Portrait of an old man as a martyr? What Left-‘liberal’ media won’t tell you about Stan Swamy

The man that the Left and ‘liberals’ are mourning, Jesuit priest Stan Swamy, needs to be put in context. Certain facts about him, which are being whitewashed in this high tide of righteous grief and anger over his death in a Mumbai hospital while in custody, need to be reintroduced in public memory.

In the National Investigation Agency’s 10,000-page chargesheet in the 2017 Bhima-Koregaon violence, Stan Swamy is the central character. The main charge against him is that of being neck-deep in the activities of banned terror outfit CPI-Maoist. Letters and documents submitted by the NIA to the court show Stan was drawing up a blueprint to set up militant units to fight the Indian government. He proposed recruiting disgruntled Dalits and Muslims and giving them armed training.

Snatches from Stan’s letter: “The front has to come up at village level, small town and cities, neighbourhood level in urban areas with militant sections of people being organised.
“In order to develop the process...from very beginning we should bring together most Dalit and Muslim forces that are already taking shape in some parts of country…They want to take training by going into revolutionary armed struggle areas.”

The NIA chargesheet says Stan Swamy received Rs eight lakh through a certain Comrade Mohan to carry out CPI-Maoist activities. He was allegedly one of the main instigators of the Bhima-Koregaon violence.

Now, let us examine what Maoist terrorism does to India. Between 2018 and 2020, 162 security personnel and 463 civilians have been killed in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) violence, according to Union government data.

That is equivalent to 12 Delhi riots in three years. In the last two decades, 12,000 people have lost their lives in Maoist violence, including 2,700 security personnel.

So, the charges are a lot more real and serious than the rebellious fantasies of an infirm old man against a “fascist” system. His so-called benign social work among tribals led him to support mass conversions and even the Pathalgadi movement, in which tribals were instigated to start an armed takeover of the nation’s soil and declaring it a zone free from Indian Constitution and laws.

Stan Swamy’s death has naturally enthused the Congress to attack the government. Its lead dynast Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “He deserved justice and humaneness.”

Rahul deserves a long applause for consistency in scoring self-goals. Here is why.

Stan Swamy was lodged in Central Jail, Taloja, Mumbai. This jail is run by the government of Maharashtra, in which Rahul’s Congress is an alliance partner. So, any accusation by the Congress that the 84-year-old was mistreated in custody falls like a miscued stone on its own head.

Further, while the Congress ecosystem is making it seem like a prison death, Stan Swamy was being treated at Holy Family Hospital in Bandra since 28 May on his own request. The court also extended the duration of his stay in the hospital till 6 July. He suffered a cardiac arrest while in hospital on 5 July.

Rahul’s self-goal doesn’t end there. The National Human Rights Commission had asked the Maharashtra chief secretary to ensure every possible medical treatment for Stan, life-saving steps and protection of his human rights.

So, is the Congress summoning the Maharashtra chief secretary to take him to task denying the accused “justice and humaneness”?

Or is it going to belatedly demand justice and compassion for Sadhvi Pragya and Colonel PS Purohit, whom the UPA government kept in jail without conviction for over half a decade and allegedly subjected to brutal torture, all to coin the fake term “Hindu terror” to please its Muslim votebank?

It won’t. But in the meanwhile, it sets the dark example of trying to prematurely paint as the victim a man accused of waging war against the State.

The Congress wants to run the polity without a mandate, and the judiciary with opinion and emotion. There is a slight problem: Democracies don’t work like that.