Indonesian spiritual leader Anand Krishna entered his 26th day on Sunday of a hunger strike against his detention by a court and said he is “amazed” at his strength.
Krishna, 54, is on trial in Jakarta accused of sexually assaulting a former student, Tara Laksmi, 20. He went on hunger strike on March 9 when the South Jakarta District Court ordered him incarcerated.
Krishna denies the charge and claims it was devised by elements who oppose his multi-religious views. He says his refusal to eat is a protest at the court’s decision to jail him when he had been appearing in court since the trial got under way last August.
“The hunger strike is for the higher purpose of my struggle against injustice. And I strongly feel that my arrest is unjust and unlawful. I have always attended each and every court session without fail,” Krishna told The Bali Times on Sunday from the Keramat Jati Police Hospital in Jakarta, where he is under observation.
On March 16 Krishna, on day eight of his hunger strike, collapsed in court and was taken to the hospital. He had been previously treated in hospital for diabetes and a heart condition.
Pointing to a “conspiracy behind this whole foul drama,” Krishna said he would not give up his strike until he is freed.
“My hunger strike therefore goes on until I’m released from this unlawful arrest,” he said.
And he said he felt capable of enduring much more of his protest.
“The body definitely feels weak, but the spirit is as strong as ever. I myself am amazed at the strength and power of the spirit that can make me go on over my 26th day of hunger strike without food. I’m feeling now in a very minutest manner and way what (Mahatma) Gandhi must have felt several times during his struggles.”