Arundhati Roy Faces Anti-Terror Prosecution in India as Modi Expands Crackdown on Critics

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Acclaimed author Arundhati Roy could soon face trial under India’s contested “anti-terror” laws in a case that has drawn outrage from free speech advocates in India and beyond. An official from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s far-right ruling Bharatiya Janata Party gave the go-ahead on Friday for Roy’s prosecution over comments she made about Kashmir in 2010. This comes as Modi was sworn in last week to his third term as prime minister after the BJP won the most seats in Indian’s Parliament, but lost its outright majority. “This case is so convoluted, it’s hard to say where it begins and where it ends — and that’s the point. The process is the punishment,” says Indian author and journalist Siddhartha Deb, who teaches at The New School in New York. Deb says Modi is trying to show that “everything is normal” despite the shocking electoral setback, with the case against Roy being used to placate his “rabid attack dogs of Hindu nationalism.”

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