Devyani Khobragade’s arrest: Why ‘powerful’ Indians don’t get it
Khobragade’s arrest has been made a scandal by , to use the famous line of Indian politicians and administrators, “vested interests”.
Look behind the mask and this time again, the “vested interests” are the same politicians and administrators and no foreign forces.
I am writing this as an ordinary law abiding resident of a law enforcing country like Canada where I reside now or USA, where I have resided earlier. And before I am labeled a deserter and an alien, I must mention that I am still an Indian national and have lived in India for close to thirty eight years of my forty five plus years of existence and consider myself fairly attached to India and its ethos.
Who is raising the heat in the Khobragade issue? The administrators, the politicians, the celebrities, the elite of India, the ones who are used to being treated as demi-gods, VIPs, kings, queens, the have-alls, …. by the ordinary Indians like us.
To be in their company, to get a photograph clicked with them which can be posted with pride on facebook or kept for record as family treasure, is any Indian’s dream. And so, when these people demand and get special privileges at all places they go to, we accept that as a part and parcel of their status and never in our wildest dreams question them for that.
I mean how can you accept a simple mortal like a police constable to stop or question a VIP , even if he is driving at a breakneck speed? How can an IAS or an IFS officer or celebrity worth his salt, be even stopped, forget searched by anyone even if he is found flouting the law? No, this is not how India treats its elite. Power and position and not law is supreme. Period.
So when we treat the “have-alls” of our nation and of those of other nations, especially white skinned as GODS in OUR NATION, why should the same be not RECIPROCATED in other nations? How can they stop Khobragade for a crime that she had carried out and treat her as an ordinary resident of their country? Why can’t they realise that she is diplomatic royalty? She is immune because she is one of the powerful!
The entire political class, the administrators, the elite of India is up in arms against United States of America for doing what that state of America does to all its residents , without malice towards anyone.
Indians don’t get it ! What was done to Khobragade is a part of the standard drill that would be carried out in that part of New York for any person who breaks the law. If she was strip searched, then other ordinary residents are also strip searched. If she was put along with other women inmates accused of some crime or the other, it was because of the act carried out by her. What was done to her could be done to me, to my white, black or any other coloured friend here.
The difference is, it could be done to any person at any level in this country and people will not bother since they know that the law is being upheld. There is no issue since we all are used to this being followed for all, ordinary and powerful, coloured or white, poor or rich.
Unlike India, here the law is supreme and not the person or the power that he wields.
As for diplomatic immunity, the same is given to people for acts carried out on behalf of their nations and not for carrying out frauds or activities for their personal gains. Khobragade must have known that what she was doing was not as per the law of this land, but still did it since this way, she could get the maid from India, pay her more generously than Indian standards but way lower than the local standards and still get away with it, since others had been doing it. In fact it would be safe to assume that she would have been told of this procedure by her predecessors and she would not have bothered twice as in India, we are used to bending and twisting laws to suit our convenience. Unfortunately she got caught in her game by a maid who wanted more out of her life !
So now her father cries hoarse that the maid signed the application and she did everything and we all need to believe in his version !
The media shows photographs of a simple, educated lady in distress and we all need to sympathise with her since we know she is Indian divinity!
And the powerful can make a big issue out of nothing, just because they are so much drunk in power that they feel that they can use it anywhere in the world.
My Indian powerful masters, as I can’t really call you friends, get real ! We the common people from India who are also residing in these countries do not find anything wrong in this and in fact respect these countries more due to the very same reason of treating everyone equally.
I know I am speaking in front of deaf ears and perhaps the Indian economic clout may force US to come up with some diplomatic answer.
However let me end by saying that not Khobragade but we , the ordinary Indians are getting humiliated and being made a laughing stock in front of the world, by the acts of such people who are drunk with power and are on ego trip to show the world who they are. You disgust me , my “masters”. I break one more tie with you today !
Published in TOI December 24th, 2013, Link below-