King Leopold award is shameful and degrading-Swamy

published on February 14, 2008

Statement of Dr. Subramanian Swamy, President of the Janata Party

I welcome the decision of the Election Commission to issue a notice to Ms. Sonia Gandhi to show cause why she should not be disqualified under Article 102(1) of the Constitution to be a Member of Parliament. There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that Ms. Gandhi is indeed disqualified to remain an MP if one goes by the precedent settled by a judgment of the Full Bench of the Madras High Court in 1985 {see AIR 1985 Mad 855} wherein it was held that an Indian citizen Mr. K.S. Haja Sharief who was an MLC in the then Madras Legislative Council, stood disqualified for his receiving a title of Honorary Consul from a small European country.

In Ms. Sonia Gandhi’s case, she attended in person in the investiture ceremony in Belgium and signed the register of the Association of the Order of Leopold that clearly meant a voluntary declaration of allegiance to a foreign sovereign King of Leopold of Belgium. Hence she stands similarly disqualified and unfit to be an MP of a de-colonised India. Moreover, this award for a MP of a Third World country like India is shameful and degrading because King Leopold reigned over butchery, plunder and murder of the people of Belgium Congo, an African country, now called Zaire.

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