Arundhati Roy on Religious Nationalism, Dissent, and the Battle Between Myth and History

Arundhati Roy’s Sissy Farenthold Lecture at the University of Texas, in Literary Hub:

Before I begin, I would like to say a few words about the war in Ukraine. I unequivocally condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and applaud the Ukrainian peoples’ courageous resistance. I applaud the courage shown by Russian dissenters at enormous cost to themselves.

I say this while being acutely and painfully aware of the hypocrisy of the United States and Europe, which together have waged similar wars on other countries in the world. Together they have led the nuclear race and have stockpiled enough weapons to destroy our planet many times over. What an irony it is that the very fact that they possess these weapons, now forces them to helplessly watch as a country they consider to be an ally is decimated—a country whose people and territory, whose very existence, imperial powers have jeopardized with their war games and ceaseless quest for domination.

And now, I turn to India. I dedicate this talk to the increasing numbers of prisoners of conscience in India.

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