Row over Devyani Khobragade’s humiliation US’s “Doing-Reviewing” attitude needs to be condemned

US’s “Doing-Reviewing” attitude needs to be condemned
It is not only Devyani Khobragade, India’s Deputy Consul General, case of humiliation by the US police; there are enough cases, where Indians were caused to feel very embarrassed or ashamed and repeating such incidents does not look to be simply a routine act of bullying by the US.
During frisking in New York airport, former Defense Minister George Fernandez was simply de-clothedand s imilar things happened with many high stature leaders, celebrities etc.
Devyani Khobragade (DK) – a 1999 IFS batch was placed as deputy consular general in Indian Embassy at New York. She had been arrested, handcuffed in public in an alleged visa fraud case, when she was dropping her child in school. She was detained in lock up for around two hours along with other detainees involved in severe crimes like drug addicts. She was subjected to strip-search, DNA swabbing and finally released on a USD 250000 bond after pleading not guilty in court.
Before analyzing the present reaction of India, it is better to know the ground realities. DK was arrested on the allegation that she provided false and fraudulent documents to support the US visa application for Indian employee Sangeeta Richard, who worked as babysitter and housekeeper. She paid Richard $3.31 per hour, less than the $9.75 an hour she had promised in the visa application submitted to the State Department, according to the allegations brought by Preet Bharara, Indian-American US attorney for southern district of New York. In clear words, DK alleged to be underpaying her nanny and committing visa fraud to get her into the US.
Richard was employed by Khobragade in New York from November of 2012 until June of this year. She went absconding in June, according to a statement from the Indian Embassy in Washington. Indian diplomats often pay their employees’ salaries that are well below the minimum wage in the US, according to multiple sources.
In fact, the Indian diplomats often pay their employees’ salaries that are well below the minimum wage in the US and the problem starts when the domestic assistant is not treated well and they proceeding according to the advice of the people.
While the US State Department insists the diplomatic immunity of Indian diplomat DK was not violated and that standard procedures were followed during her arrest in the New York last week, an incident that has strained ties between New Delhi and Washington.
It’s good that Indian government and political leaders have started asserting and the way they are protesting the humiliation meted out to DK, is unprecedented.
No doubt, the Indian government should take this case seriously and have started downgrading the privileges given to the counterparts in India and such actions may look good at the moment but I don’t think tit-for-tat the only way out of the India-US diplomat stand-off.
There might be number of reasons as to why America is doing all this. It could be due to growing power of India in the world and it has never been under any pressure and America can’t afford to lose India as its ally or turning against it as it knows that India is the largest democracy in the world.
Whatever may be the circumstances leading to arrest, hand-cuffing, strip search, as a part of technicalities but the consulate’s staff must not be treated at par with the common man?
We can’t afford to see such cases every year simply on the issue of underpaying to the maid because of discrepancy in the wage scale of India and the West, for which the India government has to work out the alternative arrangements but dealing with the diplomat the way US has treated cannot be tolerated.
The only alternative now is that America should tender an unconditional apology in this case apart from ensuring of no repeat of such indecent behaviour.
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