Today is Easter and I wish you the renewed hope and challenging invitation of Jesus the Christ.
Last year I spent Holy Week in Sister Valsa John’s hut where she was murdered. This year I was in the court and prison of Chatra trying to release social activist Sri Vinay Senger. It is an irony that all through college and adult years this person worked for freeing the Dalits and today the same person is accused under Harijan Atrocity Act- a very severe offense equal to murder!
Today is the 6th day since he has been arrested. All the routine procedures are going on. I had given up responsibility of dealing with court cases after the land struggle about 20 years ago. This present incidence once again reminded me of certain facts such as: the crucial need to work for the prisoners/ in the court for the abandoned; the very important role of Sisters when dealing with officers/ leaders/ lawyers etc. I had begun to distance myself from active ministry in Chetna Bharati due to old age, being too long in one organization etc. but now I realize that my 25 years is a plus point when it comes to working for systemic change. This work needs familiar face,’ out of State’ persons AND being a catholic nun is a very positive element.
While seeing the callous injustice I was reminded of a book called The Prophet in which it is written, “The breathless impatience of the prophets with injustice may strike us as hysteria. We ourselves witness continually acts of injustice, manifestations of hypocrisy, misery …..But we rarely grow indignant or overly excited. To the prophets even a minor injustice assumes cosmic proportions” Something like this I see in Sri. Senger who doesn’t believe in any organized religions and this very excitement landed him in jail with a non- bail able offence.
And so my Holy Week and Easter have been spiritually energizing with renewed zeal and a bit more fearless.
Joel Urumpil, SCN