10/19/2020, 11.32
INDIA
Send to a friend

A silent march for Father Stan's release

by Nirmala Carvalho

The imam of the Nakhoda mosque: "if one brother is facing an injustice, the other brothers will not be silent spectators ...". Archbishop Thomas D'Souza: "He is a champion for human rights and the dignity of the poor and tribals ... therefore, we are here in solidarity, to tell him that he is not alone, we are with him". Father Felix Raj: Prophets Speak for the Poor, so does Fr. Stan. He has a spirit like Mother Teresa.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A silent protest march took place on Saturday 17th on Park Street, in Kolkatta against the arrest of Jesuit Father Stan Swamy. Christian priests and religious took part, but also people of other faiths.

At the end of the march, the imam of the mosque of Nakhoda Maulana Shafique Qasmi expressed solidarity with the 83-year-old Jesuit priest, saying that "if one brother is facing an injustice, the other brothers will not be silent spectators ...". "We condemn this arrest ... and call on everyone to raise their voices for those who are oppressed ... If we want everyone to be good, we must treat everyone with love and sympathy." "It is an appeal to the government to release Father Stan Swamy".

"Father Stan Swamy - he concluded - was arrested without committing any crime and it is our request that the government release him unconditionally. Otherwise, all the minorities of the country will agitate against this!".

On Sunday 18 October Archbishop Thomas D'Souza protested against the arrests of Fr. Stan and speaking to AsiaNews said: “We are in solidarity with the cause of Fr. Stan, for human rights and against the injustice inflicted on him. So we ask that his human dignity be restored. He was a champion for human rights and the dignity of the poor and tribals ... therefore, we are in solidarity, to tell him that he is not alone, we are with him.”

“Secondly - he added - we wanted to show our  displeasure in the way Fr Stan was treated, the inhumane way, the octogenarian Fr Stan was arrested, despite his own requests, that he could not travel, he was forcibly taken, there was neither compassion nor humanitarian treatment given to him despite being so elderly.  Where is the respect given to the elderly in our country??the treatment meted out in any situation. We appeal to the government and make demands to the government that Fr Stan be released."

St. Xavier's University Vice Chancellor, Father J. Felix Raj, one of the leaders of the demonstration, said the Calcutta protest will inspire many others to raise their voices. Father Felix Raj also said that prophets speak for the poor, Stan Swamy does. And, he explained to AsiaNews, he has a spirit like Mother Teresa.

"1. Both Mother Teresa and Fr. Stan Swamy were committed religious faithfully following the Ignatian spirituality of finding God in all things and all things in God.

2. They had dedicated their lives to God and people. Mother's preferential option was to work for the dying and destitutes, while Fr, Stan's was to work for the oppressed Dalits and Tribals.

3. Both were fearless, bold in taking steps in their work. They found their strength in God. As it is said a prophet is not accepted in his own town or country, both were blamed, found fault.

4. Mother was misunderstood and was accused of converting. Fr. Stan was accused of joining hands with Maoists and terrorists.

5. Enemy is from within. Our own country men, leaders who have their vested interests silenced these prophets.

6. Both have dedicated their lives for the people. Mother came from Europe and Fr. Stan came from Tamil Nadu to work among the tribals.

7. They made people of other lands, different cultures and languages, their own. This is what is called in Upanishads:  Vasudeva Kudumpakam ( whole world is one family).

8. Fr. Stan's work for the Dalits and Tribals was issue based - he made extensive research on various issues, had sufficient supporting documents and evidence. That is why he could boldly question the Govt and officials and fight for the people.

9. It is essentially a fight between the poor and the rich for justice. He took sides with the oppressed and fought for them.

His arrest, his sufferings are the consequence of his stand for truth and justice. This happens to all who are on the side of truth. But truth will finally win”.

Send to a friend
Printable version
CLOSE X


Newsletter

Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”