Thursday, April 24, 2014
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The Return of the Ugly American

NEW DELHI – Nearly a month after American authorities arrested India’s deputy consul general in New York, Devyani Khobragade, outside her children’s school and charged her with paying her Indian domestic worker a salary below the minimum wage, bilateral relations remain tense. India’s government has reacted with fury to the mistreatment of an official enjoying diplomatic immunity, and public indignation has been widespread and nearly unanimous. So, has an era of steadily improving ties between the two countries come to an end?

Judging from Indian leaders’ statements, it would certainly seem so. India’s mild-mannered Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared that Khobragade’s treatment was “deplorable.” National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon called her arrest “despicable” and “barbaric,” and Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid refused to take a conciliatory phone call from US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Emotions have run high in India’s Parliament and on television talk shows as well. Writing to her diplomatic colleagues after her arrest, Khobragade, who has denied the charges against her, noted that she “broke down many times,” owing to “the indignities of repeated handcuffing, stripping, and cavity searches, swabbing,” and to being held “with common criminals and drug addicts.” A former Indian foreign minister, Yashwant Sinha, has publicly called for retaliation against gay American diplomats in India, whose sexual orientation and domestic arrangements are now illegal after a recent Supreme Court ruling. The government has not taken him seriously, but his suggestion indicates how inflamed passions have become.

Some retaliation has occurred. The initial American rationale (that foreign consuls in the US enjoy a lower level of immunity than other diplomats) led India’s government to re-examine privileges enjoyed by US consular officials that are unavailable to their Indian counterparts in the US. These privileges – including full-fledged diplomatic ID cards, access to the restricted customs areas of airports, tax-free shipments of items for personal consumption, and no questions asked about the terms of their employment of local domestic staff – were swiftly withdrawn. The cardinal principle of diplomatic relations is reciprocity, and India realized that it had been naïve in extending courtesies to the US that it was not receiving in return.

Likewise, the police have removed bollards and barriers that the US Embassy had unilaterally placed on the street in front of its complex in New Delhi, creating an obstacle to free circulation on a public road that India had tolerated in a spirit of friendship. (The government has, however, reiterated its commitment to the US Embassy’s security, even reinforcing the police presence outside.)

Tempers remain inflamed, with US Ambassador Nancy Powell, in a New Year’s message to Indians, ruefully acknowledging that ties have been “jolted by very different reactions to issues involving one of your consular officers and her domestic worker.” Kerry has also expressed “regret” over the incident. But the US has shown no signs of moving to drop the charges to defuse the crisis.

Indians remain bewildered that the US State Department would so willfully jeopardize a relationship that American officials had been describing as “strategic” over a practice routinely followed by foreign diplomats for decades. Most developing-country diplomats take domestic staff with them on overseas assignments, paying them a good salary by their national standards, plus a cost differential for working aboard. In Khobragade’s case, perquisites included a fully furnished room in a pricey Manhattan apartment, a television set, a mobile phone, medical insurance, and tickets home.

The cash part of the salary may be low by US standards – Khobragade herself, as a mid-ranking Indian diplomat, earns less than what the US considers a fair wage – but, with the other benefits, the compensation is attractive for a domestic helper. More to the point, Khobragade did not find her maid in the US labor market and “exploit” her; she brought her from India to help her in her representational duties, on an official passport, with a US visa given for that purpose. In almost no other country are local labor laws applied in such a manner to a foreign diplomat’s personal staff.

Privately, US diplomats express frustration at their helplessness in the face of theatrical grandstanding by the ambitious federal prosecutor, Preet Bharara, an Indian-American who has launched a series of high-profile cases against Indians in America. For once, however, the zealous Bharara seems to have slipped up, because Khobragade was arrested at a time when she enjoyed full diplomatic (not just consular) immunity as an adviser to India’s United Nations mission during the General Assembly. The State Department’s handling of the matter – which included approval of Khobragade’s arrest – has been, to say the least, inept.

Worse, just before the arrest, the maid’s family was spirited out of India on US visas for victims of human trafficking. The implication that an Indian diplomat in a wage dispute with her maid is guilty of human trafficking understandably riles Indian diplomats as much as the treatment of Khobragade after she was detained. The American habit of imposing its worldview self-righteously on others is deeply unwelcome. To most Indians, common discourtesy cannot be repackaged as moral virtue.

Indian-American relations had been strengthening, owing to both sides’ shared commitment to democracy, common concerns about China, and increasing trade and investment. The Khobragade affair suggests, however, that all of this is not enough: sustaining a strategic partnership requires, above all, mutual respect.

India had handled American diplomats with a generosity of spirit that it felt the bilateral relationship deserved. Now, with the same spirit shown to be lacking from the other side, the friendship has suffered. Until the US displays appropriate deference to the sensitivities, pride, and honor of other peoples and cultures, it will continue to be resented around the world.

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  1. CommentedPrsasanna Jackson

    Only in country like India where elites like @Shashi Tharoor are cleared of any wrongdoings in the mysterious death of Sunanda, before even the post-mortem results are published. No laws are applicable to elites. They are above common laws and have their right to make their own laws, which is what Shashi Tharoor is arguing in this article. In advanced countries where enforcement of law is strong, he would be undergoing strip-down search and cavity checks right now!

  2. Commentedp k

    @adarsh, thank you for the links. I'm late to this conversation, but find myself mostly agreeing with you. I have no illusions over the Khorbragade family and their misplaced sense of entitlement and how they gamed the system in India and very possibly in the US. Neither do the Richards or the racist Mays or Bharara, more catholic than the pope, come off much better. The silver lining might be that this incident tarnishes them all. If it results in the US rethinking how it sexually humiliates diplomats in custody before they have had their day in court, even the better.

  3. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    @vikram,

    Unfortunately Vikram, Diplomats are basically hostages in another country, If we let US dilute VCCR/VCDR and set precedent on Indian Mission staff being arrested, then we are in for serious trouble in all our postings everywhere.China and Pakistan,, even other countries will take advantage of it.Last year one of our Mission Attache's were attacked in Islamabad and suffered broken bones, we did the same to their attache here. Both of them were later withdrawn. US dilution of VC, will encourage other countries to do the same. It is unacceptable.
    US Media is basically a mouthpiece of US establishment, it has long ago given up Freedom for access. I am in complete agreement with everything you said about Tamil Fishermen (which has strategic issues with Sri lanka, China and USA), Army men in Pakistani jails, and all around our problems. But it is not for USA to solve or take advantage off. It is ours. We cannot set precedent. Look up Devayni and Sangeeta here in India if they are guility, I dont care.

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      Hostages, my foot. These are plum postings that the IFS officers crave. DK is married to a US citizen. She would like to raise her children in the US. 100s of thousands of Indian citizens go to work in the US EVERY year voluntarily and many of those take up US citizenship. You have absolutely no basis for what you are saying.

    2. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      I don't think you have understood any of my comments. I can't repeat them yet again. You are right on all counts. I am wrong on everything. Cheers.

  4. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/12/america-racism-subtle-dangerous-new-york

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      LOL. Food security bill and right to education bill are failures. Check out what the independent organization Pratham reports about the negative effects of the right to education bill. US constitution is better written than the Indian constitution with a better concept of what "rights" are and how they are protected. I can see that you don't really have much of a clue about anything and are going to continue making one ludicrous statement after another with no basis in reality. I give up. I should have known better.

    2. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

      There are hundreds of articles talking about such things, we have passed food security and right to education bill etc etc. Our Reservations and protections of minorities are of a higher order than Americans. Ofcourse we are a more messier and there is a lot of work to do, but then we have raped and oppressed, Conquest of america was financed from India. The fact is that america is just as bad India, if anything a far more cruel society.

    3. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      Proves my point. An American talking about racism in America (author of the article you have linked to) is not being unpatriotic. He is being honest. Just like an Indian talking about casteism or regional racism in India would not be unpatriotic. Have some maturity and sense of security to be able to admit reality.

  5. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    @sajna,
    I have reported the same to editors and even given them the proof of the same. I am awaiting to see, if I have to take it forward from there. Ofcourse, quite like America, if my point of view is not the same yours and I am strong in my defence of it, then everything and anything that I am a victim off, doesnt require justice or to be heard. NO matter let see till where this abuse and criminality will go.

  6. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/01/13/diplomats-lawyer-sets-out-case-for-client/
    http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/devyani-khobragade-indictment-raises-contradictory-questions-us-lawyer_903744.html

  7. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    @vikram,

    I am not for corruption, just like any other poor aam aadmi, I have been personally been at the receiving end of it and two faced hypocrisy. But it is not for US take it up or use it to advantage in clear violation of International agreement they have signed in good faith. Devyani was part of the Indian Diplomatic delegation. Do you think US will agree, if the roles were reversed. In the last 50 years, they have never did it. There ends the matter.

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      And, for the last time, please stop calling her a diplomat as she was granted diplomatic immunity after the event occurred. She was not a diplomat when the arrest occurred.

    2. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      I'm sorry, if morons exist in other countries, it does not mean that one goes about defending one's own country's morons. That is just a Tu Quoque fallacy of argument. Americans would not defend May, not in the way Indians do - in jingoistic fashion. Consular help for one's citizens does not imply jingoistic, fake calls for patriotism. Especially, when thousands of Indians, even armed force personnel rot in foreign jails, but here we made it a patriotic issue only and only and only and only because it was an IFS officer. Where is the urgency when a fisherman rots in a foreign jail? When a ship captain rots in a Kenyan jail? When soldiers are beheaded in Kashmir. When Chinese staple visas on people from AP. I can go on and on. You are simply deluding yourself by making this a patriotic issue. It is only and only and only an ugly Indian bureaucrat issue.

      I prefer to call a spade a spade. Not calling our country to be a banana republic which it is, would simply be deluding oneself. How does that help? And, it is a banana republic precisely because of people like you, who instead of recognizing an issue and fixing it, will defend the indefensible. Suit yourself. But, please do not claim a morally superior position of patriotism, because deluding yourself is not patriotism.

    3. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

      Its unfortunate that you call your own country a 'banana republic', while you say the US is some gold standard. They recently let a rich kid off for killing people using his car on 'affluenza'. You still havent told me, if there is anywhere anytime in the world that US has allowed its Diplomat/Consular to be prosecuted. She already had a immunity under VCCR, which is limited but it does cover everything other than 'grave crime'; Wage dispute is not grave crime nor false statements. All of which has to be proved, also strip search is not a stand protocol for US Marshals under its own guideliness for diplomats/consulers/ordinary citizens, only for hardened criminals. US Marshal Handbook is available online, This is done by Wayne May using his contacts in DSS, to teach Devayni a lesson. I am sorry, an Indian diplomat, however corrupt is not for the US or an US Government personal to teach a lesson. US cannot enforce its laws on Private Domestic staff, because Article 46 explicity says it cant. When you cant tax, When you cant give social security, when you cant let the maid work outside of Devyani house, then you cant ask for wage scale. USA in 2011 through its domestic law of FLSA decided to violate the VCCR for the reasons known to it in 2011. I dont consider USA a just nation, but I do consider it a strategic imperative for India's objectives in South East Asia and against China in particular. But that cannot be based on unequal partnership. If US cannot and its history proves this, allow its diplomats/consulars to be tried by outside courts, then India cant do the same. India's faults are not for the US of all nations to correct. We didnt charge Wayne May or Alicia May, because we cant; because we were stupid enough to give them diplomatic immunity, and we have abide by VCCR and VCDR. We could have done the same as USA, and use your domestic laws over and above the international agreement signed by us in good faith. We have tied ourselves in knots, USA could have done many things that could have made the Indian Government take action against Devyani and Sangeeta. And this would had a different ending.

    4. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      As I said, DK was accorded immunity after the event. It was still useful as she could come back even though a case is pending. There are plenty of Americans who are arrested and sentenced abroad - thousands get arrested every year as stats show. Sure, the US govt would assist as much as possible as any country should and would, but it is upto each country to implement their laws and those who are clear about their laws override the US efforts. And, I'm pretty sure there isn't jingoistic, blind support among common Americans for Americans who might have crossed the legal boundary in other countries. We have gone way too far. Banana republics like India don't even file a case for people like May, even though it might be warranted. There ends the matter.

  8. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    Dear Vice Guy/Rajiv Mohan...lol,

    Surely you could try to stand your ground and accept what you did. After all that is right thing to do, since you are all about righteousness. Calling some peoples parents from the back of a screen aint really brave. Nor will I stoop to your level to abuse your parents. I am sure they would have wished to raise you better, but people do fail in life at times.
    But I think my point of who you are as a person have been proved. If you are the kind of people who are against 'interest' of this country, like I said before we are in good stead. I think you shouldnt stop with abuse, bullying, creating fake profiles, harrassment and the rest of things your criminal mind can conjure up. Dont stop.

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      It is not in the interest of the country to defend corrupt babus. Babus have been holding the country back for decades. Where is their patriotism? Learn to differentiate between sycophancy to babus vs patriotism for country.

  9. CommentedVice Guy

    Dear Adarsh,
    surely you could have come up with a better retort than accusing me of creating facebook accounts and harrassing and bullying you. Violence and accusations are the expected responses of the feeble.

    I am very impressed you have any friends at all. Though i guess that if Ted Bundy, Son of Sam, and Jeffrey Dahmer had friends, you would too. Proud of you son. We always thought you would wind up in a padded room in straitjackets.

    The first rule when you are in a hole is to stop digging further. As you have been exposed pretty convincingly as a one-sided radical with sociopathic and juvenile tendencies, it might make sense to abstain from further such cartoonish observations and accusations. Believe me, you are *not* important enough for anyone to give a f**K about.

    Your mother, who i know *intimately*, will give you my contact details and address in Mumbai in case you need to see me. I have no interest in you or your friends or your faceboook accounts.

    That said I have had my fun and given my $0.02 on this dreary episode of Mr & Ms Khobragade. She has been shown as a con-job in the last few days. In the sad state of Indian democracy she will unfortunately, probably become a role model. This discussion however seems to have been beaten to death. That's it from me people.

    Au revoir to the Product of my Loins,
    Rajiv Mohan K. aka Vice Guy
    i blog at Kochipost dot com and at Sepiamutiny dot com

  10. CommentedSajna Oommen

    See today's http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/14-more-maids-in-US-threat-of-Devyani-rerun-looms/articleshow/28717303.cms

    Several other Indian diplomats have wilfully subverted the US laws, and the Indian governments response is to try and work out of a loophole to let them continue doing so. To all those vociferously demanding justice from the US: it will do you good and question the same of the Indian government. We are only making ourselves look like petty, unethical fools in front of the whole world with these kind of tactics.

    1. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

      US law doesnt apply to Indian Domestic Staff, because under Article 46, they are under the purview of India. All these Diplomats are in hot water, because US over rode the VCCR to apply its laws on to the Diplomats through their VISA system, which is against the principle, spirit and rules of VCCR. USA has reneged on an International Agreement it has signed in good faith. PS: According to US law, they cannot ask Overtime wages in for a live in domestic wage. So Devyani is corrupt, all Indian government officials are corrupt, Indian politicians are corrupt, Indian judicial system is corrupt, Indian national objectives are corrupt, Every thing Indian is corrupt, only US is a land of fairness and upstanding citizens, lets forget those millions of underpaid mexican slaves in the US farm sector.

  11. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal


    "Securing immunities and privileges for US officials abroad is best done by respecting international conventions and according entitled courtesies in the United States," he wrote.

    All that India has been demanding is that Indian diplomats should be afforded "the same immunities and courtesies under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations that the US government seeks for its officials posted abroad."

    "Immunity is the fundamental concept on which diplomats operate," a source said. Yet the Americans are very "generous" in interpreting international conventions when it relates to them and very "stingy" when it comes to others.

    "The US is very reluctant to commit and very quick to ask" the source quipped taking a look back at the Khobragade affair that has threatened to derail one of "the most important relationships" for both nations.

    In choosing to criminalise "a wage dispute with a domestic employee", a source said the US had ignored a pre-existing legal case in India with Khobragade as the first complainant against her housekeeper and nanny, Sangeeta Richard.

    If the US takes the position that "law is the law" then it should be in India too and Washington should respect Indian legal processes, the source said.

  12. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    Now it turns out that the the Bureau of Diplomatic Security coordinator of the anti-terrorism program at the US embassy in Delhi, Wayne May (and his diplomat wife Alice Muller May) don’t much like India or Indians.

    May is the guy who subverted the Indian judiciary, refused to let the police in Delhi act on Khobragade’s charge of extortion, got a T visa for the nanny, and “evacuated” her out of the country a couple of days before the diplomat was arrested, likely at his instigation.

    The May’s Facebook page was taken down as soon as bloggers pounced on it, but someone saved it and uploaded it elsewhere.

    ..
    One wonders what kind of outreach Ms. May can do when she doesn’t seem to like being in the country and doesn’t have the self-restraint not to vent her feelings about it on the internet. It’s also very telling that Ms May has no Indians in her circle on the net.

    What’s more fascinating than any specific comment is the overall tone. Nothing of substance or insight. Endless chatter with an all-American cast (no Indian friends) about wine, food, trips, and various dinners. Plenty of posts about negative news reports. Frequent references to America as “the real world.”

    Mind you, these folks, as diplomats, live in the better part of Delhi, are exposed to ***from the internet

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      Why no court case has been filed against May? I would like to see that happen. Let me repeat again, I desire rule of law and no exceptional privileges in all countries. But, why is there arbitrary action but not proper legal process followed in India? There needs to be a court case filed against May and then he should have been asked to leave. If there is no court case, it just proves further that India is just taking arbitrary action instead of implementing our own laws.

    2. CommentedSajna Oommen

      @Adarsh all ur arguments revolve around a single point that the US possbly violated th VCCR. Fair enuf. But, if u had an ounce of sense u would hav by now realised that the VCCR does not apply here. VCCR is between govts and Devyani khobragade hired her maid and violated visa rules as an indian individual. the same view has been upheld in US courts and will be confirmed by anyone who has any understanding of the VCCR. Every other argument you make is incredibly asinine. While it is true that US diplomats have been given a lot of privileges in India that does not mean indian diplomats should expect to commit offences in the US and not be penalised for it!! she is also not the first person to do so. See http://www.financialexpress.com/news/indian-diplomat-devyani-khobragade-not-first-in-maid-row-tax-payer-paid-prabhu-dayal-75000-tab/1210481
      Prabhu dayal's agreement to settle is a confession of guilt as much as if he were tried in public court. As @Vikram has pointed it is the culture of babudom and entitlement that pervades india that leads to this. @adarsh Stop throwing tantrums like a 6 year old and making arbit accusations on other users here. Levelling charges of harrassment is irresponsible and not productive to the rest of the conversation here. Please take your personal vendettas offline!! Though i highly suspect whether losers like you have the balls to do so :p

  13. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    @India needs modi,

    Ofcourse, people who says that an Indian diplomat should be tried by a US court is borderline traitorous. I have not seen, US allowing any of its Diplomats, Soldiers, if possible even citiznes to be tried by a foreign court, Have they given justice to the victims of US military personnel accused of murder, or Raymond Davis, or the italian issue?

    I have no love for Devyani, beyond the principled stand of India on jurisdiction, precedence and Vienna Convention. India cannot allow US unilateralism and judicial over reach into India.Devyani can be and should be tried for her alleged crimes in India. Corruption and Contractual Violations.

  14. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal


    I have Vice Guy over here creating a facebook account called 'Sanjay Gandhi', adding my friends to his list, trying to post disparaging remarks about me in my personal account and that of my friends. Posting the same drivel he posted here to my personal account and to that of my friends, and every other online account that I have. Trying to harassing me, all the while he remains anonymous. Bravo!! So after all this talk, ultimately this little main is nothing but online stalker and a bully.

    No matter, This is not something I take seriously, unless of course it turns serious then I will have to take the next step and inform the concerned authorities. If these are the kind of people who are against interest of India and its principled stand, I do think India is in some good stead.

    1. CommentedVice Guy

      to Adarsh, surely you could have come up with a better retort than accusing me of creating facebook accounts and harrassing you.

      I am very impressed you have any friends at all. Though i guess that if Ted Bundy, Hitler, Son of Sam, and Jeffrey Dahmer had friends, you would too. Proud of you son. We always thought you would wind up in a padded room in straitjackets.

      The first rule when you are in a hole is to stop digging further. As you have been exposed pretty convincingly as a one-sided radical with sociopathic and juvenile tendencies, it might make sense to abstain from further such cartoonish observations and pyschopathic accusations. Believe me, you are *not* important enough for anyone to give a f**K about.

      Your mother, who i know *intimately*, will give you my contact details and address in Mumbai in case you need to see me. I have no interest in you or your friends or your faceboook accounts.

      That said I have had my fun and given my 2 cents on this dreary episode of Mr & Ms Khobragade. She has been exposed as a fraud repeatedly in the last few days. In the sad state of Indian democracy she will probably become a role model. This discussion seems to have been beaten to death. That's it from me people.

      Au revoir to the Product of my Loins,
      Rajiv Mohan K. aka Vice Guy
      i bloghttps://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/shashi-tharoor-says-that-us-authorities--arrest-in-december-of-india-s-deputy-consul-general-in-new-york-has-profoundly-damaged-bilateral-relations# at kochipost.com/ and sepiamutiny.com/blog/

    2. CommentedSajna Oommen

      @adarshkavgal,
      like someone else has already posted here: we would appreciate it you would take your petty, random arguments elsewhere and with the person concerned. This forum is not your personal ancestral property to misuse for airing you personal prejudices and arbitrary ranting. We are in no position to judge the veracity of your accusations and statements attacking others' characters. Please refrain from further abusive mails here.

      Note: this spamming actvity has been reported to the Editors

    3. CommentedSajna Oommen

      See http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/14-more-maids-in-US-threat-of-Devyani-rerun-looms/articleshow/28717303.cms
      Several other Indian diplomats have wilfully subverted the US laws, and the Indian governments response is to try and work out of a loophole to let them continue doing so. To all those vociferously demanding justice from the US: it will do you good and question the same of the Indian government. We are only making ourselves look like petty, unethical fools in front of the whole world with these kind of tactics.

  15. CommentedVice Guy

    I think the hero's welcome that is accorded to DK and her conman father reflect the deplorable state of Indian governance, more than anything else... Guess it is to the credit of Kejriwal that AAP has remained silent on this issue - a step better than the jingositic bullsh*t that the Congress and BJP have doled out

  16. CommentedLathika 4u

    They may not be in a position to drop the case against Devyani since they given asylum to sangeeta & her family at their tax payers money. If they drop the charges which will reflect their poor handling of these issues, past and present, & answerable to taxpayers. Do not expect them to apologise or drop the case. India needed to prove sangeeta issue as a wrong ..but she is not wrong in this case!! DK cannot escape

    1. CommentedIndia Needs Modi

      Coming soon to a comment near you. Statement from Adarsh Kavungal accusing everyone on P-S of being traitors without spines who are in the pay of the CIA / NSA / Democrats / US Govt / FBI / NRA (cross out the least preferred option. There is no wrong answer). If not for "real men" (applause) like him India would be in the hands of the racist Americans.

  17. CommentedLathika 4u

    India's blushing -Devyani Khobragade
    India tried every method to save our pride on Devyani Khobragade case. The case which shown to the world about how systems works in India,what it lacks and what needed to be done. Few noted points on this case shows who is heading the corrupt practices of the country. There is no justification to the fact that documents submitted to the US govt are falsified to meet the requirements of the US govt and it is a case of Visa fraud. How many Indian owned colleges closed herein UK due to these types of visa frauds. Even UK consulate in Ahmadabad was closed due to the high volume of falsified documents created from that region one time until UK govt created a system to manage that.

    There is no justification to the fact that, no mutual agreement between India and US govt existed regarding the requirement of A-3 visa's especially the minimum wage issue in proportionate to Indian diplomats salaries. Interestingly who worked there in the past also failed to get a treaty done between the two countries. I would like to ask Indian govt what was the 'appropriate action' taken against Anil Verma who beaten his wife, and Indian govt refuses to waive his immunity for a prosecution in UK? Govt gives protection to the criminals which is a shame, Devyani case is also one of them, for Indian govt she is India's pride.!

    This case exposed the exploitation of uneducated poorer class of India in the hands of the so called VIP's who acted as criminals for their requirements. Exposed India's total failure related with labour laws, & human right laws. Poorer and weakest section of the society was not protected against abuses & wages, become the limelight abroad. Indian Labour laws are more restrictive and complicated. Central laws, State laws, which needs heavy reforms as relevant laws failed to protect the low wage income earners & made them work long hours.!! what is the point in having these kinds of laws which fails to respond to the common man's needs. Is Devyani is the solution to address these issues?

    It is the responsibility of each and every ambassadors working abroad to get the laws in line with the country which they serve to protect their staff, regardless of the immunity. Indian govt waits for the wake up call for taking action or changing the laws of the country, always waiting for something extraordinary to happen whether it is Nirbhaya rape, or strip search of a woman diplomat or AAP win to pass Lokpal?.!

    Instead of misleading the Indian's in the parliament about a conspiracy theory, Indian govt could have admitted their mistake and taken a proper action. A nameless lawyer calling up promising Devyani a permanent visa shows how much trouble she was in for her crime and all the nameless lawyers around her knows it except Indian govt who ignored these letters from the month of September. It is a case between US govt & Devyani not between a lawyer and a client. If a nameless lawyer called her means, he /she might have thought of making money by using her.

    Mr. Khobragade in his daughter's defense was giving stories after stories on TV channels, which was viewed by all foreign media's too. He says servant used Devyani’s computer to fill the application form ! US submitted all the false documents, he was showing a file as well. A case filed in India has no value for US govt, while considering the case of that servant for US visa they might have looked at all those records before arriving at a decision.

    Can’t believe how an IAS person can stoop to his level. Showing to the viewers that Adarsh scam about him was right. Whether the servant sat on Devyani’s chair and used her computer is not the question, who owns the computer is the question, and why a 3rd party uses Devyani computer also a question, hence fault clearly points out to Devyani even if servant used her computer since owner of the computer is Devyani.

    People who work and stay in western countries know who is at fault, and Indian govt’s narrow minded actions are so shameful for NRI's. This is the reason why creating a trust abroad becomes a problem. Now whatever papers Indian's submit with honesty will be treated with mistrust..

    Without proper protection or something in writing from the US govt & Indian Embassy in US, how can an educated person like Devyani fill up an application form showing a wage which is equivalent to US national minimum wages when she knows she cannot afford it? Is she not having commonsense? An Indian Rs signed agreement will not have any value , unless she should have shown the $ amount equivalent to Indian Rupees and producing proof of payments in India as an evidence. Now there was a question asked in one of the national TV channel how come US approved the maid visa when Devyani mentioned about her salary which was less than the maid. While considering an application they might have looked at not only Devyani salary but also her husband salary, or other sources of incomes etc and made sure that she meets those criteria before awarding that visa.

    Now why should a maid run away, shows she might have mistreated her as per her complaint to the US govt. India do not value human rights, whereas a country like US is very hyper on those issues, and they have to take action if anyone complaints.

    Why Indian embassy/govt of India didn’t take any action when they were notified about it in the month of September? Can't understand central minister’s questioning why American's are not paying Indian servants a salary which is equivalent to american national minimum wages? How these people hold positions in the govt? Don’t they know that it has to do with India's national minimum wages. Make a law for US people that servants needed to be paid so much salary and they will pay that salary, or else they will follow the Indian govt's practice of paying their servants. Another parliamentarian wanted to arrest American gay's no problem, like what America did send them a notice and still they do not listen to it then take action like what US.

    Responsibility comes back to Ms. Rao as well as to Mr. Salman Khurshid directly when US took up this issue in the month of september, why no action taken? If appropriate action was taken at that point of time, this embarrassment could have avoided.

    Indian’s are product of corrupt system which they think they can get away with anywhere in the world. By loose talks, excuses, producing fraud documents of court, police, govt, medical etc etc to defend themselves which has no value in the countries like U.K/US unless it falls in line with their requirements. It is also unfortunate that IFS officers are not been trained enough about the laws of other countries before assigning them the responsibilities.

    India needed to have right people at right places, a person like Salman Khurshid misleading the house, other post holders, VIP's comments too are not appropriate at all. They all are trying to protect a corrupt system to save their face instead of correcting it, which is indeed sad. And media's are nourished with these wrong information to spread it across the country.That is what is embarrassing me.

    Educational system needed to be changed, recruiting right ministers for the right jobs are required, hope AAP 'way' works its way till to the top as that is what is India requires to come out of shame which was caused by corruption and forgery.

    http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/world/us-v-devyani-khobragade-complaint/671/?hpid=z7

  18. CommentedVikram Malhotra

    Justice has already been served. After this incident diplomats will think twice before lying on visa forms. And, our Indian police will finally implement the laws on foreign diplomats who get away with breaking the law. Good outcome this for both countries, isn't it? Only people who lose are the babus who think they are above the law. Unfortunately, that will continue in India.

  19. CommentedMihai-Robert Soran

    Tharoor writes "India had handled American diplomats with a generosity of spirit that it felt the bilateral relationship deserved. Now, with the same spirit shown to be lacking from the other side, the friendship has suffered. Until the US displays appropriate deference to the sensitivities, pride, and honor of other peoples and cultures, it will continue to be resented around the world."
    Deference to the sensitivities, pride, and honor of Indians?
    No, what he's asking for is deference to the corruption, to the perversion of democracy, to the profiteers undemocratic in all non-pariah layers and corners of the Indian society, politics, economy and media.
    Tharoor thinks and acts exactly like his moral brethrens - daughter and father Khobragade. His defense of the potentially criminal Indian diplomat is at the same time an act of solidarity and self-defence of another shadowy figure on the Indian centerstage.

  20. CommentedMihai-Robert Soran

    Many Indians, including Shashi Tharoor and the ruling classes just proved that India is one of the leading corruption paradises and a perversion of democracy.
    India should be ashamed by its almost unequaled corruption at all levels of society, economy, politics, education, and journalism ...

    Devyani's father is - like her daughter - an accused in multiple scams, like the controversial Adarsh Coop Housing Society, where he along with his daughter own two flats.[2] Was also instrumental, as GM of BEST, in granting permissions for Adardh to use higher floor space index (FSI) than permitted.
    Also accused of misleading the public regarding the make of King Long AC buses in 2007, and overpaying Rs 20 lakh extra (over the market price) for every King Long bus.

  21. CommentedP C George

    Accusing the lawyer of having an agenda is the trick that the clearly guilty use, because they realise they have no locus standi.
    When you are caught, fire randomly. Blame the US govt, blame the CIA, blame high caste Hindus, blame the victim (the maid) and her family, cast aspersions on everyone except yourself. Muddy the waters as much as possible. With able support from the India media, grandstanding politicians and parroting fools like Adarsh Kanuvgal and Vivek Shroff who cannot see through the tactics of a conniving father and daughte

  22. CommentedAmit Lakhotia

    Bit scathing but well said
    I am sure Mr Adarsh is realising that personal attacks can work both ways now

    Both sides were wrong and managed it even worse. While the USA did have some reason to litigate, they grossly overplayed their hand. And still continue to do so (www.dnaindia.com/india/report-devyani-khobragade-no-longer-enjoys-immunity-may-face-arrest-warrant-us-1948874).

    i for one have no sympathies for devyani khobragade. i think any other diplomat in a similar situation would have a greater cause. khobragade has proven repeatedly that she expects the same benefits and 'my-papa-is-a-bigshot' treatment she gets in india. Read this article today: indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/i-wonder-if-i-will-be-able-to-ever-reunite-with-my-husband-my-kids-i-miss-them/2/

    she speaks of her children like they are americans rather than indians. Notice the phrasing "Her children, Khobragade said, were FAMILIAR with India." WTF. are these kids of two indians or kids of an ABCD professor and his wish-i-were-white diplomat wife?

    i support the indian cause. i think US managed it terribly.

    but i still wholeheartedly wish frauds like khobragade go to jail. any other indian diplomat i would have joined the protests. she is lucky to get out free. just another corrupt indian bureaucrat abusing their power and finally getting caught in a country where rule of law exists

    I think the two counts of indictment clearly support what some people have commented here.
    Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/shashi-tharoor-says-that-us-authorities--arrest-in-december-of-india-s-deputy-consul-general-in-new-york-has-profoundly-damaged-bilateral-relations#Q5o3E0WVtsyvJYtz.99

    1. CommentedP C George

      My thoughts exactly. If the same treatment had occurred to any other diplomat with a cleaner track record I am certain several people would have looked at it more objectively. Probably given the accused the benefit of the doubt. Devyani Khobragade and her ridiculous father have proven time and again that they are willing to abuse the system and laws around them for personal benefit.

      Uttam Khobragade's only response to the charges against him in the Adarsh scam. is that he is being targeted because he is a Dalit. Both father and daughter are clearly willing to play all the caste, country, gender cards when it suits him.

      As Amit Lakhotia has rightly pointed out, while the US did overplay their hand, many of us are grateful that atleast in the US there is a semblance of justice and she is convicted.

  23. CommentedVice Guy

    Dear Son Adarsh,
    Preet Bharara is also working to indict Mathew Martoma - who I understand is a fellow Keralite of yours.

    I guess this must be the final proof that Bharara is an Indian with 'zero patriotism' and a 'Mir Jafar'? Forget that Martoma is alleged to have a history of ethical issues (like Khobragade i may add).

    Privileged Indians like you, trying to protect their interests (rent-seekers in Economics speak) is the reason why India has very few Preet Bhararas who can go for the jugular. I guess you are highly offended that a privileged Indian diplomat could not go scott free abusing whatever laws she chooses to?

    Regards
    Your real father

    1. CommentedP C George

      Accusing the lawyer of having an agenda is the trick that the clearly guilty use, because they realise they have no locus standi.
      When you are caught fire randomly. Blame the US govt, blame the CIA, blame high caste Hindus, blame the victim (the maid) and her family, cast aspersions on everyone except yourself. Muddy the waters as much as possible. With able support from the India media, grandstanding politicians and parroting fools like Adarsh Kanuvgal and Vivek Shroff who cannot see through the tactics of a conniving father and daughter

  24. CommentedVice Guy

    Dear Mr. Kavungal.

    'Please feel free to ignore' - sure, when you plaster your bigoted comments across *EVERY SINGLE COMMENT BY OTHERS*, it should not be hard. Classic troll.

    The particular American diplomat you have highlighted may be racist. Quite possible. In fact, racism is a big issue in the US. Several Americans are racist. Completely Agree. That does not give a carte blanche to Indians to ignore laws and act as they please. Or to abuse certain rights and privileges of other human beings (in this case, Sangeeta Richards). So please stop extrapolating and generalising from specific instances. And please stop making personal attacks on people writing comments here.

    Bravo on having married a 'white' - wonder how long you were waiting to advertise that. I guess that makes you 'humanistic' and above everyone else on this forum and 'capable' enough to pass judgement on *EVERY SINGLE PERSON*- who btw are just reacting in a normal manner to what is an intriguing article.

    As a psychology minor and coming from a family of medical professionals, i can state this much with complete confidence:
    Overtly prejudicial statements, stereotypical generalisations, aggressively defensive behaviour, clear external orientation ('white' spouse, anyone American is bad, comments taken out of context) - definite symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder. These are almost always overcompensation for deep-rooted inferiority complexes, particularly lack of 'capability' and 'physical endowment' in certain areas (your spouse will agree for sure).
    To your Austrian 'white' spouse - for sure, she could have done a LOT better than this. Poor kid.
    I am sure I speak for everyone else reading this comment-roll when I say: please do us all a favour and do not *ever* post anything else on Project-Syndicate again.

    Unfortunately they do not have the option to highlight spams and trolls yet - you would clearly tick all checkboxes.

    Kind regards,
    Your real father

    1. CommentedSajna Oommen

      @Amit Lakhotia
      Very true. She is practically an ABCD herself. If you see her interviews you can discern her obvious dismay at having been forced to return to India. Also note her remark that she 'does not think her family will join her'. Clearly her patriotic family prefer NY to her and their home country.

    2. CommentedAmit Lakhotia

      Bit scathing but well said
      I am sure Mr Adarsh is realising that personal attacks can work both ways now

      Both sides were wrong and managed it even worse. While the USA did have some reason to litigate, they grossly overplayed their hand. And still continue to do so (www.dnaindia.com/india/report-devyani-khobragade-no-longer-enjoys-immunity-may-face-arrest-warrant-us-1948874).

      i for one have no sympathies for devyani khobragade. i think any other diplomat in a similar situation would have a greater cause. khobragade has proven repeatedly that she expects the same benefits and 'my-papa-is-a-bigshot' treatment she gets in india. Read this article today: indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/i-wonder-if-i-will-be-able-to-ever-reunite-with-my-husband-my-kids-i-miss-them/2/

      she speaks of her children like they are americans rather than indians. Notice the phrasing "Her children, Khobragade said, were FAMILIAR with India." WTF. are these kids of two indians or kids of an ABCD professor and his wish-i-were-white diplomat wife?

      i support the indian cause. i think US managed it terribly.

      but i still wholeheartedly wish frauds like khobragade go to jail. any other indian diplomat i would have joined the protests. she is lucky to get out free. just another corrupt indian bureaucrat abusing their power and finally getting caught in a country where rule of law exists

      I think the two counts of indictment clearly support what some people have commented here.

  25. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    @Vice guy,

    Please feel free to ignore. The racism is displayed here adequately by the Indians themselves and others by rampant stone walling of the other side and generalizations of Indians as born abusive. No one has anything to talk about the dilution of Vienna Conventions nor on the contempt of Indian Courts, violation Indian laws. Rabid junk, those are the snapshots of her Facebook posts, If you are an American you should be ashamed that such people are allowed to be representatives of the country. Vegetarian Hindu's are rapist, and I am the racist...yeah right!!!!. PS: I am agnostic and my wife is not Indian, rather a Austrian white, and I am a Malayalee..therefore I like my beef.

    1. CommentedVice Guy

      'Please feel free to ignore' - sure, when you plaster your bigoted comments across *EVERY SINGLE COMMENT BY OTHERS*, it should not be hard. Classic troll.

      The particular American diplomat you have highlighted may be racist. Quite possible. In fact, racism is a big issue in the US. Several Americans are racist. Completely Agree. That does not give a carte blanche to Indians to ignore laws and act as they please. Or to abuse certain rights and privileges of other human beings (in this case, Sangeeta Richards). So please stop extrapolating and generalising from specific instances. And please stop making personal attacks on people writing comments here.

      Bravo on having married a 'white' - wonder how long you were waiting to advertise that. I guess that makes you 'humanistic' and above everyone else on this forum and 'capable' enough to pass judgement on *EVERY SINGLE PERSON*- who btw are just reacting in a normal manner to what is an intriguing article.

      As a psychology minor and coming from a family of medical professionals, i can state this much with complete confidence:
      Overtly prejudicial statements, stereotypical generalisations, aggressively defensive behaviour, clear external orientation ('white' spouse, anyone American is bad, comments taken out of context) - definite symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder. These are almost always overcompensation for deep-rooted inferiority complexes, particularly lack of 'capability' and 'physical endowment' in certain areas (your spouse will agree for sure).
      To your Austrian 'white' spouse - for sure, she could have done a LOT better than this. Poor kid.
      I am sure I speak for everyone else reading this comment-roll when I say: please do us all a favour and do not *ever* post anything else on Project-Syndicate again.

      Unfortunately they do not have the option to highlight spams and trolls yet - you would clearly tick all checkboxes.

  26. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    @Vikram,

    It is quite clear that you are self loathing individual, who has not even once looked at the other side of the story. I have no issues with Americans or white people, I do though have issues with racism, especially the new kind of veiled racism and Imperialism. I have no qualms, My country, my people are first.

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      As I have said, it is not patriotic to defend "potentialy" illegal crimes. You are as far from patriotism as one can be. You are merely defending babudom. This issue is never about Indian pride as that is trampled upon by babus everyday. This is about the ugly Indian bureaucrat who thinks he is above the law. Please don't twist that into patriotism.

    2. CommentedVice Guy

      Seems like you wake up every morning, check this forum first thing, and then regurgitate rabid junk that you find online - and without any attempt at analysis or simplification. Thanks for spamming and destroying a good post which had good intelligent comments. I do not completely agree with your view nor do i completely agree with others. But there is an intelligent way to voice your arguments - which some of the other comments show. Something I doubt you understand. You are frankly no different from the racist, fundamentalist comments from rednecks one sees in youtube's comments. My deepest sympathies with anyone who has to deal with you in real life.

  27. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    This is coming from the Head Community Liaison officer ..Who says only Veg.Hindu's rape and how she has smuggled pearls for sale.
    http://i.imgur.com/cLU0MPw.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/E2gP6ny.png
    http://i.imgur.com/XhO540o.png
    http://i.imgur.com/8kLt58K.png
    http://i.imgur.com/B8OaPPl.png

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      Actually, you seem to be a mirror image of her with a deep racism towards Americans. Good job, keep it up. Nor do you understand any point, nor are you interested in objective arguments. Keep up your stupid ideas. Good luck!!

    2. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      So, one bad person exists. What is the point? There are plenty of similar people in every country. Everyone knows there are plenty of rednecks in the US. So, what is the point? Nothing....

  28. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    See this is why India is a banana republic. The charges against DK still stand and she can be prosecuted if she goes to the US without immunity. Whereas, India just took stupid action without following any laws and actual filing of case. What a joke. I would have preferred an actual legal action in the case of US diplomats doing illegal things.

    By the way, where is the action in protest for beheadings of soldiers on the border. Apparently, this is a bigger issue because of holy cows like our bureaucrats. How patriotic (sarcasm intended).
    @vikram,
    How do you know I am not involved in that issue? How do you know
    Indian Government's and Babudom's contempt for Indian army is well known,
    India did what it should have been done under Vienna Convention, that is Persona-Non-Grata, But I wish it charged and cavity searched both husband and wife. If US doesnt care about VC, then India shouldnt. India is a naive country, not very surprising when it has Mir Jafar's and traitor's of your kind.

    1. CommentedP C George

      Agree. India should have taken legal actions against the US diplomats instead of just mouthing diplomatic obscenities. i am assuming they actually had a case?

    2. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      You said nothing about the issue I raised. Do you have something to say in "response" to what I said? Or, perhaps you have severe comprehension issues as you can't seem to even understand an issue, leave alone talk about it properly.

  29. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    @vikram ,That is reprehensible. And, it is no different from similar comments by Indians about their maids. So, your sympathies lie with the Indian maid then?

    - Really, Every Indian with maid say that? Devyani said that,eh? Stereotype much? You have no time to contribute for Mexican slaves in America? Or is White ownership of slaves, fine for you? You have no issues of contempt of court, non payment of Minmum Wage on US territory, US pays a servant Rs.6000 a month,( I pay my maid, who comes 3 times in a week Rs.300 for 2 hours in cochin.), no problems for smuggling, no problems for tax fraud? Your hypocrisy and hatred for own kind, is disgusting

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      Nope, there is no hypocrisy as I said it was reprehensible. And, I didn't say "every". Don't make up your own false interpretations of what I said.

  30. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    @vikram

    Really, You seem to like to shoot from the hip and as usual come up in defense of indefensible, talking about bad food? Really? She talks how only veg.hindu's rape, how she doesnt care about Hindu gods, how her friend smuggled pearls into India and was ready to sell it, How she compares her dog to a gardener, who she believes is malnourished in US Embassy - No food or Minimum wage for him, eh?...the list goes on.
    Your defense of America, is disgusting. What a sepoy.

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      I don't need to defend America. Haha. Really, your comments are clownish. I made one point and exactly one point. Talk about that point if you can.

  31. CommentedUsarmyvet2000 Marylander

    Excellent analysis. As an American who truly believes in the Golden Rule (Do unto others, as you would want others to do unto you) I must agree with you that the treatment of your Diplomat was an example of the rise of Ugly Americanism. It is India's prerogative to discipline or not its Diplomats. The most that we should have done is to ask India to withdraw her from the US, just as India has now done with an American Consular employee. I commend you for a thoughtful analysis of the issue.
    I am aware of the other allegations against your woman Diplomat, but that is for your courts to rule on. Mr.Bharrara's actions too are not atypical! Most, if not all, first and second generation Americans originating from former colonies of the white "empires" suffer from the "subaltern" or "sepoy" syndrome as you would call it. For them, the rest of the world must accept the American World View! Keep up the good work. I enjoy reading your columns.

    1. CommentedFahadh Faz

      adarsh If u actually beleive Khbrgde will be properly tried in india for violating american wage laws and for lying on the visa application, u would be a goddamn racist fool. more likely u are just another unthinking idiot or too lazy to think fool who beleives he will look cooler if he defends perceived violation of indian honour. if u feel so deeply why dont u protest on the rights f all the women nd childrn who r abused every single day. ther r enuf in kerala itself. that would be a bit harder than sitting in front of your laptop in your AC and writting abusive emails is it?

    2. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

      USarmyvet,

      I believe the world is going towards another kind of cold war, the Vienna Conventions must be held as a document that cannot be tampered with or diluted.
      The Diplomats that you send to your ally countries should be exemplary and nothing short. Frankly I dont think Wayne May and Alicia May that you send to India arent. I am not saying anything more Preet', its already been said by you. Devyani, if she is guility of anything it is for India to decide. We cannot be having NGO's like Greenpeace, Safe Horizon etc etc creating serious diplomatic incidents. Countries like China and Russia dont care . I am posting some links, I wonder how you will see an Indian diplomat, if he talks about America being white trailor trash etc etc.
      http://racistdiplomatsusa.tumblr.com/
      http://racistdiplomatsusa.tumblr.com/image/72975010619

  32. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    These are the people who America sends to be the Diplomats and faces of their nation ; Racist people who liken their gardener to a dog and who says only vegetarians are only rapists! Hates everything about India.

    http://racistdiplomatsusa.tumblr.com/

  33. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    The USA ratified the VCCR without reservations in 1969; so fundamental is the right to consular notification and access that the US Department of State considers it to be required under customary international law in all cases, even if the detainee's home country has not signed the VCCR. As of 1 January 2000, at least 167 countries were parties to the VCCR.
    ....
    ....
    The United States had ratified the VCCR Optional Protocol Concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes. By ratifying the optional protocol, the United States had agreed to submit to the binding jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice for the settlement of claims based on the VCCR. However, on 7 March, 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice informed U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan that the United States "hereby withdraws" from the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The United States proposed the protocol in 1963 and ratified it -- along with the rest of the Vienna Convention -- in 1969. The USA was the first country to invoke the protocol before the ICJ, successfully suing Iran for the taking of 52 U.S. hostages in Tehran in 1979.

  34. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    The US Diplomat - Alicia May, compares her dog to the gardener and says her dog is more well fed and jokes on it. Great, Minimum Wage at play in the US Embassy territory. I wonder where the great who supported US attitude are?

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      That is reprehensible. And, it is no different from similar comments by Indians about their maids. So, your sympathies lie with the Indian maid then?

  35. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    The US diplomat has to leave India by Sunday afternoon, officials said, or risk a criminal prosecution on charges of tax evasion and interference in the work of Indian legal authorities.

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      See this is why India is a banana republic. The charges against DK still stand and she can be prosecuted if she goes to the US without immunity. Whereas, India just took stupid action without following any laws and actual filing of case. What a joke. I would have preferred an actual legal action in the case of US diplomats doing illegal things.

      By the way, where is the action in protest for beheadings of soldiers on the border. Apparently, this is a bigger issue because of holy cows like our bureaucrats. How patriotic (sarcasm intended).

  36. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    It is to make such tall claims that lawyers are paid exorbitant fees in the US. It is India, not Khobragade, who has emerged tall with its head held high in the eyes of the world from this episode. Along Washington’s “Embassy Row”, opinion is unanimous that India stood up to American bullying and proved that it cannot be pushed around even by the world’s only superpower on its own soil. The global diplomatic community is grateful that the external affairs ministry salvaged the Vienna Conventions from American tampering with all the power at its command and proved their continued relevance in state-to-state dealings. - KP Nayar

  37. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    American diplomats have done even worse, they have raped, murdered, sexually abused kids and yet dodged local law of those nations they were posted and their own.

  38. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    A-3 Visa is against Vienna Conventions. It is a illegal document.
    Now, lets talk about American violations in India? If Americans are so 'squeaky clean', let them waive diplomatic immunity. They wont. And the MATA Indians over here will just sing their praises. Ridiculous. US Embassy has shown complete disregard and contempt for Indian Court System and its judgements. Just like I said, few days back. One American is evicted, I just wish they made him sweat and did a cavity search , charged him and then made him leave.

  39. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal


    Regarding the security barriers, The American Embassy on its 3 sides are public road, just one side was blocked off, which they converted into private park. Why did they want this road blocked? Because the property on the otherside of the road was American School, they just wanted their commute to be easy. The America media bats for the American State. Take the damn google map and take a look.

  40. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    @Jayesh Nair

    1.So MEA bent rules for her, It doesnt happen in the US? Really it doesnt happen in Harvard, it doesnt happen in US politics, bureaucracy? What has that got to do with violation of Vienna Conventions by the Americans? IF she needs to be prosecuted it is India's business.
    2. No, I am extremely digusted with Indians like you, I mean a woman was strip searched and cavity searched, where is your liberalism for that? Ah, the great bastion of truth and awesomeness did it, So who cares for it, eh?

    I suggest you grow a spine and have some sense patriotism like how the Americans are in unison when it comes to their issues like that, throughout history not even once any media or political party has ever strayed.
    Argumentative Indian, is not that really attractive when India is at stake or her dignity is. Mir Jafar's you lot all are. Absolutely disgusting,which was quite evident when you insinuated her caste and her capability. Ah, I hope you saw in your own link, that you saw that she was rank holder. But hey, she deserves no protection because you have stereotype of India, because her father or she is corrupt...all the while not even mentioning once about mexican slaves and how whites in US are treated by the same US Marshals.

    This is about Bangladesh, Yet again Americans supporting the Muslim fundamentalist in the Jamaat and Khalida Zia.

  41. CommentedN S

    Dear Mr. Tharoor, I have always been a fan of your work and charm right from your UN days, but it saddens me to see that you have also succumbed to the Congress Babudom syndrome. The 'MAID' as you referred to her in the article has a name and that name is Sangeeta Richards, the same way we are not referring to Ms. Devyani K as that indian Diplomat Indian officials reaction to the whole controversy has been childish to say the least! they scampered to get her on the UN mission for diplomatic immunity, and oh the very wise comment from Mr. Sinha around arresting homosexual American diplomats on grounds of it being illegal .. Way to go and show the world how we are a progressive nation that treats everyone equally. Yes even a 'maid', who had a comfortable life according to your article since she had a fully furnished room in Manhattan! This drips of class bias to me Mr. Tharoor, and I am sad to see that you , who wrote the very intelligent and satirical book ' the great indian novel' could think in terms of class divide. And promote the prevailing sense of entitlement which our indian diplomats and IAS officers have about being treated like royalty. I guess something's never change do they

    1. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

      1.Standing up for Vienna Conventions is supporting Devyani ?
      2. Maid and family has shown her true colors to India, what she thinks of India along with her family who has worked for US Embassy for 20 years and her handler Uzra zeya. Shashi doesnt care nor do we Indians after all she has the great USA as wingman, please spare poor India.
      3. She already had UN accretion as UN Advisor
      4. Why should Shashi from ruling party talk for Yashwanth Sinha, an opposition leader.
      5.Look at the US chargesheet, they write the document as though it is human trafficking but then they charge her only for Visa fraud and False statements. Ask yourself? Why?
      6. Wether she or her father is corrupt is our business not the US or those Indian Mir Jafar's
      7. I can see you are not bothered at all about the violations they have done in India, racial discrimination, tax violations, contempt of court. But hey for Indians like you, It is always India fault, who cares about Vienna Conventions and Patriotism.

  42. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    Also, time to ask Nancy Powell to be declared a person we are not to interested to be the US Ambassador to India, as she will have to face contempt of court charges as well as has not worked for the betterment of US-India relations.

  43. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    @Vikram Malhotra,

    1. Who said what she did was illegal? The USA? Sorry, no can do. I dont believe in their Kangaroo courts, and their rampant dis regard for International Treaties. Read up on Article 40 and 47.
    2. Ridiculous position? I want to see the maid now earn $4500/month in the US..lol? That we cannot allow any dilution of the Vienna Convention? If anything that is a principled internationalist position, not America's unilateralism and exceptional ism.
    3. Ugly Americans, will evicted out of India. The people who are responsible for not pay tax to Indian authorities, did smuggling of liqour and food, violated India wage law by discriminating Indian nationals, and ofcourse more importantly contempt of the second most powerful Court in India. I dont see you talking about all those violations. That in itself shows you loyalties.
    5. If Devyani is guilty of anything. It is our business to prosecute her. Not the US, that is Vienna Conventions, that is our stand.

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      By the way, on your point 2, what follows from your argument is that Indians should be paid according to Indian standards and that IFS posted officers and diplomats should be paid Indian salaries while being posted in places like New York. That is a natural outcome of your argument. I think we can all agree on this.

    2. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      1) Who cares what you can do or not, or what you believe in. Suit yourself. No one cares.
      2) That is her problem. Not your or my problem.
      3) They should have been evicted long ago. I desire rule of law everywhere. It is such a shame for Indians that we protected such illegal behavior by foreigners for so long. This is our shortcoming not others. It is a shame that we are waking up only due to such an incident. Shows what a banana republic we are. We won't implement the law unless something happens. How ridiculous.
      4) Fair enough. No problem. She should come back and not go to countries with kangaroo courts. I wonder why she got herself educated in germany and went to work in a country with kangaroo courts. She took the risk. Ask her to come back to beautiful India. LOL.

  44. CommentedVikram Malhotra

    How exactly is it patriotic to defend illegal behavior of fellow citizens?

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      Yeah, right. Such big targets - Bharara and Devyani. Indeed that makes so much sense. Be careful, you might be the next target of those ugly Americans. Haha.

    2. CommentedFather of Americans

      If it was illegal behavior, why didn't they continue with the case? Why the State Department gave her FULL IMMUNITY? I think that the State Department was waiting to hit two Indians with one shot - Devyani and Bharara. Bharara couldn't prosecute his own motherland's (I won't call Bharara an Indo-American) diplomat and harassed Devyani by delaying the same decision that could have been given before X-mas.

  45. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    Ah, a fellow mallu. No wonder about the zero patriotism and hatred for everything that is Indian.


    1) She is a medical doctor and then an IFS, It takes much more than ordinary person to achieve that. She has been selected on merit albeit her community gets quota – affirmative action. You still need to pass the exam, there is no quota there, or are you insinuating that she got illegal certificates. Which is her right according to the law of India. But you ‘nair’ higher caste might not like a poor under class being successful.
    You have no right to speculate what Devyani is going to do with her future, it is not your concern, its only hers alone.
    2)
    Richards is a government employee, since she is paid by the government. Also more than anything else she carries a ‘white’ passport. Non-Government employee’s don’t get that. No, She is not. She came in her own free will. She is what is called IBDA. The Visa conditions in itself is against the Vienna Conventions. She is the Domestic/Private Staff of Consular Officer protected under VC. When the Americans cant apply tax, social security, cant let her work outside the consular home, and you think they can enforce wage laws. They try to push it through the illegal document as A-3 Visa.
    3) We will be getting a US Diplomat pretty soon. If anybody knows how India treats Diplomatic slights. Pakistani have some broken bones for that. This woman was not abused anyway, contrary she was treated very well. She gamed the system along with Uzra Zeya, her inlaws in US Embassy, Safe Horizon NGO and ofcourse the State Depart, India isn’t Pakistan. Reciprocity is in full effect.
    4) The Visa form by the way was signed and submitted by the maid, who is an atrocious woman.
    5) What is the US doing about the Farm Industry using slave Mexicans,
    6) why isn’t the US paying US minimum wage on US territory – US Embassy to its Indian nationals.
    7) Why US doing smuggling and tax fraud in India
    8) US is in contempt of Indian Court System, good luck going against those old sticklers.

    9) The Visa Form is in itself illegal according to VC. The idiotic US Charge says she was supposed to pay $4500, then says at 9.75 at 40 hours a week. 9.75*4*40 =$1560.


    10) People like you will only get a insane vitriol reply. Mir Jafar’s deserve nothing less.

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      I suggest you ask Devyani how patriotic she is and whether her kids are US citizens or Indian citizens and whether she plans to take up US citizenship as she is married to US citizen.

    2. CommentedJayesh Nair

      @Adarsh,
      I was referring to how the MEA (no less) bent the rules for Khobragade in the IFS rank list:
      http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-12-22/india/45473493_1_ifs-allotment-language

      My bad if the initial comment sounded prejudicial in any manner. Not the intention at all.

      However, I repeat, probably good to tone down the hallucinogens.
      Maybe break the Prozacs in half.
      And try decaf.

      @ShashiTharoor, thanks for the article. Followup article to all these comments would be just sooper

  46. CommentedJayesh Nair

    All said and done, with the overreaction and uncharacteristic Indian govt reaction, i expect Khobragade will walk free, get a red carpet welcome In India and heck! possibly get an airport named after her (role model for emancipation of unjustly treated rich dalit diplomats)

  47. CommentedFather of Americans

    Reply to Jayesh Nair:
    We are not talking about who is married to whom but talking about the mistreatment of an Indian Lady Diplomat in NY specially when the applicant of the so-called visa fraud - the Housekeeper herself was given political immunity by the US Attorney to get the Lady Indian Diplomat who, in fact, has a diplomatic immunity. This is a politics being played by USA for some gains best know to them. As you are in a foreign country yourself, you know it very well and specifically written on any visa application that false information in this application will result in denial of the visa and the applicant may be prosecuted. Now, who was the applicant here? Even if the employer gave some false information, the applicant should be arrested first and then the employer because even an illiterate person signing any application is responsible for its content and the supporting documents. Also, do you think this Housekeeper may have ever dreamed of travelling by air not to talk about USA so she new what she will do after reaching USA. As per the saying in USA "Welcome to America - the Land of Opportunities" and if you can't find one, we will create it for you. Thanks to our lawyers and the legal system.

  48. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    What did America say about 1979 Iranian, ICJ verdict in favor of USA, that Consular's have immunity, what did US say for the CIA hitman. I am extremely happy that US India relationship of the unequal has gone down the drain.

  49. CommentedJayesh Nair

    @tinderspark @ Robert
    Completely agree.

    The Indian govt seems keen on obfuscating the entire issue. Suddenly a lady getting strip-searched, and cavity searched seems to be the one issue that can unite an entire country in outrage. Forget that this is the country where rape and sexual violence happens so often we are officially the world's 4th most unsafe country for women (http://www.siliconindia.com/shownews/India_ranked_4th_as_worlds_most_dangerous_countries_for_women-nid-84716-cid-1.html).

    Pontificating 'patriots' like Adarsh and Vivek Shroff here seem more turned on by DK's honour than those of millions of other women in their own borders. Maybe because she s easier to look at (could be with some plastic surgery!).

    Forget that she blatantly violated US laws, is married to a US citizen and could easily (her spouse is a tenured professor at UPenn) afford to pay full wages. Noo.. let s rant and rave about the US and what they did in Syria (@Yash) or in Japan (@adarsh who seems to have a lot of time on his hands).

  50. CommentedVivek Chand

    There is something known as freedom of speech, well espoused by the USA and India. Shashi Tharoor raises valid points which can be discussed objectively. Your tone suggests you seem to know better than most men, but leaves us wondering otherwise.

    The reality as most objective observers have pointed out is that mistakes have been made by both sides, but diplomacy means that friends (more than foes) work things out amicably. This was certainly not amicable and the only outcome is damage to US/India relations. The recent Russian incident and handling of that is also telling - as to how strong arm tactics do have effect.

    1. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      Its also funny that you should bring up freedom of speech when Shashi was the one who was defending Congress action to muzzle free speech on the internet when it came to criticism against his political gods. Oh the irony.

    2. CommentedVikram Malhotra

      Who said anything about denying Shashi freedom of speech. I was just saying that he is a stupid man. And, that comes across on many different issues on this site. Its just tedious to keep repeating that he is a moron. There are much more intelligent Indians that can replace the joker.

      Indeed, the matter should be objectively handled. And, I said why its simply an objective issue of breaking the law. If you have some point about why it is not illegal then make it. Otherwise you are the one not being objective.

  51. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    She is an Indian DIplomat, if she marries a Pakistani or decide to end her life after this, it is none of my business. As long as She is a INdian Diplomat, then she is India's business. America loving Indians from India and Indians in America, who hate and loathe everything about India, and were unsuccessful in Indian enviornment can go to hell. There are enough people in India and people who matter who support her. Americans are in land of the native americans, wiped out by them through murder and now US Farm industry pays much less than US mnimum wage for its Mexican slaves. US has no business getting its head in between two Indian Government workers. You are not an Indian Vikram Malhotra, you are what is called a Mir Jafar

    1. CommentedJayesh Nair

      @Adarsh Your arguments are unfortunately, and for want of a better phrase, *seriously retarded*
      1) Vikram Malhotra is right. DK is married to an American citizen, in all likelihood planning to take citizenship herself, and as a diplomat and IFS graduate (albeit one who did not get in through merit), completely aware of the legal requirements & constraint when she hired a maid

      2) Richards was not a govt employee - she is an employee of DK in her personal capacity (for legal details read http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-01-08/news/45991613_1_immunity-prosecution-vienna-convention). So, SR is a person brought to the US in violation of visa laws by DK in her personal capacity

      3) DK is clearly in violation of US laws. She has fabricated contracts, misrepresented to the visa authorities, and clearly violated US visa laws. This is further borne out by the fact that DK's sole defense strategy seems to be the technicality of 'diplomatic immunity'

      These are publicly known laws - the US govt is not taking advantage of some unknown loophole. Turning what is clear violation of the law, into some sort of personal vendetta of yours againt the US / Indians in the US or anyone else is (i repeat), 'seriously retarded'.

      PS Not expecting a sane, non-vitriol-spewing reply

  52. CommentedVikram Malhotra

    By the way, for all the Indians who are making this a patriotic issue, Devyani is married to a US citizen and is likely to become a US citizen herself (unless this case throws a spanner into the works. That might actually be her main concern). So, the joke's on you.

  53. CommentedVikram Malhotra

    Errr.. this should be titled return of the ugly Indian feudal lords, or return of the ugly Indian Humphrey Applebys.

    Frankly, how can any sane person write that paragraph on the wages being attractive. It doesn't matter if they are attractive or not. They break the law and the visa application stated otherwise and therefore its a clear case of lying on visa application too. Two illegalities that are clearly prosecutable. How Shashi can defend such behavior is incomprehensible. But then he has been defending dubious people all his life. This person is an unprincipled diplomat himself. I continue to urge Proj Syn to stop giving him space on their site. He doesn't speak for Indians, not for me anyway.

    1. CommentedVivek Chand

      There is something known as freedom of speech, well espoused by the USA and India. Shashi Tharoor raises valid points which can be discussed objectively. Your tone suggests you seem to know better than most men, but leaves us wondering otherwise.

      The reality as most objective observers have pointed out is that mistakes have been made by both sides, but diplomacy means that friends (more than foes) work things out amicably. This was certainly not amicable and the only outcome is damage to US/India relations. The recent Russian incident and handling of that is also telling - as to how strong arm tactics do have effect.
      Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/shashi-tharoor-says-that-us-authorities--arrest-in-december-of-india-s-deputy-consul-general-in-new-york-has-profoundly-damaged-bilateral-relations#yAPhd4mJ33fFlsJD.99

  54. Commentedpullat devadas menon

    no one appears to be asking the central questions:

    a. since the diplomat was already part of UN and had immunity till Dec 31st, why was this ignored by the State dept, which authorised the arrest?

    b. Who actually made the application for visa, the diplomat or the domestic aid? I would think that the person who signed the application applied for the visa. Nothing has been coming forth on who was actually the signatory of the application.

    C. Why is it that US issues a 3rd of its trafficking related visas to Indian nationals, indicative of its scant respect to the Indian legal process?

    Hopefully all this will lead to GoI getting its act together and either create a separate category for the domestic help that goes out from India with an official GoI passport or altogether ban such an activity. GoI has to realise that US is very skillful in ingenuously using its laws to further its own imperialism.

    1. CommentedJayesh Nair

      @Devadas

      On point 1: an interesting article on the legal aspect:
      http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-01-08/news/45991613_1_immunity-prosecution-vienna-convention

      It is not enough that the Indian govt suddenly has the 'enlightenment' that DK is immune to prosecution.

      To quote:
      The UN Headquarters Agreement, on the other hand, grants immunity ratione personae from criminal prosecution only to those UN representatives .. as has been agreed upon between the UN Secretary General, the US government and the sending State. In Khobragade's case, the US government claims it did not give its consent to Khobragade's appointment to India's permanent mission. In any case, the US claims Khobragade will not be entitled to retroactive immunity

      On Point 2:
      Text of complaint:
      http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/world/us-v-devyani-khobragade-complaint/671/

      Not sure the technicalities of who signed visa application is the point.. the whole issue is the existence of 2 different employment contracts (between DK and SR) of which 1 was clearly manufactured for the purpose of the visa application (therefore, misrepresentation). This is borne out by the fact that the more recent contract is the one in violation of ALREADY WELL KNOWN labour law requirements.

      I think one of the clearest indications of culpability has to be the fact that DK's sole defense strategy seems to be centred around the technicality of 'diplomatic immunity'. Note at no point has she refuted manufacturing 2 contracts.

  55. CommentedVivek Shroff

    The Indian media has been far more balanced in its approach showing both sides of the story.
    The US media has been ingenuous at best. The Washington Post editorial is full of half-truths. They do not say that the barricades were impeding traffic and were unnecessary and the police presence has in fact been increased. They do not state that the maid's lodging / boarding in a pricey Manhattan flat with full health benefits and her resultant savings WERE FAR HIGHER than those of A LEGAL WAL-MART WORKER. We are not even talking about the hundreds of thousands of illegals without whom US farmlands would rot away.
    They do not state that all measures are only to bring a level of reciprocity. They do not state that the Americans were running a club with PAID MEMBERSHIP IN THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS for non-diplomats. WaPo forgets to mention that the US officers were importing duty-free liquor (meant for personal consumption) by the crate and SELLING IT TO NON-DIPLOMATS AT A TIDY PROFIT. IF THIS IS NOT SMUGGLING, WHAT IS? Indians do not run a beauty parlour or get income from sale of illicitly imported duty-free liquor, in their embassy in the USA.
    Look at Washington Times and New York Times to understand the stranglehold their government has on the media. Thankfully, India is way better, at least in this respect.

  56. CommentedVivek Shroff

    The sublime idiocy of Americans supporting the immigration-gaming by the maid is beyond compare. They deserve not just the maid, but her cousins, in-laws, out-laws, the whole jing-bang should be 'evacuated' to the land of opportunity to live off dole and Medicaid, while the sons of the soil face the ignominy of struggling to pay extortionist health care costs, the maximum amongst all developed nations.

    1. CommentedJayesh Nair

      @Vivek, you would imagine there are easier way to get a US visa than to 'game it' with an international controversy.
      Far fetched and ridiculous as that statement is, you should note that the 'sole' reactions to the case are statements on the US hypocrisy. This is really hilarious - it is the equivalent of cribbing to a traffic cop who catches you for speeding, that the cop has let other bigger crimes unsolved and therefore, has no right to penalise you.

      DK violated the US visa laws plain and simple. She does not refute this. Trying to obfuscate the issue with non-monetary items is ridiculous.

      See: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/world/us-v-devyani-khobragade-complaint/671/

      The visa regulations clearly state the hourly pay of $9.75 is required IRRESPECTIVE of other non-monetary benefits. I assume these are laws that DK, as a diplomat, should have been aware of. And her spouse, as a US citizen, should have been cognizant of (surprisingly, no one seems to have pointed fingers at him yet).

      Again, the sole defense by DK's team seems to lie in technicalities. Clearly no one doubts she has committed a crime - the only question is can we interpret diplomatic protocol sufficiently to let her get away with it...

  57. CommentedKislay Sinha

    This is the typical viewpoint of the feudal privileged in India. This author was appalled at the prospect of travelling "cattle class" when austerity measures were introduced by his government.

  58. CommentedRaj Dutta

    Under which International Law was the US State
    US wages issue causes a diplomatic furor why?
    US legal system is not cognizant who the legal employer is and that a housekeeper for a foreign staff is on Indian Passport and not a foreign domestic worker for the American household in New York.
    Does the US State Department and their Embassy staff have the legal grounds to "evacuate" Ms. Richard's husband and kids from INDIA? All Indian citizens.
    Whatever the grounds to justify the "evacuation" there are violation of laws against Indian citizens with pending court cases in India. Where is their culpability?
    Is this not akin to "evacuation" of Warren Anderson the former CEO of UNION CARBIDE after the Bhopal gas tragedy. Did the US Law ever help Indian gas victims to facilitate compensation for the human tragedies caused by a US Corporation.
    US Corporations in India are hiring Indian workers at 1/5 of US wages creating unemployment for their own citizens. Who is causing this disparity and unemployment situation?
    The "Ugly American" is very mild label.

    1. CommentedJayesh Nair

      @Raj, agree. SR & family being spirited away to the US smacks of a conspiracy. That said, you cannot blame them - see the overreaction of the Indian govt and the extent they risk national interests for the sake of a criminal, whose father happens to be an influential diplomat (and one 'allegedly' accused of corruption no less).

  59. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    News reports out of New York highlight the arrest of an Indian consular official for allegedly underpaying her domestic servant, and for misrepresenting the salary on a U.S. visa application. The U.S. State Department assisted in the arrest, claiming for itself a “victory” in the war on human trafficking. Not paying a fair wage is wrong. What is also wrong is for the State Department to be following a double-standard in what it expects from foreign diplomats, and what it expects from its own.Rape
    According to court documents, a U.S. Department of State diplomat and her husband tricked an Ethiopian woman into accompanying them as their domestic servant to Japan, where they held her virtually as a prisoner in their home and forced her to work for them for less than $1 per hour and where the husband repeatedly raped the woman with his diplomat wife’s consent. A Virginia federal judge awarded the victim $3.3 million in damages on a default judgment against the couple. The diplomat retired from the State Department with full pension and then fled the country.The victim, identified only as “Jane Doe,” told the court she was hired by the Howards in 2008 as a live-in housekeeper at the couple’s home in Yemen, where Linda Howard worked at the U.S. embassy. Doe says she agreed to move with the couple to Japan after Linda Howard was transferred to the embassy there and that she was promised wages of $300 per month, time off each week, health insurance and a safe place to live and work.
    Once in Japan, Doe says, Russell Howard repeatedly raped her, forced her to perform oral sex and sexually assaulted her. Doe says Linda Howard was complicit in her husband’s sexual abuse, telling Doe that she should gratify her husband and make him happy. Doe, who speaks little English and no Japanese, says the Howards also used nonphysical force, such as isolation and threats of deportation, to coerce her into servitude.” http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/12/18/diplomatic-abuse-of-servants-not-just-for-indians

  60. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    Safe Horizons, an Organisation whose Lawyer Dana Sussman is helping SR, has a tip sheet on Human Trafficking

    Their Tips are as below:
    Trafficking Indicators
    http://www.safehorizon.org/images/uploa ... ipcard.pdf

    Is the victim in possession of identification and travel documents; if not, who has control of the documents?
    She was having official passport and came as IBDA.

    Was the victim coached on what to say to law enforcement and immigration officials?
    Dk or anyone was not present in the Interview. In fact her FIL was working in Embassy, such coaching seems to be impossibility. Hubby is also with another embassy. She was not satisfied with Hubby's salary in he beginning of her marriage and left home but returned only after she discovered that she was pregnant.

    Was the victim recruited for one purpose and forced to engage in some other job?
    From all accounts she was engaged for the purpose she was recruited. In fact she asked permission to moonlight and was denied. Could have been a trap.

    Is the victim’s salary being garnished to pay off a smuggling fee? (Paying off a smuggling fee alone is not considered trafficking.)
    There was no need to pay smuggling fee since she came on Official passport and Visa on Note Verbale.

    Was the victim forced to perform sexual acts?
    Not even claimed by any account so far.

    Does the victim have freedom of movement?
    She was moving freely , going to market , beauty parlours and churches etc.

    Has the victim or family been threatened with harm if the victim attempts to escape?
    No, in fact Indian legal system and US legal system were approached by the family.

    Has the victim been threatened with deportation or law enforcement action?
    Not till she absconds/disappears and does not return to work.

    Has the victim been harmed or deprived of food, water, sleep, medical care or other life necessities?
    Answer is no. In fact better facilities were available.

    Can the victim freely contact friends or family?
    She was in touch with family through modern means of communication. It was provided by the Family of Dk with Ipad and Sim with a facebook account and yahoo email ID.

    Is the victim a juvenile engaged in commercial sex?
    She is a mature adult and presumably not engaged in commercial sex

    Is the victim allowed to socialize or attend religious services?
    She was reportedly attending Church.

    1. CommentedVice Guy

      Funny how you contradict your own comments. You refer to Safe Horizons tip sheet here, and in later comments you impugn and malign their credibility. Are we to hope you will see sense on all your other comments as well?
      Now regards, Safe Horizons - it is chaired by senior Wall Streeters and could just be a way for Wall Street to wage a proxy war against Preet Bharara (my opinion).

      Board of Directors and Companies safe horizons are associated with:

      Michael C. Slocum, Vice Chair, Audit Committee Chair
      President, Commercial Banking, Capital One Bank

      Paul Germain
      Global Head of Prime Services, Credit Suisse

      Stephen McCandless, Investment Committee Chair

      Sil Lai Abrams
      Founder, Sepia LLC

      Jeffrey S. Brodsky
      Chief Human Resources Officer, Morgan Stanley

      Linda Lam
      Partner, Professional Practice Quality and Regulatory Matters, Ernst & Young

      Rohit Menezes
      Partner, The Bridgespan Group

      Samantha Saperstein
      Head of Card Strategy, Consumer and Community Banking, JPMorgan Chase

      Mark C. Smith
      Financial Advisor/ Account Vice President of Investments,
      UBS Financial Services Inc.

  61. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    @tinderspark,

    US law does not apply to the problems between two 'Indian mission staff' read up on the Vienna Conventions. US law is not as important as Vienna Conventions, which is the very basis of having a mission there. You can be sure, Indian laws will be now enforced on, US mIssion staff. As the world heads to a new cold war, this time with China, one of the most important documents for keeping things cool was and is, VC. America has basically destroyed the same

  62. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    On Kirthika Biswas - Poor Girl - US Justice system at its finest
    If the guilty person is only treated with suspension and no criminal charges, how dare they arrest an actually innocent person, handcuff them, prevent them from going to the bathroom? It’s a wholesale massacre of the Vienna
    http://www.firstpost.com/world/how-krittika-biswas-was-wrongly-accused-of-cyberbullying-15697.htmlConvention. How dare they do this?”

  63. CommentedAmin Faiz

    I am sorry but i just cant have any sympathy for people who don't pay minimum wage. Especially if they rich people or powerful people. I think Ms Devyani Khobragade fulfills the 2nd category.

    As for the Indian Defense i think they are confusing immunity and privilege. Immunity is a political thing that ideally should be minimized while privilege is a courtesy which ideally should be maximized. USA is refusing to grant immunity to a diplomat and in response India is refusing to give privileges to diplomats. That's messed up.

    Lastly India is defending itself based on nationalism/patriotism but these are not a basis for argument. And how come Indian policymakers didn't see that coming and fixed their recruitment and/or HR policies and protocols to minimize conflict with US laws? I think that should be part of the job of Shashi Tharoor.

    1. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

      @Amin Faiz,

      The greatest tragedy of the internet, is that along with its empowerment, it also gave voice to stupid people, a place where they can espouse their non sense.
      1. The maid is Indian Citizen, and a government worker. The US just butted into an issue between Indian Government worker. Both Devyani and the maid has the same 'color' passport. If you dont know that, dont say anything.
      2. Indian Government pays the maid's salary, medical, travel, stay and even expenses.
      3. US government cant tax the maid, cant give her social security, the maid work outside the consulate. Cant do many things they apply against many butlers and maids in America in all those 1%'s manisons? Why? Because she is no ordinary 'maid'. She is an Indian Government Worker. That is why. So they cant give her any protection of social security nor can they tax her, but they are going to insist minimum wage? Really?
      4. Also, India is not withdrawing privileges, India is withdrawing legitmate American needs which is supported under the Vienna Conventions, but since the Americans has for many years decided not give the Indians the same, Indians just reciprocated. Basically the looser more than US or India, is the Vienna Conventions. Therefore the larger world community.
      Limited Families immunities, taxations etc are a right in the VC, which the Americans dont give, which is why the poor girl 'Kirtika Biswas', (google it up) had to endure trauma.
      4. Let America not grant immunity, India will pick an American diplomat here quite easily.
      5. Americans are here accused of Racial discrimination, no parity in pay even according to their own rules. US Embassy US territory yet they pay less than minimum wage.
      6. Americans are accused of tax fraud.
      7. Americans are accused of contempt of court and creating a incident to stop a legitimate court to do its business, the delhi metropolitan court is the second most powerful in India! Good luck against the Judges, Nobody controls them here, unlike America with their affluenza, lindsay lohan's, nsa etc etc
      8. What is America going to do when a US Diplomat is arrested for legitimate charges in India, What can they do against India! ZERO! The IFS will make sure that it is done.

  64. CommentedVivek Shroff

    Three cheers for Preet Bharara. He has managed to single handedly screw up relations with the one country where people were favourably inclined towards the USA. He has managed to get all the skeletons of US officers' shenanigans, tumbling out of the closet. He has caused US to suffer retaliation from a country with GDP just a ninth of its own.
    Well, if he can get to be mayor of New York, I guess it will all be worth it.

  65. CommentedVivek Shroff

    The Indian authorities are revoking special privileges accorded to the American consulate staff to put them strictly at par with what the Indian consulate staff expect from USA.
    Still, thankfully, India being a civilised nation, it will not stoop so low as to haul over a consulate staff member in handcuffs and poke around in his/her cavities because he/she was over underpaying his/her maid, a US citizen.
    Also, India will not unilaterally assume the consulate staff to be a criminal and 'evacuate' the maid's husband, a US citizen, from USA, in order to grant him asylum and save him from big bad Uncle Sam.
    We are reading daily, all of the interesting anecdotes regarding US consulate staff - whether about Raymond Davis or many others, or the Russian consulate officers let off scot free, or the Saudi detaining a girl, and fending off arrest.
    The present case has only revealed that the empire has no clothes. The court jester who got the emperor to ride naked - Preet Bharara.

  66. CommentedVivek Shroff

    Do not stand up for India. At least stand up for basic decency in dealing with a human being, particularly one who is part of a consulate office of another sovereign nation.
    I find it amusing as New York Times gets a busload of Indian authors falling over each other to write denigrating pieces on India - whether it is the views of men re rape or the view of Indian women re maids.
    I feel that the plight of these authors is more than that of the maid.

  67. CommentedTinder Spark

    Sir, I'm not an American. I was born in Canada, and I also have Australian citizenship. I've also worked and lived in several other countries. By which country's actions will you judge me, and why? I'm not a nationalist? In this case, I'm asking what is just. Sorry, I don't know where I fit in your arbitrary system of classification. Also, I don't understand how you can generalize the multiple perspectives citizens of the US hold, and/or people who are cosmopolitan in their perspective and live It seems absurd to attempt to judge such diverse and complex cohorts within a country. My simple claim is that Sangeeta Richard exists, and is a human who deserves respect and has rights. She deserves a fair hearing, and should be named when referred to. Am I being unreasonable?

  68. CommentedOK Sudesh

    It is interesting to see that Mr. Tharoor keeps silence over Mrs. Khobragade’s violation of a foreign country’s law. She is a diplomat and supposed to act in a manner expressly showing uprightness in matters involving law and order of a country where she is posted. If she can do this to a maid servant of her own country in a foreign land, think about the condition of house servants horribly mistreated by her compatriots! And the gravity of the injustice would be more than one can bear when one comes to know that house servants are excluded from the minimum-wage protection in India.

    1. CommentedJayesh Nair

      @ Sudesh
      agree. That said, criticising Mr Tharoor is pointless - as a congressman, i imagine he *has* to toe the party line. The last time he tweeted 'independent' thoughts, we know what happened...

  69. CommentedTinder Spark

    Shashi's article completely erases the victim, Mrs. Richard, from the discourse. Despite being 'India's Minister of Human Resource Developent', he doesn't see Sangeeta Richard as a human. He identifies her as an 'Indian domestic worker', he refuses to acknowledge her name, or her plight. Erasure. She is invisible to him. Shashi, where did go to school? Have you ever taken an ethics course? You may not be in government after the next election. Say Mrs. Richard's name, reach out to her, be a leader.

  70. CommentedYash Karunakaran

    It is not surprising to see such behaviour by the United States Government. A country that can hunt down it's own citizen for spreading word to his countrymen on how the government encroaches on their rights cannot be expected to treat a foreign individual any better. It seems that Preet has found a case that shall provide him more publicity than the Rajat Gupta one. This man, an advocate, who is supposed to fight for what is right is actually fighting for nothing more more than publicity. Surprising how the comments on this post attack Mr. Tharoor for not referring to Mrs.Richards by her name. Are these the same citizens who stood silently when the U.S. troops entered Iraq? Libya? The same citizens who stood quietly when their president (the very same who while campaigning promised to stop future conflicts) jumped at the chance to exercise military might in Syria?
    Then, i am glad these citizens jump at the chance to help Mrs.Richards, because god almighty, i guess there is somewhere they have to start?

    1. CommentedJayesh Nair

      @Yash 'I-have-my-blindfold-on' Karunakaran
      The Indian govts. history of protecting human rights - whether of its citizens or of others - is brilliant. And I mean brilliant like 'Bashar Assad is a brilliantly kind person'.
      I wouldnt even know where to start to point to glowing examples of India's love for humanity and protection of its citizens. You could start with the Razakars massacre of Hyderabad http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/survivor-of-razakars-brutality-reminisces/article5126155.ece. Or maybe the case of Capt Sunil James who was imprisoned for 5 months because of the promptness of our efficient government (and true blooded Indian patriots like yourself).
      Or the wonderful backstory of how 5 militant terrorists were cooly freed to protect the daughter of one Mufti Mohd Syeed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mufti_Mohammad_Sayeed).

      Jesus Christ, man.

  71. CommentedRobert Fuji

    Keep going, shashi- you must be royalty in India so no need to back up any of your statements with evidence or facts.

    Why don't you look up the NY atty general's office website before you attribute motives to their office?

    Why are you against the trial? If this 'diplomat' is truly innocent, let her be vindicated in a trial.

    On the or\ther hand, you being in the government in India, will you promise to investigate how she and her dad pocketed properties intended for war-widows?

    I'm just sayin..

    1. CommentedMsu Pluto

      In this specific case USA lacked wisdom and acted like a drunken bully. Unfortunately bullies have the financial and/or destructive capacity to throw book at people when and as they wish. US consulates in many countries will have a headache if other countries do the same. Considering how arrogant we are I doubt India or other countries will do it.

      It is a shame USA will only be respected for its arrogance and bullying around the world and not because of its friendship.

  72. CommentedMichael Philipps

    I think the main problem with Tharoor is that they in the US don't work the way they do it in India. In India , even if somebody is guilty of a major criminal violation, the Foreign Minister can call up the prosecution lawyer or the judge to drop the case. The Indian kind of rule of law does not exist in the US, which makes him uncomfortable. This is what he labels as the return of the Ugly American!!

    1. CommentedTinder Spark

      MSU Pluto: What does Mrs. Richard's right to justice have to do with Raymond Davis? Explain why Mrs. Richard should be denied justice because of him. There is no connection.

    2. CommentedMsu Pluto

      You are right! In US we only cook up retroactive immunity to a cold blooded killer who killed two innocent civilians in the back and evacuate him (we are getting good at this evacuation stuff with every incident). Let us all celebrate our high-moral values and "law of the land".

      We, my friend, are a true definition of Bully!

  73. CommentedNeha Podhar

    US State Department and Preet Bharara have a tunnel vision. The accused in an Indian Citizen working for her country as a Diplomat in NY City. She is an IFS officer posted to US by Indian Govt. US State Department and Preet Bharara knew what they are doing and had no idea how strong the reaction would be from the Indian public and govt. Preet has no idea how his community he belongs to in the US is going to question him on this episode for the rest of his life. After all he is going to live amongst them and potentially seek their votes in the future. This incident reflects abuse of power and disdain. Simple - if India starts looking at all similar violations by US Diplomats
    and arrest them on New Delhi Streets and strip searched by Indian Police, how would the US families react?
    Its just that the local attorney generals in New Delhi do not have such disdain toward diplomats from external countries
    because they treat them as Guests in their capital. Clearly, there were other motivations of US Attorney Mr. Preet Bharara
    and State Department. This attitude that we can do anything to other country officials will hurt US relationships and perceptions and create hatred in the long run. US people are good but nutty people in power have to be restrained. Preet could have easily handled this differently just as he would not dare to take these aggressive legal actions if same situation occurred with an Isreali diplomat. Imagine Mr. Preet getting a call from Senator Schummer smacking his face.

    1. CommentedRobert Fuji

      The course of Dharma and law shouldn't be governed by people's reactions.

      How come people in India aren't outraged by the corruption in the government and politicians? How come Devyani isn't in an Indian jail, let alone representing India here?

  74. Commentedsanjeev verma

    The reaction in India has been frenzied and hysterical ,to say the least.In fact, the whole matter should have been examined,dissected and then appropriate reaction should have followed ;Indians in the past -high ,mighty ,including Mr.A.P.J Kalam have been subjected to such an ignominy -when the response was muted;this time around the hype and hoopla is extravagant,invigorated ,cacophonous and subsequently,disproportionately reinforced by the media,as is the wont :could it be attributed to the impending elections.The nation,at large, should have been fully informed ,about the material facts .Passion and pride for the Country is pious and supreme ,but exploded for those causes ,which hurt collective good .Such a vociferous support creates false heroes -when media channels conduct unending debates for weeks together ,at the peril of many other issues of extreme national importance.
    Nonetheless, nothing substantial has emerged ,may be it will further embolden the U.S and making our claims,in future, no stronger.

  75. CommentedSrinivasan Ts

    @Jurmiah Hayek-Keyenes
    America is infact more plagued with the mirage of lies and corruption at its highest levels stemming from the world financial crisis. The only difference being of more glamorous coverage for such events. Your comments probably seem to reflect this pompous attitude towards the rest of the world.
    America must realize that the world has changed and people all over the world are waking up to the high handedness of certain american government officials and their behavior. The despicable behvaior of certain american officials like Robert Gibbs during his visit to India, the Raymond Davis case in pakistan, the Kenya incident where the American diplomat was air lifted out of the country without facing charges for a road accident that killed kenyan citizens, many more show that 'America has one rule for itself and one for the rest of the world'.
    The crimes of Geroge Bush in bombing Iraq in the guise of destroying Weapons of Mass destruction, killing of innocent Afghan/Pakistani Citizens as collateral damage via Drone strikes, Not allowing David Headley to be investigated by Indian Intel Agencies for the Mumbai attacks; means a day will come when justice will be delivered to all those people who are killed by American Govt double standards and in your own words "start peeing in their pants". Americans must realize the simple equation the rights and life of 1 American Citizen including your president = right and life of 1 Kenyan citizen. For many readers, its clear that America doesn't still get it; but maybe a dying dollar might just deliver the message.

    1. CommentedJurmiah Hayek-Keyenes

      @SRINIVASAN TS Did you even read to what I wrote. Your response is out of whack! Apparently, people like you will never get what it means to have laws, and institution of law that enforces it. I'll give you one fact, 96.7% of Indians live on less than $5 a day. Do you know why?

    2. CommentedSrinivasan Ts

      @Tinderbox, there is something called Diplomacy whose end goal is healthy relationship between so called allies. In this case India/USA health relations provided that is what both of them want.
      As a realist, I consider the US Politco-Corp nexus with all its domestic and International faults like High level Banking scandals, Financial Scams, Excess Corporate Greed whereby lobbyists run the country by making politicians pass bills representing the best interests of their corporate clients rather than the American People, corruption and selective action in politics as seen in the response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina simply because of Louisana being perceived as a "economically poor state", the NSA spying on Presidents, American Citizens, Diplomatic consuls of friendly so called countries like Germany, India, Israel in the guise of Security and much more still is the "best democracy that money can buy". So there is nothing more left to say as unless normal American citizens see through the mirage of the democracy that they think they control and feel great about!
      Yes, I hope American citizens don't think that the above are also alleged and not true! First and foremost, the American citizens rather than the rest of the world deserve better from its own Government.
      I still say, in spite of all these issues, America is India's best friend and partner. Nobody's perfect. No Sarcasm intended.
      It doesn't matter whether its a Republican or Democrat that they vote for (again its not a free market or competition but rather a cartel when it comes to the choices available for voting)

  76. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    Contrary to popular stereotyped perception about the third world, by white americans. Indian Higher Judiciary is a much fairer , accessible than its US counterpart

    1. CommentedVivek Shroff

      We in India find it nauseating that the most important decisions of the Supreme Court of USA are dependent not on the principles of justice, but on the political make-up of the panel of judges who is deciding on that case. So to overturn Citizens United, you have to wait for a judge to pop off so that the current President can nominate a liberal candidate as a Supreme Court Judge!!! If this is not a travesty of justice, what is? I doubt any other civilised nation's judiciary is so ill placed.

    2. CommentedRobert Fuji

      Is that why the court in delhi issued an injunction against Ms. Richard, without so much as hearing her side? An injunction that prevents her from seeking any legal redress anywhere in the world except in India- and a country she cannot even travel to without the permission from the same government of India?

      shame on you for believing this garbage. No wonder we Indians get no respect.

  77. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    Let's see what US has gained in this.

    1. Lost out on Indian public supports, sucks ass when it is 1/5th of humanity
    2. Lost out tremendous leeways given to your diplomats to work in a Nuclear Power and a regional heavy weight
    3. Lost out on the support of, one of the most powerful Diplomatic community in the world
    4. Lost out on financial benefits
    5. Will not be considered favourably for major military acquisitions, as it has been. India bought 14 billion worth from US in the last 5 years

    1. CommentedRobert Fuji

      Well teh US lost public support in Pakistan and Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia too. Indians I though had brains, but if they too decide to joing that clique because of some perceived affront to 'honor' an honor conflated with that of a crook, so be it.

  78. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    Tinder Spark wrote "Perhaps a US congressional hearing can sort out your A-3 concerns, since it was congress that tightened the terms and conditions of the visa. I'm sure an Indian government official would be invited to express the governments objections.

    Your first point is not fact. In today's Economic Times an Indian spokesperson is quoted as saying Mrs. Richard's 'employment contract is partly with the government'. Of course, this is not actually accurate either, but it does show movement towards an accurate understanding. Taken at face value, your contention is an admission that Khobragde committed visa fraud. She made a representation that she was Mrs. Richard's employer by signing and submitting a contract to US officials, but according to you, Mrs. Richard was actually an Indian government worker. You are not helping her."

    1. We dont care about US congressional hearings. We will just reciprocate the same way. You can wait for Indian authorities to pick up US Diplomats, You can ask the Pakistani's how we have handle them. Two can play the same game.
    2. Devyani is a hostage to a kangroo court, by state which uses its domestic law to renege on its international commitments signed in good faith
    3. Dy.Counsel General signed it, not Devyani Kobargade
    4. The Maid, was official Indian passport. That is the proof the she is a government worker. Private citizens dont get. US by giving the A-3 Visa accepts she is not a private employee.
    5. A-3 Visa is a illegal document, whatever signed on it mattes for nothing

  79. CommentedCarol Maczinsky

    It is regrettable that the United States undermine their reputation but maybe the law of the nations is maculature and the whole protection of diplomates thing outdated.

  80. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

    A-3 Visa guidelines are in violation of the spirit of Vienna Conventions on Consular Relations.
    1. The maid has a official government service passport and is paid by the Indian Government, also she is taking care of in Medical, Lodging, Food, Clothing, Expenses and Air Fares
    Therefore from above, It is evident, that US is trying to interfere in a matter between two Indian Government workers, which is a jurisdiction of India
    2. Look at the Visa 'numbers'; It says Devyani agreed to pay for $4500/month for 40 hours work a week at $9.75. Really. 40hours * $9.75 * 4 weeks = $1560/month. Numbers dont lie
    3. US Marshals are violation of its own guidelines with regards to arresting consular staff. Look it up on their website.
    4. Strip and Cavity search of a consular staff is against VC and according to Indian law, it is rape. This is state sanctioned rape. Americans may be ready to give their rights for 'security', we arent
    5. US were always in violation pre-devyani with regards to Taxation, family immunities.
    6. How can US insist on minimum wage, when they cant tax, maid cant get social security, cant work outside the consulate etc etc
    7. US should thrown out of VC, because they are hell bent on making it weaker by making their domestic laws more important than international agreements it has signed. More countries will follow Indian example
    8. Indian Judiciary though might be slower, its smaller and has 5 times the population to look after, than the US counterpart. It is not known to give free ride to lindsay lohans and rich people on affluenza.
    9. Devayni is a hostage and will not get a fair trail in a US Kangaroo Court
    10. Wait till Indian NCW, NHRC, CBDT, I&B and other organization start looking into US Embassy officials who now been proved to be racial discriminating, under paying against Indian Government Wage Laws, Indian Taxation laws etc. American Diplomats are only as safe as Devyani.

    1. CommentedTinder Spark

      Perhaps a US congressional hearing can sort out your A-3 concerns, since it was congress that tightened the terms and conditions of the visa. I'm sure an Indian government official would be invited to express the governments objections.

      Your first point is not fact. In today's Economic Times an Indian spokesperson is quoted as saying Mrs. Richard's 'employment contract is partly with the government'. Of course, this is not actually accurate either, but it does show movement towards an accurate understanding. Taken at face value, your contention is an admission that Khobragde committed visa fraud. She made a representation that she was Mrs. Richard's employer by signing and submitting a contract to US officials, but according to you, Mrs. Richard was actually an Indian government worker. You are not helping her.

  81. Commentedsrinivasan gopalan

    As an ex-functionary of the higer echelons of the United Nations and currently a junior Minister, Mr. Shashi Tharoor knows fully what he is belching forth even as the treatment meted out to a middle-rank diplomat by the law enforcing machinery of the United States has touched raw nerves not only of the politicians of various hues here but also that of people by and large. It is nobody's case that the diplomat should have been treated the way she was subjected to. But in a country which treated the ex-chief of IMF for his alleged sexual foibles in a hotel by hand-cuffing him on the street, the treatment meted out to diplomat for a lesser but all the more culpable injustice to her domestic maid cannot be in any case a shade better! But as Mr.Tharoor argued that "In Khobragade’s case, perquisites included a fully furnished room in a pricey Manhattan apartment, a television set, a mobile phone, medical insurance, and tickets home" are what the diplomat could afford despite her inadequate salary in an alien country, she could as well have afforded a domestic (local) help on an hourly basis to keep her domestic establishment tidy. This would have saved her the trouble and torture she underwent subsequently. I doubt whether the US media including electronic media there would have played this issue as it was played out here by media, politicians and other sensitive souls. If the laws of the land apply they apply as fiercely or fearsomely as in this case and there is no point in crying hoarse over how much facilities we had extended to the US diplomats here without ensuring reciprocal facilities for our staff there especially after such mishaps as this one occurs speaks poorly of our foresight, wisdom and wit. Instead of trying to assuage the tempers on both sides for action and overreaction, we expect a matured person like Mr.Tharoor not to rant like "the return of the ugly American" as if we sit on a high moral ground with the worst cases of treatment of our own helps in our domestic establishments. It is time there was a return to commonsense as we attempt to move on without contributing to any misunderstandng in mutual relations in the larger interests of preserving democratic values and settling disputes or outbreak of tensions through proper and civil dialogue.
    G.Srinviasan, New Delhi, India

    1. CommentedRobert Fuji

      Very well said. These politicians and government baboos live in a land of arbitrary standards and flexible morals, yet they get outraged when another culture decides to apply their own laws.

      Rather than explaining how such crooks come into positions that represent the people of India, these politicians have managed to gin up rioting. Who will that really benefit?

  82. CommentedJurmiah Hayek-Keyenes

    India is plagued with lies and corruption. And this behavior stems from the top leadership of India, of which Shashi Tharoor is a part of it. This behavior is being clearly manifested in this article. India's top cadre of leadership enjoy being above the law while living in India or simply the concept of obeying the laws is alien to them.while they can break laws after laws in India, the same behavior attracts the wrath of law in foreign land, where the President of that country is not immune from the laws. when the laws of foreign country fall on these able leaders,they start peeing in their pants instead of facing the wrath of it. That is the argument Shashi Tharorr is making in this article. Thank goodness he was not made UN Secretary General!

  83. CommentedJoy Mathew

    Dear Sir, as a fan of you, i was waiting and searching for your valuable comments on this issue. Diplomats like you can interfere in such type of issues and come to a solution keeping all bilateral relations. Keep it up and lets be proud being citizens of Incredible India!. thanks

  84. CommentedDR. MINI MONY

    Sir, What America has done to our diplomat is no doubt not acceptable. But I am sure that they were taken aback with the reaction. Earlier we never went beyond wishy washy statements. When an elected Chief Minister was repeatedly denied visa our govt of the day applauded because of narrow partisan interests. So why blame the Americans for reading the situation wrong ?

  85. CommentedSuresh Pavuluri

    Mr. Tharoor, I admire your perspective on this rather complicated issue. However, I was hoping you would have also addressed the fundamental clash in cultures that's perhaps the greater culprit in this case?

  86. CommentedSankara Menon

    While I am not a great fan of Tharoor, here he has hit the nail on its head.
    The only way to confront Ugly american is to create an Ugly indian and America understands only raw power. Hurt them economically or threaten to do so we will see the "lovely american".

    1. CommentedRobert Fuji

      Good. Then why did Devyani get a green card? That probably isn't a first but really, why would she need a green card? Don't tell me you want one too!

  87. CommentedVijay Kumar

    It is funny some commenters are trying to discuss the intricacies of the laws. The truth is Americans are out of control international bullies and are law unto themselves. Americans arrogantly dismiss international treaties and conventions and use them and interpret them when they need them and as they suit them.
    Internet is afloat with dozens of cases where US abused or falsely claimed diplomatic immunity. Most egregious and most recent one is the case of the CIA contractor Raymond Davis who killed 2 people in Pakistan.
    The good outcome of this episode is Indians have realized the empty claim of being "strategic allies" and other bull crap.
    Pursuing with prosecution of the diplomat is non starter. Things will go further downhill. Sure might is right, US is a Bully who will retaliate and bully India more. But then India is left with no options and taking on the challenge.
    This is not about an individual named Devyani.

    1. CommentedJurmiah Hayek-Keyenes

      Mr. Tharoor clearly enjoys breaking laws and fleecing money from the hard earned Indian taxpayers and stashing away I his Swiss bank account. However, in the developed nations it is the other way around. Not only that leaders of the developed nations respect law but also deliver a great value to the hard working taxpayers of their country. Here Shashi Tharoor is arguing that everybody must break laws! How can one give mutual respect to such leaders? I think he is taking out his vengeance on America for not supporting his candidacy for UN Secretary General. Thank goodness he was not nominated as UN Secretary General!

    2. CommentedVishal Kumar

      @Tinder Spark and that's exactly where US showed it's self righteous thinking that the Indian court of Law would not give Mrs.Richards justice and have her "evacuated".

  88. Commentedvivek iyer

    Indian umbrage is based on the State Dept's failure to issue a statement of interest and certification of immunity so as to stop legal proceedings. Since India can retaliate in kind, it appears that State thinks India won't dare to do so. But, this means India has no choice but to do so.
    A U.S Judge may still hold that Khobragade was denied substantive and procedural due process on the grounds that she did indeed have immunity. However, the damage has been done.
    The Indian Supreme Court has a novel interpretation of Diplomatic immunity. It remains to be seen whether they will take action against U.S. Consular and Diplomatic staff for spiriting away Mr. Richard.
    Once in jail, American Consular officials may provide a mine of information of help to Intelligence agencies.

    1. CommentedSankara Menon

      That requires guts. what US has done is to issue green cards left right and centre to politicians'/Bureaucrats' kin. And they are used as hostages. I know of a judge who when threatened with exposure of a honey trap set for his son coming down hammer and tongs on the blackmailer. Our people should be similarly patriotic at least and then these things will stop.

  89. CommentedTinder Spark

    The essential evacuation of the Richards from India: Khobragade sought a Delhi HC order against Mrs. Richard to prevent her from asserting her rights in the US. Mrs. Richard was charged with crimes in India that allegedly occurred in New York. Mr. Richard, according to reports, has been issued a notice by the High Court in India. Sir, if you think, after examining these cases, the US government would conclude these legal actions are justified, you are delusional. These are egregious examples of judicial harassment and intimidation. Sir, if you believe these legal actions are justified, you have lost the concept of Justice. These judicial manipulations alone justified the evacuation of the Richards. Justice is not only and American world view. To citizens of the world, claiming America is self-righteous is not an excuse for treating Mrs. Richard and her family unjustly.

    1. CommentedRobert Fuji

      Tinder, well said. And note that Ms. Richards doesn't have a passport like all Indians. she needs permission from Khorbrogade to travel to India or anywhere else for that matter.

      I will go ahead and say it- these crooks in government there have somehow come to represent India.

      I am more interested in seeing how well the Judicial system there delivers justice to the Khorbrogades and the politicians involved in the Adarsh scam.

    2. CommentedTinder Spark

      Adarsh, in Khobragade's Delhi HC case that resulted in an order against Mrs. Richard, both women are stipulated to be employees of the Indian Government. Today in the Economic times an Indian government spokesperson is quoted saying Mrs. Richard's 'employment was partially with the government'. Both of these claims are at odds with Khobragade's submission of the contract between her and Mrs. Richard to the US government. This contract clearly demonstrates Mrs. Richard is her employee. Either Mrs. Richard's employment status was misrepresented in the Delhi HC case, or it was misrepresented to US officials. Even the claim that she was partly employed by the Indian government is an admission that Mrs. Richard's employment status was misrepresented to the Delhi HC, and the US government.

    3. CommentedAdarsh Kavungal

      1.The maid is Indian Government employee, therefore jurisdiction lies in Delhi.
      2. If Indians were persecuting the Richards as alleged, they would have never got the NEW PASSPORTS in SEPTEMBER 3
      3. Going to the High Court of Delhi, is not a crime. It is a process of law.

  90. CommentedSpark Lee

    Mr Tharoor, I am surprised reading your article, especially when you yourself are a graduate from Fletcher. Two issues (1) handling of consul's arrest and (ii) visa application and maid payments. Regarding 1, I will not put my opinion here but matter 2 is rather straight forward. As a consul (that too representing India), how can there be an error on the form. It may happen but should have been rectified. Second, as far as I know, A3 visa holders are employees of consuls and diplomats and are not governed by the fact if the Indian consul was paid by Indian Government or not. It is the contract between two individuals which is governed by the law of the land (in this case US). Wouldn't such violation be an offense?
    Your reciprocity arguments are interesting and perhaps needs to be looked into it.

  91. CommentedTinder Spark

    You state, 'in almost no other country are local labor laws applied in such a manner to a foreign diplomats personal staff.' The fact is local laws do apply. However, I understand this is a point of contention. Is it the Indian Government's position that while it is a requirement for domestic workers to receive a US A-3 visa to enter the country, the employer of the domestic worker does not have to follow the terms and conditions of the visa. Please clarify the Indian Government's position on this point.

  92. CommentedTinder Spark

    The 'Indian domestic worker' has a name: Sangetta Richard. The fact that you refused to name her is consistent with the Indian Government's attempt to make her invisible, insignificant, and therefore, unworthy of justice. Mrs. Richard is a human. As India’s Minister of State for Human Resource Development, I would think you would be concerned for her and know her name.


    I understand from reports that the US State Department requested a detailed report of the investigation conducted by the Indian Government into Mrs. Richard's allegations against Khobragade. Was there an investigation? Was a detailed report produced? If not, why? If there is a report, please release it so we can determine if Mrs. Richard was given a fair hearing.

  93. CommentedTinder Spark

    Why has the UN refused to corroborate India's claim that Khobragade was accredited to the UN and had full diplomatic immunity? Why does the 20/09/2013 Delhi HC order against Mrs. Richard list Khobragade as the 'Deputy Consul General (Political, Economic, Commercial and Women's Affairs), Consulate General of India, New York, USA', but not as the 'Advisor to the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations'? According to the Indian Government she had this role on August 26. And since she allegedly had full diplomatic immunity at this time, why did she bother to get a Delhi HC order preventing Mrs. Richard from bringing a complaint against her in Ney York? This seems like overkill, don't you think?

  94. CommentedMsu Pluto

    Well written article. India must not let itself bullied by USA in this case. World should know the only friend America has is itself. The whole story behind this incident has little to do with USA trying to protect the rights of nanny but has everything to do with USA trying to teach a lesson to India and keep it in its place (where US wants it to be). As much as India has its issue with corruption and many other things people of India must not let this continue. If you cheer what is happening now wait till US starts dropping bombs using drones on India!

    1. CommentedTinder Spark

      Actually, it is a poorly written article because he does not address the critical issues, or even acknowledge by name Sangetta Richard. It is a poor attempt at rhetoric, and it is undone by his lack of an understanding of justice.

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