The recent tiff between the US and The Indian Government over the arrest of Devyani Kobargade, Vice Consul of India in US by handcuffinng her and the retaliation of India by withdrawing security cover of US diplomats in India and its refusal to renew the IDs of US diplomats makes an interesting read.
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The latest is that India has posted the ex vice-consul as the representative of UN in US.
The US on its part, short of tendering an apology has tones down its rhetoric but insisted that Law will take its course.
In this confusion I was lost in understanding this issue.
What are the charges and how did the Vice consul violate it?
To understand this one has to know how maids are appointed in the US .
The cost of a maid staying at home to do the house hold cores is very high in the US.
They have to be paid between $5,000-10,000 per month with a total working hours of 40 hours a week.
One can not afford this with a Vice Consul’s Pay.
So the diplomatic community devise ingenious methods.
They enter into a work contract with a maid from India at the stipulated rate of $ 9.50 per hour ,complying with 40 hours work a week and other norms required by the US law
This contract is to keep the US authorities at bay.
The people who seek a maid at Home enter into another agreement with the same worker from India for a salary of Rs 20 or 30 000 a month and the money will be paid in India.
The domestic work is mad to work for a longer duration during the day up to 20 hours!
The workers can not retaliate by going to the authorities as the Passport is being held by the Employer.
In the present case, the maid, unable to bear the work load and treatment came out of the house and complained to the authorities.
They have taken action by arresting the Diplomat.
Being a diplomat with immunity she was not arrested in Indian Premises(that is diplomatic area), but on the road as she was about to enter her car after dropping her child at the School.
What irked India is the fact that she was handcuffed.
India retaliated as mentioned in the opening portions of this post.
There seems to be no denial of the illegal act of the Diplomat but a sense of outrage at Indian Diplomat having been handcuffed and hysteria at being insulted by the US.
Indian Fishermen are being shot by Sri Lanka, indians in Singapore(Tamils) are being deported for violence with no proof.
Indian fishermen’s nets and cache are being destroyed by the Lanka Navy in Indian Waters.
indian government does not seem fit to retaliate in this instance.
But in the Devyani’s case the act of India is disproportionate.
Devyani Khobragade is the daughter of a retired IAS officer who is a Congress heavy weight and was involved in the Adarsh Scam,Maharashtra where flats meant for War widows were grabbed by the bureaucrats and politicians.
The Adarsh reports names of Home Minister, Speaker of Lok Sabha and others as the accused and the report was not accepted by the Maharashtra Government
He draws a lot of water in the Congress.
In a fresh blow to diplomat Devyani Khobragade, currently in the thick of controversy over her arrest in a alleged visa fraud in the US, was pulled up by the Adash judicial panel “for making a false statement” to become a member of the society.
Khobragade was allotted flat number 2301 spread over 1,076 square feet in Adarsh society. The judicial commission report stated her membership was approved though she was ineligible for the flat in Adarsh.