SAINT STAN

Some people in India have called for campaigning for the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Father Stan Swamy (Stanislaus Lourduswamy) who’d been working on behalf of the oppressed indigenous peoples of India, and who was framed in a false case by cowardly, cynical agents of the Indian state and institutionally murdered.

Not going to happen as the Nobel Foundation resolved in 1974 not to award any posthumously. (https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/facts/nobel-prize-facts/)

However — and here I speak with some trepidation as a non Catholic and, in fact, as an atheist but as someone who celebrates the presence of peoples of different faiths in our midst as well as their constitutionally guaranteed right to profess their faiths — perhaps the Vatican could be appealed to, to beatify Father Stan, leading to his canonisation, i.e. proclamation as a saint, as he was an absolutely saintly figure.

Who among those of us who adore our non-human fellow-beings hasn’t heard of Saint Francis of Assisi, after whom the current Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, named himself on being elected the pontiff. Incidentally, Father Stan belonged to the same Society of Jesus (SJ) order within the Catholic Church that Pope Francis did.

Father Stan, who dedicated so much of his life to the welfare of the indigenous peoples of India and for the respect for environmental laws and the Constitution of India.

Father Stan deserves a Bharath Rathna, the highest civilian honour bestowed by the Indian state (including posthumously) but as that’s not going to happen under the current ruling hate-filled Hindu terrorist dispensation, could we at least aim for what is possible?

Such as the Catholic Church’s canonisation of the true saint whose presence we’d been blessed with in our midst, that Father Stan Swamy was?

That would also send a strong message to the cowardly cynics in New Delhi.

About walkerjay

The author, N. Jayaram, a journalist now based in Bangalore after more than 23 years in East Asia (mainly Hong Kong and Beijing) and 11 years in New Delhi, was with the Press Trust of India news agency for 15 years and Agence France-Presse for 11 years and is currently engaged in editing and translating for NGOs and academic institutions.
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