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Kushwant Singh: Raise your voice against the miscarriage of justice

The Hindustan Times, January 9, 2009

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Let this man go

If you can’t remember who he is, let me jog your memory — and your conscience. He is the product of the Christian Medical College, Vellore where he was given the Paul Harrison Award in 2004 for being the most outstanding student. He could have set up a lucrative practice in any city.

However, he chose to train villagers in rural centres in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh, largely inhabited by tribals suffering from malnutrition, malaria and tuberculosis. He and his wife Iliana have been doing so for the last 30 years based in village Rasulia. He is the first Asian to be honoured by the Jonathan Mann Award in 2008 for his work in health and human rights.

He did not care to distinguish between ailing villagers on the basis of their political allegiances: Naxalites or Salwa Judum. If they were sick they had to be healed.

His clinic is named after Indira Gandhi. He was arrested on charges of treason for siding with the Naxalites. He has been in jail for 18 months. His bail application has been rejected. More than 20 Nobel Prize winners have appealed to our president to intervene on his behalf.

Dr Binayak Sen continues to languish in jail. It is a slap on the face of Bharat Mata. Raise your voice against the miscarriage of justice: Write to the president, prime minister, home minister, L.K. Advani or Rajnath Singh (Chattisgarh is ruled by the BJP) to release him and allow him to resume his noble mission in life.