Arundhati Roy, India’s prize-winning novelist-cum-environmental activist, was found guilty of contempt of court by her nation’s highest court yesterday. Roy was fined 2,000 rupees (about $40) and given a “symbolic” one-day jail sentence in light of the fact that “the respondent is a woman.” Roy is the author of The God of Small Things, which won the Booker Prize, and more recently of Power Politics, a collection of essays on politics and the environment in India. Roy is also an outspoken protester of proposed dam construction projects on the Narmada River, which would cause massive flooding and environmental damage and displace millions of people. Roy was charged with contempt of court after filing an affidavit defending her right to protest the projects; during the trial yesterday, her supporters stood outside holding signs that said, “Criticism is not contempt.”

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