On May 24, 2014, a train pulled into Palakkad Railway Junction in Kerala. Like numerous other Indian trains, it was overcrowded. Not only that, a number of passengers had travelled ticketless.
But there was something different about this overcrowded train. Its passengers were mostly children, as many as 456 of them. A vast majority of them were travelling without parents. Almost all of these children were from India’s poorest states: Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.
Not surprisingly, it looked like an obvious case of child trafficking to the Railway Police.
The other thing was that a huge number of them were travelling to a certain “Mukkam Muslim Orphanage” in Kozhikode.
So what is the typical “cost of purchasing” a little child? Fifteen hundred rupees!
Trafficking of 589 minor children, most of them below the age of 12 years. What kind of horrible people would have their names come up in connection with something like this?
Let’s find out from The Telegraph here:
Oh dear! This is going to break my delicate secular heart! The chairman of the Mukkam Muslim Orphanage is none other than IUML leader Syed Hyederali Shihab Thangal, an ally of the Congress party, a constituent of the UPA of which Honorable Sonia Gandhi is the Chairperson!
And guess what? There is a beautiful, heartwarming moment of Mukkam Muslim Orphanage being honored earlier by Her Royal Highness Madam Sonia Gandhiji herself, at an official function of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
(Youtube screenshot below, however, I highly recommend watching the original video here, if only to enjoy Ms Renuka Chowdhary’s angelic smile)
An Award for Women and Child Development? What a wonderful euphemism for an organization that was later accused of purchasing minor children for Rs 1500 each.
Yeah, that’s right. We the taxpayers paid for this Mukkam Muslim Orphanage to receive an award at an official function of the Government of India. Presented by none other than Ms Sonia Gandhiji, the Hon’ble Chairperson of the revered National Advisory Council.
It should be noted here that the first train carrying 456 children arrived in Palakkad on May 24, 2014.
The second train carrying the next 123 children arrived in Palakkad on May 25, 2014.
You might remember that Narendra Modi officially became the Prime Minister of India on May 26, 2014.
I guess the only question left for Rahul Gandhi to answer would be this: what was the hurry?
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.