Monday, January 31, 2011

Lie to me. One more time.

Those who have been trashing Arundhati Roy because of her “seditionist” views on Kashmir and the Maoists have probably never heard of Ferit Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish novelist and Nobel laureate, whom the Turkish government had imprisoned for his interview in the Swiss Das Magazin in which he said: "Thirty thousand Kurds have been killed here, and a million Armenians. And almost nobody dares to mention that. So I do." Once again, I’m reminded of what George Orwell wrote in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) about truth: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” Pamuk too had to face a hate campaign and even flee Turkey for “insulting” the Motherland. He said he was fighting for freedom of speech and Turkey’s last chance to come to terms with History: "What happened to the Ottoman Armenians in 1915 was a major thing that was hidden from the Turkish nation; it was a taboo. But we have to be able to talk about the past." Another Orwellian interjection is in order: "He who controls the past, controls the future."