Compassionate immorality: Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in trouble!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
When the Modi government, in following the footsteps of previous Manmohan led Congress government on corruption issues, refused to act on corruption cases, Indian black money and money laundering, one thing became amply clear to the world that the BJP has deceived Indian voters on black money and anti-corruption issues, that Indian government, irrespective of which party rules and notwithstanding its public rhetoric, in fact promotes corruption as its major national policy.
One gets the impression that Indians cannot forever get rid of rampant corruption of which Indian polity badly suffers for years of irresponsible misrule.
Indian minister Sushma Swaraj of patriotic RSS/BJP is at the centre of a major compassionate immorality row that could now cost her job in the Modi government. The controversy is over helping scam-tainted former IPL chief Lalit Modi to obtain British travel documents by keeping the nation at dark about the incident. Government might as well claim it as a routine government matter that does not require the nation to be taken into confidence before or even after the action.
The IPL thief Lalit Modi, who is wanted in India, has, obviously with assistance from the Indian regime, conveniently made London his home since 2010 to avoid a probe for alleged foreign exchange regulation violations in the T20 cricket tournament held in South Africa in 2009. The previous UPA government had revoked his passport and had pressed for his extradition.
World had expected a sea change in Indian policy on corruption because the incumbent BJP dispensation won the national poll last year mainly on anti-corruption and black money issues but now the Modi government seems to have some other ideas to save both Sushma and L. Modi perhaps in concert with the Congress party which overtly promoted corruption.
The Modi government is seen doing exactly what the Congress government has done for years, pampering the corporate lords and IPL gambling as state policy, helping the top corrupt elements, extending favoritism to the rich and international frauds, and instead of undertaking steps to punish these essentially anti-national and anti-people elements and to make Indian polity cleansed.
The genesis of the controversy was disclosure of emails showing that she had spoken to Indian-origin British MP Keith Vaz operating as Indian paid lobbyist and its High Commissioner in India James Bevan favoring the grant of travel documents to Lalit Modi to go to Portugal. (Maybe the hospitals in India or UK are not well equipped or marinated well).
A close associate of Indian MPs, corporate lords and politicians, including of BJP, Lalit Modi was removed as chairman of the multi-billion dollar Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2010 over allegations of corruption for which he is being investigated. His Indian passport was revoked in 2010 by the Indian government but was restored by the Delhi High Court in August last year. Reacting to the controversy, Lalit Modi who is certain the Modi government would save him, said, “No comment for now”.
According to the British media report which quoted leaked emails, Indian-origin British MP Keith Vaz cited the name of Ms Swaraj to put pressure on UK’s top immigration official to grant British travel papers to Lalit Modi, who subsequently got the documents in less than 24 hours. Vaz also offered to help Swaraj’s nephew Jyotirmay Kaushal to apply for a British law degree course, the report said.
After the reports surfaced, 63-year-old Sushma Swaraj said in a series of tweets that she had taken a “humanitarian view” and conveyed to the British High Commissioner that they should examine Modi’s request as per their rules and “if the British government chooses to give travel documents to Lalit Modi – that will not spoil our bilateral relations”.
Sushma Swaraj claimed Lalit Modi had said that the British government was prepared to give him travel documents, but was restrained by a communication from the previous Congress-led government that it would “spoil Indo-UK relations”. Ms Swaraj said: “taking a humanitarian view, I conveyed to the British High Commissioner that the British Government should examine the request of Lalit Modi as per British rules… If the British Government chooses to give travel documents… that would not spoil our bilateral relations”.
Former Delhi chief minister Sushma Swaraj has obviously found strong support from the RSS and BJP government and the BJP which rejected opposition demands for her resignation over alleged “impropriety”. The ruling BJP has come out in support of Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is facing opposition demands for her resignation over her decision to help controversial former Indian Premier League boss Lalit Modi secure emergency travel papers in Britain.
Sushma Swaraj, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 14, has defended her decision. She said she had backed Lalit Modi’s request last July for travel documents from the British government on “humanitarian grounds” so that he could be with his wife who needed surgery for cancer in Portugal possibly on August 4. Ms Swaraj tweeted, adding that Lalit Modi told her in July last that he had to sign the consent papers in this regard.
The BJP has backed external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in the controversy over the grant of travel documents to Lalit Modi, the former Indian Premier League commissioner who is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate. The Congress has demanded her ouster. The minister met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and claimed she has done nothing wrong. Lalit Modi has refused to comment on the matter. Backing Ms Swaraj, BJP President Amit Shah said, “There were no moral grounds involved. The help was based on humanitarian grounds.” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “What Sushma ji has done, it is right… I want to clarify that the government stands with her.”
The Opposition parties have alleged a conflict of interest after reports that Ms Swaraj’s husband Swaraj Kaushal and daughter Bansuri have represented Lalit Modi for years. The Opposition Congress has demanded Ms Swaraj’s resignation for conveying India’s no-objection to the UK for the grant of the documents to Lalit Modi in July 2014, accusing the minister of misusing her authority. The former IPL commissioner’s passport was revoked in 2010 and restored by the Delhi High Court in August last year. The Opposition parties have also alleged a conflict of interest after reports that Ms Swaraj’s husband and daughter had represented Lalit Modi for years. Bansuri Swaraj has represented Lalit Modi for seven years. Court documents list her as one of the lawyers appearing for him. Ms Swaraj’s husband Swaraj Kaushal provided legal counsel to Lalit Modi for 22 years. “In the interest of transparency, Government of India should release the letters written to the UK Chancellor on the Lalit Modi case,” tweeted senior Congress leader and former finance minister of India P Chidambaram from Chennai.
RSS and BJP have a prime duty in defending every fraud and criminal in the government. By punishing Sushma they would see the act of punishing themselves. That is in fact the Indian mindset affecting the Congress party as well.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is damn sure that nothing would happen to her cabinet post and position owing to the compassionate immorality issue. On the contrary, she could expect some higher position in the government, of course other than the PM’s chair, sooner than later for her compassionate immorality towards a cricket fraud, because Indian government has elevated cricketism, fixing and gambling to the level of Bharatratna to which, interestingly, no important person, also seeking Bharatratna post, objected. Nor the RSS or PM Modi would abandon her.
Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi is busy with preparations for performing yoga at a public event next month, part of his international drive to increase participation in the ancient Indian discipline. Modi will practice physical poses and breathing control at the event on the country’s main ceremonial avenue, in the capital New Delhi, on June 21, government and ruling party officials said. The United Nations declared June 21 the first International Day of Yoga after adopting a measure proposed by the Modi government. Modi used his first speech at the UN General Assembly in September to call for such a day to be recognised. Maybe soon, the UN would declare International Day of Namaaz as well if Islamic world requests for it.
However, the Modi government, even if he can’t drop Sushma from his cabinet for obvious Hindutva raj reasons, has to explain if humanitarian view would also so be taken in many other cases. Many Indians in India are denied justice on some flimsy problems but ministers do not make any attempts to mitigate the sufferings.
India’s concern for international frauds living abroad is indeed incredible. One may call it hollow sentimentalism and fake mindset of Indian regime.
Is India then meant only for the influential and the rich who mint huge money by illegal and immoral means?
Why can’t Indian governments, both central and provincial, be kind and compassionate towards common people who face problems in jails, outside jails in the country? Why not the Modi government release all the criminals from Indian jails and send them aboard with fresh passports? India should express compassion towards every Indian, please!
Why did not India show compassion towards Kashmir Afzal guru who was implicated in terrorism in order to terrorize Indian Muslims?