Swami Agnivesh

We are grieved by the passing of Swami Agnivesh.

He was a lifelong crusader against social slavery and bigotry, and a friend of all kinds of people's movements. He succumbed to injuries sustained in an attack by a lynch mob comprising cadres of India's ruling Bhartiya Janta Party in Jharkhand last year. A BJP Minister defended the attempted lynching at the time. Agniveshji’s internal organs never recovered from the damage done to them by the attack.

The BJP resented Agniveshji not only for his conscientious opposition to communalism, but because by wearing saffron robes and speaking up for the rights of oppressed people and for equality, he refused to allow the BJP to equate saffron robes with violent bigotry.

His courage, tenacity and fighting spirit will continue to inspire India's battle against communal fascism. We salute Swami Agniveshji with his own favourite slogan: Kamanewala khayega, Lootnewala jayega, Naya zamana aayega! (The worker will eat, the looter will go, the new era will dawn!)