From The Independent:
The Booker prize-winning writer Arundhati Roy has made a strident defence of comments she made over the disputed territory of Kashmir after the Indian government threatened to arrest her for sedition. The authorities in Delhi have taken legal advice over whether to bring charges against the novelist and activist after she said Kashmir had never been an “integral part of India”. “Even the Indian government has accepted this. Why are we trying to change this now?” she added, at a public meeting, at which one of the other speakers was veteran separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani.The comments of Ms Roy were immediately seized on by political opposition, which demanded she be charged. Law minister, Veerappa Moily, said while India enjoyed freedom of speech, “it can't violate the patriotic sentiments of the people”.
But Ms Roy, writing from Srinagar, the largest town in the Kashmir valley and the scene of numerous deaths of protesters this year, said she had only given voice to what millions of people in Kashmir had been saying for a long time.”Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds,” she said. “Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice while communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters, rapists and those who prey on the poorest of the poor, roam free.”Ms Roy's comments come after the deaths of dozens of protesters in the Kashmir valley since new demonstrations for autonomy erupted in June. The once-independent kingdom has been fought over since 1947 when its Hindu ruler decided the Muslim-majority state should join independent India, rather than the newly-created Pakistan.