"They are not like us", claimed honorable law minister of Delhi as he lead his supporters to stop, search, and raid vehicle and flat of women from Uganda on charges of being a prostitute and drug peddler. Mob that consisted of aggrieved locals and supporters of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) forced these women to give blood and urine samples, detained and searched their car, some even allegedly manhandled them, all in the presence of honorable law minister. It was also heard on television people refering African nationals as "Negro" a highly offensive reference.
African national being interview on TV
Minister wanted police to raid, search and if necessary arrest apartments of Ugandan people. When police refused on the ground of legality of the act, minister charged him with dereliction of duty and being in league with drug peddlers and prostitutes. Chief minister of Delhi instead to sacking his minister, decided to petition Left Government of Delhi and Home Minister of India, and threated to sit on dharna if his demands of suspending police officers and bringing Delhi police under Delhi government are not met.
Spat between Delhi's law minister and officer of Delhi Police
A few questions that come to mind, let us examine them one by one. First if we treat citizens of Africa in our country in the manner we treated women from Uganda, do we have any moral right to complain about Devyani Khobragade's treatment in the US? I think what minister did smacks of racism. May be minister did not realise, what he was doing in his zeal to bring his supporters instant justice, was actually illegal.
Can a minister lead a vigilante mob and demand instant justice? Can a minister order police to do his bidding? If this becomes a reality in Delhi, national capital, what can we expect in smaller cities, towns and villages? Fortunately, police officer in Delhi did not comply with ministers order. I think, it was mainly because officer knew that Delhi police was not under control of Delhi government. I shudder to think, if Delhi police was actually reporting to Delhi government what would be the fate of the Ugandan women. I think this is one more reason why there is urgent need of police reform and freeing police of political control.
Broader question also becomes can a few disgruntled local AAP sympathisers and supporters invite ministers, police and search any body's home and arrest people? This was prevalent in communist Russia, China, Hitler's Germany. Are we leading towards such situation under leadership of AAP in Delhi? I hope and pray not. Prashant Bhushan, one of the founding member of AAP, is a champion of human rights. Prashant Bhushan advocates for rights of naxalites and terrorists, who are fighting to secede from India. It is surprising that Mr. Bharti and mob of AAP volunteers, from Prashant Bhushan's party, will infringe on rights of foreign women by demanding body fluid and forced cavity search. People of Delhi must also appreciate that once their property is rented out, landlords have to accept and accommodate lifestyles of their tenants. If wrong doing is suspected, our leaders must work with police to resolve the issue instead of attacking ordinary people, even if they are perceived to be guilty.
AAP came to power in Delhi, promising clean and corruption free governance. AAP also claimed that its members do not aspire for posts. AAP only wants to serve the nation and change the existing political culture. I think AAP is a honorable party with honest intention. However, it is one thing to win election and other to govern a state. Good intent has to be complemented by good administrative skills. Lack of experience on the part of AAP in governing Delhi is becoming very clear. It appears that AAP is in a great hurry to deliver and they do not really care much for due process. According to AAP, processes are undue impediment in providing quick results to their constituency. There are so many issues staring at our faces, starting from traffic congestion to sanitation. I hope and pray AAP does not lose its sheen and shine and live upto expectation of people.
Tags: AAP, Africa, Uganda, Foreign National, Somnath Bharti, Law Minister, Delhi Police, Prostitution, Drug Trafficking, Raid, Arrest, Blood Sample, Urine Sample