How did Father Stan Swamy of Tamil Nadu reach Jharkhand? From tribals becoming messiahs to Bhima-Koregaon incident


Highlights:

  • Father Stan Swamy, accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case, dies
  • Swamy was also an accused in the Pathalgarhi incident in Khunti, Jharkhand
  • Father Stan Swamy passed away in Mumbai on Monday
  • Stan Swami used to do the work of awareness in tribal society

Amarendra Kumar Giani, Mumbai/Chaibasa
Accused in Pathalgarhi case in Bhima-Koregaon in Maharashtra and Khunti in Jharkhand Stan Swami died in Mumbai. But Stan Swamy’s identity was not enough. In the nineties, Swamy worked for human rights and awareness among the tribals. which continued for more than three decades. His most important contribution was to save the tribal society from witch-bisahi superstition.

Swamy’s important contribution in the witch-bisahi case
Stanislaus Lorduswamy aka Father Stan Swamy was a Roman Catholic priest whose life has been dedicated to working for the rights of the tribals and underprivileged of Jharkhand since the 1990s. In the case of witch-bisahi, he tried to spread awareness in the villages. Especially in Chaibasa and its surrounding districts, excellent work was done. He started working around 30 years back as an activist for tribals in Jharkhand. He also worked for the marginalized tribals whose land was acquired without their consent in the name of dams, mines and development.

Stan Swamy used to do amazing Alice
He was considered very proficient in social analysis and did a lot of research on tribal issues. He used to inspire the villagers to struggle for their democratic rights by staying within the ambit of the law. He used to convey information about each and every scheme of the government to the general public. Father Stan Swamy also used posters, banners and other simple things to make tribals aware in educationally backward districts. Poster-banners illustrated in the local language played an important role in attracting and making the tribals aware. He believed more in increasing the leadership capacity of the local people.

Journey from Tamil Nadu to Jharkhand
Stan Swamy was born on 26 April 1937 in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu. According to his acquaintances, he did his masters in Theology and Sociology from the University of Manila in the 1970s. Later he also studied in Brussels, where he befriended Archbishop Holder Kamra, whose work for the poor in Brazil influenced him greatly. He later served as the Director of the Indian Social Institute, Bangalore from 1975 to 1986. Damu Vanra, a social worker living in Chaibasa, told that after doing his MA in sociology, Stan Swamy started coming to Chaibasa in Jharkhand while working as a director in the Indian Social Institute, Bangalore, run by Catholics. He tried to see and understand the life of the poor and downtrodden closely.

When he came to Jharkhand, he remained from Chaibasa.
After retiring from the Indian Social Institute in 1986, Stan Swami moved to Chaibasa permanently. Through the NGO named ‘Birsa’, started an NGO named ‘Johar’ mainly for the social work of the missionary. Later he moved to Namkum in Ranchi and used to visit Chaibasa occasionally. Father Stan Swamy was also associated with the Jharkhand Organization Against Uranium Radiation, which had launched a movement against the Uranium Corporation in 1996, after which the construction of the dam in Chaibasa was stopped. In the year 2010, Father Stan Swamy’s book titled ‘Sach of Jail Prisoners’ was published, which discussed how Adivasi youth were imprisoned on false charges of being Naxalites.

Forgot the law fighting for the poor?
According to Damu Vanara, ‘Swami used to constantly say that fight for the rights of the poor, tribals but do not take the law in your own hands, but he himself first in the police FIR in the cases of taking law into his own hands and instigating the tribals in the Pathalgadi movement of Khunti. accused were made. Then in the Elgar Parishad case of Bhima Koregaon also, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested him as an accused. Stan Swamy was accused of issuing statements against the Jharkhand government to incite tension over the issue of Pathalgarhi movement. Jharkhand’s Khunti police had also registered a case of sedition against 20 people including Stan Swamy.

Swamy dies before bail hearing
The NIA had alleged that Stan Swamy is a member of the banned outfit CPI (Maoist). He is the coordinator of its wing organizations and is actively involved in its activities. The probe agency had accused him of receiving money through an associate to enhance the work of the organisation. 84-year-old Stan Swamy’s bail was to be heard in the court. But before that he died in Mumbai. He was arrested by the National Investigation Agency for his alleged involvement in the Bhima-Koregaon case.

Input- PTI

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