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Finally, Arundhati Roy breaks her silence on Rawal’s ‘human shield’ remark with a dignified reply

By Oneindia Staff Writer
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New Delhi, June 5: Booker prize-winning author Arundhati Roy, who is coming up with her second novel--The Ministry of Utmost Happiness--after a gap of 20 years since her highly-acclaimed debut book-- The God of Small Things--took the literary world by storm, decides to ignore her "haters". The much-awaited second novel is hitting the stands on Tuesday.

The author, who often comes under attack by a section of society for her "controversial" stand on issues like Kashmir to Maoist insurgency, was recently targeted by Bollywood actor and Bharatiya Janata Party member of Parliament Paresh Rawal on Twitter.

Arundhati Roy

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According to Rawal, the army officer who allegedly used a Kashmiri as a "human shield" in the Valley should have "tied" Roy to the jeep instead.

"Instead of tying stone pelter on the army jeep tie Arundhati Roy !," tweeted Rawal on May 21. While his tweet went viral within minutes after it was posted attracting both protest and support for the actor-politician, Roy on her part decided to keep quiet on the entire matter.

Finally, Roy in an interview to The Indian Express breaks her silence on the controversial tweet targeted against her with a rather interesting observation. Instead of speaking against Rawal and his supporters, the author-activist takes it in her "stride".

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When asked about whether she has seen the tweet and how does she deal with "hate", Roy said, "You know, when you do the work that I do and when I write the things that I write, I don't think everybody will stand up and applaud. It's part of what you do and you have got to just take it in your stride and not whine about it. (But) I am not made of stainless steel.

Of course, it bothers me, but when you look at the kind of violence that people are being subjected to, I am so protected. You have to look around at what's happening to other people. You have to put yourself in perspective."

The 55-year-old author also spoke about a common allegation against her that she abuses her "freedom of speech" by speaking up for people who are engaged in a conflict with the state.

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"The minute you start curbing speech - speech that you are uncomfortable with - you start lowering your own IQ, you start lowering the IQ of the society to which you belong, you start dropping out of a brain power that should be on the cutting edge internationally.

You will become an extremely stupid country. There are two ways of curbing speech. One, as we know, is legally, formally; the other is outsourcing the violence to the mob and creating a climate in which people start censoring themselves. Either way, we will end up damaging our own IQ."

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