Friday, December 20, 2013

Khobragade & the nanny (the real victim)

The latest news story that I have been following is that of the Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade - the deputy consul head of the Indian embassy in NYC - who was arrested for underpaying her full-time live-in nanny $3/hour - well below the legal minimum. She had brought the nanny over from India, held her passport (imprisoning her so that she can't leave), lied on immigration forms saying that she was paying her a correct rate, and then went on to use her connections to intimidate the nanny and her family when she went to get help.

The diplomat did not have immunity, and even if she did - immunity does not cover criminal offenses committed on U.S. soil. They arrested her like they would anybody else, and searched her and put her in a cell. Apparently Ms. Khobragade was quite miffed that she was treated like a "common" criminal!

This type of classism and entitlement is something that I have seen a lot in Indian society and I feel it is one of the many things that lead to such a high rate of corruption and injustice. It really spoils people, and it manipulates a person's conscience. This idea that some people literally "deserve more" than others, and certain things are "beneath" them.

As I mentioned last week, after the ruling of #377 (criminalizing being gay) - it gives the impression that equal rights in India belong to only the "right" people. This scandal further gives that message.
It seems that the government of India is on board with Ms. Khobragade, and defending her - the PERPETRATOR - as well as completely ignoring the fact that this woman has abused another Indian citizen - her nanny.

And what about the nanny - the real victim? Where is she? It seems she has been omitted from every single story, as the Indian media makes the perpetrator into a victim - which further damages India's reputation. India has really reached a point of perfecting the art of victim blaming - so much so that one could even suggest that it is a cultural value!!!!!!

And what exactly is India's reputation, these days? Hypocrisy!!!

A celebrated god-man is outed as a child sexual predator. A top editor of a groundbreaking newspaper is outed as a sexual predator, and was protected by a so-called women's rights activist. A criminalization of the consensual love between same-sexes; meanwhile raping your wife is legal. And a country coming to the defense of a so-called "women's rights activist" who enslaved a woman in her home and thought she was entitled to get off scot-free.

Everybody that is arrested in the United States is strip-searched before being put in a jail cell. It is standard procedure for all inmates - and nobody gets special treatment. Not celebrities, not rich bankers - nobody. And yet Ms. Khobragade is crying of the unfairness of being treated just like everybody else! Oh, the horror...

Well, WHY shouldn't she be treated like everybody else? She didn't have diplomatic immunity as she had claimed. Or did she think she was entitled to special treatment because she was the daughter of a wealthy government official? Oh, of course she cried - it must have been a real wake up call for her to realize that she is no better than anybody else - not her nanny, not the police, not the "drug addicts" in the cell with her. That she - in fact - IS a common criminal.

If she didn't want to be treated like a criminal, then she shouldn't have willingly acted like one! Everyone is so worried that poor Devyani was humiliated - what about the humiliation her nanny has faced for being enslaved by a fellow countrywoman, being rejected by her homeland, and being deemed as a "sneaky beggar" when she exercised her basic human rights?

It makes me wonder what other diplomats engage in such behavior, under the guise of immunity. Does giving an individual immunity enable bad behavior?

A diplomat is a very important position - it is a person who acts as a representative of a country and it's culture/cultural values - on and off the job. Therefore a diplomat should behave high in moral character - so that it gives others the most positive reflection of the country that they are representing. A diplomat that behaves in a deplorable manner sheds a bad light on the country that they are representing. 

The fact that the Indian government is rushing to the defense of this criminal Ms. Khobragade, instead of the REAL victim is grotesque. There were riots outside of the embassy in Hyderabad (our hometown) rushing to the defense of a CRIMINAL - whilst completely forgetting the nanny - and leaving it up to a foreign government to fight for the rights of this person!

What is really almost quite hilarious is the fact that a foreign country has to step in and give refugee status to protect an Indian citizen (the nanny - the real victim) from the Indian government.

Even fellow Indian-American Preet Bharara was floored by India's reaction: "one wonders why there is so much outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian national accused of perpetrating these acts, but precious little outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian victim and her spouse?"

Even the Washington Post said, "So why are Indians rallying for a privileged treatment of a diplomat? Why shouldn't she be treated as a common criminal? India is siding with a woman who was in the wrong - who lied, paid her help poorly and now is brazen enough to claim that she should not be treated like a criminal. What's "deplorable", to use the prime minister's words, is not Khobragade's treatment, which was standard, but the fact that many in India aren't speaking out against the treatment of the nanny. After the global outrage and mass protests in India due to the Delhi gang rape that happened a little over a year ago, there was hope that unfair treatment toward women and opposition to immunity would skyrocket. Instead, many Indians are siding with the wrong woman in this battle. Like we saw with India's anti-gay ruling last week, the country is in the wrong once again."

Shouldn't India be getting mad at the person who actually embarrassed their reputation by committing the crime - Ms. Khobragade? Shouldn't they be distancing themselves from her actions instead of blindly defending this privileged woman?

But hey - doesn't India survive on underpaid laborers? Doesn't India survive on these types of injustices, and classism? The strong reaction of defense of the abuser really chips at the tip of the iceberg...not to mention all those lovely "educated" and "modern" folks claiming that there's nothing wrong with abusing a "servant". Well, hello....master / slave society! It illuminates the normalcy of it First Post said, "it was a case of the rights of a “servant” versus India’s national pride. Or the words of a faceless ‘servant” versus an upper class officer."

Dear India - if you want to get angry at anyone - get angry at Ms. Khobragade - the person who has committed the crime. And come to the defense of the REAL victim here - the nanny....

But no - a "servant" is not a real person, right? She is just a sub-human, right? How dare a servant have rights....?


Related articles:


Safe Horizons
ASHA for women (Helpline: 1-888-417-2742)
Break the Chain campaign


Dear readers, what do you think of this scandal? Is anyone else troubled that the perpetrator is being painted as a victim? Is anyone else annoyed that nobody is rushing to the defense of the nanny? 



  1. @Alexandra

    The US reaction has reminded me an episode from Ramayana. Hanuman went to Lanka in search of Sita. After finding her, he felt hungry and ate fruits from the garden in which Sita was imprisoned. In the process, he wrecked the garden. He also killed a few soldiers of Ravana. In short, he committed a crime on Lanka's soil. He wanted to meet Ravana, so he let him be arrested.

    Ravana in his anger wanted to hand death sentence to him. But Vibishan, his brother said that Hanuman was an ambassador of Rama and could not be killed according to laws of diplomacy, even if he has committed a grave crime. So, they set fire to Hanuman's tail as punishment. He in turn, burned half of the city, which is another story. This was he first case of diplomatic immunity in human history.

    Either you remove diplomatic immunity all together or follow the protocol. Nobody is protesting against her crime. It is for the court to decide. If found guilty, let her go to the gallows. It is the western media which is bringing caste, class and all the other stuff into the debate and giving its own spin. It is the treatment meted out to her which has outraged us.

    1. @anonymous - you are always teaching me about ramayana :)

      But there was no diplomatic immunity, she only had consular immunity which only covers crimes while she is working at the consulate. These crimes were committed at her home, on US soil. There have been many others convicted of such offenses including other Indian diplomats and most famously a Saudi princess consul officer. Severely underpaying somebody and holding them captive, overworking them, is a serious offense.

      What about the treatment of the nanny? Why is nobody fighting for her rights? Shouldn't you be outraged at the treatment of the nanny by Khobragade?

    2. @anonymous,
      This is anonymousindianamericanguy. You cannot compare Ramayana and this story.
      Ravan, the king of Lanka had Kidnapped Rama's wife and Hanuman went secretly to make sure she is OK and to give her news that her husband will be rescuing her.
      He was NOT a diplomat working in Lanka :-) lol
      He was a messenger(=doot) , that's all.

      Secondly, the first thing Hanuman did was to kneel before Sita and humble himself. In spite of being so powerful and respected he bowed to an abused woman (Sita) who was kidnapped ,imprisoned . He showed respect to an abused woman whereas Khobragade only 'talked about women's rights but she abused a woman who was vulnerable and in her power.

      Also, he did not kill Ravan's soldiers for fun or for the sake of exploiting them. He killed them in self defense when they attacked him for trying to satisfy his hunger by eating fruits.

      Vibhishan protected Hanuman because he knew Hanuman was right in that he was there for rescuing an abused woman.
      Please do not compare these two.
      One of the basic things that Ramayana teaches us are that
      if you maliciously try to take a woman against her will(forcible marriage, rape abuse etc.) , God WILL destroy you no matter how powerful you are.

      Also, in another news, unrelated to the maid, did you know that this woman and her father are accused of taking flats(apartments) that were reserved for
      widows of Indian soldiers.?
      She seems to be an expert in taking away rights of women yet talks about women's rights(talking is cheap).

  2. Very well choice of topic and done justice to such a sensitive topic

    1. Thanks....I just feel bad for the nanny :(

  3. It astounds me when people talk about giving Devyani special treatment. If that happens, who gives justice to the maid? Either they imply that she does not deserve justice or that the diplomat's "special treatment" overrides justice for the victim.

    Totally, utterly ignorant, bigoted, and short sighted. Instead of complaining about the "humiliation" of a strip search, they should be up in arms to protect the rights of the maid who was promised a wage and then cheated!

    I just...can't even comprehend this.

    1. I so agree.... I feel as though the government is forgetting the fact that a foreign country is protecting the rights of the Indian citizen who was victimised (the nanny). My MIL says the government is always only interested in protecting the elite!
      Most of the other Firangi Bahu's that I have talked to are in shock about this whole thing - all are "what about the nanny?"
      Loved your post BTW - so well said.

    2. "what about the nanny?"...oh she is well protected and taken care of by the foreign govt..
      Your MIL is correct in saying that only the elite are protected in India...only that her definition of "elite" will have two versions depending on her residence..when she is with you, the elite is an affluential, wealthy person;when in India, the elite according to her and other "forward community" members will be the MBCs, SCs/STs and the religious minorities(muslims and Christians) who enjoy reservation in nearly every institution and work opportunity. Well, in this case the elite happens to be a dalit who is also affluential and wealthy, so no discrepancy in her statement..
      btw, I used the small case "c" for Christians, and it automatically became "C", but not for "muslims"???!!

  4. "But hey - doesn't India survive on underpaid laborers? Doesn't India survive on these types of injustices, and classism?" Look who's talking! The very same people that enslaved 5 out of 7 continents of the world(if only antartica been more habitable!)...and plundered and looted and still does so...isn't the west thriving off of immigrant labour?
    " A criminalization of the consensual love between same-sexes" consensual sex has conveniently been renamed consensual love??but isn't "love" supposed to be spontaneous, irrespective of reciprocation? why does it need a legislation to protect it any way? If law is not supposed to peep into an individual's private space, how on earth can we prove that whatever went on in that private space was consensual??and by the same argument, how can we prove "marital rape"? are laws defending homosexuals supposed to address this consensual issues too? If so how can "rape" of an individual be identified and proved in the case of homesexuals? In a country like India where several young men and women migrate to various other towns and cities for studies or employment, and stay in shared accommodations(not considering those live-in situations involving opposite sexes), what happens in the event of a forced act of sex by a gay predator?
    In a "violation of labor laws", what was the need for strip searching? or for that matter even handcuffing an individual who is not carrying a weapon? When the diplomat herself was underpaid, how did the people who had given a visa to the maid expect her to be paid more than her employer? why hadn't they raised a query in this regard before she was granted a visa? Why can't we think about those who will benefit by portraying the perpetrator as the victim? This is a good opportunity to show some patriotism that is strong enough to demand an apology from the superpower...oh, we are so impressed...

    1. Strip searching is standard in NY - anybody who goes into a cell has to have it in case they are carrying contraband. Even people who do minor crimes have to be strip searched - that is NYC. If she did not recieve strip searching, then that would have been special treatment.
      How is she underpaid, she was making $51k and her husband was also working at the consulate, probably making more than her if not equal. If Khobragade was underpaid then why hire a full-time live-in nanny if they could not afford one?
      I feel as though India should be defending the nanny, and demanding an apology from Khobragade for committing crimes while representing her country as a diplomat.

    2. Was her husband arrested too?? When we apply for a visa, there are so many questions asked before we are granted one.. When she was hiring her maid, why did they not raise this question as to when she was making $51k how she could afford a fulltime nanny? Had she made a declaration that her husband will be sharing the expense of hiring the maid? And aren't there any laws that monitor or ensure that there is no violation in this regard?

      And I am not defending the diplomat...I am only questioning the truth in this whole drama..

    3. @charu - yes, I also wonder why the husband was also not arrested - maybe they weren't sharing the cost? Although if the nanny was for the children/household and the cost was split, he should also be arrested along with her. It is quite peculiar - it will be interesting to hear more details. I'll be following the case closely.

    4. I think the husband was not arrested because he has no 'official' power over the maid - devyani does and she exploited that fact. He did not cancel nor can he cancel
      the maids passport, Devayani did.
      More importantly, the maid was an employee of the consulate not an independent maid who came to work for the couple. In that respect, Devayani was her boss, not her husband. Most importantly, Devayani was the one who manipulated the contract, made false statements on the federal forms etc. Devayani cheated the US govt, her husband made no promises as far as salary is concerned.

  5. " it gives the impression that equal rights in India belong to only the "right" people. "

    100% agree! The only people making Indians look bad are Indians. While I'm sure it's humiliating to have your crimes exposed, the ones committing the crimes are the ones making everyone look bad. I had this same discussion with my husband. Khobragade is the only one we can blame for underpaying her maid and making it look like even Indian elite exploit the poor. Whether she likes it or not, she is a representative of India to the US. People look at her and form opinions of what Indians are like based on her actions. If she does good, they think Indians are good people. If she does bad, it sours the whole nation. Sadly people are more inclined to remember the bad and forget the good. It's not America's fault that she chose to knowingly violate laws. That alone is enough to make people think that she felt like she was better than everyone else and could do what she wanted. Maybe she felt like she could get away with it forever. It will be interesting to continue to follow this story as more details become available.

    1. I totally agree. Khobragade's actions have put India in a bad light, and it is absolutely her fault, and her fault alone. She has done a disservice to represent India; and the government has made it even worse by backing her up!
      I am totally obsessed with this case LOL! I'll be following it closely.

  6. There has been a great deal of misinformation flying around on the internet
    and I forward to you a copy of the Complaint file in the US Court in New York which, I hope, will clarify some matters:

    As it is a case of human trafficking, the nanny and her family are being assistance by an organization - Safe Horizons.

    Full diplomatic immunity protects diplomats from prosecution. Ms. Khobragade has been transferre to the Indian Delegation to the UN and has been accorded full diplomatic immunity which the Indian Government wants to be retrocactive so that she will be immune from prosecution.
    Hope that this will help.
    This type of behavior has been going on for many years among nationals from many, many countries and the US Dept of State has tightened its regulations in order to try to curb this abuse.

    1. Thanks for the link, it was very informative. I agree, there is so much misinformation about the case - it seemed like an East vs West battle with NDTV reporting one thing, and NYTimes reporting another.
      I really think this whole "immunity" needs to be done with, I feel it just enables bad behaviour. Talk about covering up crimes and being literally above the law!!
      So, I guess Khobragade will get away with it then...although she seems like a repeat criminal after that Adarsh scam.

    2. I hope that you were able to read it as it lays out exactly what she is being charged with in thecriminal case and is not merely speculation as are so many stories in the media.
      As you can see, she is being charged with visa fraud in accordance with USC 18. As her actions also amount to trafficking, Mrs. Richards has been accorded a T1 visa (for a victim of trafficking), her husband has a T2 and the two children have T3 visas. Only 5,000 of these T1 visas are given out each year to the victims.
      There were womens' groups marching in front of the Consulate this afternoon showing support for Mrs. Richard's rights and those of such victims around the world.
      I don't know whether Ms Khobragade will be charged with anything criminally as her immunity will not be back dated. I guess that the US and India will have to iron that out in their talks.
      Of course, there is another wrinkle, because Ms. Khobragade is married to an American of Indian origin, Aakash Singh Rathore, who is a well-regarded professor and an oenophile. His family owns a vineyard somewhere in the US. He has lectured in many countries, including Canada, and has written a book on Indian wine.
      Actions such as those of Ms Khobragade should, in accordance with US immigration law, permanently preclude her from ever being able to apply to become a naturalized citizen. Too, she will only be accorded the protection from prosecution which she is at the UN unless, I guess, there is a statute of limitations.
      I understand that Mrs. Richards is stressed out with all the attention to this case and the pressure it is putting her and her family to. I hope that there will be a quick resolution.

    3. Yes, so much misinformation indeed! I had originally read in the first reports that her husband also worked in the consulate. Had no idea that he was a professor!
      I have noticed now on the Indian news stations that they are remembering the maids rights...LOL. They seem to be questioning Khobragade since the Adarsh housing scam linked her, and not making her into a victim so much.
      I'm sure she'll get away with it. I guess they Delhi will reassign her somewhere else & her husband will have to follow, along with the kids.

    4. I thought that I might mention to you that Wikipedia has information about this case under her name. It isn't 100 per cent correct, but it is almost so and they keep updating it frequently.
      I can't speculate as to what she and her husband will decide as I have only been trying to keep to the facts of the case. However, it seems that she was posted to the US because of him and I think that they would like that to remain as their home base as it gives some stability to her children's lives and schooling. Her husband teaches at the university level in the US and is also a consultant and an author. He has also written about human rights and she has been a proponent of women's rights!

    5. @anonymous - it is a really crazy wonder the media hounded over it! What a scandal...I feel bad for her kids who are in the middle of this.

      This seems to be the latest on the case and is in the Wall Street Journal.
      It would appear that Ms. Khobragade has a court date on the 13th at which she will be charged with the crimes she has committed. In the interim, her lawyer has been trying to work out a plea bargain on her behalf.
      The lawyer is now trying to get a 30-day postponement of the court date so that something can be worked out and she won't be charged.
      The US Attorney (Bharara) has requested that the court date be kept and that the negotiations continue after she is formally charged.

    7. @anonymous - thanks for the link! I have shared it to my Madh Mama FB fan page also.
      Wow.....Devyani may very well be charged, it seems. So much for "immunity"!

    8. Clearly India and the US came to some agreement, She was indicted by a Grand Jury but had also been granted diplomatic immunity which meant that she could not be arrested and jailed. She thereafter flew to India and I am sure that she will stay there until after the elections in May. Apparently her father has been asked to run for some high political post, and I am sure that he will. He has become very, very popular after this incident as sympathies are with him,
      It is my feeling that she will return to the US (she requested it) after matters have died down. The UN General Assembly session begins in September so, possibly, it will be then.
      It is a win win situation for both countries and also for Mr. Bharara. However, the maid is still the victim as she has no money and will have to support her husband and children.
      She cannot return to India as there is a warrant out for her arrest over there. However, it serves as a warning to others who try to do the same as Khabrogade. Sadly, though, they will be protected by diplomatic immunity.

    9. @anonymous
      Yes....Sangeeta is a victim in every sense, and still a victim...I can't imagine what she is going through. It is a big injustice...
      I agree that it does send the message that such behaviours will not be tolerated, so that is good. But really, Devyani has no place representing India like that..

      Just saw these today ->

      "“When I decided to come to the United States, my hope was to work for a few years to support my family and then return to India. I never thought that things would get so bad here, that I would work so much that I did not have time to sleep or eat or have time to myself. Because of this treatment, I requested that I return to India but that request was denied.” "

      ""She essentially worked very long hours, was isolated within the home, and attempted to ask for more time off, ask for more reasonable hours, but those attempts to resolve the issues were unsuccessful.""
      "Sussman said from then Richard was on her own, living largely on help from strangers in the Indian-American community, including a Sikh gurudwara."

    10. Thanks for bringing the Safe Horizon link to my attention. To get a fuller picture of the matter, please look up the website of the US Attorney, New York, which shows the indictment and gives details of the entire court case. Apparently Ms. Richards was getting paid around $1.42 per hour!
      In retaliation for Khobragade's expulsion, apparently, Wayne May from the US Embassy has been expelled from India. I guess that these strong-man tactics will go on until the elections at the very least.
      In the meantime, Khobragade appears to be enconsed in a made-to-order position at the Ministry of External Affairs.

    11. Further to my previous post, I noticed today that the Washington Post had an article which was in their Jan 12 edition regarding that an Indian Rights Group who said that Mrs. Richards rights had been violated. The title of the article was too long for me to forward it to you.
      However, although I did not read all the comments, I noticed that the first person who commented called Ms Richards a hero. He/she indicated that she was with a group called 'Break the Chain' that has been formed in Washington DC to help these domestic workers. They were formed after Washington City Paper ran an article titled' Capital Slaves' about the abuse and exploitation of domestic workers in the Washington DC area. There are many more cases than in New York because of so many Embassies and international organizations in the area.
      Would be grateful if you could kindly publish the name of this organization as it may just be of help to someone.

      Thank you.


      As may be seen from the above article the White House today announced further precautions, to curb human trafficking, by indicating that the Department of State will oblige all domestic workers on A-3 and G-5 visas to be registered with them on arrival. The domestic workers would be informed of their rights and where theycould go for assistance should they need it. Those visas apply to the entire US and not only to Washington DC.

    13. @anonymous - thank you for the links. $1.42 per hour is absolutely despicable and disgusting. A one fare subway ride is $2.50!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unbelievable.

      Is this the Washington Post article that you were talking about? --->

      Also check this one about Sangeeta Richards:
      "the rampant anger against Ms. Richards in India is reflective of the low value placed on domestic workers. " -->

    14. Alexandra, Yes, that is the Washington Post article that I meant and thank you for the link for the article that you found.

      Another place that South Asians can go for help is an organization called ASHA and the telephone number is 1-888-417-2742. It might be particularly helpful to individuals who do not have a good command of the English language.

    15. This article in the Hindu today is by Avaloy Lanning, Senior Director of Safe Horizon

    16. @anonymous - I have edited this post to add a RESOURCES link as you have suggested with the links to the helpful organizations.

      Hope Devyani is unable to ever find a maid that will work for her and I hope she is forced to do all her household work HERSELF! As she should!!!

    17. Alexandra, The RESOURCES link is a great idea and is certainly worthwhile even if it helps only one individual.
      The NHTC, which is run by the Polaris Project, also has a helpline and the number is 1-888-373-7888 or one can text BeFree (233733).
      Dr. Aakash Singh Rathore, who is Ms. Khobragade's husband,
      will be a judge at the Sydney International Wine Competition and will be representing the USA and India. I think that it takes place in March.
      This article in the Independent newspaper, although not complimentary to the US, seems to explain why the Indian Government acted the way it did in this case.

    18. Even though Ms. Khobragade escaped, you can see by this article that the US is tightening up its laws against these sorts of abuses -


      This is the latest update on the khobragade case. her lawyer is trying to get the case dismissed on the grounds that she was accredited to the un as of the previous general assembly
      which takes place between september - december of each year. apparently, bharara has asked the judge not to dismiss the case and has pointed out that she did not have diplomatic immunity all the time and that she will be arrested upon arrival in the us if she tries to enter.

    20. Alexandra, This is a further update on the case and indicates that her lawyer is trying to get the case dismissed on the grounds that she was accorded diplomatic immunity on january 8th and she was charged on january 9th, so the prosecution was invalid and the Court did not have jurisdiction over as she was immune from prosecution. We
      will now have to wait to see what happens.

    21. Alexandra, Just saw this in The Hindu
      If this is so, then it seems that the case will have to be dropped!

    22. This must be a reason that the UN wrote the letter:

    23. What a legal mess! So many loopholes...


      Just saw this article. Guess that the judge had no choice!

    25. Dismissed!!!! Can't believe it! I wonder if she will stay in India or go abroad.
      And what the heck happened to the nanny? Not a single story on her and what her new life is like.

    26. Alexandra, Maybe there is some justice after all. She has been re-indicted!!!!!

      PS Hope this is the correct link. There is other info on the net.

    27. Alexandra, This article gives a more complete explanation and also gives the case no. so that it can be looked up online in Preet Bharara's District of New York.

    28. Alexandra, According to this article, it means that she could be arrested again if she sets foot on US soil. It does not say that she will be.

      In addition, I guess depending on how the elections go, she could again come to the UN or the Embassy with full diplomatic immunity!

      However, I don't know whether her lawyer can appeal, or perhaps it is just for show. Will have to wait and see.

      Interesting nevertheless!!!!!!

    29. @anonymous - well, thank god!!! Good riddance to her!
      Unbelievable...$1 per hour is absolutely disgusting!!! Glad the US is standing their ground!

    30. Alexandra, This is further information that is linked to this case.

    31. Holy crap, I can't believe she resigned!

  7. What really gets me about this case is how unfortunately, in the eyes of many Indians, the maid automatically must be guilty and the good almighty diplomat is the victim here. Rioting and demonstrations, seriously??? There are more important and pressing issues in India to riot about than this. Again, priorities India priorities!!! Stop been so childish by retaliating without cause against the US embassy in India and cancelling meetings with visiting US politicians. You would not have done these things if we have never heard of Devyani Khobragade's arrest. Grow up already!!!

    It boggles the mind of how the Indian government moved so quickly to move Devyani Khobragade after her release on bail to the permanent Indian UN mission so the US government would not be able to prosecute her whether she is innocent or not.

    I really would like to hear more about and from the maid so I can form a more informed opinion as I want to be fair to both sides but the simple fact that the Indian government is so blatantly interfering with the laws in the US in order to ensure that this woman doesn't face the charges she was charged with is appalling and disgusting. It makes me automatically side with the maid in this case.

    This is not India and Devyani Khobragade is not above the law here. She was treated better and afforded privileges than not even US citizens get when they are arrested. It is common knowledge that most maids in India are treated badly and a lot of them are abused and forced to work ridiculously long hours with little pay. And, again this is the US. You work in the US you get paid accordingly to at least minimum wage standards. So what if she was paid well by Indian standards. She was not working in India. She worked at the most expensive city in the US.

    If anything, Indians should be appalled at Devyani Khobragade for putting India in such a bad position. As a diplomat, she represents India and should be expected to be held to a higher standard than most as she represents her country. India is looking more like a lawless third world country with an archaic law system that automatically protects the wealthy and victimizes the poor.

    Millie B

    1. I totally agree...and I really can't wait to hear more from the nanny.
      I can't believe that the nanny has been persecuted by her own country, and she will never be able to return since there is an arrest warrant. And I'm sure she also has extended family who was also in danger.
      It's like, apparently "so difficult" to imagine a rich, educated person in the wrong, and being treated accordingly!
      In my opinion, the government is supporting the wrong person. If they want Khorbragade back, they can have her! Good riddance! Meanwhile as she is a repeat criminal after the Adarsh housing scam, they better watch out!


    I cannot stop myself from putting in my 2 cents. The above link will show the true colors of the diplomat for whom Indian government is asking an apology for from USA. I am so happy I decided to move to Canada 13 years back. In Canada I can ask for my rights as an employee even if the person in front of me is in a high profile position. Thank You Canada. I am so happy with my decision.

    1. Thanks for the link. So crazy that Khorbragade committed a crime on Indian soil which the judge said "which reflected "greed, nepotism and favouritism" -- suddenly becomes "India's national pride" just because of her position! It is absurd, and I hope they know who they are defending!!
      We are in Canada too, and when a business and an employee have a conflict, it is common knowledge that the employee almost always wins. We even pay the man that does odd jobs for us $25/hour!! To pay employees well, and to treat them with respect is good Karma.

  9. Posted a comment earlier. Can't see it. I think Indians are being hypocrties and they really only protect the elite. Are they doing anything when it comes to workers exploited or facing potential caning? Notihng

    1. It is absolute hypocrisy. I am always reading the articles online of constant maid abuse, and the need for a centralized legislation to protect their rights. And what does the government do? Defend the criminal, instead of fighting for the nanny's rights which would have really sent a positive message to all domestic workers within India and abroad. But noooooo....they basically said the message, they don't matter!


    2. @Alexendra
      Maid abuse happens in India. There is no denying the fact. There are a few people who indulge in such barbarism but there are equal number of people who do not make distinction between themselves and their maids. It take all sorts of people to a make a country. We had employed maids throughout our lives to take care of our child because we were both working. We provided them with a lifestyle which we had, never mistreated her, whatever we could with our limited financial resources. How could we think of mistreating someone who looks after our own child??

      Our experience with maids in India is that there is need for legislation not only for the maid but also for the employers. There a lot of maid agencies in big cities which bring people from villages. Some are registered, some are not. There are no guarantee about them. They ask for exorbitant deposits and salaries. We contacted a maid agency which deliberately sent a old women to our house. On the second day the women complained that we had mistreated and that she was sick. We send her back and asked for another maid or refund of our deposit money. The maid agency did not provide us with another maid and refused to refund the money. Later it was known that they had cheated many such people with the same modus operandi. This area needs legislation to punish such fraud people. Many maids from such agencies have committed thefts in their employers house after gaining their confidence. This sector needs serious legislation and standardization for safeguarding both the the maid and employers.

      As for maids, who do not belong to any agency, they often come to know their employer's dependence on them and ask for more wage or threaten to leave. We know how many times we had negotiate with the maid just that she continues working. Most of the time it is the family which keeps on instigating the maid, even it she is happy with the employers. Most the time the drama starts just before the maid completes one year. This happens always like clock work. We have seen it many times. The point is, employers are not always the aggressor, their victims too but since India has such bad reputation, that these never come to light. Mostly the bad news comes out. Most of the times it the employers who feel cheated. There are always two sides of the story.

  10. Hi Alexandra –

    Considering that you have followers, I think, it is essential before you present a viewpoint against the issue (and against people of certain nation). In my opinion, your views are biased.

    On the technicality, yes, the consular officer can be arrested. I think, there is no disagreement that the maid was paid in cash or thru direct deposit less than $7.25 or $9.75. However, diplomacy runs on reciprocity. It was a tacit agreement over last few decades that Indian currency being weak, the Government of India will take care of housing, food, etc. (which includes, subway tickets, cell phone….). Hence, Indians were standing behind the consular officer. If you go thru Ms. Devyani’s history, you may uncover that she and her father have been involved in corruption hence, people of India had anger against her and she was not necessarily at the recipient of good press or media.

    It appears, that the case will fall apart in the court of law. And, the underlying motive of the maid to seek asylum in US of A will come to the forefront. She was successfully able to game the system of two nations and even was able of fly her family out on US of A’s dime.

    As I stated before, diplomacy runs on reciprocity. Subsequently, Indian Government has cancelled the Import Permits of the US consular and diplomat officials, Special Access at the Airports, the US national will be scrutinized to check if they are mis-using the visas etc. Also, the “companion visas” issued will be looked at. Also, the roads in and around the US Consulate in Delhi are now open to public. India had unilaterally provided the to US. Further, India did not distinguish between consular and diplomats; and treated both the same….which has now stopped.

    It is time that we value friendship as much US values it. We cannot be more friends with some who doesn’t recriprocate…..

    NYC – Mumbai

    1. First off, I can write whatever opinions I want and I do not & never will write for other people. I'm not going to filter my opinions to satisfy certain readers' ego's.

      Secondly - hmmm ...biased? You should already know that I'm not American & have no ties towards the U.S. - our countries are Canada and India, so if anything, I should be more on India's side. That being said, I refuse to blindly defend any place when they are clearly in the wrong.

      If the nanny was really smart, then she would have picked a country better than the U.S to settle down in - like Canada or one of the European countries that give fantastic benefits to their citizens like proper health care and support to families. What will she do in the U.S., where the economy is in the shits, a general unfriendliness towards immigrants, and a crappy health care system....? Life is not easy there.

      The diplomat should have paid her the minimum wage salary as per American standards (since they were on American soil) and played it safe. If she could not have afforded to pay her that rate then she should not have hired her in the first place.
      Khobragade is representing India by being a diplomat, and Indians ought to be ashamed of her actions. You guys can and should hire better diplomats than such a person. She is a terrible representation. And I have noticed that people are not rushing to defend her anymore since it was uncovered about the housing scam - thank god, since she is a repeat criminal. But still, nobody is defending the nanny, who will never return to her homeland again. How awful - I'm sure she has more family there, and I'm sure she will get homesick in a matter of days.

      In my opinion, no diplomat should have immunity, in any place.

  11. Hi Alexandra –

    Just to clarify, I did not imply that you write to satisfy any reader’s opinion/ego. What is warranted; is a thorough research before you put a strong un-founded bias/viewpoint against a nation (in this case my homeland).

    “…I refuse to blindly defend any place when they are clearly in the wrong”. However, you clearly sided by the maid in your blog-post. I do not know how you decided that the diplomat or consular officer is in the wrong when all the evidence currently points otherwise. US have now appointed a committee to investigate and resolve the matter. Of course, as I stated, if going by the word of law, there is no disagreement that the maid was paid in cash or thru direct deposit less than $7.25 or $9.75. Considering that now it will be looked under the diplomatic scanner, I believe, the common sense behind the wage will come into play. And, the Government of India had provided the maid housing, health insurance, airline tickets, residence in central Manhattan, she ate the same food as the diplomat’s family, cellphone, subway tickets etc. Government of India had also provided maid official passport (which was revoked when maid went missing). Cleary shows that she was not trafficked. All of this cannot be overlooked in the court of law.

    Maid – folks will defend her as well. However, until today there is no evidence in public domain of any harassment or ill treatment. Alternatively, Devyani had brought to NYPD’s attention the extortion and demand for normal passport by the maid after she went missing. Let the maid or her lawyer put forth the evidence and then it can debated that whether she is a victim.

    People of India have not stopped to defend Devyani because she has been a repeat offender. It was known to public in India that she along with her father is involved in corruption for over a year or so. Hence, this is not news to Indians. On the contrary, folks didn’t jump to defend “Devyani”; people are defending the consular officer whose dignity needs to be restored. Also, the corruption charges are leveled in India and have nothing to do with this case. Why India has such diplomat? Every country has it’s own problems: reservation. Similar to US’s affirmative action; India has “Reservation System”. Devyani even though she is privileged; she has benefitted from the system as she belongs to backward class. She did not have to go through the merit checks as someone from upper class would have had too. Again, this is not relevant to the case. She is representing India. Period.

    “..If the nanny was really smart, then she would have picked a country better than the U.S to settle down in - like Canada or one of the European countries…”. This made me laugh. Maid was not sitting with thorough analysis of benefits provided by developed countries to choose her next country of residence. Do you know that at least 30% of India survives on less than US $2 per day? Nanny saw an opportunity to work as maid in NYC and took it. The rest of story whether she was harassed or she gamed the system will come out as legal experts sort through the evidence which currently is not in favor of the maid.

    NYC – Mumbai

    1. Did you not notice, as you are flinging words like "bias" and "against an entire nation" that I am concerned for the rights of an INDIAN CITIZEN who was wronged by another citizen AND her own government...???
      I have been following the case closely, and I stand by my opinions. Just because I'm not on the more "popular" side does not mean I need to "do more research". What I would recommend - dear Raj - is that you do more research in the depths of your own heart. Sangeeta Richard is India's pride - she is a reflection of the average Indian worker that is a keystone of your nation, who has been deeply wronged and thrown out of her own country. The fact that you choose Devyani as "India's pride" - a corrupt, known criminal - a rich, spoiled brat - speaks volumes as it illuminates the mass injustices and lack of empathy in your own land. But go ahead, mark a human trafficker as "India's pride". What a reflection, indeed...


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