‘Why truth has become so bitter, dissent so intolerable, justice so out of reach?’ because truth has become very bitter to those in power and position, dissent, so unpalatable to the ruling elite, justice, so out of reach to the powerless, marginalised, deprived people. Yet, truth must be spoken, right to dissent must be upheld, and justice must reach the doorsteps of the poor. I am not a silent spectator.
Father Stan Swamy, the 84-year-old Jesuit priest who passed away on 5 July waiting for his trial to begin in the Bhima Koregaon case, left behind a memoir, published by the Indian Social Institute Training Centre (ISI-TC), Bangalore. His book, 'I Am Not a Silent Spectator' is a curation of important episodes and turning points in his life.
The complete book can be accessed on the Institute's website. Here are some excerpts from his letters and phone calls to his friends from the Taloja jail, which were added to the book subsequently. He primarily wrote to his old friends Fr. David Solomon SJ and Dr. Joseph Xavier SJ, who is the director of ISI-B and publisher of this book.
Reflecting on his time in prison, Stan Swamy wrote: