So it is outrage time in India. US Consulate’s barricades removed, details of US Consulate’s Indian staffers’ salary asked, special passes for US diplomats revoked, airport passes for diplomats withdrawn, imported liqour privilege for diplomats withdrawn, schools involving US folks scrutinised, and much more. In brief, India, led by UPA Government is angry! Media houses are full of outrage and are vocally demonising mighty Uncle Sam.
Devyani Khobragade, an Indian diplomat was arrested rudely in front of her daughter’s school in New York, handcuffed, subjected to a strip search (without touching) and cavity search (most likely involving touching). Worse, she was treated on par with drug addicts in New York. This medical Doctor turned foreign service diplomat was barely in US for a few months representing India.
It took $250,000 bond to get her out. That’s a whopping Rs1,55,00,000 arranged to keep her out of jail, temporarily. The charges against her are Visa fraud and paying her maid lesser than the legally stipulated minimum wages.
This article is not to discuss exactly how she treated her maid (who is absonding now), or whether Devyani is guilty. This is also not to talk about her caste, possible racial discrimination, her gender, or any other personal background. This purpose of this article is to speculate why such harsh treatment was meted out to an Indian diplomat, and possibly to wonder why India is in this terrible ‘spineless state’ status in the eyes of the world.
1) Many screaming #DevyaniHumiliated on Twitter now were the ones celebrating when a democratically elected Indian Chief Minister Narendra Modi didn’t get US Visa. This included many from the UPA Government. If an outrage was warranted, that was the moment. Instead, the same governing party’s members celebrated at various occasions, taking potshots at Modi without realising that they were making fools of themselves in the eyes of the world. Petty local politics is one thing, but not standing up for your country’s legislator in international light is a sorry sight.
2) The UPA Government, that’s screaming #DevyaniHumiliated, was the same one which sponsored the Wharton event in USA, even after Wharton snubbed an Indian Chief Minister after initially inviting him. How could a Government go ahead sponsoring a foreign event when the hosts did not allow an elected Chief Minister of your country? You should have woken up then at least, leaving aside your vicious political hatred. Needless to say this was again a case involving Narendra Modi, hated by the ruling alliance’s members in India.
3) The UPA Government that’s screaming #DevyaniHumiliated right now was the same one which did not intervene when Baba Ramdev was humiliated at London airport. The renowned Yoga guru who has tens of crores of admirers and followers in India, was ill treated for over seven hours. Did the External Affairs Minister act swiftly? Did anyone from the Government even make a courtesy call to the Yoga guru to find out more? Some Indian media houses even went to the extent of using ‘London mein lafda yog’ kind of demeaning titles to news stories when Ramdev was in trouble. Just because this Yoga guru had targeted Sonia Gandhi during his protests against black money, he was allowed to be humiliated?
4) The UPA Government that’s screaming #DevyaniHumiliated was the same which almost let off killer Italian marines, until the Supreme Court intervened. If the court had not intervened, India could have lost custody of the murder accused forever.
5) The UPA Government that’s screaming #DevyaniHumiliated was the same which did not retaliate when Group Captain Mohonto Panging was denied China visa. The reason for denial of Visa? He is from Arunachal Pradesh and in spite of being a senior Indian Air Force officer, China considerd his home State as its own. How did the UPA react? They sent the remaining staff to China and never took a hard stand to stop this insult to a senior IAF officer. This, after years of stapled visas to Indians from Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh by China. Where was your pride when this insult was meted out to the IAF?
6) The UPA Government that’s screaming #DevyaniHumiliated was the same which did not retaliate when Lance Naik Hemraj’s head was chopped off by Pakistanis. Worse, even after a series of such atrocities on Indian fighters, the lame duck Prime Minister went ahead with his meeting with Pakistan counterparts. To make it even more shameful, it was reported that India’s Prime Minister was even dubbed “Dehati Aurat” (whining village woman) by the same Pakistani counterpart, which was quickly hushed up. Any country with pride will not only give a strong response, but also cancel such useless symbolic meetings when your jawan’s head was missing from the dead body, to the shock of his weeping wife. Interestingly, in spite of being hated so much by Congress, Narendra Modi of the BJP stood up for the Prime Minister during the “Dehati Aurat” episode, as well as the current Devyani episode. Something to learn from a true statesman!
7) The UPA Government that’s screaming #DevyaniHumiliated is the same which ignored 140 Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka just this month. Where was the outrage? Aren’t these Indians?
8) The UPA Government that’s screaming #DevyaniHumiliated is the same which has ignored 1400 Indians jailed by Saudi Arabia. Imagine how these 1400 would have been treated in a country like Saudi Arabia. Not just that, they have also deported and humiliated countless Indians this year. Where was the outrage?
9) The UPA Government that’s screaming #DevyaniHumiliated is the same has NO clue as to why 109 Indians are jailed by Italy. Sonia Gandhi’s country of birth won’t even tell the Indian Government why some of these people are even jailed. Such a shame for the world’s largest democracy!
These are just a few examples to show that when India shows callous attitude towards Indians abroad getting into trouble, situations such as #DevyaniHumiliated are bound to happen. It’s the duty of the Government of India and the obligation of Indian media to help ALL Indians when they are in trouble abroad. Not just a privileged few like Shah Rukh Khan and Devyani Khobragade. I am not saying ignore SRK or Devyani. Treat all as Indians and give them confidence. Stand behind them. When you let Indians get humiliated by Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China, USA, UK, Italy and many more, the world knows you are a pathetic soft power with no biting ability.
Remember, the world won’t respect those who don’t respect themselves. Devyani Khobragade, irrespective of what she did in US, is a classic case of UPA Government’s diplomatic failure.
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