Audio: On the death of Stan Swamy (05.07.2021)
Updated: 5 days ago
"Once you have pushed the people to a wall, there is no further they can go. So you have to turn back and fight."
When the Journalist Michael Briefs met Stan Swamy in the Indian state of Jharkhand in 2004, he had just given a lecture at the World Social Forum in Bombay on the land expropriation and exploitation of the Indian Adivasi. No one could have known that it was the human rights activist and Parkinson's disease Jesuit priest Stan Swamy who many years later would be put to death by torture-like conditions during a prison stay in Bombay. The 84-year-old Stan Swamy has always been a thorn in the side of the ruling nationalist-racist Hindu party BJP and its economically liberal populist head of government Nerendra Modi. For more than 50 years, the Jesuit accompanied and supported the resistance of indigenous people against national and transnational mining multinationals that, in alliance with Hindu nationalist governments, systematically criminalize and murder dissenters, opposition members, minorities and tribal communities. On October 9, 2020, Swamy was arrested in Jharkhand's capital on charges of sedition, Maoist propaganda, and terrorism. His death is eloquent testimony to the desolate state of human rights in the world's largest democracy India