Arundhati Roy and Imran Khan


April 23, 2010

NEW YORK: This is with reference to Tazeen Javed’s article ‘Romanticising violence’ of April 22 where she she compared Arundhati Roy with Imran Khan. There are many other parallels Tazeen could have mentioned, but did not. Both the Maoists and the Taliban use rifles, many with bullets of the same caliber. Both wear similar clothing; their garments are coloured to blend in with the surrounding. Naturally, there will be many parallels between guerrilla groups operating out of the poorest parts of two countries that used to be one. But in order to accurately compare, you must also discuss things the two groups do not share.

Since the very raison d’etre of the Taliban is to institute a theocratic government for Pakistan, and the raison d’etre of the Maoists is to institute a communist government for India, this might be something worth mentioning as well – particularly when the vision for daily life for men and women is so radically different between the two. Imagine if I were to compare the contents of two plates, one containing rice and the other containing nuclear waste, in such a manner: both are composed of atoms, both can be swallowed, both are heavier than air, both will require their respective plates to be cleaned after eating, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

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