Tuesday was his first full day at home in four months, but rights activist Binayak Sen hardly got any time to savour it. Less than 24 hours after being released on bail from Raipur Central Jail, where he was being held on the charge of sedition, Sen was finding life quite hectic -- seeing elder daughter Pranhita off at the airport, talking to family and friends and tackling the media. He spoke to HT on his future plans but refused to discuss his personal life. Excerpts:
Q: Did you lose weight in jail? How is your health now?
A: I lost weight but my health is fine. I am a patient of hypertension and used to take the usual medicines even while I was in jail.
Q: How was the first evening at home?
A: It is great to be back at home with family, but I don’t wish to personalise the issue, so I’d be happy if you can restrain from asking about my personal life or family.
Q: Then what makes you to speak to media?
A: Because people are interested in what is happening. And as an activist, I want my views to reach people.
Q: Were you sure of getting bail or feared that the process may linger on?
A: I was sure of getting it.
Q: The state government has filed an appeal in the high court against your acquittal in the case on waging war against the state.
A: I know. We are prepared to fight. The legal process will continue.
Q: Why were representatives from the European Union present in the courts during the hearings of your case?
A: We have never ever called any international group or looked for support from abroad. But we also believe they are legitimate international concerns.
Q: Could there be any other reason?
A: Perhaps, since India is a party and signatory to ‘Good Governance” clause, the EU might be trying to find something on their own.
Q: What next?
A:I have to draw up my work plan in consultation with my friends. Being the national vice-president of the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), I will continue its work and I will try to fulfill whatever responsibilities are given to me.
Q: What do you think of the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005?
A: The PUCL has already filed a petition in the high court against the draconian law. I hope after the Apex Court’s observation on sedition there would be equal judicial sensitivity shown on the Act. We had opposed Salwa Judum since its inception for reasons known to all. But it continues to exist in Bastar.
Q: Will you associate with Anna Hazare and Swami Agnivesh in their fight against corruption?
A: My support will be there as I respect their work. But I need to get my life in order first. I need to draw up my work plan and will devote myself as a PUCL member.