Tuesday, May 05, 2009

It's a feeling of angst that overrides all

It’s election time and Narayanan is not happy at all. In my previous blog, I provided the background to the man, to help you understand him better. Today, I received an email from him, which he has sent to several others as well. It made me realise how little we do as citizens and what a lot there is for all of us to do. I reproduce below his email. I have only edited for language errors and use of unnecessary words. Here goes:

Dear friends, Greetings. I am sorry I have to start like this.

While a record number of scoundrels, mass murderers, bigots, religious and communal fanatics, money launderers, blackmailers and criminals of similar hues are out on bail or parole and busy trying to become 'Honourable' Members of Parliament through staggered elections with a gun-totting army of security-men providing them protection in what is called the biggest democratic exercise (?) in the universe, we still find the real Honourable Good Samaritan Dr Binayak Sen ailing in a high-security prison in Raipur, Chattisgarh, for almost 2 years now (May 14 will mark the 2nd anniversary of his incarceration).

His fault was to have brought health to the doorsteps of the tribal in Chattisgarh, standing up to the most inhuman human rights violations by the state administration and those supposed to be in charge of law and order. There is neither law nor order in his arrest and incarnation. And justice continues to elude him even in the highest court of our great nation despite absence of even a shred of evidence.

Instead of what could have been a very simple commonsense direction by the Supreme Court to release him on bail if not to acquit him, the honourable court for no apparent reason is not arriving at even this simple decision. This is not only a reconfirmation of 'Justice delayed is Justice denied', it is also a warning to any right thinking Indian who wants to do something good and wants to stand up in future or who wants to make this world a just place.

While NSAs and Interpol red alerts could be slapped or revoked just like that by our political masters depending on their needs and exigencies, that Dr Binayak Sen continues to be in prison despite petitions and campaigns by all right-thinking people from across the world, including 22 Nobel Laureates, is utterly shameful.

When a protest demo was conducted in Chennai last year on May 14, close to the Madras Medical College & Hospital, not even dozen medical men were there in support of Dr Binayak Sen despite him being a member of their fraternity. Only a handful of NGOs participated. It is symptomatic of the indifference that has set in the consciousness of Indian civil society, now infamous for candlelight vigils after terrorist attacks, while not stepping out to vote.

In a knee-jerk reaction, Mr Chidambaram upped the defence budget to Rs1,50,000 crore after the Mumbai attacks. But where is the defence against state-sponsored terrorism on their own citizens?

The satellite media could spend hours and days when a 5-star hotel gets attacked but has no time or heart when such blatant violations take place on our soil or when genocide happens in our neighbouring state Sri Lanka.

In a recent speech, Nobel Laureate Dr Amartya Sen said that India was the land which gave the word 'nyaya' and meant 'nyaya' has much more intrinsic meaning than that of 'justice'. In his concluding remarks, he rightly said, “We have to ask what should keep us awake at night. “

Dear friends, let us at least show our solidarity for Dr Sen by meeting and protesting on 10th May (Sunday) or May 14. If some of you could write back and also contact all right thinking friends and associates and network, we can make a decent show in Chennai. Please give your suggestions right away.

Thanks and regards
In solidarity
Narayanan. A
PAADAM

Those who wish to talk to Narayanan can call him at (0) 9840393581.

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