Is Father Stan Swamy Dead Not More Powerful Than Swami The Living?
The first death anniversary observed on July 05 of the Tribals Messiah and Human Rights Activist Father Stan Swamy reminisced me quite spontaneously of William Shakespeare and his famous play “ Julius Caesar.”
As a student as well as teacher of English literature,I did contend and confront this mindboggling question off and on after reading and teaching this absorbing play,“Caesar dead is more powerful than Caesar the living.” The examiners used to set this question time and again at regular intervals : Critically examine this statement offering arguments in favour of your answer or against the same?
Viewed in the light of this Shakespearean riddle,Father Jesuit “no more” is certainly mightier than Swamy the “alive in the flesh and blood.” Ample sound and popular reasons bear testimony to this fact.First and foremost worth mentioning is the July 05 resolution in US Congress introduced by Mr. Juan Vargas- Congressman of California state, co- sponsored by Mr.Andre Carson and Mr. James McGovern seeking independent probe into Swamy’s death.Vargas, a Democratic Party Congressman while speaking at a webinar titled ’Persecution of Religious Minorities and Their Defenders in India:Commemmorating Father Stan’s Death in Custody’ regretted,” I am apalled by the abuse Father Stan faced while in custody.No one who fights for human rights should face such violence and neglect.” Recalling Swamy’s yeoman contribution and tireless services fighting for the cause of rights of the tribals, the panelists hailed him as a true missionary.
The civil society groups comprising Kolkata Nagrik Sammelan and Paschimbongo Samajik Nyay Manch too marked the day taking a candle march in Kolkata to commemorate Jesuit Priest’s death anniversary.
The Martin Ennals Foundation Geneva decorated him with Martin Ennals Human Rights Defenders Award 2022 posthumously at the Martin Ennals Award Ceremony held on June 02 in recognition of his concerted services rendered for the welfare of tribals and protection of human rights thus immortalizing him for the very mission of his life.His relentless crusade for Jal(Water), Jungle(Forest)and Zameen(Land),poor and marginalized sections of society is an open broad day light secret.His dauntlessness,fortitude,love of mankind indeed inspired and enthused him to exclaim while in prison too,” We will still sing in chorus.A caged bird can still sing.”
His qualities of head and heart won him laurels and wide acclaims internationally but ironically at home he was pooh- poohed and maltreated.Even Mrs. Draupadi Murmu fielded as a Presidential candidate for July 18 poll by the ruling National Democratic Alliance with sheer posturing-tokenism of tribals and women empowerment did not come to Father Stan Swamy- a messiah of tribals’ rescue who yearned for just “a straw“ in jail because of parkinson ailment.US Congressmen feeling concerned over a very shabby and inhuman treatment meeted out to him resolved to raise their voice for the aggrieved human rights defender Father Stan Swamy by seeking an independent investigation into his death.Recently a tribal woman was burnt alive in BJP ruled state Madhya Pradesh but why Mrs.Murmu- the NDA tribal- woman candidate preferred to be mum making no hue and cry over both these sensitive and burning issues staring the nation in its face,one fails to understand?
Is it fairly enough to be a representative of tribal community and fairsex to be the first citizen of India is the moot question that the lawmakers of India ought to pose to the NDA nominee in the fray for this very uncommon and significant election when the nation right into the 75th Year of Independence is grappling with too many grave problems of poverty, inequality, rising prices,derailed economy,unemployment,communal discord,fanaticism,violence,hatred,chaos, awe,lawlessness,tensions on the borders, insurgency in Jammu Kashmir,flip-flop foreign policy emanating from unilateralism and authoritarianism of the day?
“ We the people of India….” wish to see a vibrant democracy in the nation in the best interests of India that is BHARAT – “Where the mind is without fear” dreamt of by Nobel laureate Dr.Rabindranath Tagore ! Why should not the two contending candidates Mr. Yashwant Sinha- opposition sponsored and Mrs. Murmu enter into a direct face to face dialogue at a common platform to make their respective views known to the law makers( voters) and nation,why one of them deserves to grace this highest office? Won’t it be a novel and innovative precedent in the annals of democratic India in light of the technological revolutions and advancements on the global scene ? Why should the candidates in the fray rush from one place to another to woo the electorate at random? The nation has the right to be aware of their priorities and narratives to be pursued after having been elected to the coveted position.Will the elected one really strive to go in for drastic course corrections to arrest evils, pitfalls and complexities staring the nation in the face is the million dollar question?
The noble departed soul of Father Stan Swamy will not allow the nation’s polity to sleep peacefully until or unless he gets natural justice symbolising Satyamev Jayate.Father Stan Swamy will continue to haunt the“ powers that be “ in wake of brutality and injustice done to the 84-year old man in custody resonating even now in United States Congress making him more powerful even after his physical exit from the globe.
Contributed by :
Prof PK Sharma
Associate Professor of English (Retired),
Former Reporter The Tribune-Freelance Journalist,
Pom Anm Nest,BARNALA(Punjab).
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