21th July, 2018

The Indian Christian Women’s Movement strongly condemns the attack and
brutal beating up of the 79 year old Swami Agnivesh by a large crowd of
lumpen elements at Pakur in Jharkhand.
 
We are also shocked at the comment of Jharkhand BJP Spokesperson P Shahdeo
that he was not surprised at the attack because of the Swami’s “track
record”.
 
The track record of Swami Agnivesh is one of spreading peace and working
for the rights of the poor. He was in Pakur to attend a function with the
Pahariya tribe.
 
The attack on Swamiji appeared well planned as a crowd of protestors
gathered outside his hotel and attacked him as soon as he emerged from the
hotel after a press conference. They were apparently angered by what he
said. They beat him in the style of mob lynching that has become the trade
mark of the promoters of the Hindutva cultural hegemony.
 
That there were no police around despite Swamiji asking for police
protection raises several questions.
 
Swami Agnivesh, tried on different occasions to convey the true meaning of
Hinduism, expressed dissent against the rising intolerance in the country,
rejecting the brand of Hindutva that has spawned hate and divisiveness in
India.
 
All along it has been attacks on Muslims, Dalits, Christians and other
minorities, now a senior Hindu Swami has been attacked. One wonders if
anyone is safe in this country! Our fundamental right to freedom of speech
is being substantially eroded by the successive attacks on peaceful loving
citizens just because they differ in ideology, way of life or religious
affiliation.
 
As concerned citizens we demand that the Prime Minister take immediate
action to rein in the lumpen elements and put an end to the violence that
is continually being carried out in the different parts of the country.
 
We stand in solidarity with Swami Agnivesh and wish him a speedy recovery
from the injuries sustained in this horrendous attack.
 
We demand that all the guilty be tried and adequately punished for this
heinous crime of beating up a senior man of peace.

© 2018 by Indian Christian Women's Movement

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