An intense tit-for-tat battle may be brewing between the governments of India and the United States that resembles a lover’s quarrel more than anything else.
After India’s deputy consul general in New York, Devyani Khobragade, had to post bail for $250,000 following her public arrest last week, the Indian government expressed its shock and has now launched a bitter offensive. Its impulsive reaction has also triggered a wave of criticism in India, calling it hypocritical.
Now US diplomats will no longer enjoy airport passes and they must hand over details of wages paid to Indian domestic help. The government has ordered the removal of all traffic barricades near the US Embassy in Delhi, which is probably going to be welcomed by local commuters.
The payback tactic that will hit US diplomats the most this holiday season is the halt on all import clearances for the US Embassy, including liquor.
It is safe to assume that a DRY Christmas party will be a drag for many folks.
Khobragade’s was arrested near her children’s school over allegations that her Indian maid was being paid a pittance ($3/hr) compared to minimum wage and the Indian diplomat lied about it while obtaining a visa for her domestic help.
Interestingly, the government has chosen to throw a hissy fit over the treatment of its diplomat rather than addressing the issue of how an Indian domestic worker was being paid amongst its ranks.
The Indian government as well as some ordinary Indians on social media have expressed their outrage at Khobragade’s treatment during her arrest, which included a strip search. However, many other outspoken Twitter users are calling the government out on its hypocrisy.
Here are some highlights from the conversation on Twitter.
I happen to know the Indian diplomat arrested in the US & her treatment by the Americans was shameful. Handcuffed & strip searched? Not on.— Rezaul Hasan Laskar (@Rezhasan) December 17, 2013
Such outrage for an Indian diplomat being humiliated. When Indian labourers were arrested in S'pore, there was 1 statement asking for calm— Deepanjana Pal (@dpanjana) December 17, 2013
If only wife of sailor arrested in Togo fighting for his release, had same support from Indian officialdom that Indian diplomat has.— Nirupama Subramanian (@tallstories) December 17, 2013
Classic. Ex-Indian diplomat calls US "barbaric", asks if there's any difference between Delhi rapists & NYPD. http://t.co/DHMFAePJQd— Mosharraf Zaidi (@mosharrafzaidi) December 17, 2013
Former Indian diplomat compares NYPD to Delhi gang-rapists. And you wonder why we don't get any respect. http://t.co/uH2yCsovx6— Mihir Sharma (@mihirssharma) December 17, 2013
Interesting how India is all outraged over how a diplomat is treated, but not over how an Indian domestic worker is paid.— Vidyut (@Vidyut) December 17, 2013