Yesterday on 5th of July 2021, there were two separate news flash. Both of them concerned jails. Both concerned public figures. And both concerned a demand. However there were some differences. While one demanded television in the jail to watch wrestling match, the other succumbed to death but had also made a demand 9 months back, the demand of a sipper bottle as he was a 84 years old Parkinson patient who had difficulty in drinking water from glass. There is one more difference between these two people. While the television demanding prisoner is accused of murder of a fellow wrestler, the one who died in the jail was an accused of conspiracy and terrorism against the State with no proven charges. The wrestler who is in jail is Olympic medal winner Sushil Kumar and the octogenarian activist was Father Stan Swamy, the oldest person to be accused of terrorism in India.
Demand by a murder accused of television is obnoxious to even think let alone provide. But failing to provide even a straw or a sipper bottle to a priest and a tribal rights activist is abhorrent and inhumane. It has been difficult for me to read the obituary by many disheartened people of Father Stan Swamy. I have come across zillions of people who take honor and pride in saying that how much they care for their parents, grandparents etc. Things like “I did so much for them to bring them out of poor health”, are said aloud n number of times. What do we want to prove with these statements? It is anything but astonishing that an individual cared for his/her close one? There is no pride in it as it is a duty of every child and others associated. Likewise it was the duty of the state to treat everyone, including its prisoner decently. I feel all of this as a personal loss. A loss of virtues, ethics and morality. It feels as though we all failed an old man of ours.
Rest in Peace Stan Swamy. There must definitely be peace on the other side than where you were hanging by a thread since so long.