India has denied entry to a member of the UK’s House of Lords, Lord Alexander Carlile post his arrival in the country. He was denied entry into India for not having an appropriate Indian Visa, as claimed by the Ministry of External Affairs. It is definitely a big step and a very bold move to deny entry to a prominent politician from the UK. MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that Carlile’s intended activity in India was incompatible with the purpose of his visit as mentioned in his visa application. The UK politician did not possess the suitable Indian visa as was needed for the work he was about to do. As told by the MEA spokesperson in response to a query, “His intended activity in India was incompatible with the purpose of his visit as mentioned in his visa application. It was, therefore, decided to deny him entry into India upon arrival,” This incident is big in nature and size as it is probably the first time that the Indian authorities have decided to deny entry to a Western politician.
According to some sources, India has denied visa on arrival to the member of the House of Lords, Lord Alexander Carlile at the behest of the Bangladeshi government. Carlile also happens to be a barrister and he had plans to organise events and hold news conferences in India in support of the former Bangladeshi Prime Minister and Bangladesh National Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia. The list of his planned events included a news conference at Foreign Correspondents’ Club in New Delhi on Wednesday, through which he apparently wanted to reach out to the international community. Carlile is presently acting as a counsel to the lawyers of BNP chief Khaleda Zia, who is currently in jail for embezzlement of funds donated to an orphanage trust. Carlile through the conferences in India wanted to project this as a political conspiracy by the incumbent PM of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina. Bangladesh officials reportedly had requested India to deny the usage of its soil and facilities for the case.
Indian officials however maintained that the requests of the Bangladeshi government had nothing to do with the denial of entry to Carlile. They officially maintained the line that Carlile was denied entry because of improper visa prior to his landing at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. This bold move will send a message to the international community that India cannot be taken lightly anymore, proper procedures and knowledge of the purpose of visit will have to be provided even if the visitor happens to be an important politician from the West. A big move for the Indian authorities indeed as they have shown that the colonial mindset is long gone now. A member of the House of Lords too has not been allowed to bypass the system and will have to complete the necessary formalities. There will be no more bending of the rules to let eminent personalities have their way. Great message indeed.