ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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An Arrested Story

A Delhi University teacher, forced into solitary confinement in an "unda cell" (egg cell), has been charged with conspiring to wage war on the state. Incredible, but there seems to be no limit to which the powers that be can stoop - accusing a wheelchair-bound man of seeking to bring down the great Indian state!

I want to tell you a story, of a little man, if I can; his name was – well, his name – we will come to it shortly. This little man was born into a wretchedly poor peasant family that lived on the outskirts of a little known village, with the out-castes and untouchables. This little man’s father had chosen to live with the marginal and the excluded, as a mark of solidarity with them – and this was motivated simply by an instinctive sense of justice, since the little man’s father was not even literate, let alone politically educated.

So the little man grew up amongst the sweepers and the scavengers, with hunger and deprivation as bosom companions to him and his siblings. Then, when he was barely five years old, he was afflicted with polio in both his legs, as a result of which he almost died from lack of medical facilities. But the little man’s father managed to stave off his death, by running from pillar to post, from every doctor to every dispensary that held out hope, till the fast-spreading disease was finally checked; nevertheless, the little man lost the use of both his legs completely from the disease.

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