As we celebrate 61 years of India becoming a Socialist Democratic Republic we are shocked to witness that the spirit of our Constitution stands violated every so often today, sacrificing people’s democratic rights and throttling the socialist dream of our Constitution makers.
Speaking out against the conviction and incarceration of Dr. Binayak Sen’s case has to be seen in that larger context of lending our voice against the gross injustice that we witness as a daily happening in India day after day.
Today when we demand his release we must also raise our voice against all those who remain hungry, malnourished, and without secure means of livelihood, as well as those who have been dispossessed, killed, tortured, humiliated, disappeared, threatened, arbitrarily detained and arrested, falsely charged and under surveillance because of their legitimate work in upholding democratic rights and fundamental freedoms. In the last two days I too have been a victim of this in Wardha, Maharashtra (Central India) where I teach.
Dr. Binayak Sen has completed more than a month in this leg of his imprisonment. The hearing for the suspension of his sentence continues. It is not a testing time for us alone but more for our political and judicial systems, which are on trial for accountability, rationality, justice and equity.
Finally, I would like to thank all of you for holding our hands in this period of suffering and anguish faced by me, Binayak’s mother, daughters, brothers and all his friends.
I would like to end with a verse of Faiz.
bol ke lab aazaad haiN tere
bol zabaaN ab tak terii hai
teraa sutvaaN jism hai teraa
bol ke jaaN ab tak terii hai
dekh ke aahaNgar kii dukaaN meN
tuNd haiN shole surKh hai aahan
khulne lage qufloN ke dahaane
phailaa har ek zanjiir kaa daaman
bol ye thoRaa vaqt bahut hai
jism-o-zubaaN kii maut se pahle
bol ke sach ziNdaa hai ab tak
bol jo kuch kehnaa hai keh le
Speak up, while your lips (thoughts) are (still) free
speak up, (while) your tongue is still yours
Speak, for your strong body is your own
speak, (while) your soul is still yours
Look at the blacksmith’s shop
hot flames makes the iron red hot
opening the (jaws of) locks
every chain opens up and begins to break
Speak, for this brief time is long enough
before your body and words die
speak, for the truth still prevails
speak up, say what you must.
WE WILL BE VINDICATED!!!
Prof. Ilina Sen,
Mahatma Gandhi Antarashtriya
26th January, 2011
Ilina Sen is the wife of doctor-activist Binayak Sen. For more information, visit <www.freebinayaksen.org>.
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