All this brouhaha about Devyani Khobragade and Sangeeta Richard
Devyani Khobragade Incident– Wikipedia link.
1) The key question is did Ms. Devyani knowingly and willingly make a second agreement signed with her domestic help fixing the salary for Rs. 30K per month only, when the original agreement shown for the visa purpose was based on the minimum wage as per US law – If the second agreement is real and verified, then the US government is fully justified in taking legal action against Ms. Devyani.
2) Was the US Justice Department correct in the way it handled the case? I don’t care. I can hazard a guess that there are too many people that get arrested visa fraud or perjury… Ms. Devyani did not have diplomatic immunity at the time of the arrest, so I don’t see how the arrest was executed to be a problem.
3) This whole noise of diplomatic row drowns another key player in this mess… the domestic help, Ms. Sangeeta Richard. Looks like she just got greedy and wanted to work outside of her stipulated job on off days. And she wanted to get a change of passport, visa to settle in USA. For this it seems like she resorted to harassment, blackmailing or whatever. If this is proven true, then she deserves to be punished by USA law (and Indian law) too. No wonder USA does not have visa free travel for Indians… will never happen, I guess. But I also am wondering how an injuntion and arrest warrant from an Indian court on an Indian citizen, conveyed through the consular channels were ignored by US officials.
Agreed that the USA government is surely not “balanced” in handling such cases with other country consular officials (Russia or Pakistan, as in recent times), or for its own hurried evac of accused personnel from its consular offices on claims of diplomatic immunity… but that is no reason for India to demand that the charges be dropped. In my opinion, the reaction from the Indian government is downright childish… and moving Ms. Devyani to the UN mission post haste is now making it look even more foolish. The most funniest reaction of all came from Mayawati madam, who said “I know I should not bring caste into this but the overall conduct with this girl was inappropriate. The central government reacted late because she was a Dalit”. She just couldn’t resist playing the dalit card.
People like both the “now-diplomat level” Ms. Devyani and the domestic help level Sangeeta (and the idiots who rioted in Singapore) are few examples as to why opinion about Indians is not too great in foreign lands. I have seen too many incidents that reinforce this thought… that we Indians are given a bit too much to a sense of entitlement, ‘above the law’ attitude and not being too concerned about ethics if things can get in their favor or can be hidden from public view, in general.