Arifa Akbar writes in the Independent that Kashmir is full of 'urgent truths' about the disputed region and its struggle for independence, praising Arundhati Roy for a particularly 'powerful' contribution. Paris Review recently published a short interview with Roy about her other recent book, Walking with the Comrades, in which she argues that in her opinion there is more hope to be found among the oppressed than their oppressors:
I always find it interesting that when you’re with people who are really at the receiving end of oppression, you find a lot less despair than you do in middle-class drawing rooms. In these situations, despair is not an option. I wonder if the amount of information that is hammered into our heads day and night leads people to think that the world’s problems are so huge they’re insurmountable. Whereas people who are fighting against something in a more or less localized way are far clearer about what they have to do and how they have to do it.
Arundhati Roy writes in the Guardian on the discovery of more mass unmarked graves in Kashmir and the supression of dissent by the Indian government. Foreign reporters who write about Kashmir are increasingly being deported, and Kashmiri journalists and activists face much more severe persecution:
David Barsamian is not the first person to be deported over the Indian government's sensitivities over Kashmir. Professor Richard Shapiro, an anthropologist from San Francisco, was deported from Delhi airport in November 2010 without being given any reason. It was probably a way of punishing his partner, Angana Chatterji, who is a co-convenor of the international peoples' tribunal on human rights and justice which first chronicled the existence of unmarked mass graves in Kashmir...
Kashmir is in the process of being isolated, cut off from the outside world by two concentric rings of border patrols - in Delhi as well as Srinagar - as though it's already a free country with its own visa regime. Within its borders of course, it's open season for the government and the army. The art of controlling Kashmiri journalists and ordinary people with a deadly combination of bribes, threats, blackmail and a whole spectrum of unutterable cruelty has evolved into a twisted art form.