Military action ‘cannot solve’ Social problems: Binayak Sen
Posted by Admin on July 26, 2009
New Delhi: A civil rights activist arrested over two years ago for alleged links with Maoists and freed on bail two months ago, yesterday said military action was not a solution to solve social problems.
Binayak Sen, a medical doctor, was in New Delhi to attend his first public meeting with civil society activists after the Supreme Court granted him bail.
“The main reason why I am here today is to start a peace initiative in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and other Maoist-hit states, mainly with the civil society and give out the message that social problems cannot be solved by military confrontation,” Sen said on the sidelines of the meeting at the Indian Social Institute.
“Primarily we want the civil society and others to participate in this initiative and we will have a meeting on August 4. There is no direct initiative to involve the government now although some of the members of our group, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), are talking about inviting parliamentarians too,” the 59-year-old activist added.
Sen was accompanied by his wife Ilina who has been his constant supporter through all civil liberty movements.
An activist who has contributed immensely in the field of public health and other social issues, Sen has been vociferous against “human rights violations” by the state-sponsored militia, the Salwa Judum, in Chhattisgarh.
The hospital that he started for the benefit of the poor in that state is still functioning, but “has no doctors.”
The Chhattisgarh government arrested Sen, the vice president of PUCL, under the stringent anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, for his alleged links with Maoists. He was arrested on May 14, 2007 and accused of acting as a courier for an alleged Maoist leader in jail.
After a campaign by the civil society and international organisations to free Sen from the “illegal detention”, he was granted bail on May 25 this year.
“At least 178 people are still behind bars in Chhattisgarh under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005. This was one of the charges I was arrested under. And there are others who are arrested under similar charges in other states,” he said.
“Therefore, although I am happy that I am out on bail after two years, this is not a complete win. My struggle against violence will continue.”
It was his first public meeting in two months.
“I was undergoing treatment because of my heart problem, therefore I could not meet anyone before,” said Sen.
Asked what change he has seen in the world outside after spending two years in prison, Sen said: “We are definitely much closer to deployment of military process now than earlier.”
When other members of the PUCL said the military action to tackle the Maoists “will be on soon,” Sen said it would lead to “unimaginable harm”.
“We want to discourage any kind of military means or violent means to tackling any problem because a lot of ordinary people will be affected. There will be extensive displacement, the economy will be pulled down and it will all be a waste of time and effort.
“The effect will be far worse than the violations by the Salwa Judum,” he said.
On a lighter note, Sen said after his two-year stay in the prison, he was also getting a ‘celebrity status’ that he had never had before.
“After I came out of the prison gate, I was met with journalists wall-to-wall and cameras clicking me endlessly. It was a sight I had never seen before! I have lost my anonymity. In six-to-eight months I hope to get it back,” he said. IANS
This entry was posted on July 26, 2009 at 12:46 pm and is filed under Binayak Sen. Tagged: Binayak Sen, Chhattisgarh, Military Action, Orissa, Social Problems. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.