DiaNuke expresses profound grief on the passing away of Father Stan Swamy, an eminent human rights activist and a conscientious voice that spoke truth to power. He was a long-time ally of grassroots struggles especially of adivasi communities against forcible land acquisition, displacement, and the abject of lack of public consultation as the Indian state lays to waste verdant ecologies and bulldozes democratic dissent to serve the neoliberal agenda.
We remember him with deep affection for his unrelenting activism against uranium mining on adivasi/indigenous lands, and for his enthusiastic and consistent support for our on-ground and online campaigns against nuclearization in South Asia, and the brazen push for nuclear power.
There could not have been a crueler irony than for a person of immense character, compassion, humility, and unflinching courage to have been labeled an ‘enemy’ of the Indian state and to have died alone in a hospital a day before his plea for bail was to come up for hearing in the Bombay High Court. We are horrified at the callousness displayed by India’s government/investigative agencies and judicial processes, that were so threatened by an 84-year-old activist, as to have denied him basic human dignity and medical care.
He will continue to be deeply loved by his comrades, family, and India’s invisibilized communities, collateral damage in India’s ‘progress’ story. We will continue to live by the ideals professed by Father Stan Swamy and carry forward his remarkable legacy.