“We are living in a very dangerous time, we can’t say things Dr Ambedkar could say during British rule”


Renowned activist and writer, Arundhati Roy has said that the situation in India today was worse than the time the country was ruled by British.

Speaking at the release of the Tamil translation of her annotated book on BR Ambedkar’s essay Annihilation of Caste, Roy said that she was not able to speak freely because of the criminal case against her.

 Arundhati Roy

Describing the present situation ‘very dangerous,’ the celebrated author said, “We are living in a very dangerous time, language is twisted, videos are doctored. Everything that I say is twisted around. I’m already facing criminal trials.

“Officially we are not a colony, but we can’t say today, nobody can say today what Dr Ambedkar said in 1936. What would happen if somebody said like he (Ambedkar) said in Annihilation of Caste that to the untouchable the Hinduism is a veritable chamber of horrors. That person would be put into the jail. Today in the debate on national, the RSS says that you have to say Bharat Mata Ki Jai, otherwise you are not an Indian.”

Sharing a conversation between Mahatma Gandhi and Ambedkar during a conference in London, Roy said how the architect of the constitution had once said that he had no homeland because of the plight of untouchables in India.

She said, “In 1932 when Ambedkar and Gandhi met in London, when they had the first confrontation over the round table conference, Gandhi asked him why he was criticising the Congress. Which meant criticising the homeland. He (Ambedkar) said ‘Gandhiji I have no homeland. No untouchable worth his name would be proud of this land.’ ”

Roy also said that the Indian army had been used against its own people every day since 1947 adding that its use was similar to that of British in World Wars.

She said, “Since 1947 there has not been a single day when the Indian army has not been deployed against its ‘own people.’ Not a single day from 1947 till now. The army has been deployed in Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam, Manipur, Kashmir, Junagarh, Goa, Punjab. Now they are preparing the battles in Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand.

You can watch the entire speech here

“And if you look at who are these people that the Indian army has been deployed against. It’s always Christians, Adivasis, Muslims, Sikhs. Dalits. Always, it’s a might of an upper caste against the others. nd how have they operated? Just like an coloniser. Soldiers from Tamil Nadu to Kashmir, Assam to Nagaland, Nagaland to Jharkhand, just like the British did in the World Wars.”

She said that she wanted to say lot but feared that her words may be twisted around.

Roy also felt that the current system in India was the result of the unmatched dominance of the upper caste.

She said, “If you look here, who own the capital, who owns the land, who owns the system which runs the government? Who owns the media? Who runs the courts, who are professors, who are the editors? It’s a shocking situation. We don’t even understand what’s being done to us.”

On Dalits’ plight, Roy said that it was unfortunate how the debate on their plight had been reduced to reservation adding that only ‘2-3 percent benefit’ from reservation as most drop out before reaching university because of ‘the way they are treated.’


  1. these so called activist/writers write/comment as they like, because of the simple reason they hate B J P. she says since 1947, each day police or Indian army are against people, in the next line quoting some specific states, and those states only consist India. if there is a crowd is there to hear what they say, immediately started saying as they like for some claps and newepapers quoting their names

  2. Dear sapjamo, doesn’t your reply witness a guilty-mind obsession! Even if one says, “Since 1947 there has not been a single day when the Indian army has not been deployed against its ‘own people’”, you are a BJP-hater! The mindset you people are having is enough to justify hating BJP-RSS. You are not concerned with Dalits’ plight, the abject repression of minorities, Women, farmers, workers and any democratic voice. Your bosses are to serve only the Corporate houses, the tax-evaders, the bank-looters et al. So why not a truly patriot Indian should hate BJP?

    • Gautam,
      its very easy to shout about the atrocities of Dalit, who created the Dalit in india and what they did for them in last 65 years ? we donbt need dalits here we need only indians , did these peoples does anything for the so called dalits in india !! do you know the state of dalits or the condition of tyhe west bengal ? they support kashmir and china living in india are these peoples humans or the spy of some other countries ??

  3. Dear Writer,
    Don’t you see the upper caste or the general caste as you may take it is the most deprived one although being in majority population. Everywhere these so called untouchables or lower castes have got reservations whether they have those merits or not. The general caste is being ignored by all such people like you and also the politicians to gain vote bank. Soon some day will come when this divisive politics of you people will make us enemies with the lower caste which is not there as of now. I do agree some portions of negative elements are there in the society who have tried depriving the lower caste but its the opposite scenario today.

  4. All kinds of discriminations are faced by Dalits in their routine. This is fact and he who does not accept this fact may only be from upper casts. Writer has told the reality.

  5. Look how can one say your a BJP hater or BJP lover ?? is poltical groups made to divide the people of the country or untie them together ? i think the answer is quite open to see . In my view both the congress and BJP or any other party that comes to power has failed if they do not treat every india citizen equally . Going by the logic ,If there are so manny reservations for the lower caste as the and condering the fact its been more than 60+ years after independenceof india. Then, the lower caste should have been eleimated into history. Clearly, something went wrong and the answer lyies lost within the people of the country itself. i do not think the writer is saying anything wrong she is merrly pointing out in her view whats wrong. Lets, have a constructive society be it hindu, sik , muslim , christian or any other religion . Lets be more indian and more human .


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