The unfortunate death of 84-year-old Stan Swamy, arrested in the Elgar Parishad Case, has become yet another opportunity for the opposition and particularly a section of the left liberal ecosystem to blame the central government for what it calls the “custodial murder” of Swamy. The “toolkit of response” by this group has become so predictable in case after case, that it comes as no surprise anymore. Coordinated tweets, common narrative that includes generous and liberal use of words like “Jesuit priest”, “Father”, “octogenarian” in order to whitewash other more unpalatable facts about him and to portray Swamy as somebody who was wronged by the system in order to further a discourse that the Modi government is autocratic and hounds those who oppose it ideologically! It is almost a throwback to the time when the same ecosystem marshalled it’s resources to present convicted terrorists like Yakub Memon as one who was “haalat ka maara” ( a victim of circumstances) and Afzal Guru, who was convicted for his role in the Parliament attack case , as a victim of “judicial killing”! In some other cases Namaz -e-Janaza have also been organised for convicted terrorists ironically by those who say “terror has no religion”.
While the death of any individual is sad before we all start collectively eulogising Stan Swamy let us understand a few undisputed facts about him.
Swamy applied for bail last year both on merits and medical grounds. The Special NIA Court while denying him bail said Stan Swamy was a member of a banned Maoist group that routinely kills and massacres civilians. Infact even as Rahul Gandhi & Congress presents him as a martyr of sorts, the same Congress party which lost its top leadership in Chattisgarh to a Naxal attack, the same Congress party whose PM Dr Manmohan Singh categorised “Naxalism” as the the biggest internal security threat to India and whose Ministry affidavit coined the term “Urban Naxals” , it would be pertinent to note that while denying bail to Stan Swamy the Court had said that Stan Swamy was not only the member of banned organisation CPI (Maoist) but he was carrying out activities to overthrow the democracy of the nation and had received Rs 8 lakh allegedly for the furtherance of Maoist activities. The judge also added that collective interest of the community would outweigh Swamy’s right to personal liberty. As such the old age and or alleged sickness of the applicant would not go in his favour,” the judge said. Those saying the Centre has blood on its hands are in a sense alluding and accusing the courts of having blood on its hands? That would be contemptuous!
The hypocrisy of the Lutyens liberals on this issue is as stark as it can get! During the tenure of the Congress party led UPA when the same so called “activists” were arrested they were labelled Naxals but today they have become champions of human rights and dissent! But let’s consider few more facts in Stan Swamy case now.
A) Did Stan Swamy die in jail?
No. Stan Swamy was being treated at Holy Family Hospital in Bandra since 28/05/2021, at his own request. The Court also extended the duration of his stay in the hospital till 06/07/2021. However, he suffered a cardiac arrest while in hospital on 05/07/2021 itself.
On 21/05/2021, Stan Swamy had filed criminal appeal before High Court of Bombay, regarding which the State of Maharashtra had filed medical report of Board of Doctors constituted by JJ Hospital. He was advised by court to be treated in JJ Hospital. However, he refused to get admitted in JJ Hospital.
Subsequently, the High Court allowed, on Stan Swamy’s own request on 28/05/2021, to be shifted and treated in Holy Family Hospital, Bandra along with one attendant. So, Stan Swamy himself chose where to be treated and received the treatment as per his own choice
B) Who was resposible for looking after Stan Swamy?
It is true that Stan Swamy was arrested by NIA in connection with the Elgar Parishad case where he was linked with Maoists. However, he was not in any NIA-run facility but in Central Jail, Taloja, Mumbai.
This jail is managed by the government of Maharashtra which is run by the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance comprised of the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena.
C) Was Stan denied basic human rights?
No less than the National Human Rights Commission had asked the Maharashtra Chief Secretary to ensure every possible medical treatment to the imprisoned Stan Swamy as part of life-saving measures and protection of his basic human rights. So, Congress led MVA and its allies have to answer if they looked after Stan Swamy well or not or denied him basic human rights not the Centre
Now the basic question remains. Why is it that every time somebody is pronounced guilty or denied bail by the courts, a certain section, driven by votebank considerations and in the garb of their pseudo-secular agenda ((essentially a weapon to target the Modi government as inhuman, fascist and communal)) start eulogising or defending those who must be made answerable before a court of law? Tahir Hussain accused of masterminding Delhi riots was given a clean chit by these intellectuals suggesting that the action on him was because he was a Muslim. Terror commander Riaz Naikoo, when killed by armed forces was portrayed as a “maths teacher” , Burhan Wani was the “son of a headmaster” and Shahrukh who was seen and accused of Delhi riots, denied bail by court was presented as an aspiring “tik rok star”! The same lobby has no such sympathies and empathies when they label an attack as “Hindu terror” or they hold all Hindus responsible for lynchings when they say “Jai Shri Ram has become a war cry”! The glaring double standards applied can only be explained by the desperate need to do vote bank appeasement politics on issues like terror only and only to target the Modi government! By the way, if fascism and autocratic nature towards political opponents is the issue may be, just may be , the Lutyens liberal brigade can organise some Award wapsi against the West Bengal government that has been virtually taken to the cleaners by the Calcutta High Court for the virtual free run to perpetrators of post-poll retributive violence there that has led to many rapes, killings and displacements!
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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