Sunday, March 14, 2010
Free Anand Jon!
'Out of sight,Out of mind', the adage pierced my senses last evening when a call came from Shashi Abraham, mother of Anand Jon. In the last many months, attending to the routine, unimportant bsuiness of life, Anand Jon receded from my consiousness and I felt a prick of conscience talking to his mother. I was one of the early birds to express my solidarity with Anand Jon for it was clear he was on trial for charges that were false and trumped up. I hoped the trial court would see this and declare him 'not guilty'. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Anand's trial got vitiated by many external factors and ended in his being sentenced to 59 years in jail. Not having read the judgment of the trial court, I won't comment on it. Judicial veridcts, in civil society, are sacrosanct and our earnest belief is that they are pronounced by the Judge in a fair and independent manner. However, even without reading the judgement, from familiarity with the facts of the case and the events connected with it, I am sure, the verdict indicting Anand Jon leaves a lot of questions unanswered and issues unexplained. Anand was a victim of racial prejudice and of his own professional success, to say the least. The judgement does not succeed in allaying these suspicions which is why the movement to free Anand Jon remains vibrant, growing and active. The people associated with it are fair and honourable citizens who don't want to be identified as supporting a sex offender or criminal. That they risk their reputation in continuting to lend support to Anand is a testament to their faith in in his innocence and protest at a free and fair trial being denied to him. I hope the Judiciary and the Government of the United States of America will heed demands arising from civil society the world over and ensure justice to Anand Jon. The Indian Government should sincerely do whatever it can in this matter.