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Since the death of the 84-year-old renowned human rights activist Fr. Stan Swamy (trained as a Jesuit priest), in judicial custody on July 5th, 2021, which was actually an institutional murder orchestrated by the Indian state, a billion-dollar question has arisen in the minds of millions in India and abroad. Was Fr. Stan Swamy a martyr or a traitor?

I would indeed say that he is a martyr for millions of us, who believe in human rights, dignity and freedom of expression. But he was a traitor for the Indian state and the right-wing Hindutva forces, who are violate human rights and dignity and freedom of expression in India. But is it so simple? Of course, it isn’t. Let us delve deeper into this.

A Jesuit activist, Dr Prakash Louis, who is very much engaged with the issues for which Fr Stan dedicated his life, has attempted to respond to the question with facts and figures through his book Fr. Stan Swamy: Maoist or Martyr? Fr Prakash has chosen an apt time as the Indian state and the right-wing Hindutva forces bat hard, manipulate facts and argue irrationally to tag Frs Stan as one of the traitors of India, who was engaged in Maoist…

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