Assassination of Shinzo Abe: My request to the Union Government to place a Statue of Abe in New Delhi  

Shinzo Abe was Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, held office in 2006 for one year and again from 2012 to 2020 when he was forced to step down due to the debilitating bowel condition ulcerative colitis. And unfortunately, on 8 July 2022, he was killed by one person from Japan Tetsuya Yamagami who was previously in the Japanese navy, known as the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF). As a senior citizen, I am surprised about the security system of Japan and its intelligent department. I personally feel both failed because a former Prime Minister was not protected and publicly he was killed. (wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinzo_Abe).

Shinzo Abe was born on 21 September 1954 in Tokyo to a renowned political family with good economic influence throughout pre-war, wartime, and post-war Japan. His family was originally from Yamaguchi Prefecture.

His paternal grandfather Kan Abe was a Yamaguchi landowner who served in the House of Representatives during World War II, while his father Shintaro Abe served in the House of Representatives from 1958 to 1991, with stints as Chief Cabinet Secretary, Minister for International Trade, and Industry, and Minister for Foreign Affairs During World War II.

Abe completed his  public administration and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Seikei University in 1977, Japan. He, later on, moved to the United States and studied public policy at the University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning, and Development (presently  the USC Price School of Public Policy) for three semesters.  In April 1979, Abe started working for Kobe Steel.  He left the company in 1982 and pursued a number of government positions including executive assistant to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, private secretary to the chairperson of the LDP General Council, and private secretary to the LDP secretary-general (wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinzo_Abe). Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day in 2014. At an Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) lecture in September 2011, Abe said: “a strong India is in the best interest of Japan, and a strong Japan is in the best interest of India.” 

India’s expression of friendship was its gratitude for the Japanese help to the Indian National Army (INA). Japan had released Indian prisoners of war at the request of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to help build the INA which fought alongside the Japanese in Singapore, Burma, and northeast India. The war cemetery in Imphal where Indian and Japanese soldiers were buried together is a testimony to that (mea.gov.in/in-focus-article.htm?22762). 

 India declares a day of state mourning for Shinzo Abe’s death. Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated, “As a mark of our deepest respect for former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, a one-day national mourning shall be observed on 9 July 2022”. The national flag will be at half-mast on all buildings across India for the day of mourning across India, and there will be no official entertainment.

Vice president M Venkaiah Naidu and Union Minister Hardeep Puri have also expressed anguish at the death of Abe and recalled his role to develop a good relationship with India. Our former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of Shinzo Abe. Thus, it is evident that political leaders of India irrespective of political parties have liked Abe. 

Although Shinzo Abe was assassinated, Indians will remember him generation after generation. 

I request our Union Government to place a statue of Shinzo Abe in an important place in New Delhi. 

Decoding Kenya’s police brutality and the core reasons behind it.

A police brutality art.

In February 2021, there was a brutal police attack in one of the informal settlements of Kenya called Mathara. A cop shot one of the teenagers, Dominic Kulema, leaving him severely injured. He ran inside a youth centre to save himself. He pleaded to the police for his life with his hands raised. But, the Police forced him out of the building and killed him. This story hardly made it to any news whatsoever. This is part of a normalised pattern that exists in the informal settlements of Kenya. Police kill a lot of young people without any criminal background because they think it is “morally right”.

In 2020, A total number of 167 people were killed or misplaced according to missing voices Kenya (Human rights organisation that tracks extrajudicial killings). Despite well-funded police reforms launched by the government, this brutal practise has not stopped. Some anthropologists are trying to find the grassroots reasons for these activities and it dates back to colonialism. It is also a moral conflict country like Kenya. Police kill young people because they think it is morally right to do.

The foundations of the social division and brutal police system were laid in the first few decades of its existence. In 1899, Great Britain established the settlement as a rail depot between the port of Mombasa and the Nile River. Nairobi was named the capital of Britain’s east Africa protectorate. The European settlers started to capture the better lands of the settlement and left the unhygienic and disease-prone areas for the African workers and localities. They never developed the basic infrastructure that was needed in this settlement.

In 1920, Kenya was declared an official colony, the British also established the Kenyan police force in the same year. African men were required to wear a box around their neck with their name, tribe and employer written on it. These police forces monitored their movement within the city. Administrators had the power to evict or expel African workers which basically means they had the power to kill them.

In the 1950s, The Kenya Land and Freedom Army, comprised of landless Africans gathered and fought for their lost lands, terrorising white settlers. Seeing this, the Administration enlisted a Home Guard, comprised of native Africans working for the colonial government and were fully given the authority to enforce the law and they did that very brutality. It was later formalised as administration police (AP).

A group of African people hired by the colonial government.

This dual system existed even after independence in 1963. In 2019, the AP was absorbed by the Kenya police force. While AP conducted raids, the police force was focused on more day-to-day policing of the affluent areas in Kenya.

Kenya is not the only country that deals with dual law practising. In the united states of America, some people are treated democratically while some minorities are treated harshly.

The day Kulema died, his friend collins witnessed everything and immediately approached the Mathare social justice centre (MSJC), a ray of hope in the doomed land of Kenya. It was co-founded by anthropologist Kimari. MSJC has been trying to track this kind of story for years. They rely upon local community sources like collins. They released their first report of epidemic killings in Nairobi in 2017. Kinnari calls this “ A systematic annihilation of young people “. In February 2021, MSJC reported 14 killings of young people. These brutal police forces also target the families of young people.

They perform female genital mutilation which is just beyond being inhuman.

Organisations like MSJC have made people in Mathara realise their need for basic human rights. It has made people come together and fight for each other. A supporter of MSJC said and I quote “their power vanishes the moment we stop fearing “. Due to the active voice raised by this organisation, the killings have decreased and women are safer now. There is a visible fear in the police’s minds about killing more people. While this is a huge fight, we can already see small changes in place due to the efforts of organisations like these.

Reference – https://www.sapiens.org › cultureWhat Kenya’s Killer Cops Reveal About Police Culture – Sapiens.org