Suzanna Arundhati Roy was born on 24 November 1961 and is an Indian author best known for her novel The God of Small Things, which won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997 and became the best-selling book by a non-expatriate Indian author.
49 Facts About Arundhati Roy
Arundhati Roy is a political activist involved in human rights and environmental causes.
Arundhati Roy was born in Shillong, Meghalaya, India, to Mary Roy, a Malayali Jacobite Syrian Christian women's rights activist from Kerala and Rajib Roy, a Bengali Hindu tea plantation manager from Calcutta.
Arundhati Roy attended school at Corpus Christi, Kottayam, followed by the Lawrence School, Lovedale, in Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu.
Arundhati Roy then studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, where she met architect Gerard da Cunha.
Arundhati Roy returned to Delhi, where she obtained a position with the National Institute of Urban Affairs.
Arundhati Roy became financially secure with the success of her novel The God of Small Things, published in 1997.
Arundhati Roy is a cousin of prominent media personality Prannoy Arundhati Roy, former head of the Indian television media group NDTV.
Early in her career, Arundhati Roy worked in television and movies.
Arundhati Roy wrote the screenplays for In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones, a movie based on her experiences as a student of architecture, in which she appeared as a performer, and Electric Moon.
Arundhati Roy won the National Film Award for Best Screenplay in 1988 for In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones.
Arundhati Roy attracted attention in 1994 when she criticised Shekhar Kapur's film Bandit Queen, which was based on the life of Phoolan Devi.
Arundhati Roy began writing her first novel, The God of Small Things, in 1992, completing it in 1996.
In early 2007, Arundhati Roy stated that she was working on a second novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.
Arundhati Roy contributed to We Are One: A Celebration of Tribal Peoples, a book released in 2009, that explores the culture of peoples around the world, portraying their diversity and the threats to their existence.
Arundhati Roy has written numerous essays on contemporary politics and culture.
Since publishing The God of Small Things in 1997, Arundhati Roy has spent most of her time on political activism and nonfiction.
Arundhati Roy opposes India's policies toward nuclear weapons as well as industrialization and economic growth.
Arundhati Roy was criticised by the Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party for her remarks.
All India Congress Committee member and senior Congress party leader Satya Prakash Malaviya asked Arundhati Roy to withdraw her "irresponsible" statement, saying it was "contrary to historical facts".
Arundhati Roy was charged with sedition along with separatist Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others by Delhi Police for their "anti-India" speech at a 2010 convention on Kashmir: "Azadi: The Only Way".
Arundhati Roy has campaigned along with activist Medha Patkar against the Narmada dam project, saying that the dam will displace half a million people with little or no compensation, and will not provide the projected irrigation, drinking water, and other benefits.
Arundhati Roy donated her Booker prize money, as well as royalties from her books on the project, to the Narmada Bachao Andolan.
Arundhati Roy appears in Franny Armstrong's Drowned Out, a 2002 documentary about the project.
Arundhati Roy served the jail sentence and paid the fine rather than serve an additional three months for default.
Arundhati Roy faulted Roy's criticism of Supreme Court judges who were hearing a petition brought by the Narmada Bachao Andolan as careless and irresponsible.
Gail Omvedt and Arundhati Roy have had fierce yet constructive discussions in open letters on Arundhati Roy's strategy for the Narmada Dam movement.
In 2007, Arundhati Roy was one of more than 100 artists and writers who signed an open letter initiated by Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism and the South West Asian, North African Bay Area Queers calling on the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival "to honor calls for an international boycott of Israeli political and cultural institutions, by discontinuing Israeli consulate sponsorship of the LGBT film festival and not cosponsoring events with the Israeli consulate".
Arundhati Roy has raised questions about the investigation into the 2001 Indian Parliament attack and the trial of the accused.
Arundhati Roy had called for the death sentence of Mohammad Afzal to be stayed while a parliamentary enquiry into these questions is conducted and denounced press coverage of the trial.
Arundhati Roy warned against war with Pakistan, arguing that it is hard to "pin down the provenance of a terrorist strike and isolate it within the borders of a single nation state", and that war could lead to the "descent of the whole region into chaos".
Arundhati Roy's remarks were strongly criticised by Salman Rushdie and others, who condemned her for linking the Mumbai attacks with Kashmir and economic injustice against Muslims in India; Rushdie specifically criticised Roy for attacking the iconic status of the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower.
Arundhati Roy cited reports of camps into which Tamils were being herded as part of what she called "a brazen, openly racist war".
Arundhati Roy said that the "Government of Sri Lanka is on the verge of committing what could end up being genocide" and described the Sri Lankan IDP camps where Tamil civilians are being held as concentration camps.
Arundhati Roy has criticised the Indian government's armed actions against the Naxalite-Maoist insurgency in India, calling it "war on the poorest people in the country".
In November 2010, Arundhati Roy, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and five others were brought up on charges of sedition by the Delhi Police.
The filing of the First Information Report came following a directive from a local court on a petition filed by Sushil Pandit who alleged that Geelani and Arundhati Roy made anti-India speeches at a conference on "Azadi-the Only Way" on 21 October 2010.
On 21 August 2011, at the height of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption campaign, Arundhati Roy criticised Hazare and his movement in an opinion piece published in The Hindu.
Arundhati Roy accused the electronic media of blowing the campaign out of proportion.
In 2013, Arundhati Roy called Narendra Modi's nomination as prime minister a "tragedy".
Arundhati Roy said business houses were supporting his candidacy because he was the "most militaristic and aggressive" candidate.
Arundhati Roy has the backing of the army, the courts, a majoritarian popular vote.
On 28 April 2021, The Guardian published an article by Arundhati Roy describing the Indian government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a "crime against humanity", in which The Washington Post said Arundhati Roy "slammed Modi for his handling of the pandemic".
On 25 December 2019, while speaking at Delhi University, Arundhati Roy urged people to mislead authorities during the upcoming enumeration by the National Population Register, which she said can serve as a database for the National Register of Citizens.
Arundhati Roy responded, "What I was proposing was civil disobedience with a smile", and claimed her remarks were misrepresented.
Arundhati Roy was awarded the 1997 Booker Prize for her novel The God of Small Things.
Arundhati Roy donated the prize money she received, as well as royalties from her book, to human rights causes.
Arundhati Roy was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in May 2004 for her work in social campaigns and her advocacy of non-violence.
Arundhati Roy was featured in the 2014 list of Time 100, the 100 most influential people in the world.