Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Government and Court kick Rabbi out of India on the grounds that the Indian government is incompetent

According to a news report in The Telegraph, a Rabbi and his wife who visited India in order to perform religious rituals for the ancient Jewish community in Kerala we deported from the country a few days ago.

Apparently, an intelligence report, claiming fears of a repetition of 26/11, were shown to the court, and that was the basis on which the deportation order was issued.

Is the government really unable to protect the oldest existing synagogue in India, built in 1568 and the forty six or so mostly ageing Jews that are left here of that ancient community?

If so, that is a staggering admissio,n and is tantamount to a confession of incompetence on the part of the government.

The original case against the Rabbi claimed that he had “violated visa conditions by organising activities related to their religious life and belief”.

What were these "religious activities" that they organised? Apparently, he helped the community, which has NO qualified priest of its own, with the traditional Torah reading during the Sabbath services, and conducted funeral services for three elderly Jewish men who passed away in Cochin in the time he has been in Cochinn as a volunteer - having done similar duties during a previous visit in 2010, in which he had also applied for a visa by stating his intention.

According to the news report, the couple first came to Kerala on a double entry visa on a request from the synagogue. They went back upon expiry of their permits but the synagogue took up the matter afresh. The rabbi and his wife returned to India on April 4 last year (2011), on a multiple-entry visa expiring on April 1 this year. So the case, which has become a diplomatic incident and soured relations with Israel, has resulted in the Rabbi and his wife leaving the country only a few days earlier than they would have left anyway.

It is not clear whether the government is claiming that it cannot protect any foreign Rabbi in the country, or any foreign Jew in the country, or any Indian Jew in the country. Or whether the government is claiming that it cannot protect anyone in the country at all.

A defenseless and tiny community has been upset, international relations have been soured, and our government has made itself a laughing stock around the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment