A quote attributed to writer and activist Arundhati Roy is currently circulating on social media. According to this quote allegedly given by Roy, she is drawing parallels between Islamic terrorism, and mothers and teachers who ‘terrorise’ millions of children every day; to apparently suggest that she is sympathetic to Islamic terrorism because she draws an absurd comparison.

Rishi Bagree’s tweet was retweeted more than 1,400 times. Bagree is a serial offender who has been caught multiple times spreading fake news on social media. He is followed on twitter by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah. Another twitter user who too is followed by PM Modi tweeted about Roy and her alleged quote.

The IT cell of the BJP too swung into action. Aakash Verma who describes himself as a member of the BJP IT cell and a social media coordinator, and whose profile picture on twitter shows him with Subramanian Swamy also posted this quote on his timeline.

Another user, when confronted by SMHoaxSlayer responded defensively, stating she had not created it but merely forwarded it as it was already circulating on social media and that she could not vouch for its authenticity.

A closer look at the photograph reveals the BBC logo on the top left corner, implying Roy had made this statement in an interview to the British news broadcaster. Alt News discovered that the interview given by Roy to BBC and the photo of which has been used for the quote is of 2014. As can be seen in the video of the interview posted below, the attire worn by Roy is the same that is shown in the photograph with the quote. A still frame from the video was probably taken and the quote superimposed on it. Nowhere in the interview had Roy made this comment, nor in any other forum.

Alt News spoke to Arundhati Roy, who clarified she had never said any such thing. “It is rubbish”, said Roy, dismissing the allegation.

This is not the first time that Arundhati Roy has been in the eye of the storm. Earlier in May 2017, actor and BJP MP Paresh Rawal courted controversy by suggesting the Indian Army should tie Arundhati Roy to a jeep, in a reference to the incident wherein a Kashmiri protester had been tied to the front of an army jeep as a ‘human shield’ to avoid stone-pelting by Kashmiri citizens.

Rawal had claimed that his tweet was in response to reports carried in the Pakistani media that Roy had criticised the Indian Arm. Later, it turned out that these reports were untrue. Rawal had later deleted the tweet but remained unapologetic.

Only a few days prior to this incident, Rawal had tweeted a quote of Arundhati Roy, on the basis of which Republic TV conducted a prime time debate full of sound and fury. However, it turned out that Roy had never made the statement that was being debated by Arnab Goswami. Expectedly, there was neither retraction nor apology in this case either.

Arundhati Roy’s strong views on the State and human rights in India have often attracted the ire of mostly right wingers on social media platforms who accuse her of being anti-national and hand-in-glove with Maoists and radical Islamists. While her views may be unpopular, she has often been subjected to vilification and slander. This tweet was another poor attempt to cast aspersions at Roy.

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About the Author

Arjun Sidharth is a writer with Alt News. He has previously worked in the television news industry, where he managed news bulletins and breaking news scenarios, apart from scripting numerous prime time television stories. He has also been actively involved with various freelance projects. Sidharth has studied economics, political science, international relations and journalism. He has a keen interest in books, movies, music, sports, politics, foreign policy, history and economics. His hobbies include reading, watching movies and indoor gaming.