms Roy episode, was dangerous as it is imbibed with fanatic fundamentalist ideologies and totally differs from patriotism."

He also said that charges of sedition should not be levelled against Arundhati Roy and said that she was raising her voice for the Kashmir people. She is "not anti-Indian", he commented. He slammed the religious fanaticism in India and quipped in his trademark style, "I love religious India and not communal India. The spirit of nationalism gave birth to two world wars and made humans blind."

He also commented on the degrading political system in Karnataka and said, "After Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharshi, there have been no dharma gurus' (religious leaders), instead there were only land grabbers now."

He also spoke on the lack of humanity in all and said, "We need civilisation and not nationalism. This was well understood by Gandhi and Tagore. In India, nationalism is based on Hinduism. Civilisation is the need of hour. We need humanitarian ethics."

Others who attended the function include Israeli poet Diti Ronen, writers H.S. Shivaprakash, Muralidhar Upadhya Hiriyadka, G. Rajashekhar, Vaidehi, Jayaram Karanth, and Secretary of Rathabeedi Geleyaru Subramanya Joshi.

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