New Delhi: Shahnawaz Hussain, BJP's
prominent Muslim face and MP, has failed to get US visa on
time for attending a UN General Assembly session as part of a
parliamentary delegation, a delay which has again raised
questions whether he was a victim of religious profiling.
"I was one of the five MPs who were to attend a UN
General Assembly programme from October 20 to 31. Our Ministry
of External Affairs had applied for the visas. While the other
four have got their visas and are leaving tonight, I have been
told there will be a delay due to administrative processing,"
the former Union Minister said to a news agency.
Girja Vyas, Sanjay Nirupam (both Congress), Ali Anwar
(JD-U) and T K S Elangovan (DMK) are the other members of this
"non-official" delegation of MPs going to New York.
"I am still waiting for my visa. Since the Ministry of
External Affairs has applied for this visa and it's a normal
diplomatic procedure, I don't understand why it should take so
much time," he said.
Hussain, who had visited US thrice in the past, was
asked whether he has been denied visa because of his religion.
He felt it would not have been the case but said he had
been told by officials in the Ministry of External Affairs
that some popular names undergo a detailed scrutiny in the US
before visa is given.
He said it was for the government of India to take up
the issue with the US as he was a member of an official
delegation and was not going on a personal trip.
"I have visited New York during all my three visits to
the US. First when I was in the Union Coal ministry, then as
the Union Civil Aviation Minister and lastly as Textile
Minister," Hussain said.
"If four people of the delegation got the visa and only
I did not get it, I must know the reasons for the delay," the
BJP MP said.
Cases of denial or delay in US visa to some Muslims have
come to light earlier also.
About two months back, filmstar Shah Rukh Khan had to
face embarrasment during a visit to the US when he was
detained and questioned for hours after his name 'Khan' popped
up in the computer of an immigration official.
His release was secured after intervention by Indian
First Published: Monday, October 19, 2009, 23:18