Saturday, December 28, 2013

what does india have that's important to the broad hump of the american bell-curve again?


NYTimes |  Outrage in India’s tiny diplomatic corps is particularly acute because those who deal with the United States often feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of communications. India has just three senior diplomats on its North America desk, who deal with scores of counterparts from the United States and Canada. And the issue of the treatment of domestic help does not resonate in India as it does in the United States; nearly all officials in New Delhi have maids working dawn to dusk six or seven days a week, and generally earning even less than Ms. Richard did. 

India has undertaken punitive measures that it believes puts American diplomats in India on par with Indian diplomats in the United States. It withdrew passes that allow American diplomats to meet important guests, like members of Congress, at airport gates, and canceled the diplomatic identity cards given to consular officials and their families, reissuing cards only to officials. The cards instruct police officers that the holder may be arrested for serious offenses. 

In addition, India is investigating whether spouses and employees of American officials are paying taxes on earnings made in India, particularly at the American schools in New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. India has canceled the United States Embassy’s import privileges for food and alcohol. And security barriers that surrounded the embassy in New Delhi have been permanently removed. Indian officials say the barriers were unnecessary and in some cases impeded traffic. 

“We would not do anything to adversely affect the security of the U.S. Embassy,” Mr. Akbaruddin said. “To suggest otherwise is unfair.” 

There are 14 other Indian maids working for Indian diplomats in the United States, and India is negotiating over their status with the State Department. To India, these maids should be considered Indian government employees whose employment does not fall under American wage and hour laws.