JTA extends condolences on sad demise of Swami Agnivesh
News of the sad demise of Swami Agnivesh was received with a heavy heart, said the Jamia Teachers’ Association (JTA).
“A supporter of humanity, the poor, and secularism, Swami Agnivesh was admired and loved by the entire nation. JTA expresses heartfelt condolences on his death.
“Vepa Shyam Roa, known to the world by the name of Swami Agnivesh said goodbye to this world on 11th September 2020, we lost a great visionary who all his life cut through the barriers of religion and cast to help the needy.
“Born on September 21, 1939, in Andhra Pradesh, he went on to study Law and Commerce and became a lecturer in management at the reputed St Xavier’s College in Kolkata and for a while practiced law.
“Swami has been influenced by the thoughts and writings of thinkers as diverse as Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Mahatma Gandhi, Atal BiharVajpaee and Karl Marx. Social and economic justice and faith inspired by spirituality have ‘remained the foundations of his philosophy.
“He founded the Bandhua Mukti Morcha (BMM or the Bonded Labour Liberation Front) in 1981 and campaigned for convincing courts and their commissioners of the status of bonded labor.
“Over the years, BMM has secured the release of more than 1,72,000 Indian workers and has helped create several trade unions, including the All India Brick Kiln Workers, the Stone Quarry Workers, and the Construction Workers.
“Working also at the international level, Swami Agnivesh was thrice been elected as Chairperson of the UN Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery. It was due to the tireless struggle by Swami that brought media, public, and political attention to this practically “invisible” underclass in India.
“The emancipation and rehabilitation of bonded labor, the foremost campaign led by Swami is by no means his only campaign. Over the years, he has participated in countless struggles, giving voice to the voiceless, advocating for the oppressed, and the victims of injustice whether at the hands of the state or prejudices and intolerance of sections of society.
“He also campaigned against the abortion of female fetuses through Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi—the states with the most skewed sex ratios in India,” said JTA secretary Prof Majid Jamil.
The JTA recognises the selfless services of Swami Agnivesh towards humanity and the betterment of a common Indian, said the JTA.