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Tag Archives: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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Now, my Readers, stop breathing for a while if you can; just to resist yourselves to hear the greatest crime to humanity. Here, you can see ladies seated in captivity. Here, you can see small babies fearfully clung to their mothers. Here, you can see also slightly grown up children playing in the corridor kicking the football which is not there, but with an action in air only. Such inhuman treatments towards women and children are criticized by Fyodor Dostoyevsky in a very briefstatementas “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” I would like to quote Peter Beneson once again in his words as “Open your newspaper – any of the week – and you will find a reportfrom somewhere in the world of someone imprisoned, tortured or executed because his opinions are unacceptable to his government.”
In the middle of the night, you can hear hysteric screams of the women from nearby cells and upper or downward floors. Either they sigh seeing their husbands or sons or youthful daughters captured or disappeared in their nightmare or for the pains in their ribs having been mercilessly tortured. These women have not been detained for any of their own crime, but they are here in lieu of their male relatives. The authorities have apprehended these women because of their male relatives’ so called defection or committance of an offence. Their male relatives might have run away to avoid any detention on suspicious ground leaving the ladies and the children at home. They people do not know that their ladies and children have been arrested in proxy of them. The cruel authorities have captured them to put an emotional pressure on gents so that they surrender themselves to get them released. Thus, this type of arrest is like the kidnapping of innocents. Whatever it may be, but here we can witness the climax of inhuman behavior of oppressors and miseries of the oppressed beyond words.
* * *
Let us turn, now, to an open ground which has high walls all around. Here we can see the male detainees compelled for the heavy exercise under the health pretexts of the prisoners.
Now, see Mr. D here. He has been brought for exercise along with all the inmates of his cell. He has been suffering from a nasty cough and a high temperature. The drill master takes a round and finds out Mr. D retired in a corner. The heartless drill master shouts, “What is the matter with you?” No reason can convince him. He orders Mr. D to run and jump. With this heavy exercise, he is panted and suffers from short breathe. He is admitted to the hospital but chained to his bed. Alas! The diagnosis is Tuberculosis.
Mr. D is a foreigner and has been in this country for a job. We can see that he does get the job, but job as a prisoner for suffering. In spite of his pitiable health condition, he is summoned frequently for interrogation. After unbearable torturing, he is finally threatened, “Well – well, you do not want to tell the truth. Enough time has been given to you till now, but you refuse to realize. We have decided to execute you.”
It is rather difficult to assess whether he will be executed with his ailment or by the bare sword which hung over his head.
* * *
The modes of chastisement vary. Now, see Mr. E here. He is an old man, a farmer. He does not know the reason of his arrest. He is forcedtoconfess the crime. But, what crime! The interrogators themselves do not know his crime and even though he has to confess any crime that may be imposed upon him. Mahatma Gandhi has quoted, “You canchain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body; but you will never imprison my mind”. But here, all these poor fellows do not come under the category of such great people. They are common people and it is obviously quite true that such people have no other option but to surrender themselves.
Continuous for six days, he has not been allowed even a single morsel of food or a sip of water. He is strong and stout; and that is why he survives, otherwise he would have finished. But he does not give in; and lastly, the dragons allow him the first meal. He can hardly open his eyes to see what goes into his mouth. Day and night, he is denied to sleep as well. Ever attending guards slap and kick him when his sleep takes the better of him. His speech becomes incoherent and eyes blank. Some signs of his recovery are seen after weeks. No offence is his offence and for that offence he has to pay.
When detainees reduce in the cell, the rest get relief otherwise the overcrowded cells seem to be a warehouse of the commodities of living persons. All have to adopt a method of sleeping in cycle in pairs. When one sleeps, the other has to stand upon his body for six hours or so. No movement is possible. They cannot even sit on the floor by interlocking of feet otherwise they can sleep in sitting positions. Then comes the turn of the other. He wakes up the first and asks him to stand over him as if to prevent him from escaping.
Dtd.: 4th January, 2008
[ Continues on Part – IV (final) ]