The Devyani Khobragade issue has come to an end, but not before it did much damage to India-U.S. relations. Having allegedly falsified documents and violated the law of another country, she should not be let off the hook easily. If the Indian government's thinking is right, it should prosecute her here. Her ownership of an apartment in the Adarsh Society complex should also be properly probed. In the meantime, she should be suspended from service and if proved guilty, dismissed. This alone can enhance India’s image in the world.
The question that arises on Ms. Khobragade’s return to India is: why is the Indian government hell- bent on being on a collision course with the U.S.? Why is it keen to allow all the hard work done on building a partnership with the U.S. in the last 20-or-so years go down the drain? When you befriend a cowboy, you should be aware that he will always be trigger-happy. The whole episode draws attention to the true friend of Indian people, Russia.
Just when we thought India-U.S. relations were frozen like the Niagara falls, it has come as a relief that the two countries have decided to put a lid on the diplomatic fiasco. The Indian officer leaving New York would hopefully bring an end to the crisis. Bilateral ties are far too important to be jeopardised by any single act, incident or individual.
In the interest of its consular officials, many of whom would feel vulnerable now, the Government of India should forthwith put an end to the feudal practice of providing Indian domestic servants to these ‘VIP diplomats’. Indeed, it does our foreign service community no credit that they have gone along with this unethical practice for so long, some of them possibly signing false affidavits in the process.
The indictment of the Indian diplomat involved three individuals, all strangely having Indian links and personal interests in the U.S. The prosecutor is an Indian migrant with an ambition to reach higher positions; the diplomat is married to an Indian-American; and the domestic help perhaps has plans to settle in the U.S. It may also not be wrong to suspect the motives of the U.S. government. One only hopes these established democracies do not sacrifice their national interests for the sake of these self-serving individuals.
Dr. K. Vijayaraghavan,
America’s unrelenting stance on the Devyani Khobragade ‘maid abuse’ issue makes one wonder whether this was the same country that practised slavery when most of the civilised world had outlawed it. Even after the formal abolition of slavery in the United States in 1865, the slave-like status of the black people continued. Even as late as in 1940, a celebrated black actor, Hattie MacDaniel, had to sit on a racially segregated table while attending the Oscar awards function and had to walk the extra mile to receive her award for best supporting actress. Even today, one only has to read about the sweatshops promoted by WalMart in Bangladesh and Apple in China, to get an idea of how committed the United States is to curbing the ‘abuse of employees’.