How many words had got written in mainstream media(or projected in visual media) about the man who had released and rehabilitated over two lakh bonded labourers!
Perhaps the matinee stars committing suicide or accused of trampling pavement dweller under car in intoxicated state or killing endangered animals merit more newsprint or bytes along with the cricketing stars playing for sheer money, business magnets for sheer profits and politicians spewing venom of communalism hatred and intolerance!
Kailash Satyarthi at least got the Nobel with the international community felicitating him for his humanitarian contribution towards the society; thereby bringing him to a bit of limelight in his home country India! But Swami Agnivesh was not so ”fortunate” and so his unfathomable contribution for cause of humanity had remained under the social radar! Are the likes of Satyarthi and Agnivesh not given their due recognition in their own country as their yeoman’s service towards vulnerable child labour and bonded labour blatantly expose the wretched state of the billions of poorest of poor of this much-flaunted ”elite” ”progressive” country in the eyes of the international community!
Salute to the upright man who always talked about the poisonous effect of religion in contrast to the divine spiritualism which enlightens the consciousness about the ultimate essence of humanity which reside above all sorts of divide — racial religious caste colour political and national affiliation!
No wonder why the ”sickular anti-national” in Agnivesh, always raising his bold voice against religious orthodoxy, was so hated in this dark era of communalism and hatred and got severely assaulted twice by the ”brave” Bhakts damaging his liver permanently when he was in fag end of seventies —- once in Jharkhand, next during the funeral of Atal Behari Vajpayee and from which he couldn’t recover till his end.
Will the society wake up from their suicidal slumber following his demise and draw inspiration from this friend of poor weak and ostracised who was a staunch defender of Constitutional values of equality secularism and religious pluralism of heterogeneous India!
Kajal Chatterjee, Kolkata-114.