New Delhi: In yet another shocking move that has become signature style of Arundhati Roy, she has urged Indians to “lie” in Census over National Population Register or give “fake names”.
Raking up fear psychosis amid citizens, Roy said the NPR will serve as a database for the National Register of Citizens. But what’s even more shocking is that Roy appealed that the Modi government shouldn’t be “given” the remaining four years.
Weaving a complete false narrative that seems to be exploitative of the prevailing confusion post anti-CAB protests across the country, she remarked, “Now what is NPR? NPR has happened before. In NPR, they will come to your house, they won’t ask you anything, they ask you for your name and phone number. It is a database for NRC.”
Attempting to further muddy the situation, she proposed, “But we have to fight them for the next 4 years. First, we should not give them four years, but we must have a plan. When they come to your house asking for your name, you give them some other name — like Ranga Billa, Kung-Fu Kutta, give your address as 7 Race Course Road and let’s fix one phone number. But we need multiple subversion. We were not born for lathis and bullets.”
To many neutral observers, her remark that “we should not give them four years” is tantamount to appealing to overthrow a democratically elected government that came back to power this May with an unprecedented mandate.
The government has already clarified that NPR has nothing to do with NRC. Home Ministry sources say, “At present, there is no proposal to create NRC in the country based on NPR data.” Home Minister Amit Shah in an interview has said, “NPR is a compilation of data of those living in India. While, NRC is the process when proofs are sought for the same… The two have nothing to do with each other.”
Yet, Roy’s misinformation campaign went on Wednesday when she was addressing students at Delhi University. She even hit out at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of “lying”.
Even after Modi’s Sunday rally when he cleared the air on alleged detention centres, Arundhati Roy raked up the issue on Wednesday. “They don’t have money to eat, but they will have to hire lawyers. This is against Muslims, but it is also against the poor, Adivasis, Dalits and tribal people. This is a plan to get everyone in trouble. There are detention camps being built,” she claimed while the students were left wondering.
This is not the first time Roy has spread misinformation. She has a long history of questioning the integrity of India in the name of questioning the government. In an August 2008 interview, Roy had expressed her support for Kashmiri separatism. Roy had also raised questions about the investigation into the 2001 Indian Parliament attack. She had called for the death sentence of Afzal Guru, the prime suspect in the terror act, to be stayed, as well.
The Delhi Police has recorded the entire proceedings wherein Arundhati Roy made a public appeal against the NPR. Senior officers are looking into these recordings to check whether the author used this platform for her anti-india campaign.
Choose wisely – go organic this Holi
With Holi -the festival of colours coming up — everyone is busy buying colours, ‘pichkaris’, and balloons but with increasing environment pollution and severe allergic reactions to synthetic colours, there is a growing awareness among people to opt for organic variants.
“In an approximately Rs 4,500-crore unorganised Holi colour market, the share of the organic variety is miniscule, but growing,” said Madhumita Puri, Founder and Executive Director of Avacayam Naturals, a Delhi-based manufacturer of organic colours.
The adverse effects of synthetic colours was observed in a study titled ‘The Holi Dermatoses’, published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology.
It found a spate in skin diseases following the spring festival in India.
In the study conducted on 42 patients in Kolkata, 11 patients suffered due to activities related to preparation of colors and 12 reported aggravation of pre-existing dermatoses.
Nearly 60 per cent patients reported itching, while others reported to have suffered from a burning sensation, scaling, redness and watering of the eyes, as per the study.
Treading on a eco-friendly and skin-friendly path, Avacayam Naturals employed differently-abled persons to make organic colours by using waste and used flowers and leaves.
This solves three purposes at one go – generates employment for the disabled, manufactures harmless eco-friendly colours, and there is optimal usage of waste flowers.
Speaking to IANS, Puri said: “For making the colours, we collect used flowers — roses, marigolds, and others — and leaves from temples, weddings, and hotels.”
Avacayam Naturals, one of the programs that Puri started under her “Trash to Cash” scheme, makes four colours: Pink from roses, yellow from yellow marigolds, orange from orange marigolds, and green from leaves.
On being asked if the colours are harmless, she said: “Rather than damaging the environment, they are beneficial as each packet of colour is made from waste flowers which otherwise would dirty the place.”
How are the colours made?
“After the flowers are collected, the workers sort them in different baskets according to their colour. Then, the petals and seed pods are separated and cut. These are then spread out to dry in a well ventilated space for all the moisture to evaporate.
“After that, they are ground and processed — without adding any chemicals — to be made into colours for people to enjoy,” Puri said, adding that the process of collection, drying, and grinding continues throughout the year but it is only before festivals that they process them into the final product.
“In a year, we manufacture around 20 tonne of pure organic colour, some of which is sold to Walmart India. One kilo of colour is sold between Rs 600 and Rs 1,000.”
When asked about the expiry date of these colours, Puri said: “The product is a dry one and completely natural. We have been testing them since five years now and have not found any deterioration in the quality, fungal infestations, or weevils. So there is no ‘expiry date’ to them.”
Another such manufacturer is Jaipur-based Red Earth which makes colours “exclusively from edible materials and scent them with pure, traditional attars”.
Speaking to IANS, Himanshu Verma, Director-Owner of Red Earth, said: “Every 2-3 years, we change our colour palette… this year we have four colours — Sunahra Dhamaal, Shvet Abeer, Neem Sanrachna, and Gulabi Nagariya — that are inspired by local materials.”
“The colours are curated on the basis of availability of local materials. We use items like camphor, neem, mehendi, multani-mitti, geru powder, arrowroot, flour, and others,” Verma said, adding that 50-60 per cent materials used are edible so that even if someone ingests them by mistake, they will not be as harmful.