Soni Sori, The Teacher, whom we failed


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

References:

  • 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.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Soni Sori, The Teacher, whom we failed

Add yours

  1. I have to confess that I have failed Ms. Soni Suri myself. The degree and the pervasiveness of corruption is so widespread and so deep in Indian society, it is frightening to contemplate our future. We have to find a way to fight back – the 30% of us who understand and empathize with it and acknowledge that it is indeed criminal to accept and also to give bribes.

    I have no answers but only hope – hope that I will have an opportunity to contribute effectively and also to see an end to corruption as we know it.

  2. The day she dies in prison, due to deteriorating health conditions (purposefully and inhumanely forced upon her), will be the nadir for stooping morality values in our society, and the world, in general. What answer would the few responsible citizens of India give to her family on that day? I, for one, can’t look at the mirror, or sleep peacefully, oblivious to the way the evil political society destroyed her, and the way the responsible civil society
    collectively failed to rescue her, and give her the only thing she is living for, JUSTICE.
    Words don’t matter a lot, unless followed by concrete actions, which have been done to some extent in the past, by brave human rights activists and NGOs. I am in for any concerted democratic action to get her the justice she deserves. Elections are not far away, enough pressure from leaders like Anna, and an ocean of support from the rest of us, can do the needful in this eleventh hour.
    Jai Hind.
    Sreeman.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: