Kolkata: With support mounting for rights activist Binayak Sen, handed a life sentence by a Chattisgarh court for Maoist links, the doctor's mother says she will 'do whatever is needed' to get her son out of prison.
'The whole world is with my son. This is my biggest source of strength,' said 84-year-old Anasua Sen, adding she was ready for a long-drawn battle to free her son, who has been charged with sedition.
She said she would knock the doors of the court soon.
'I am waiting for the winter recess in courts to be over. I will move a higher court. If need be, I am prepared to go to the Supreme Court to seek justice for my son,' Anasua Sen said.
'I am even ready to approach the president and the prime minister. My son can still give a lot to the nation. He has lot of pending work which can benefit the society. I have to bring him out of his present turmoil,' she said.
A day before Christmas, the Raipur district and sessions court found Binayak Sen, 60 and vice-president of the People's Union for Civil Liberties, guilty of sedition and links with Maoists. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, drawing widespread condemnation including from Amnesty International.
Anasua Sen said even in her worst nightmares she had not thought the sentence would be so harsh. 'None of the witnesses spoke against him. And after that, such a verdict is unimaginable.'
Proud of her 'illustrious son', she insisted that he never supported violence. 'His only motto in life is to serve the people, those in lowest rungs of the society, the poor.'
She recalled a conversation she had with her son one day.
'I once asked him during one of his periodic visits here to stay with me for a couple of days more as I am getting old.
'But he said: 'Ma, in Chhattisgarh there are so many people who are even older than you, who have none but me to care for them. How can I stay here when they are suffering every day?''
Anasua Sen said Binayak Sen was a meritorious student all through.
'In the Calcutta Boys School, he got a double promotion -- from Class VII to Class IX. His father opposed this, saying he would miss study materials of an entire year. But the principal said this had to be done as Binayak was far ahead of his classmates.'
After the young man cleared the MBBS exam, his father, an army doctor, wanted him to go abroad for higher studies. But he declined. 'I want to work in the country. The country will make me do what it needs from me.'
Said the distraught mother: 'He has always been like this, idealistic. He has taken all his decisions himself. He has decided how he will serve the society. His (late) father and I fully supported all his work.'
Urging people to demand justice for Binayak Sen, she said: 'I am glad that even a person like (American scholar) Noam Chomsky has come out in his support.'
Asked if she would advice her son to be cautious if and when he became free, Anasua Sen said: 'It is for him to decide how he will carry out his mission of serving the people.'