“Please Sir, Please, Step Aside. At Least For Now. I Beseech You, Step Down.”

We need a government. Desperately. And we don’t have one. We are running out of air. We are dying. We don’t have systems in place to know what to do with help even when it’s on hand.

What can be done? Right here, right now?

We cannot wait till 2024. Never would people like myself have imagined the day would come when we would find ourselves appealing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for anything. Personally, I would rather have gone to prison than do that. But today, as we die in our homes, on the streets, in hospital car parks, in big cities, in small towns, in villages and forests and fields – I, an ordinary private citizen, am swallowing my pride to join millions of my fellow citizens in saying please sir, please, step aside. At least for now. I beseech you, step down. 

This is a crisis of your making. You cannot solve it. You can only make it worse. This virus prospers in an atmosphere of fear and hatred and ignorance. It prospers when you clamp down on those who speak out. It prospers when you manage the media to such an extent that the real truth is only reported in the international media. It prospers when you have a prime minister who has never held a single press conference in all his years in office, who is incapable of fielding questions, even now in this moment of numbing horror.

Hundreds of thousands of us will die, unnecessarily, if you don’t go. So, go now. Jhola utha ke. With your dignity intact. You can have a great life ahead, of meditation and solitude. You yourself have said that’s what you want. That won’t be possible if you allow this mass dying to continue.

There are many in your party who can take your place for now. People who know they must get on even with political opponents in this moment of crisis. Whoever that person is – from your party, with the approval of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – can head the government and a crisis management committee.

The state chief ministers can elect a few representatives so that all parties feel represented. The Congress by virtue of being a national party can be on the committee too. And then scientists, public health experts, doctors, experienced bureaucrats. You may not understand this, but this is what is known as democracy. You cannot have an Opposition-mukt democracy. That is known as a tyranny. This virus loves tyrannies.

If you don’t do this now, as this outbreak is increasingly viewed as an international problem, as a threat to the world, which it is – your incompetence is giving other countries a legitimate excuse to try and interfere in our affairs, try and take charge. This will compromise our hard fought for sovereignty. We will become a colony again. This is a serious possibility. Do not disregard it.

So please go. It is the most responsible thing for you to do. You have forfeited the moral right to be our prime minister.


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Arundhati Roy Written by:

Arundhati Roy is a novelist born in Shillong. Her latest novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is out in paperback.


  1. Thyan Challam
    May 4, 2021

    Wow! Those were my thoughts if I had been born in another universe.

  2. Deepak
    May 10, 2021

    While we do agree that we are facing a Covid crisis in its 2nd wave, it would be unfair to single out the PM for the situation we are in. Let’s understand that it’s a collective responsibility and not that of the Centre alone. It’s the State government and the citizens responsibility also to live up to the protocols in tackling this crisis. The fury of this 2nd wave was underestimated probably or there was some element of over confidence in addressing this national calamity. In this moment of crisis, it’s important to come together and sink all differences and rise as one nation to overcome this pandemic and pressing for a change of PM at this stage is a very churlish and puerile thought devoid of common sense. In that spirit, anyone who indulges in anti-nationalist, divisive and poisonous ideologies, must be flayed with a firm and resounding blow.
    Be that as it may, the NDA is adequately equipped and capable enough to revamp the processes and revise its approach to ward off this crisis and doesn’t need advice, and least of all from Arundhati, who is at best, a goddess of bizarre statements. With due respect to her, she resembles a case when a coward tries to become brave, she becomes cruel and when a fool tries to become a scholar, she becomes a leftist. She has been wrongfooted on many an occasion and hence her attempt to single out our honourable PM by making irresponsible statements is utterly deplorable. She has managed to gain the status of the most famous anti nationalist writer. When she says to our PM “You have forfeited the moral right to be our prime minister” little does she realise that her own perpetual indulgence in anti-Indian rhetoric is seditious enough.
    There have been several gaffes involving her and she probably belongs to the sold-out lobby of intellectual beggars. She has been caught in her attempts to sensationalise non-existent issues. Amongst the several instances where she has been found wanting was when she was exposed in the Arundhati Roy-Jignesh Mevani Plot to Divide India. She raised questions on why the recent West Bengal 2021 elections were held in so many phases. Is she even aware that the 2011 and 2016 elections were also held through 6 phases, with the first phase divided into two days? She is oblivious to ground reality in West Bengal and yet she has no qualms shooting off her lip. A year ago, Arundhati Roy had claimed that the Covid-19 is not even a crisis in India and that the Modi government is only misusing it to kill Muslims – Can’t get more outlandish, parochial and damaging than this. Arundhati Roy continued to peddle lies that Indian-made vaccines are the most expensive in the world when the international vaccines cost around 20$ each. Another lie that Arundhati Roy peddled in The Guardian article was related to the COVID-19 vaccination. In her article, Roy alleged that Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, two of the organisations underpinning India’s vaccination drive, will make “obscene profits” from the sale of their vaccines. She alleged that both are being allowed to roll out two of the most “expensive vaccines in the world”. Roy here conveniently fails to mention that more than 160 million people had been already vaccinated free of cost in India. The central government will continue to give vaccines for free to people who cannot afford them at the government centres. However, in her attempt to criticise the Modi government, she failed to acknowledge it in her article on the subject. She has managed to gain the status of the most famous anti-nationalist writer. When she says to our PM “You have forfeited the moral right to be our prime minister” little does she realise that her own anti Indian rhetoric is seditious enough. Hundreds of political leaders, workers and innocent people have been victims of the recent carnage, loot plunder, rape and violence in West Bengal. But for Arundhati Roy, those deaths do not warrant a mention because most of the victims belonged to the opposition parties. Roy had come under a wave of criticism for her “double standards”, with Twitter users in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh making the hashtag #ArundhatiRoy trend. In 2010, Arundhati Roy had attended a conference on “Azadi-the Only Way” along with Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others, where several anti-India statements were made. While speaking at an event at Northwestern Law School in Chicago in 2013, she described the event of Godhra train burning case as: “A train full of pilgrims coming back from the destruction of this Ayodhya mosque which was disputed. The train caught fire; nobody knows who set fire to the train and 57 pilgrims were burnt…”It was a foreign audience so nobody could point out to the her that the Ayodhya mosque was demolished in 1992 and Godhra train burning happened in 2002. On 30th August 2018, she decided to join the then ongoing debate over Rafale deal, but in doing so she upgraded the French multirole fighter jet to an “aircraft carrier”. She did not even know it’s a fighter aircraft deal and not an aircraft carrier deal. She has more trust in unverified and murky foreign NGOs than the PM Cares Fund, and has actively protested against the government’s crackdown against foreign-based unlicensed NGOs. Incidentally , over 80% of the cost of vaccines in the first phase of Covid vaccination was borne by this fund. She finds Maoist terrorists cleaning up their camp to remove evidence, Gandhian. Most gangs and criminals would resort to this to reduce their carbon footprint. She thinks terrorists making deadly weapons out of captured police vehicles is Gandhian! One wonders if she also thinks that the murder of innocents by Maoists is the ‘Gandhian way’? The most shocking case against her is about her complicity in instigating violence over CAA, she sympathises with Maoists and terrorists, gives a call for guns on AMU campus, promotes violation of Census Act – she wants Indians to lie , give fake names to the census ..she even went on to say that if an NPR surveyor lands at your home just give false names ….say you are Ranga Birla, say you are a Kung Fu Kutta give your address as 7 Race Course Road , give fake phone numbers . The Congress started the NPR and at that time till 2014, she never asked anyone to lie to the census. Its only when NDA came to power and pursued the CAA, NPR etc. that she decided to raise objections. All this is already on record and in the public domain.
    Having said this, she must be taken only with a pinch of seriousness if at all rather than with a pinch of salt.

  3. Bipul Rongchon
    May 28, 2021

    Ga ruh gam pat ioh

  4. May 31, 2021

    Ngi nong bylla sngi ngi hap shong ha iing

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