India does not need lessons from anyone, says Indian Vice-President Dhankar on US, Germany, UN remarks on arrest of Arvind Kejriwal

Indian Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar
The Vice-President of India and Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Jagdeep Dhankhar addressing the 70th Founders Day celebrations of Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), in New Delhi on March 29, 2024.

After remarks from Germany, the United States, and finally, the United Nations on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar has said the country does not need lessons from anyone on the rule of law, stressing that India is a unique democracy.

The questions posed by representatives of the US and the UN, which triggered the comments from the Indian VP, were also about the freezing of the opposition Congress’ bank accounts.

Speaking at an event on Friday, the vice-president said, “India is a democracy with a robust judicial system. This can’t be compromised by any individual or any group. India does not need lessons from anyone on the rule of law.”

Dhankhar emphasised that “equality before the law is the new norm” in India and those who thought they were beyond the law are being held accountable.

In a possible reference to the AAP’s planned rally against Kejriwal’s arrest at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on Sunday, to be attended by several leaders from the INDIA alliance, Dhankar said, “But what do we see?”

“The moment the law takes its course, they take to the streets, high-decibel debates, camouflaging culpability of the worst nature by human rights. This is happening under our nose,” he added.

Describing the Indian judicial system as robust, independent, and pro-people, he asked, “What is the justification for a person or an institution or an organisation to take to the streets when the law is set in motion?”

Addressing the 70th Founders’ Day celebrations of the Indian Institute of Public Administration, Dhankhar also said people engaging in the “transgression of law” are now playing the victim card.

“Corruption is not a passage to opportunity, employment, or a contract anymore. It is a passage to jail… Can you go on a high moral ground that the corrupt must not be dealt with because it is a festive season or it is farming season? How can there be any season to save those who are culpable,” the vice-president asked.

After the remarks by representatives of the US and Germany, India summoned their envoys to register a protest on the same.

It had termed the comments “unwarranted”, “biased” and “unacceptable”, but has not reacted to the statement by a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres so far.