Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Is Binayak Sen guilty???

First, I do not know Binayak Sen personally, nor do i have any direct knowledge of the issues or the stake holders in this battle. Hence, I plead that I am unable to answer this question based on evidence or facts. Therefore, the next question, you may ask is why write about the issue and waste my precious time and yours. To that pose, I certainly have an answer. In any situation faced in life, we need to make a choice and this choice is based on many factors, the most important of which is "discrimination", known in Sanskrit as "viveka". As a human being, I possess an intellect which allows me to use my reasoning faculty to make a judgment and decide weather Dr. Binayak Sen is an enemy of the state and a traitor.

A gold medalist, pediatrician, from CMC, Vellore, gives up a life of comfort and relative fame and glory and chooses to work in a tribal area among the poorest of the poor. Dr. Sen, by his example and by all accounts of his body of work should serve as an inspiration and role model to the young doctors of the nation. Instead, he finds himself caught in the cross fire of a battle between, India Inc and Bharat.

The tribals and forest dwellers of the so called red belt or the Naxal corridor are the most neglected section of our country. They have been displaced and dispensed with in the name of development and democracy. While, the law of the land, recent Forest act, are meant to preserve and protect their life to exist in the forest, this right exists only on paper. Such a situation, has led to desperation and all forms of non-violent protests have been crushed by the state over the years. This left the field open for the propagation of violent ideologies, like those of the Maoists to take root. Their failure, lead them to extreme violence and a racket of extortion. Co-incidentally, the red corridor is the richest mineral belt of India, and MOU's worth trillions of dollars have been signed to do mining in this belt. Caught in the cross fire, the Government set up vigilante groups of tribals called Salwa Judam. It is this policy that Dr. Sen openly opposed. Persons like Himanshu Kumar of Dantewada and Dr. Binayak Sen, could have acted as interlocutors and brought peace to these troubled land, if the Government had supported them. However, corporate India wanted to crush all such opposition, by destroying Himanshu Kumar's ashram by terming it illegal, and planted evidence on Dr. Sen to make an example of him, by declaring him an enemy of the State.

I do not hold any brief for Naxals or support any violent movement, I feel the evidence against Dr. Sen appears at best flimsy and at worse inadmissible in legal terms. Being a well wisher and supporter of the poor does not amount to support for violent ideologies. We as citizens must raise our voice to see that true justice is done to Dr. Sen.

It is ironical and indeed a sad day for our democracy, that we find, mass murderers, corrupt leaders and even terrorists out on bail, leading normal and even wasteful lives in freedom, while Dr. Sen is spending time in jail. We hope and pray for his early release and pray to the Lord to give strength and courage to his family to fight this long and grim battle.

It may sound cliched but in these times more true than ever, "Eternal vigilance is the price to be paid to protect our freedoms". The state by making an example of soft targets like Dr. Sen is creating a situation where civil society will be scared of standing up for the poor. My discriminative faculty feels that Dr Sen is not guilty. However I may be wrong as I have no direct information. I only hope that finally Truth prevails. "Satyameva Jayate"

Dr. Vispi Jokhi

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