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From the best-selling author of My Seditious Heart and the Ministry of Utmost Happiness, a new and pressing dispatch from the heart of the crowd and the solitude of the writer's desk. The chant of "Azadi!"—Urdu for "Freedom!"—is the slogan of the freedom struggle in Kashmir against what Kashmiris see as the Indian Occupation. Ironically, it also became the chant of millions From the best-selling author of My Seditious Heart and the Ministry of Utmost Happiness, a new and pressing dispatch from the heart of the crowd and the solitude of the writer's desk. The chant of "Azadi!"—Urdu for "Freedom!"—is the slogan of the freedom struggle in Kashmir against what Kashmiris see as the Indian Occupation. Ironically, it also became the chant of millions on the streets of India against the project of Hindu Nationalism. Even as Arundhati Roy began to ask what lay between these two calls for Freedom—a chasm or a bridge?—the streets fell silent. Not only in India, but all over the world. The coronavirus brought with it another, more terrible understanding of Azadi, making a nonsense of international borders, incarcerating whole populations, and bringing the modern world to a halt like nothing else ever could. In this series of electrifying essays, Arundhati Roy challenges us to reflect on the meaning of freedom in a world of growing authoritarianism. The essays include meditations on language, public as well as private, and on the role of fiction and alternative imaginations in these disturbing times. The pandemic, she says, is a portal between one world and another. For all the illness and devastation it has left in its wake, it is an invitation to the human race, an opportunity, to imagine another world.


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From the best-selling author of My Seditious Heart and the Ministry of Utmost Happiness, a new and pressing dispatch from the heart of the crowd and the solitude of the writer's desk. The chant of "Azadi!"—Urdu for "Freedom!"—is the slogan of the freedom struggle in Kashmir against what Kashmiris see as the Indian Occupation. Ironically, it also became the chant of millions From the best-selling author of My Seditious Heart and the Ministry of Utmost Happiness, a new and pressing dispatch from the heart of the crowd and the solitude of the writer's desk. The chant of "Azadi!"—Urdu for "Freedom!"—is the slogan of the freedom struggle in Kashmir against what Kashmiris see as the Indian Occupation. Ironically, it also became the chant of millions on the streets of India against the project of Hindu Nationalism. Even as Arundhati Roy began to ask what lay between these two calls for Freedom—a chasm or a bridge?—the streets fell silent. Not only in India, but all over the world. The coronavirus brought with it another, more terrible understanding of Azadi, making a nonsense of international borders, incarcerating whole populations, and bringing the modern world to a halt like nothing else ever could. In this series of electrifying essays, Arundhati Roy challenges us to reflect on the meaning of freedom in a world of growing authoritarianism. The essays include meditations on language, public as well as private, and on the role of fiction and alternative imaginations in these disturbing times. The pandemic, she says, is a portal between one world and another. For all the illness and devastation it has left in its wake, it is an invitation to the human race, an opportunity, to imagine another world.

30 review for Azadi

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    great: a few of the essays reflect on the role of (fiction) writing in the wake of fascism’s resurgence across the world, others analyze the rise of Hindu nationalism and the atrocities of the Modi administration, the rest do both.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Siddhartha Kumar

    I don't have a lot of friends who are supporters of the ruling BJP (well at least the ones who have disclosed it publicly), and consequently whenever the conversation shifts towards the ongoings in India, more often than not, we find ourselves agreeing with each other. Although this is perfectly alright for me on most days, on few ocaasions, I find a shadow of a doubt slowly creeping up inside - what if I'm living inside a bubble, an echo-chamber where I only get exposed to the ideas which I alr I don't have a lot of friends who are supporters of the ruling BJP (well at least the ones who have disclosed it publicly), and consequently whenever the conversation shifts towards the ongoings in India, more often than not, we find ourselves agreeing with each other. Although this is perfectly alright for me on most days, on few ocaasions, I find a shadow of a doubt slowly creeping up inside - what if I'm living inside a bubble, an echo-chamber where I only get exposed to the ideas which I already hold to be true, especially relevant now that everything in our lives are getting regulated by algorithms. Whenever this confirmation bias hits me, I long to read something contrarian, to engage with the other side and to try to put myself in their shoes. So it was with a pleasant surprise that I found out one day, one of my friends "coming out of the closet" and to declare him(her)self to be a supporter of the ruling party. I grabbed the chance to finally be able to hear the arguments from the other side and so, I broke my cardinal rule of not engaging in political debates on social media and contacted him/her. The result was devastating. We passionately debated our views and had heated discussions throughout the day, in the end agreeing that maybe we shouldn't have bothered to hit each other up after all. I was visibly distressed for a few days after this incident, as if a small flicker of hope had died in that encounter. If two educated and privileged youths in their early twenties were unable to agree on something as basic as whether Muslims deserve to live in India, or whether India should really become a "Hindu Rashtra" or not, what hope could I have from the millions of others who didn't have the same privileges as us? Reading this book brought that hopelessness to the front once again. There are hard-hitting truths written here, things that we would sooner like to forget lest they cause us pain and make vivid the grim reality of our times. But like a festering wound which devours our body if unattended, ignorance is not bliss but a vicious disease which paralyzes us faster than we might think. My appeal to whoever is reading this would be - reach out to others, engage in conversations, don't dismiss the whole debate as "unnecessary politics" - your mere existence is political. Politics is not about discussing who should be the next PM, it's about discussing ideas and how you view others who are different than yourself, to engage with empathy and to embrace the differences, and to speak out against wrongs. I'll leave you with a powerful passage from the book itself, where Arundhati Roy laments about the role each of us plays in how the future shapes itself: After twenty years of writing fiction and nonfiction that tracks the rise of Hindu nationalism, after years of reading about the rise and fall of European fascism, I have begun to wonder why fascism—although it is by no means the same everywhere—is so recognizable across histories and cultures. It’s not just the fascists that are recognizable—the strong man, the ideological army, the squalid dreams of Aryan superiority, the dehumanization and ghettoization of the “internal enemy,” the massive and utterly ruthless propaganda machine, the false-flag attacks and assassinations, the fawning businessmen and film stars, the attacks on universities, the fear of intellectuals, the specter of detention camps, and the hate-fueled zombie population that chants the Eastern equivalent of “Heil! Heil! Heil!” It’s also the rest of us—the exhausted, quarreling opposition, the vain, nit-picking Left, the equivocating liberals who spent years building the road that has led to the situation we find ourselves in, and are now behaving like shocked, righteous rabbits who never imagined that rabbits were an important ingredient of the rabbit stew that was always on the menu. And, of course, the wolves who ignored the decent folks’ counsel of moderation and sloped off into the wilderness to howl unceasingly, futilely—and, if they were female, then “shrilly” and “hysterically”—at the terrifying, misshapen moon. All of us are recognizable.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maxine

    Indian writer Arundhati Roy is probably best known for her literary fiction including The God of Small Things for which she won the Man Booker prize. But she is also known for her essays and Azadi: Freedom. Fascism. Fiction. contains several in which Roy gives us a powerful and clear look at the situation in India and Kashmir Azadi is Urdu for Freedom! and has become the rallying cry both for the Kashmiris against the Indian occupation as well as of millions in India against the rise of Hindu na Indian writer Arundhati Roy is probably best known for her literary fiction including The God of Small Things for which she won the Man Booker prize. But she is also known for her essays and Azadi: Freedom. Fascism. Fiction. contains several in which Roy gives us a powerful and clear look at the situation in India and Kashmir Azadi is Urdu for Freedom! and has become the rallying cry both for the Kashmiris against the Indian occupation as well as of millions in India against the rise of Hindu nationalism and the authoritarianism of the Modi government. She discusses the importance as well as the abuses of language in Indian politics; the attacks on Muslims and the way the government has not only disenfranchised them but encouraged physical attacks against them; the situation in Kashmir and how the government has tried to shut down any communication with the rest of the world; the caste and class systems; and, in the last essay, the pandemic and how it is being handled by the Modi government. She also explains how so many of these issues have influenced her fiction. I will admit my knowledge of these issues was slight - when the Canadian Prime Minister visited India, the news was more about his clothes than what he discussed with Modi and what it meant in terms of Canadian complicity and silence about the situation in both India and Kashmir. I will also admit that, lacking much in the way of education or understanding about the history, culture, or politics, it was easy to ignore, especially as much of the information available was couched in pedantry. But, despite being well-documented, Roy writes cogently and passionately, making the information accessible to those, like me, who have little background but want to understand because, in this global world, it affects us all. Thanks to Edelweiss+ and Haymarket for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review

  4. 5 out of 5

    Abhilash

    If you follow what happens in India these days, there is nothing in this book for you - the decision to collect speeches in this book was a mistake, the content looks dated already and there are no new insights or anything. Book's still relevant for those who are trying to understand the "utmost happiness" of certain ppl while rest of the country burns. If you follow what happens in India these days, there is nothing in this book for you - the decision to collect speeches in this book was a mistake, the content looks dated already and there are no new insights or anything. Book's still relevant for those who are trying to understand the "utmost happiness" of certain ppl while rest of the country burns.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sonam Mahajan

    Pure propaganda and hate filled drivel

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Youngs

    OMG, what an education! If you don't care about the world, then move along because there's nothing to see here. If you have an iota of concern for what people are doing to other people in a massive continent where hundreds of different languages are spoken, and Muslims are being relentlessly tormented and othered by Hindus and the far right, this is a book that should be on your To Read list and somewhere towards the top. What an education this set of essays by Arundhati Roy has turned out to be OMG, what an education! If you don't care about the world, then move along because there's nothing to see here. If you have an iota of concern for what people are doing to other people in a massive continent where hundreds of different languages are spoken, and Muslims are being relentlessly tormented and othered by Hindus and the far right, this is a book that should be on your To Read list and somewhere towards the top. What an education this set of essays by Arundhati Roy has turned out to be for me! I don't know where to begin. I didn't choose to read this book, although I had read "The God of Small Things" a few years ago so I was acquainted somewhat with her writing, which is such very high quality in every respect. She uses language with such subtlety and finesse, whether she's writing fiction or non-fiction. I was obliged to read this for my work, and occasionally that system brings into my life something that changes everything. This book is one of those things. I shall be watching the news every time I hear reports of Kashmir and Jammu, of India and Pakistan, and of the actions of Hindus in respect of Muslims. Inevitably this review is oversimplifying everything, but I had no idea what is going on in Kashmir, even today on the day I am writing this review from my comfortable developed world home. If you have a deep hunger to learn something really meaningful, then read this book. One individual may not usually be able to affect things very much, but when she has the talent of Arundhati Roy, she can make the world sit up and listen. Brava! And thank you, Ms Roy. Namaste to both you, and to Anjum. I will make sure to read "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness" very soon.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Guillermo Fernandez

    I could say that some of the essays and lectures talk about the same issues and therefore reading the book can be repetitive at times but Arundhati's voice is so essential and awareness of the current situation in India is so important that erase everything else. I could say that some of the essays and lectures talk about the same issues and therefore reading the book can be repetitive at times but Arundhati's voice is so essential and awareness of the current situation in India is so important that erase everything else.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Farhana

    I have been cherishing fiction throughout this year. Now, it's time for some facts (of people who choose to speak and write). I place books as bookmarks down the memory lane and Aru's work have impacted me in so many ways. 1. A few months ago while finalizing a manuscript one of my co-authors called me up late at night and asked if I was out of my mind? I said, "These are what people posted on social media and I just randomly picked it as an example post!" Then after a tense conversation with oth I have been cherishing fiction throughout this year. Now, it's time for some facts (of people who choose to speak and write). I place books as bookmarks down the memory lane and Aru's work have impacted me in so many ways. 1. A few months ago while finalizing a manuscript one of my co-authors called me up late at night and asked if I was out of my mind? I said, "These are what people posted on social media and I just randomly picked it as an example post!" Then after a tense conversation with other co-authors we decided to tone down and remove even though it was NOTHING! I was feeling so disheartened and silenced. Then I just accepted because it might have some implication for my co-author who is affiliated with a public university. And I don't want to cause anyone any trouble! This event impacted me so much that after some time I excluded myself from another project where I was looking at the intersection of social media and movement! 2. After a boy was brutally beaten to death over a Facebook post in the student dormitory of my alma mater by student political bodies, my mom repeatedly warned me not to write anything on social media. I assured her that I am not writing anything anywhere. 3. Last year we had to visit Korail bosti (slum) to collect data for some research purpose. But none would talk to us without approval from local political leaders. The male co-author who was accompanying me had to leave for some work. We were in a rush, so I decided to talk to them and returned to slum alone. I went to the local tea stall in slum where the tea seller knew the whereabouts of the local political leader. Then they took me to the office of the local political party. It went well but later everyone scolded me for going there alone! Now, if I look back yeah I was really feeling a little bit afraid all the time alone. I was covering my head with a long scarf and were wearing glasses to cover my face and tried to sound unaffected so that they could not read my expression! ... We live in such an unsettling time. When it comes to countries or nations, my optimisim and pessimism are entertwined and are akin to the life and death of the Schrodinger's cat. So, when it comes to pin down my hope on any society/ country/ nation, I am just equally skeptical about being served the same old wine in a new bottle! In this piece of work, Aru unwinds herself and the country. I treasure her work as she speaks out for the vulnerable, provides them a ground, and draws us into the whirlpool of vunerability! Two things that absolutely resonated with me: 1. Political power of words and languages. I used to write and translate poems for some five years. Then one day I came to sense the political dimension of words, how people and things can be mobilized using words and the complex power dynamics of words and intentions. It was such a strong revealation that transformed my world. 2. How the present age transitioned into "Divert-Attention-and-Conquer" from the classic "Divide-and-Conquer". How media facilitate this. It's like a ramp where stories come and stories go and we longer know where to allocate our time, attention, and concern most.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bala

    This book reeks of bias, prejudice and preconceived notions against Hindus with a pro Islamist stand nicely packaged as being a crusader of humanity. The author is known to be a pro-islamist and anti Hindu crusader. While Kashmir witnessed ethnic cleansing against Kashmiri Brahmins, she never had the compassion to speak up for them? Here, she is blatantly advocating 'freedom' for the separatists forces. She is one of the gang that think Indian Nationalism is antithesis to freedom. Nationalism is This book reeks of bias, prejudice and preconceived notions against Hindus with a pro Islamist stand nicely packaged as being a crusader of humanity. The author is known to be a pro-islamist and anti Hindu crusader. While Kashmir witnessed ethnic cleansing against Kashmiri Brahmins, she never had the compassion to speak up for them? Here, she is blatantly advocating 'freedom' for the separatists forces. She is one of the gang that think Indian Nationalism is antithesis to freedom. Nationalism is a basic fundamental character of every citizen of any country. Anyone with a sense of patriotism would align with the country and its ethos. Arundhati is an anti-Indian, anti-Hindu, pro-Islamist, pro-separatists masquerading as a savvy pro humanist crusader.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sanjana

    Recommended for : - anyone who voted for Modi - anyone who did not vote for Modi - anyone who did not vote Essays about the state of political affairs in India, in the past 6 years. Everything from CAA, NRC, Covid, Abrogation of article 370 to UAPA.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Polina

    Sensationalism and propaganda wrapped up with pretty words

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bindesh Dahal

    Repetitive. Left-liberal cribbing presented in a literary language. Narcissistically keeps on explaining her novels. Sympathy for the downtrodden in Kashmir and Assam as well as Delhi is good but blaming the ruling dispensation for all the ills bedeviling India is biasness. Her dear comrades are no angels.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pankaj

    G-A-R-B-A-G-E

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sandeep Narayanan

    Arundhati Roy's slim collection of essays will evoke different emotions in you, depending on your political beliefs. Ranging from shock, awe and shaking your head in approval or disapproval, Roy's writing will keep you hooked. Followers of Indian politics will not find this collection particularly illuminating but it is an important collection which will definitely be quoted in the future. Arundhati Roy's slim collection of essays will evoke different emotions in you, depending on your political beliefs. Ranging from shock, awe and shaking your head in approval or disapproval, Roy's writing will keep you hooked. Followers of Indian politics will not find this collection particularly illuminating but it is an important collection which will definitely be quoted in the future.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shailin

    Absolutely pathetic thinking. Blind and convenient allegation without any data or facts. Such books are irrelevant to read as they don’t add to anything.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Murtaza Hasan

    Arundhati Roy's essay elucidates on the socio-political events of the recent past covering 2018 to 2020. Her writing makes you retrospect with you wondering about how you felt during the time and what your expectations were. She writes about the failure of BJP's national policies which had rattled their support in 2018 and how subsequently the attack on Pulwama was used as a political pawn to inject nationalism to a failing support base which paid great dividends politically in 2019. By the end of Arundhati Roy's essay elucidates on the socio-political events of the recent past covering 2018 to 2020. Her writing makes you retrospect with you wondering about how you felt during the time and what your expectations were. She writes about the failure of BJP's national policies which had rattled their support in 2018 and how subsequently the attack on Pulwama was used as a political pawn to inject nationalism to a failing support base which paid great dividends politically in 2019. By the end of 2019, the hyper-patriotic individuals calling anyone against the Government 'Anti National' were out on the open stage. The 100 year old dream of RSS, The mothership of BJP coming to fruition; Muslim minority being regressed to second class citizen with the introduction of CAA & NRC and Dalits being targeted for not being subservient to the caste system. Her last essay end on the state of affair that has been wrought with the poor implementation of a nationwide lockdown without consulting states and the havoc of a scenery we all saw in form of daily wage earners walking a thousand miles. There is a touch of fiction sprinkled here and there which adds to the charm. We must read and reflect on what has been happening around us and her essays do just that so that one day when India becomes unrecognizable you can always trace out the steps.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kim Stallwood

    I can’t pretend to be an expert in Arundhati Roy. Or to be widely read in her work. I’m struggling to read her novels, The God of Small Things and The Ministry of Happiness. But there’s something about her political writings and her presence in interviews that I find compelling, provocative, and transformative. Azadi is a collection of her most recent political writings mostly about India but not exclusively. “And what of my country, my poor-rich country, India,” she writes in the essay ‘The Pan I can’t pretend to be an expert in Arundhati Roy. Or to be widely read in her work. I’m struggling to read her novels, The God of Small Things and The Ministry of Happiness. But there’s something about her political writings and her presence in interviews that I find compelling, provocative, and transformative. Azadi is a collection of her most recent political writings mostly about India but not exclusively. “And what of my country, my poor-rich country, India,” she writes in the essay ‘The Pandemic is a Portal’, “suspended somewhere between feudalism and religious fundamentalism, caste and capitalism, ruled by far-right Hindu nationalists?” Indeed, what of India a fascinating but terrifying country that Roy writes so profoundly about. “We can choose to walk through it [the pandemic portal], dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”

  18. 4 out of 5

    Debashish Reang

    One of the best books I've read this year. Roy narrates the facts as they are without really watering down anything. It seems scary at first, and it should be. The kinds of things that happen every day in the country are really scary. The very foundation of the country seems in danger. I really hope that the principles of democracy that the freedom fighters envisioned still stay true fifty years from now. She urges us to act quickly, there is a limited window of opportunity for us to get back to One of the best books I've read this year. Roy narrates the facts as they are without really watering down anything. It seems scary at first, and it should be. The kinds of things that happen every day in the country are really scary. The very foundation of the country seems in danger. I really hope that the principles of democracy that the freedom fighters envisioned still stay true fifty years from now. She urges us to act quickly, there is a limited window of opportunity for us to get back to the basics. If you are critical of the current government in India, you should pick up the book and read it. If you are a Non-Resident Indian, you should definitely read the book if you wish to get a clearer picture of the country. Roy concludes the book by talking about the current government's handling of the COVID-19. she also goes at length to talk about the division that is created in India by the political parties as soon as there is a faultline somewhere.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ojaswi Sharma

    I’m learning how to think with and because of Roy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shuvam

    There is no denying to Roy's talent when it comes to writing, and despite my difference of opinions with her, I do enjoy reading her books. It was the same overnight when I finished Capitalism: A Ghost Story, that I chose to read Azadi, only on the sheer cause of having enjoyed the previous one. But unfortunately, here talent has been used under the false pretence to mislead the ignorants on the following topic. Roy has made a deliberate attempt to portay us, the Indians, as the sole conspirators There is no denying to Roy's talent when it comes to writing, and despite my difference of opinions with her, I do enjoy reading her books. It was the same overnight when I finished Capitalism: A Ghost Story, that I chose to read Azadi, only on the sheer cause of having enjoyed the previous one. But unfortunately, here talent has been used under the false pretence to mislead the ignorants on the following topic. Roy has made a deliberate attempt to portay us, the Indians, as the sole conspirators of the Kashmir dispute. The very title here is misleading from the start. Azadi. It does mean freedom. But exactly freedom from what ? Having read it from start to finish, it is clear that Roy holds us ( more likely the BJP) responsible for all that has happened in Kashmir. In 1846, after the Sikh defeat in the First Anglo-Sikh War, and upon the purchase of the region from the British under the Treaty of Amritsar, the Raja of Jammu, Gulab Singh, became the new ruler of Kashmir. The rule of his descendants, under the paramountcy (or tutelage) of the British Crown, lasted until the partition of India in 1947, when the former princely state of the British Indian Empire became a disputed territory, now administered by three countries: India, Pakistan, and China. India controls approximately 55% of the land area of the region that includes Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, most of Ladakh, the Siachen Glacier[4] and 70% of its population, Pakistan controls approximately 30% of the land area that includes Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan while China controls the remaining 15% of the land area that includes the Aksai Chin region, the mostly uninhabited Trans-Karakoram Tract, and part of the Demchok sector. Roy, most likely aware of all this, clearly doesn't acknowledge it's significance, otherwise the title of the book would have contradicted the idea that Roy wants to portay. Certainty of this book is most likely true to some extent but a larger portions remains to be untrue and has been used with a malafied intent. One such instance that I have found is that of her claims on the Indian Army's illicit doings in the disputed area. In modern India, internet coverage has reached every household and with the presence of opposition parties, not even a minor news goes unnoticed, so as to besmirch each other. While certain media has a strong inclination towards the BJP goverment, there do exists media houses who work in the favor of opposition parties and leaves no stone unturned when it's to debunk any kind of fabricated news, as an act to malign the ruling party. Every death is a tragedy to us. Many innocents have lost their lives in the cross firing of the Indian army as an act of retaliation against the insurgency, aided by Pakistan, and Roy have used this pretext as an intentional doing from our side. Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf in Oct 2014 said during TV interview, "We have source (in Kashmir) besides the (Pakistan) army…People in Kashmir are fighting against (India). We just need to incite them." The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in their first ever open acknowledgement in 2011 in US Court, said that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) sponsors terrorism in Kashmir and it oversees terrorist separatist groups in Kashmir. It is now almost to a daily basis, that a news of a terrorist attack in Kashmir reaches our ears and many of our soldiers have been martyed trying to defend our country. To my best knowledge, certain acusations on human rights violations have indeed turned out to be true and all the accused have been duly punished in the matter. Former Indian Army Chief General V. K. Singh rejected the accusations that the action was not taken in the cases of human rights violations by Army personnel. On 24 October 2010, he has said that 104 Army personnel had been punished in Jammu and Kashmir in this regard, including 39 officers. Roy, in her book, also has made an attempt to not mention about the terror groups that still functions in Kashmir, and are believed to be the main cause of the insurgency. These groups have also been responsible on brainwashing the Kashmiri citizens into believing that India is ultimately the bad person here. It is only due to their doings that the internet has to be restricted so as to prevent further insurgency in the area. These groups also encourages the people of Kashmir so as to pick arms and rebel against India and unfortunately, someone like Roy seems to have been a victim of such persuasion. I am adding the list of all active and inactive terrorist groups which have haunted Kashmir, and my long list of names will only show you the extent of how bad the situation really is. Proscribed Terrorist/Extremist Groups. Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) Harkat-ul-Ansar (HuA, presently known as Harkat-ul Mujahideen) Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) Harkat-ul Mujahideen (HuM, previously known as Harkat-ul-Ansar) Al Badr Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen (JUM) Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami (HuJI) Al Umar Mujahideen Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) Front Organisations of Terrorist Groups Active in Jammu and Kashmir Active Terrorist/Insurgent Groups Lashkar-e-Omar (LeO) Lashkar-e-Jabbar (LeJ) Tehrik-ul-Mujahideen Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Mutahida Jehad Council (MJC) Inactive Terrorist/Insurgent Groups Al Barq Al Jehad Jammu & Kashir National Liberation Army Muslim Janbaz Force Kashmir Jehad Force Al Jehad Force (combines Muslim Janbaz Force and Kashmir Jehad Force) Mahaz-e-Azadi Islami Jamaat-e-Tulba Jammu & Kashmir Students Liberation Front Ikhwan-ul-Mujahideen Islamic Students League Tehrik-e-Hurriat-e-Kashmir Al Mustafa Liberation Fighters Tehrik-e-Jehad-e-Islami Muslim Mujahideen Al Mujahid Force Tehrik-e-Jehad Islami Inquilabi Mahaz Notable attacks in J&K. July and August 1989 – 3 CRPF personnel and politician Mohd. Yusuf Halwai of NC/F were killed. 1989 kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed daughter of the then Home Minister of India Mufti Sayeed. Gawkadal massacre-Central Reserve Police Force opened fire on a group of Kashmiri protestors, killing 160. Sopore massacre- Killing of 55 Kashmiri civilians by Border security force(BSF) Bijbehara massacre-Massacre of 51 protestors by BSF. 1995 kidnapping of western tourists in Jammu and Kashmir – Six foreign trekkers from Anantnag district were kidnapped by Al Faran. One was beheaded later, one escaped, and the other four remain missing, presumably killed. 1997 Sangrampora massacre – On 22 March 1997, seven Kashmiri Pandits were killed in Sangrampora village in the Budgam district. Wandhama massacre – In January 1998, 24 Kashmiri Pandits living in the village of Wandhama were massacred by Pakistani militants. According to the testimony of one of the survivors, the militants dressed themselves as officers of the Indian Army, entered their houses and then started firing blindly. The incident was significant because it coincided with former US president Bill Clinton's visit to India and New Delhi highlighted the massacre to prove Pakistan-supported terrorism in Kashmir. 1998 Prankote massacre – 26 Hindu villagers of Udhampur district were killed by militants. 1998 Champanari massacre – 25 Hindu villagers killed on 19 June 1998 by Islamic militants. 2000 Amarnath pilgrimage massacre – 30 Hindu pilgrims massacred by militants. Chittisinghpura massacre – 36 Sikhs massacred by LET militants. 2001 terrorist attack on Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly – On 1 October 2001, a bombing at the Legislative Assembly in Srinagar killed 38. 2002 Raghunath temple attacks – First attack occurred on 30 March 2002 when two suicide bombers attacked the temple. Eleven persons including three security forces personnel were killed and 20 were injured. In second attack, the fidayeen suicide squad attacked the temple second time on 24 November 2002 when two suicide bombers stormed the temple and killed fourteen devotees and injured 45 others. 2002 Qasim Nagar massacre – On 13 July 2002, armed militants believed to be a part of the Lashkar-e-Toiba threw hand grenades at the Qasim Nagar market in Srinagar and then fired on civilians standing nearby killing 27 and injuring many more. 2003 Nadimarg Massacre – 24 Hindus killed in Nadimarg, Kashmir on 23 March 2003 by Lashkar-e-Taiba militants. 20 July 2005 Srinagar bombing – A car bomb exploded near an armoured Indian Army vehicle in the famous Church Lane area in Srinagar killing 4 Indian Army personnel, one civilian and the suicide bomber. Militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, claimed responsibility for the attack. Budshah Chowk attack – A militant attack on 29 July 2005 at Srinigar's city centre, Budshah Chowk, killed 2 and left more than 17 people injured. Most of those injured were media journalists. Assassination of Ghulam Nabi Lone – On 18 October 2005, suspected Kashmiri militants killed Jammu and Kashmir's then education minister Ghulam Nabi Lone. Militant group called Al Mansurin claimed responsibility for the attack. Abdul Ghani Lone, a prominent All Party Hurriyat Conference leader, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen during a memorial rally in Srinagar. The assassination resulted in wide-scale demonstrations against the Indian forces for failing to provide enough security cover for Lone. 2006 Doda massacre – On 3 May 2006, militants massacred 35 Hindus in Doda and Udhampur districts in Jammu and Kashmir. On 12 June 2006, one person was killed and 31 were wounded when terrorists hurled three grenades on Vaishnodevi shrine-bound buses at the general bus stand. 2014 Kashmir Valley attacks – There were four attacks on 5 December 2014 on army, police and civilians resulted in 21 deaths and several injured. Their motive was to disrupt the ongoing assembly elections. 2016 Uri attack – Four armed terrorists sneaked into an army camp and lobbed grenades onto tents causing massive fire culminating in the death of 19 military personnel. 2018 Sunjuwan attack - On 10 February 2018, Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists attacked Sunjuwan Army Camp in Jammu and Kashmir. 6 Indian army soldiers, 4 terrorists, 1 civilian died and 11 were injured. 2019 Pulwama attack - On 14 February 2019, Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists attacked a convoy of CRPF men killing 46 soldiers and injuring 20. I say this again, that while certain aspects of the book is true, a larger portion of this book remains to be untrue. Any Indian citizen can comprehend between the lies and truth told here, but seeing that this book has reached the hands of people, who are not Indian citizens, I was compelled to write such a review. I do believe there would be people who are much more experienced here and can give you out a much more broader explanation of the life in Kashmir. The spread of deceptive news is a new technique adopted the the opposition in order to besmirch each other. I respect Roy for her talent and she could certainly do better than this. The Azadi propaganda has been fuelled by Pakistan and Roy seems to have been highly influenced by it. Resorting to one sided history telling wouldn't change anything. In a generation where the internet belongs to almost everyone, lies told would only be debunked by somene or other. What is our rightfully ours, will always be ours. Delusion under influence and without any valid reasoning will not be tolerated. | Source | Source |. Source | Source |

  21. 5 out of 5

    Naddy

    “Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality,” trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. “Historically, pandemics h “Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality,” trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world and ready to fight for it... “Kashmir, the land of the living dead and the talking graves— city graveyards, village graveyards, mass graves, unmarked graves, double-decker graves. Kashmir, whose truth can only be told in fiction—because only fiction can tell about air that is so thick with fear and loss, with pride and mad courage, and with unimaginable cruelty. Only fiction can try to describe the transactions that take place in such a climate. Because the story of Kashmir is not only a story about war and torture and rigged elections and human rights violations. It’s a story about love and poetry, too. It cannot be flattened to news” Some of the essays does make some sense, though there were endless references to The Ministry of Utmost happiness at times I feel like it forward back to revision of The Ministry of utmost happiness which was quite boring at times. Whatever she writes, she writes well and hatred towards Modi is clearly shown and she doesn’t mince words when it comes to Modi.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ravneet Kaur

    Azadi by Arundhati Roy is a collection of her 9 speeches, and essays on topics like the rise of Hindu nationalism, the abrogation of Article 370, the pandemic, etc. If you follow Indian politics closely, there is nothing new that the book offers. But the book is still important as it collectivizes all that has happened and is happening under the current administration, and helps us make sense of it. She also regularly references her recent fiction book, so if you have not read it, you might miss Azadi by Arundhati Roy is a collection of her 9 speeches, and essays on topics like the rise of Hindu nationalism, the abrogation of Article 370, the pandemic, etc. If you follow Indian politics closely, there is nothing new that the book offers. But the book is still important as it collectivizes all that has happened and is happening under the current administration, and helps us make sense of it. She also regularly references her recent fiction book, so if you have not read it, you might miss some parts. What I loved about her writing is how lyrical it sounds. The prose just feels like poetry. Some of my favorite lines from the book are: Novels can bring their authors to the brink of madness. Novels can shelter their authors too. Does a country fall into fascism the way a person falls in love? Or, more accurately, in hate? Imagine a whole population of millions of people like this, debilitated, rigid with fear, and worry about their documentation. It’s not a military occupation, but it’s an occupation by documentation. Fake news is the skeletal structure, the scaffolding over which the specious wrath that fuels fascism drapes itself. It's a battle of those who know how to think against those who know how to hate. It’s a battle of those who know how to think against those who know how to hate. A battle of lovers against haters. It’s an unequal battle because the love is on the street and vulnerable. The hate is on the street, too, but it is armed to the teeth and protected by all the machinery of the state.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gargi

    there is so much repetition in the chapters, which i understand given that this is a collation of speeches, but the words are verbatim from one chapter to the other. can be a good read for anyone who's not versed about the current fascist indian government. there is so much repetition in the chapters, which i understand given that this is a collation of speeches, but the words are verbatim from one chapter to the other. can be a good read for anyone who's not versed about the current fascist indian government.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    I approve of this trend of releasing regular compendiums of Arundhati Roy's essays so we can better chart the world's degeneration. If we are going to have a chronicler of the apocalypse, we could not have a better one. Roy makes it all sound so poetic "While many of us dreamt that ‘Another world is possible’, some other folks were dreaming that, too. And it is their dream – our nightmare – that is perilously close to being realized." There is, of course, hope here too. And comfort, delivered by I approve of this trend of releasing regular compendiums of Arundhati Roy's essays so we can better chart the world's degeneration. If we are going to have a chronicler of the apocalypse, we could not have a better one. Roy makes it all sound so poetic "While many of us dreamt that ‘Another world is possible’, some other folks were dreaming that, too. And it is their dream – our nightmare – that is perilously close to being realized." There is, of course, hope here too. And comfort, delivered by Roy's fictional heroes from The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. It is Roy's determination that we deserve better, perhaps better even than ourselves, that makes this such a bearable way to engage with the unbearable. "There it is, then – between Anjum, Saddam, and their companions, the political compact of today’s uprising, assembled in Anjum’s graveyard. Jai Bhim. Inquilab Zindabad. Lal Salaam Aleikum. But these are only the soul of the revolution. Not the revolution itself. Because there is none of the stuff of which revolutions are made in Anjum’s graveyards. There are no flags. There is no flag-waving, no pledge-taking. No slogans. No hard borders between male and female, human and animal, nation and nation, or even life and death."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Manasvi Karanam

    It's difficult to give a rating to this collection of essays. The writing of course, is brilliant and has her signature style where political essays are also written as stories and are more literary than what we usually find in other works of non-fiction. However, if you follow Roy's work closely, most of the essays were either published in various newspapers in the past couple of years or the talks are available on YouTube. Also, you wouldn't get any new insights on Roy's political ideologies. I It's difficult to give a rating to this collection of essays. The writing of course, is brilliant and has her signature style where political essays are also written as stories and are more literary than what we usually find in other works of non-fiction. However, if you follow Roy's work closely, most of the essays were either published in various newspapers in the past couple of years or the talks are available on YouTube. Also, you wouldn't get any new insights on Roy's political ideologies. I loved the first essay "In which language does rain fall over tormented cities" where she shares what language really means to her. Personally, I can never get enough of Roy's writing and I enjoyed re-reading these essays.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ravi Prakash

    I finished reading this almost fifteen days ago and I liked it. It's repetitive oftentimes, but there are some things that must be said repeatedly. I wanted to write a long review, but I couldn't get enough time. Overall, it's a good book on the present political affairs of India. Roy has written on Coronavirus also and that piece is worth of reading. Don't go to the negative reviews, they are mostly by the cult followers of Right wing ideology, and most of them in India, abhor Roy. I finished reading this almost fifteen days ago and I liked it. It's repetitive oftentimes, but there are some things that must be said repeatedly. I wanted to write a long review, but I couldn't get enough time. Overall, it's a good book on the present political affairs of India. Roy has written on Coronavirus also and that piece is worth of reading. Don't go to the negative reviews, they are mostly by the cult followers of Right wing ideology, and most of them in India, abhor Roy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anuraag Sharma

    Deserves all the hate she gets.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Umesh Kesavan

    Arundhati Roy's latest essay collection focuses on her pet themes of excoriating Hindu nationalism, market capitalism and lopsided economic development. Unlike the memorable essays of yesteryear wherein every line of her (Think "The end of imagination") became catchy slogans for any activist with an alternate vision for India, she has begun to repeat herself. That she has become repetitive is more a commentary on our society which has stagnated despite supposed progress in many realms. The messa Arundhati Roy's latest essay collection focuses on her pet themes of excoriating Hindu nationalism, market capitalism and lopsided economic development. Unlike the memorable essays of yesteryear wherein every line of her (Think "The end of imagination") became catchy slogans for any activist with an alternate vision for India, she has begun to repeat herself. That she has become repetitive is more a commentary on our society which has stagnated despite supposed progress in many realms. The message might be getting old and hackneyed but the messenger remains sincere in her convictions.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Suvojit

    There’s no flowery language, no nudging at you – the words are caustic, almost as naked as the people they describe, and hence they make it almost impossible to be replicated in a mellower way. Roy’s masterful at this, and she willfully mixes fiction of her novels with actual facts, as if to show us that nothing in this world is fiction after all, or everything is fiction until something happens to someone. Who knows. With essays varying from the political situation to the onset of a pandemic and There’s no flowery language, no nudging at you – the words are caustic, almost as naked as the people they describe, and hence they make it almost impossible to be replicated in a mellower way. Roy’s masterful at this, and she willfully mixes fiction of her novels with actual facts, as if to show us that nothing in this world is fiction after all, or everything is fiction until something happens to someone. Who knows. With essays varying from the political situation to the onset of a pandemic and the national response – the writing is crisp, to the point, and often makes you think about the mirage of normalcy that most of us live in. Naysayers have accused Roy over the years of her selective outrage; she herself has fallen into this vast network of problems, too – while she continues to write about the plight of one set of minorities, there are countless others that remain unrepresented, withering away – like her characters, waiting for a refuge. But that does not take away anything from this book, or these essays; they do their job – mercilessly, blatantly, and better than probably anyone else. For someone accused of sedition, Arundhati Roy remains firmly in the definition of sedition in this new normalcy, and that is probably what is best for literature. Recommended.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bilalsaddiqqi

    Arundhati Roy,brings the realistic situation on the literary shores,she artistically,brims her non-fiction piece with the horrid actualisation of Indian democracy which has stifled the breaths of Kashmiris for years and years now,and the whimsical political twittering is still having its foot on an ugly political ground.She famously,comes up with a wake-up call for Indian political goons who have are immersed and deluged in the political ruse,throwing the general Kashmiri masses in the psycholog Arundhati Roy,brings the realistic situation on the literary shores,she artistically,brims her non-fiction piece with the horrid actualisation of Indian democracy which has stifled the breaths of Kashmiris for years and years now,and the whimsical political twittering is still having its foot on an ugly political ground.She famously,comes up with a wake-up call for Indian political goons who have are immersed and deluged in the political ruse,throwing the general Kashmiri masses in the psychological horrors,disorders,depressions,distresses,dilemmas and the like.A clarion call of action is what she advocates to be taken and well-wrought room of demonstrations is genuine that Kashmiris find their only shield and saving factor.Capitalistic beast has entered the Indian cavern of market forces making the every tom dick and harry,a victim of the nefarious designs.Indian stooges found as factors of politically sponsored,economic terrorism that India has been perpetuating in Kashmir and throughout India now,of production process. So,therefore,a tinge of hope is embedded well in the narrative in a way walking international audience through the sheer practical ground reality,and thereby an appraisal of The Great Issue of The Kashmir Cause, and the dirty political game has been magnificently captured by the World-famous novelist,Arundhati Roy,a literary legend.

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