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Indian democracy only for "rich and elite": Arundhati Roy

Noted writer Arundhati Roy said democracy in India was only for the rich and the elite.

india Updated: Jun 16, 2006 17:24 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Accusing the Government of not lending an ear to various mass movements in the country, noted writer Arundhati Roy today said democracy in India was "only for the rich and the elite".

"The concept of the Indian democracy is the biggest publicity scam of this century. Holding elections every five years does not necessarily mean that our country enjoys a democracy," Arundhati said at a public meeting here.

She termed the widely-accepted concept in Europe and the US that India was the largest democracy in the Third World as a "misconception".

"The so-called expatriate Indians are running a campaign against me following my speech in a meeting in which I said that India was not a democracy," the writer said.

"It is only a democracy of some people. Only for rich, elite and powerful," the Booker Prize winning author said at the meeting organised to demand the withdrawal of criminal charges framed against CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattaccharya by the Jharkhand Government.

"We have seen how the Central Government and Supreme Court are together trying to suppress the agitation for livelihood by tribals of Narmada valley," she said commenting on the recent Apex court judgment on the Sardar Sarovar dam issue.

Bhattacharya and four others are facing conviction under a range of charges, including that of attempted murder following some violent incidents during a march to the Jharkhand Assembly on March 1, 2005.

First Published: Jun 16, 2006 17:24 IST