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Prime Minister's daughter fierce opponent of President Bush
rediff News Bureau | February 22, 2006 16:30 IST
United States President George W Bush may have found a new friend in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but there is one member of Dr Singh's family he may have to work a lot harder to win over though -– the Indian leader's youngest daughter, Amrit Singh.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, 36-year old Amrit, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, recently sent off another letter attacking the Bush administration.
The American Civil Liberties Union advocates individual rights by litigating, legislating, and educating the public on a broad array of issues affecting individual freedom.
Amrit Singh based her complaint on new documents from the Pentagon that suggested senior US officials were to blame for the abuse of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. She pointed out that, despite mounting evidence, not one high level official had been brought to justice. The documents, she added, alluded to a cover-up of the torture by senior officials.
This wasn't the first time Amrit has criticised the US government. A graduate of the Yale Law School, she was part of a team that won a decision in New York City ordering the release of photographs from the Pentagon last year.
The irony creeps in when one looks at how the relationship between India and America has changed after 9/11. While Amrit continues her battle against the government, her 73-year-old father is to host the American president at a summit in New Delhi next week.
The Wall Street Journal report went on to say that although Prime Minister Singh and his daughter share views on a number of issues, their public personas take opposite sides of a debate over the Bush administration's foreign policy.
Amrit Singh has led an ACLU effort that has obtained nearly 90,000 pages of government documents under the Freedom of Information Act. She has made a number of public comments about the contents of those documents, leading to debate over the rights of detainees. At the moment, she is also fighting a case, with a team of other lawyers, against US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The case, on the behalf of six Iraqis and four Afghans, alleges they were tortured by American forces under Rumsfeld's command.
Needless to say, her actions have also attracted criticism. While some believe the secret documents need to be made public, others believe releasing them could inflame public opinion and incite violence against the US. One commentator went so far as to call the ACLU a friend of al Qaeda and other terrorist outfits.
Amrit Singh remains unconcerned about these charges. Like her father, setting things right is all she cares about.