The True Face Of Democracy!
He dedicated his entire life to ensure the Social Rights of the tribal people in India. However, Stanislaus Lourduswamy, popularly known as Father Stan Swamy (April 26, 1937 – July 5, 2021), recently breathed his last in prison, without trial! In Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic of India, the Roman Catholic priest, a member of the Jesuit order and a Tribal Rights Activist was the oldest person to be accused of terrorism! Majority of the Indians are blaming the Narendra Modi Government and the Judicial System for Swamy’s sad demise. Even, the UN and the Global Community have slammed India for keeping the Tribal Rights Activist in prison for so long, without trial!
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement on July 6 (2021), saying that the World Body “is disturbed by the death” of 84-year-old priest-activist Father Stan Swamy. “No one should be detained for exercising their Rights to Freedom of Expression, of Peaceful Assembly and of Association,” it added. For her part, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor stressed: “The news from India today is devastating. Human Rights Defender and Jesuit priest Fr Stan Swamy has died in custody, nine months after his arrest on false charges of terrorism. Jailing Human Rights Defenders is inexcusable.” Earlier, Lawlor had expressed serious concern about the deteriorating health condition of Swamy, seeking possible specialist treatment for him. She had also described the charges against him as unfounded. Meanwhile, European Union Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore tweeted: “India: I am very saddened to hear that Fr #StanSwamy has passed away. A defender of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights. He was held in detention for the past nine months. The EU had been raising his case repeatedly with authorities.”
Although Swamy had approached the court for interim bail due to his deteriorating physical condition, his appeal was pending for long. Later, it was rejected after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India opposed his bail petition by filing an affidavit at the court. In the affidavit, the NIA reportedly mentioned there was no evidence that Stan Swamy was, in reality, ill!
As Swamy’s death has exposed the real character of the Elected Authoritarian Government in New Delhi, the Modi Administration is trying hard to maintain its Democratic Image. Arindam Bagchi, the Spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, has said that the NIA arrested Swamy in accordance with the legal process. “The court rejected his bail plea because there were serious allegations against him. Those allegations prompted the court not to grant bail,” added Bagchi. However, the Indians are not ready to accept the Government’s arguments. They consider Swamy’s death as a State-sponsored Murder.
In recent times, the Government of India and the Judiciary have failed to safeguard the Basic Rights of people. The death of Swamy has shown the true face of Indian Democracy, making it clear that the Institutional Morality of the country has been destroyed. The basic foundation of Democracy is Individual Rights. The Indian State has repeatedly crushed those Rights over the last few years, taking the country to a different direction. The crime Stan Swamy was guilty of is still awaiting proof… however, the crime committed by the Indian State is visible to the world.
The Rights Activists, usually, prefer the term Institutional Killing. In Swamy’s case, the term is cent percent true and appropriate. Unnecessary delay in trial is widely considered as injustice. If there is a complaint against anyone, then the person should be tried. If the allegations brought against the person are not proven during the trial, the accused should be released. In Democracy, the State cannot detain a person for long sans a proper trial. As far as the importance of the situation and the principles of Rights are concerned, the failure of the Indian State is the cause of Swamy’s death.
In fact, the Narendra Modi Government is victimising writers, journalists, social and rights activists, who are vocal against the ruling class, in the pretext of National Security. The Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, commonly known as the three pillars of Democracy, are completely reluctant to ensure the Basic Rights of the individual in India. It seems that Prime Minister Modi and his Government have decided not to take this issue seriously. Perhaps, they would learn a lesson from History…
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