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India’s arrest of 83-year-old priest on terrorism charges is a contempt of justice Marie Marcel Theikara | Opinion

A frail, sick 83-year-old Jesuit priest, Father Stan Swamy, has become the oldest man ever Allegations of terrorism in India. He has been lodged in a Mumbai jail since his arrest last week.

He is a gentleman, gentle and soft-spoken man I have ever met. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. Free Swami has been accused of being a Maoist terrorist. The word freezes a violent individual who incites people to revolt, bombs the symbols of authority, destroys, kills and does other things to overthrow the state. But he is against it.

His sin? Helping the poor and vulnerable. He has been at the forefront of protecting India’s indigenous people There are land attacks The eastern Indian state of Jharkhand, where mining interests are widespread. The Advocates’ fight against mining corporates is a scene of David and Goliath. Millions will be displaced. Earlier, the government opened the dam gates on the Narmada River and floodwaters inundated hundreds of thousands of tribal houses. The Narmada protests began in 1985 And despite fierce struggles, protests and international coverage, the dam was fully announced in 2006.

Similar tragedies occur regularly in Brazil and other parts of South America. Of course, this is the curse of locals all over the world. No one recognizes their rights, which are only recognized on paper, e.g. 2006 Indian Forest Rights Act. But in practice, most governments ignore these rights when vested interests dominate the land, forests and waterways of local people.

Thousands of Catholic nuns and priests, along with their supporters, students, activists and people, protested against the arrest of Free Swami, who knows him as a really good man. Bangalore And Mumbai was the most crowded. Even Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, where Free Swamy was arrested at his home, What is the protest? – Unusually, for a politician.

“A gentleman I’ve ever met.” In 2018, Father Austin Swamy. Photographer: Mukesh Kumar Bhatt / 101 Reporters

The nature of the arrest has been called into question. Was there No warrant. Free Swamy asked the arresting officers if they could be questioned online instead of going out of jail, as the coveted epidemic is spreading across India and the 83-year-old inmate has Parkinson’s disease along with other compositions. ۔ His request was denied.

I grew up in Kolkata. In the 1960s, The Naxalite movement, Which was inspired by Mao, attracted young people who were tired of witnessing centuries of oppression. What started as a movement to help the oppressed quickly turned into a dream. The criminals jumped on the band wagon and Killed people In cold blood they killed anyone against whom there was a complaint. In rural areas, the story of the feudal lords went on as if they were in the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In cities, low-paid constables were killed with knives, bombs and bullets. The reign of terrorism began. Predictably, the state intervened. Authorities killed thousands of young students in a bloodbath.

This piece of history was instructive for the workers. When talking to students or tribal youth, they always warned: “It is foolish to fight violence. You can never fight state violence.

For Gandhi, non-violence was not the only chosen moral path. That was the strategic way, the only way. It shook the consciences of the world with its new good news of non-violence. It was a unique concept, an offer to India.

After independence, many people went to Gandhi’s villages and complied with the demand to fight poverty and ignorance. Gandhi’s ashrams all over India were full of people having food and drink, teaching children, and having literacy classes for adults. But poverty was not eradicated until the 1970s. A new generation of human rights defenders has emerged. He fought in the courts for injustice, for oppressive landlords, Dalits and women, and against government encroachments on millions of acres of tribal land. He also called on thousands of people to take to the streets to protest.

Free Swami has been an activist priest whose mission is to fight for the kingdom of justice on earth for the poor and oppressed. He taught the Adivasis to organize themselves so that their land would not be taken away by mining companies. He is a great inspiration to me and my husband in our own movement to support the tribal people in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. If we want to prevent a climate emergency and save the planet, we must all study the tribal people and learn from them. It is our “progress” that creates excessive consumption that is destroying our support systems on Earth, while leading a sustainable lifestyle and having the smallest environmental impact.

The arrest of Free Swami is a tragedy not only for the indigenous people of India but for everyone who believes in truth and justice.

Marie Marcel Theikara is a human rights activist and author based in Gudalwar, Tamil Nadu.


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