It is common knowledge that Badrubhai has once again been moved to another secret hideout. With the help of the Officer in Charge of the Police Station (OCS) at Kilimani we had found him at Emy's House on the night of March 3rd. Much is to be said about that episode and the place. But now that we found him it kicked up a ruckus from the moment the police were first refused entry there until we got safe passage in on subsequent days, to see Sadrubhai's brother.
We knew he would be moved again but this constant forced migration of a sick man implicates a lot of people and is bound to cause its share of attrition. Yet Badrubhai has once again disappeared and we suspect he has been taken to India.
- Why did the OCS of Kilimani suddenly give Badrubhai up when she had promised that he would never be moved without first being sure that his brother gets access?
- What was the OCPD's role in that move?
- Why once again moved to a secret place that separates and deliberately alientates him from his brother?
- What had the owner of Emy's House said to me on the day before he was moved? How did that connect with what she had said on the phone to the OCS on the day we found the place?
- Which other Ismailis were in the home there, who put them there and is Emy's the right place for them? Please check on any cultural connections the inmates can make there.
- So far, which Ismaili institutions have connections with Emy's House according to Emily, the owner and what do the representatives of these institutions have to say about it?
This posting is now over 8000 words! Just read the Titles in Orange and the blurbs in italics if you don't have time to deal with the whole.
Meeting with the President of Council at Jamat Khana
Sadrubhai is still staying with us. Not only is he growing on us but we are having a friendly squabble over whether to let him go - he is a stabiliser in our home which is a sort of a washing machine with a few washers missing. (Not nuts - just washers) - everything and everyone being moved around all the time, sometimes mindlessly, all over the house.
|Sadrudin Jamal smiling when he found his brother|
Sadrubhai has been given an appointment to meet with the President of the Council, Nawaz Gulam, on Tuesday. His question is quite clear: Where is his brother? But the further story of the phone call for this appointment may need to be shared because that is not the only problem. Let them meet tomorrow, first. If they cannot answer that then what about the question, "I have been displaced by you - I now have nowhere to go."?
The LRM posts the telephone numbers of all relevant police officers at Parklands Police Station up on their wall.
The police have let us down. The Officer in Charge of the Police Department (OCPD) at Gigiri has been meeting with all his adjutants in long meetings. It has happened twice in two visits. They sit for hours on end around the table purportedly solving thousands of crimes. It must be a dazzling performance that they must modestly be keeping to themselves.
On this second visit I was compelled, for the sake of decency and dignity, to knock on his door and ask him to attend to us. Or should we have just waited like last time, till doomsday?
His deputies were all seated around the oval conference table. He rose from his seat and graciously took receipt of the letter! I got a bit of a shock. Was it because I was wearing khakhi shorts? Could I push my luck a bit more? He scanned the letter: In it, Sadrubhai is charging the police with anything and everything short of flagrant abuse of power (which is actually what is taking place in Kenya with impunity, anyway).
(I advise everyone in Kenya to rap sharply on the OCPD's door and get his gracious attention.)
OCPD suggests that even if you beg a policeman to cross the "
I asked the OCPD, "would you give me a moment?" After signing our copy, he came out and gave that moment to me. I said, imploringly, "please attend to this matter with compassion? A sick man should not have been moved." I wanted to add more things but he interrupted me:
He replied in words to the effect (my interpretation) that compassion and humanity had nothing to do with sticking rigorously to the requirements of the law. He then turned 20 degrees and proceeded to lecture Sadrubhai (refusing to look again in my direction). A tower 6 foot 8 inches high he loomed over us and boomed in proto-baritone - not quite the gentle giant - and he proceeded to teach us, thus: he could only take instructions from the court; the son had a greater right over the custody of the father than the brother; he could not by law cross the "
Was he suggesting that if his intelligence beckoned him to cross that "
Todays' standards of morality are defined by those who tie victims to bungee ropes.
The police evidently would not have arranged to send men in a police vehicle unless they had an incentive more attractive to their ilk than a 'mere' desire to protect the public.
Perhaps the law that prevented him from responding humanely to our appeal (to save a life that could very well be in danger) was a 'stupid' law? Police regulations had forbidden the OCPD from assisting Sadrubhai and helping him to find a missing person who had expressed a desire to be with his own brother.
The question, "Would Badrudin rather be with Sadrudin than anyone else and why?" did not arise in the policeman's mind. The police training administration might want to ask themselves whether their basic training is like a bucket with a hole in it.
He seemed conveniently to have forgotten that his own officers, from the OCS down, had made mockery of their code of conduct and crossed that very "
The police have no compunctions about using intimidation and force to prevent anyone from broaching the subject of their ineptitude or neglect or worse, and interrogating them on what actually happened in situations like ours.
...Even if someone beyond that "
According to Sadrubhai:
In plain clothes they had broken into a private home without a warrant. There are strong indications that they were in a cahoots with the son and two other bonafide members of Aga Khan Local Risk Management (LRM). The police evidently would not have arranged to send men in a police vehicle unless they had an incentive more attractive to their ilk than the 'mere' desire to protect the public. They came in plain clothes. They seemed to have colluded to execute a plan to alienate the father from his brother. They displaced and abused their victims with impunity.
OCPD: "We can't do anything more until you get a court order as a matter of urgency! The file will be processed as usual." He did not mention that to get a court order as quickly and easily as he made it look in this country is not a human right yet. He did not mention that he probably suspected that Badrubhai was about to be removed from Emy's House that very night and, if not, then within the next 24 hours. Did he know that they intended, now, to take him to India, for "treatment"?
What most people will not want to believe is that our council can get things done, too, in much the similar way. They have contacts from top to bottom. It is not that they have never had to get things done fast; or that, as I am told, if they are to approach the topic in the contemporary Kenyan way their aims are out of range. But perhaps this is why the system is open to such abuse. It is probably not uncommon for a council leader to send a signal to, say, State House, and tell them: This is an internal matter, a community matter, so please stay out of it. We'll sort it out ourselves. This actually means, "don't cooperate with the complainants."
(The contacts at this level of government - where things get done as a matter of necessity - have been developed through the years of our short Kenyan history and they overlap upon each other in time egregiously.)
And the council can just as easily say to the top cats, "Please make the rule of law work in this case." My guess is that the cost of ensuring that the rule of law work follows its course cannot be that far from ensuring that it doesn't.
The police and Badrubhai are equally in denial
There is no doubt that the father loves and was extremely proud of his son. He had told me so himself, at a funeral, on the way to a burial a few months ago though that is not all that he had told me. There is no doubt that I knew the son as a really nice kid, too. Soft-spoken and dreamy, perhaps not too serious at the time about studies but a nice kid, loved by his dad. But he was my student in class 7 Venus.
Are they both not equally in denial? The OCPD will not entertain the memory of what his OCS and officers have effectively done to these two innocent men - displaced them and put the sick one in grave danger.
I can say this much about Badrubhai:
When we found him with the help of the lawyers who had located Emy's House we interviewed him on two occasions. He was in good spirits, reading a book on heart problems (he is on heart medication, too). He does not belong here. He was joking around and poking fun at himself.
Badrubhai says, "I had a good rest (here). I want to be released. Now."
Quiz: Both Badrubhai's and the OCPD's lapses are selective acts of denial. True or False?
Badrubhai seems not quite ready to organise in his mind the forces and history of how and why he had actually got here at Emy's in the first place. He remembers each incident and evaluates it separately. He sublimates any compulsion to interpret the events as a whole and ask what they imply. He probably won't work at it until he has the opportunity to do so, when he feels safe. He was advised that he was brought here because of a sleep disturbance.
If Badrubhai is in denial so is the OCPD, who will not want to go back in history to the moment his officers had crossed the "
Both Badrubhai's and the OCPD's lapses are selective acts of denial.
Badrubhai is oppressed by a very deep fear. He wants his brother near him, but is not able to resist what is imposed upon him. The thought of confrontation is simply very unpleasant for him. He cannot negotiate it without understanding and support, not without a friend by him. He needs to be given a chance to try.
He had said, "I get very nervous when I see the police...." and, "...when they handcuffed my brother I got very frightened!" There is a lot of fear and anxiety in his demeanour. Depending on the drugs he was put on his is hopefully only a selective amnesia about his forced incarceration.
Once Badrubhai is back I will write about what happened to him, once I have shared my own thoughts with Badrubhai, the free man. The thing that caught our attention was: "... yes," he said, with a mischievous smile, "I go where the wind blows...."
He's my brother
Will I be allowed to stand by his side
He discussed his quandary with his brother and decided, in the brother's semblance and company, that it was more important to grapple with the problem of whether he is capable of taking charge or not now, than to escape from it by running away from the questions that were troubling him - and he was unable to address because of reasons that Sadrubhai was deeply interested in (and being prevented from) learning more about.
Was he being kept on a drug overdose? Was he being intimidated? Why were the children wary of his being near his brother? And a host of valid other questions. But he was at the time being persuaded to go on a vacation to India.
After a pep talk from Sadrubhai, Badrubhai said: "I am going to object if they try to send me to India. I will oppose it." I said to myself, "I fear that he is not strong enough to take such a stand on his own." But the problem is not so complicated and one does not have to be a rocket scientist to break it down into its parts. It did not take Badrubhai much persuasion to start thinking about and hoping for some quality time with his beloved brother.
The police don't care; they never cared, and there is nothing in this half-baked and confused legal code that compels them to do so, nor does there seem to be the semblance of any concern for the values they should be trained to stand for, not even in their DNA.
It seems clear that Badrubhai is under oppressive family conditions and is attempting to handle their effects with a practical mind and good cheer. To my (layman's) mind his response is quite healthy. But that does not preclude the need to get a better understanding of the emotional conundrum he is facing, which he may have to address over time, if his brother is given a chance to share his life. If not, then the millstone may be tied around his neck for the rest of his life.
When Sadrubhai visited the LRM offices soon after he was separated from his brother (the second time), to inquire the names of the LRM boys who had been involved, a person behind the desk verified their identities from descriptions of what the young men looked like.
The LRM is a security organisation that calls upon the police (oftentimes this reads, "the local mafia") when they need reinforcements to address situations where they exercise arbitrary and exclusive control with pre-meditated disregard for human rights. The LRM, he noted, posts the telephone numbers of all the relevant police officers at Parklands Police Station up on their wall.
Based on the above and in the possible fear that his brother's interest in supporting him has to be shaken off, I can only think that the father is being disappeared and shunted from one home or hospital to another, like a free radical, without any monitoring authority in place to explain these acts to, and with the unofficial support of the police and possibly a disparate number of psychiatrists, too, it seems....
Badrubhai has been reduced to the level of a trafficked person. That is, he is being treated as less than human, thanks to the neglectful way he has been mismanaged by the police and the Aga Khan council.
What is this all about, then?
Badrubhai: "He is a mastermind!
He told me to transfer the property....
It was in my room....
I told him to get out....
He was shaking....
It was 15 to 20 years back."
- Is it about the ownership of a title deed - the abductee's title deed?
- The property from which the son has ejected the father is, according to both brothers, the father's.
- The son and his growing family have always lived with the father and the father brought him and his sister up with love and affection, which was spurned and forgotten. (Why does this happen too often in families)?
- The father trained the son who is now a successful businessman.
- The father avers that the title deed of his house has been transferred to his daughter-in-law and is in her possession. There is a story in how this happened over time!
- The father avers that he has been force-fed medication in doses dangerous to his health under the supervision of psychiatrists who may have been incentivised.
- The father clearly relates how all the members of his family have, since long, searched for a way to wrest financial control over the family from him, and to defame him in the community by using an isolated incident to declare him of unsound mind and arranging to have him "committed" and medicated.
Closer look at the DNAs of Badrubhai's Family, the Leadership, the LRM and the Police - Who among them would aid and abet the abduction and trafficking of a man for a share in his assets? Does it not seem that each for his own reason is hiding everyone's misdeeds, and is knowingly doing so?
Based on the above and in the possible fear that his brother's interest in supporting him has to be shaken off, I can only think that the father is being disappeared and shunted from one home or hospital to another like a free radical, without any monitoring authority in place to explain these acts to, and with the unofficial support of the police, too, it seems.Who are the conceptualisers of the organisation plan of this increasingly disenfranchised community?
The police don't care; they never cared and there is nothing in this half-baked and confused legal code in the democratic world that compels them or their counterparts in any force to do so, whether the Armed Forces of any nation, the UN, today's security companies, now being fully trained to oppress their constituencies where necessary, Blackwater, the Home Guard or, for that matter the Local Risk Management.
(Crikey! Someone, please tell us who came up with that title - LRM - wasn't it a genius? Alpha Virji, Bravo Khem Chhe or Charlie Juma Ganja? Who are the conceptualisers of the organisation plan of this increasingly disenfranchised community?)
Nor does there seem to be any concern for the values the agencies of security should have been trained to stand for. Those values are not present even in their DNA. They seem not - nor anywhere in the capitalist world of neo-con fascist human-fry - to have reached a level of evolution that would attract an interest in the essential preconditions of supporting quality in civic life. For, even they would, in a psycho-sociological context, first need be given time to carefully reevaluate their own personal ulterior motives and gut needs, before they set out to seek to serve humanity.
Are such gangsters really here to serve? Blinkered with tunnel vision, slaves admittedly, to a system that buys their services as mindless, power-dependent labourers who thrive on the cheap power to dominate and bully those whom they purport to serve. On such a track, these glorified defenders of the faith are bound to become (and, indeed, have become) agencies of gradual, unchecked degeneration, exploitation, of a menacing, abusive relationship between themselves as the policemen and their 'do as you are told' constituency, under the direction of a neglectful, largely absent, leadership.
That constituency seems to be a tiny little one: A Jamat Khana-going Ismaili population expected to defer to its leaders in total trust; in Nairobi on a good day we can't be more than 1,500 souls. Some say multiply that by about 2 or 3 thousand and there you have the total world population of Ismailis of which Khojas amount to about 1.5 million (refer to Iqbal Surani in Paris for more details).
Today, as a result of increasing absolutist power, at the mercy of his own son, an LRM member, Badrubhai has been reduced to the level of a trafficked person. That is, he is being treated as less than human, thanks to the neglectful way he has been treated. Mismanaged by the police and the Aga Khan council who should know better than Badrubhai's immediate family who have failed him he is sailing this time towards a fate that causes great worry. His brother sits at home with his injured foot up, taking out a tasbih nearly all day.
Yet Badrubhai has always given his family shelter out of love, affection and hope of it being reciprocated fully, in the hope of a sense of fulfilment in life. And they have (except for his brothers and sisters) failed him. And he is not alone in a state of oppression at the mercy of members of the community who act as its intelligence and mafia agencies.
Postscript: Sadrubhai spoke to the President of Council just yesterday, while I am editing and expanding on this page, here. He has been asked to meet him with Mukhisaheb, tomorrow. Signs of any really helpful service "without fear or favour" (as the Panjabis recently put it in The Asian Weekly) are weak at this time of writing because he has been discouraged from bringing an observer with him.
Sadrubhai should meet the president soon [Post-edit - we met the president and Mukhisaheb for an hour yesterday at 17:30h]. Let's hope that this meeting is productive.
|Two brothers standing together for a moment, at Emy's House, |
before Badrubhai sails once again and goes as the wind blows
Listening to Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty
and his story while editing this, available here.
18:00h 16 March 2014
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