Is Kashmir the most dangerous place in the world?

We talk to Arundhati Roy about Kashmir and Modi and debate US intervention in Venezuela.

In this week’s UpFront, we ask award-winning author and activist Arundhati Roy about the disputed region of Kashmir and her criticisms of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

And in the Arena, we debate the implications of a US intervention in Venezuela.

Arundhati Roy: Modi ‘reckless’ in Kashmir

The military escalation between India and Pakistan may have abated, but tensions remain high following the latest series of aggressions triggered by a February 14 suicide bomb attack in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed at least 42 paramilitary personnel.

When asked about the Indian media’s role in perpetuating the conflict, Roy says journalists are “more than complicit”. She added that “sometimes they are literally calling for war”.

Roy, who has been a vocal critic of Prime Minister Modi, says there are elements of fascism in his politics.

“If you look at the games that have been played, the false flag attacks, the trail of deaths, of murders, of lynchings, you see fascism,” said Roy, who is also the author of the book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.

On the issue of independence for Kashmir, Roy believes Kashmiris should be given opportunities to express their opinions, adding, “The whole world needs to turn its attention to Kashmir because we are in a very, very dangerous situation there.”

This week’s headliner, award-winning author and political activist, Arundhati Roy talks to UpFront.

Who is Venezuela’s legitimate leader?

As Venezuela‘s political and economic crisis deepens under Nicolas Maduro, many nations around the world, including the US, are demanding the president stand aside and make way for opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Maduro won a new six-year term in May 2018 in what has been viewed as a controversial vote. In January, following mass protests, Guaido declared himself interim president.

US President Donald Trump has said all options are on the table, but would a US-backed change of government in Caracas constitute a coup?

Eva Golinger, a Venezuelan-American lawyer and journalist who served as an adviser to the late President Hugo Chavez, says there is support for Maduro.

“He has the support, up until now, of the armed forces in, at least, at the higher levels. And he has control of the state institutions,” says Golinger. “There are millions of Venezuelans who have supported him and may not be content with the current situation in the country, but don’t support, the kind of coup-like situation that is taking place”.

“I think that regime changes should be de-stigmatised,” says Eli Lake, an American national security and foreign policy columnist for Bloomberg. “The means by which I support regime change in Venezuela is to have a new election under an interim government, and for there to be, you know, a vote and whoever wins should do that,” he added.

In this week’s Arena Eva Golinger and Eli Lake debate the political crisis in Venezuela.

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