TODAY -

Who is Kailash Satyarthi

Kajal Chatterjee *

Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire meeting Kailash Satyarthi, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner in London, 9 March 2015.
Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire meeting Kailash Satyarthi, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner in London, 9 March 2015 :: Pix - Wikipedia/Foreign and Commonwealth Office



A mere replica of the Nobel Peace prize and its citation, awarded to Kailash Satyarthi, have been stolen from his home. However, even if the original medal, kept in Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum, had met the same fate; there lied no reason to make a hue and cry over it.

What honour has India bestowed on this great selfless humanitarian and Nobel Laureate for peace? Even after he received the highest recognition in the world for his yeoman’s service towards the hapless vulnerable souls engaged in child as well as bonded labour, India does not regard him eligible enough to get Bharat Ratna!

In contrast, professional singers and cricketers, who “serve” the nation in lieu of Himalayan fees, are lavishly served with the highest civilian award of the land!

Esplanade station within Kolkata Metro Railway network has designated a portion of its premises to pay tribute to the Indian Nobel Laureates.

The ‘Nobel Wall’ features pictures of all the beneficiaries not only from Rabindranath Tagore to Amartya Sen; it also include those who are foreign citizens, but Indians through mere ancestry only! But again no spot for that unsung Kailash Satyarthi! India has simply excelled itself as far as displaying utmost indifference to Satyarthi is concerned.

However there lies no mystery behind such criminal negligence towards Satyarthi. India barbarically flaunts its “elitism” by merely placing a space ship on Mars orbit!

It tries to display its “might” in international community by building gigantic statues at State’s expense, launching Bullet train projects and performing mass Yoga on Rajpath!

But that epitome of divinity named Kailash Satyarthi’s noble fight and work, which have earned the recognition of the world, have blatantly exposed India’s dark scandals like child labour and slavery in front of the international community!

As “true nationalists”, it remains our supreme duty to sweep all the woes of the downtrodden lot and vulnerable children under the “patriotic” carpet of space missions, bullet trains and statues. And Satyarthi has drastically failed in this litmus test of “patriotism”!

In such a pathetic, heartless and “nationalist” perspective; it is absolutely natural that Kailash Satyarthi would be religiously offered a cold shoulder in his own backyard. And the woes of the poor and helpless children of the country will continue to get ruthlessly throttled behind the shadow of the glittering malls, multiplexes and flyovers — the “temples” of “modern” India!

So not only do we remain indifferent towards Satyarthi, we are equally negligent towards his mission of nipping the evils of child and bonded labour in the bud. In such a pathetic and heartless perspective; it can be safely said that even if the original Nobel medal had got lost, Indians hold no moral right to lament over it.

What is the value of that award whose significance itself does not hold minimum value in this self-obsessed cruel consumerist glamour-centric society?

In sharp contrast to us, Nepal holds Satyarthi with utmost respect for his dare-devil act of rescuing innumerable Nepalese girls from the clutches of circus owners by endangering his own life.

India should learn from Nepal what indebtness, gratitude and awarding due respect to greats and their works are all about.


* Kajal Chatterjee wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on February 22, 2017.


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