Stan Swamy no more but his dedication towards welfare of the poor and his simplicity will never be forgotten

Stan Swamy’s friends describe him as a selfless soul. His passing away has shocked a part of the nation’s conscience

Father Stan Swamy (File Photo Courtesy: PTI)
Father Stan Swamy (File Photo Courtesy: PTI)
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Vishwadeepak

It was a murder indeed. Or rather, a gradual murder – not death. Death is natural while murder is artificial. You have to use manmade tools (like gallows which was introduced in Britain in the 5th century, later used in India to hang nationalists during the freedom struggle) or dingy prison cells to hasten the decay or the end of a human being in order to murder him.

The end of Stan Swamy was hastened with many such tools. Some are visible, some invisible. The NIA personnel who arrested him under draconian UAPA are visible, the judge who denied him bail too can be seen, but jurisprudence is invisible. It is an abstract thing. No one can touch or hold laws (accountable). And in India, laws are subject to interpretation – not reasoning.

I remember Dostoevsky. In ‘Crime and Punishment’, the great Russian writer wrote, “When reason fails, devil works.”

And the devil clearly worked in Stan Swamy’s case.

Swamy’s sufferings were very visible. Some of us could see this with great clarity, but a mighty Bharat Mata, boasting of the fifth largest economy and one of the biggest armies in the world, could not see it…Perhaps she was so frightened that she closed her eyes. She could not see the plight of one of her sons.

Even before being incarcerated, 84-year-old Swamy was suffering from progressive Parkinson’s disease. He could not even hold a pen or a spoon properly because his central nervous system was dysfunctional. But the State which Bharat Mata symbolizes believed he was ably conspiring to overthrow a democratically-elected government by spearheading a fossil ideology called Maoism.

Named after the father of modern-day China, Chairman Mao Zedong, Maoism preaches elimination of enemies (not necessarily the class enemy).


Swamy did not believe in elimination. He spoke of and worked for reconciliation all through his life. Going by the class enemy theory propagated by Mao, the Indian State appears closer to Maoism. However, Swamy paid the price for his beliefs.

In the space left between Maoism and jurisprudence of Indian State lived Stan Swamy – I believe. Now he is no more.

Swamy, who was deeply influenced by Brazilian Bishop Helder Pessoa Camara, loved to recite his sayings. It will be a tribute to Swamy to recite some of those lines here:

“When I fed the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked, ‘Why are they poor?’ They called me a communist.”

Helder Pessoa Camara

Swamy, whose friends describe him as a selfless soul, was a Red Bishop to many. His body has died but his conviction to speak up for the poor, his dedication and simplicity will never be forgotten.

His passing away has shocked a part of the nation’s conscience. But he is not the last. GN Saibaba, Sudha Bharadwaj, Professor Shona Sen and many others seem to be next in the queue. We should be ready to see more debates on institutionalized murder in the coming time.

I can see their decay – the same gradual death coming to them. Lord of death Yama, wielding the same invisible tools, is out for the hunt. Can you see him?

(Views are personal)

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