Sunday, May 20, 2007

for Dr. Binayak Sen

Update1 : from the PUCL groups link

Update2 : Dr.Binayak's brother's blog and SaveBinayak site from UK

We have been in this cocoon for a while during this move. Just immersed in settling in and ignoring all else, other than weekly calls to parents.

Today my father told me that a family friend has been arrested. Dr. Binayak Sen was my pediatrician, and he was that and more for more people than I could possibly imagine, and he is being held in Raipur jail on false charges. Maybe you already know the story, and maybe you don't but these are the links that will guide you through what he is, his work and the horrible injustice of it all, and if you would petition 1 and 2 and/or could help in any other way I would be most grateful.

When I was a baby, during the first 2 years of my life, he was my doctor. Regular checkups, my mother's concerns and any pointers for me were all shared with him. He left for another task too early for me to significantly detect the change, and we also left for a different place for a short while. When we returned, and whenever he and his wife did come for visits to the campus, they always dropped in and it was then that I came to know my childhood doctor more and more. He was mostly serious, now and then breaking into a smile that lit everyone up, but whom I loved more and felt closer to was his wife Ilina. She was always so radiant, and so full of life and energy. I think I was a very immature kid, in that I never realized how much these two would go through on an everyday basis and how much of it I was oblivious to in my sheltered life. Their stories, their work, and how much they gave up for doing all that they did, never came home to me till I was in college. And even now its something that I have admired from afar, and have held close as a hope, and an optimistic view of all that could be done if one only wanted and chose to do so. Till today, when some these hopes came crashing down. For someone who has given everything to try and build up health care in one of the poorest parts of India, courageously carried on despite all odds still retaining the sense of humour and hope in everyday life that many lose in lesser circumstances, I cannot imagine what he or his wife would be feeling now. I don't know how this happens, how is it that sincere, logical and humane voices are silenced for nothing more than upholding the very humanity they work so hard to enable, and that we all supposedly should share.

It really hit hard this time. Partly because of a personal connection, but more so because I have been seriously thinking of going back to do something in the organisations that have been built by people we know, and this was such a kick in my guts. I am just hoping and praying for Dr. Binayak Sen and Ilina mashi. Apart from communicating their plight across, there is not much else that I can do. And this sense of powerlessness should never be a part of democracy.