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India: Fr Stan Swamy SJ Prophetic Voice

Father Stan questioned why the Adivasis (tribal people) were being denied their legitimate constitutional rights. His consistent question was: “how long will the Adivasis be victims of systemic oppression?”

Just before his arrest, he said, “Over the last two decades, I have identified myself with the Adivasi people and their struggle for a life of dignity and self-respect… In this process, I have clearly expressed my dissent over several policies and laws enacted by the government in the light of the Indian Constitution. I have questioned the validity, legality and justness of several steps taken by the government and the ruling class. If this makes me a ‘deshdrohi’ (terrorist) , then so be it. We are part of the process. In a way I am happy to be part of this process. I am not a silent spectator, but part of the game and ready to pay the price whatever be it…. I/we must be ready to face the consequences. I would just add that what is happening to me is not unique. Many activists, lawyers, writers, journalists, student leaders, poets, intellectuals and others who stand for the rights of Adivasis, Dalits and the marginalised and express their dissent to the ruling powers of the country are being targeted. Grateful to all who have stood in solidarity with me all these years.”

Source: UCANews

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