A+| A| A-

Silencing Voices


Last week, the voices of civil society in Indian democracy hit rock-bottom. A scientist and sage, G D Agrawal, also known as Swami Sanand, died on the 112th day of his fast-unto-death, on 11 October 2018. He was demanding a special law for the protection of River Ganga, which is a lifeline for about 400 million residents of India. 

I am writing this letter to express my concern for the ignorance of a democratic government and its people that Agrawal had to face. He was on a hunger strike for more than four months, yet nobody from either the bureaucracy or polity bothered about him. Is it because he had taken up a demonstration on the principles of non-violence as taught by Mahatma Gandhi, or because he was unable to dent political vote banks? Was it because his demands were unworthy, or that the media’s pen obliged the government with its over-obedience? Agrawal’s death is not a coincidence, but a result of a strategic move by the state to silence another voice. If a voice like his is eliminated, no other activist will raise their voice in the future.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users

Updated On : 29th Oct, 2018


(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top