Remembering Fr. Stan Swamy’s life and death
The Leaflet / by Shrutika Pandey and Shamim Modi
The absence of legal refuge grants the State impunity and constrains effective legal argumentation, progressive judicial pronouncements, and public mobilization.
A year ago, the nation lamented the unfortunate death of Father Stan Swamy, an activist and a Catholic priest who dedicated his entire life to defending tribal rights. Fr. Stan died in custody at the age of 83 years on alleged terrorism charges in the frivolous Bhima Koregaon case, after contracting COVID-19 and exacerbating his Parkinson’s disease while lodged in Mumbai’s Taloja prison for nine months.
With an illustrious life of fighting for the oppressed, his custodial death brought attention to the targeted persecution of anyone who, through constitutional means, poses uncomfortable questions of the State’s self-serving narrative.