- Politics and Social Issues
The Indian Army, Congolese Girls and rebel Women Fighters
Indian Army men impregnate Congolese girls
The Congo was for long a colony of Belgium. The Belgians occupied the Congo and unlike the British Raj which brought tangible benefits for India and the Indian people, the Belgians in contrast did nothing for the African population in the Congo. They exploited the Congo for its minerals and raw material till a changing world scenario that marked the end of colonialism made Belgium agree to give independence to the Congo.
Unfortunately the Belgians never prepared the Congolese for freedom or set up any governing infrastructure. When they withdrew from the Congo the entire nation erupted in a frenzy and anarchy. The United Nations intervened at the behest of the Security Council and the India army was one of the first contingents to enter the Congo for peace keeping operations.
The Indian army association with the Congo started in 1960 and has continued since then. In 1960 the chief UN administrator in the Congo was Mr. Rajeshwar Dayal. This was a trying time and Patrick Lumumba the leftist leader was kidnapped and murdered by Moise Tshombe of Katanga.
The Indian army did excellent service in Congo and again in 2007 the India army contingents were once again in the Congo. The situation had changed as the army now had become more battle hardened and at the same time new values some of them not very nice had crept in. The commander of the Indian contingent at that time in the Congo was Major General Bikram Singh the present Indian army chief. This time however a secret UN report has levelled serious allegations of moral turpitude against the soldiers of the Indian army. The UN report has brought into focus phenomena which pointed out that a large number of children with Indian features have been born in places where the Indian army operated.
The UN report informed the Government of India that Indian troops had indiscriminate sex with Congolese women including women rebel soldiers of the rebel army. This fraternization with women rebels not only led to impregnation but the UN report claimed seriously compromised UN battle plans.
Many retired generals and citizens petitioned the Supreme Court to debar General BikramSingh to take over as the chief of the army staff on the ground that he was culpable for the moral degeneration of India soldiers as he was the Indian commander at that time. The Supreme Court saw no merit in the petition and dismissed it at the first hearing.
The army carried out an internal inquiry and hauled up one JCO and a few soldiers for administrative action. The Government of India evinced no interest in the UN report and trumpeted the good work done by the Indian army. The matter was closed. The last word on this was of an Indian brigadier who justified the goings on in the Congo. He was of the opinion that the soldiers could not be blamed as the Congolese girls and rebel women soldiers themselves went to bed with the Indian soldiers. He brushed aside other ramifications of these incidents.