I’ve a very hazy memory of my first ever visit to a police station. But i remember one thing and that was fear, intimidation, trepidation. This despite the fact that I along with a friend of mine, had only gone to the police station to seek permission for a farewell party for our seniors and for no civil or criminal offense. This was way back in my under grad. For some reason, I was very very nervous about the entire 10 – 15 minutes ordeal, am not sure why and I never had a reason to understand why i felt the way I felt.
I can’t even begin to imagine what Soni Sori felt when we she visited the prison the first time, can’t imagine what she went through when her husband was jailed for allegedly involving in a criminal offense, can’t imagine when she was arrested for being an alleged maoist. The torture she was subjected to, the trauma she was put through both mentally and physically, the injustice she had to face, time and time again, there are not enough words to describe the state of Soni Sori.
Amidst this, her husband is arrested on a charge that is still not proven in the court of law even after 1 year, her nephew, Lingaram, a journalist , rather an outspoken journalist is arrested for being an alleged maoist, her father is shot by maoists, her house is all burned down, in short, her life is in a total dis array. Why is Soni Sori such a threat to the establishment or to the maoists. Her only crime, she didn’t take sides. She didn’t want to be a police informant neither did she want to be a maoist. She just wanted to be a teacher, a teacher who believed in the values of education, a teacher who believed that education is the only way out of the vicious circle that has engulfed most of the tribal villages in Chattisgarh. It’s hard enough to be teaching in a government school, and it’s next to impossible to teach in a tribal village affected by naxalism and yet Soni Sori continued her fight against the situation and put herself in the line of fire for the sake of the tribals and their future.
Being tortured in the prison in ways that are not just sadistic in nature but completely inhuman, being separated from her three kids, being on the run and being in and out of the prison, Soni Sori has paid dearly. Her life ; her struggle ; her sacrifice ; her fight ; her determination; her resolve are un parallel to any other real life hero. She is a teacher who led by example and is living by every word she preaches and she teaches.
Too bad even our so called education institutions lack teachers of such high moral values and high moral responsibilities. And when did find one in one of the most demanding and testing conditions, instead of holding her on a pedestal we have desecrated her.
We failed you , Soni Sori ! We all collectively did fail you. You won’t believe me, then check this,
- the Dantewada police officer whom Soni Sori identified as the person responsible for her torture in the police station has been awarded the gallantry award on the republic day
- the mainstream media has been shy to talk about Soni Sori
- the systematic targeting of Soni Sori’s family and well wishers
- no proof to support the police charges and yet she is being arrested, tortured
- Gallantry award to Ankit Garg : Click Here
- Soni Sori interview to Tehelka : Click Here
- A Chhattisgarh police official admits to staging an arrest: Click Here
If this trend continues, even after 100 years, we would be talking about Gandhi’s, the Bose and the Bhagath Singh’s which is a shameful admission that we failed to produce any hero’s whom our kids could look up to.