Saturday, January 11, 2014

a matter of prestige...,


NYTimes | The incident has uncovered a gaping cultural disconnect between the world’s two largest democracies. While Americans reflexively came to the defense of a maid who the authorities said was subjected to abuse, Indians reflexively sympathized with the diplomat.

This is partly because middle- and upper-class Indians typically have their own servants, who often work long hours for far less than the $573 a month that Ms. Khobragade had promised to pay. But the bigger reason, especially compelling in an election year, is national pride. In the month that has passed since Ms. Khobragade’s arrest, she has been transformed into a symbol of India’s sovereignty, pushed around and humiliated by an arrogant superpower.

“There is always this sense, since the end of the Soviet Union, that America is too big for its britches,” said Sandip Roy, senior editor at Firstpost, a news website. “What happened to Devyani is seen in a larger, cosmic sense as that kind of unilateral thing, like, ‘I will go and invade Afghanistan, and I don’t care what anyone thinks.’ ”

The dispute was brought to a rapid finish in the last 72 hours, in what appeared to be an effort by American officials to relax tensions.

Daniel N. Arshack, Ms. Khobragade’s lawyer in New York, agreed that once negotiations with prosecutors broke down last weekend, “this week turned into a focus on diplomatic solutions.” Mr. Arshack said that his client’s husband, a college professor, and two young daughters, ages 4 and 7, who are all American citizens, had remained in New York.

The domestic worker, Sangeeta Richard, told prosecutors that she was forced to work about 94 to 109 hours a week, with limited breaks for calls and meals, according to an indictment handed up in Federal District Court in Manhattan. Last summer, it said, Ms. Richard told Ms. Khobragade she was unhappy with the work conditions and wanted to return home, but her employer refused the request and would not return her passport.

Ms. Khobragade was arrested Dec. 12 when she was dropping off her daughters at school, and charged with misrepresenting Ms. Richard’s pay to obtain a work visa for a housekeeper. Indian newspapers reported that she was strip-searched, something Indians found especially offensive, and then kept in a police holding pen with drug addicts before being released on bond. India responded with a raft of retaliatory steps, including the removal of security barriers around the embassy in New Delhi, and the case was the lead story in the Indian news media for weeks.

On Wednesday, India granted Ms. Khobragade the full immunity and privileges of a diplomat, a set of rights not accorded those posted in consulates, as she was at the time of the arrest. Though the United States appealed to India to waive that immunity, India refused, and transferred her to a new position at the Foreign Ministry in Delhi. The State Department then told her to leave the United States, which she did Thursday night.

Ms. Khobragade’s father, Uttam Khobragade, said that his daughter was under strict orders not to give interviews, but told an anecdote that suggested she left with bitter feelings — toward Ms. Richard, toward Ms. Richard’s husband and toward the United States government.

“Devyani was seen off at the airport by an official of the State Department,” he told reporters Friday morning. “He told Devyani that, ‘Madam, I am sorry, and it was wrong.’ She told the official, ‘You have lost a good friend. It is unfortunate. In return, you got a maid and a drunken driver. They are in, and we are out.’ ” 

18 comments:

makheru bradley said...

"While Americans reflexively came to the defense of a maid who the authorities said was subjected to abuse, Indians reflexively sympathized with the diplomat." What a joke. Coming to the defense of a maid, in this land of exploding inequality, the United States of Hypocrisy. They've been working overtime to recoup the money Madoff fleeced from the rich, while middle-class people who lost everything as a result of the shenanigans of 9/15 are left to fend for themselves. We know that the American power structure and Americans in general don't give a damn about a maid. Why the Obama Administration chose this particular battle is another matter.

CNu said...

But doesn't it work perfectly for both class "warfare" beleaguered sets of elites? The literal brahmins can point at and exclaim their magnanimity in having not only elevated this 2nd/3rd generation inheritor of Indian affirmative action for Dalits, because not only did they elevate her class on her presumptive merits, but then they also defended her honor and Indian sovereignty in the face of racist American imperialism. WINNING!!!!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the American cathedral brahmins flexed and came to the rescue of the oppressed member of the Indian 99% in the person of Sangeeta Richard, demonstrated their resolve to bat for the little woman against traditional (confederate) entitlement to personal slaves by upholding American legal standards in the face of international consternation and consequences.

Neither side in these international hunger games - played out mostly in the minds of their respective house and field negroe peasants - gave up a dayyum thing. Neither side blinked, neither side paid any price for the kerfluffle, both sets of ruling elites are counting symbolic coup among their respective peasant herds for having manned up and kept it 100%.

Truly.priceless.comedy.gold......,

BigDonOne said...

Too many two-bit tin-horn countries are tugging on Superman's cape, and forgetting who is the Biggest Kid on the Block. One of these days a POTUS with some balls will speak, "Today I settle all family business..."

Vic78 said...

I wouldn't call the US Superman. The country still needs cooperation from India to handle business. The crazies need killing.

CNu said...

um...., what exactly do we "need" from them? cheap techs only undermine salaries that would be paid to american techs. Having spent a fair amount of time dual-shore with/for Indian companies, I can assure you they have absolutely nothing that we need, but produce margins that some 1%'s want.

Vic78 said...

I was thinking about help on the spying and military front. Sometimes they can give a close spot to operate from. Or when you need someone that doesn't look American to do an assignment. They had some crazies act out in Mumbai a few years back. So they might be interested in helping out.

makheru bradley said...

I see your point. 2014 is election year in India and some pundits are saying this event helps the ruling Congress Party. The Democrats are making inequality a focus of the 2014 midterms. The maid and the foreign service officer are political footballs being tossed about to win elections. The parties of the elites are dependent on the masses of voters continuing to be political chumps. The success of their strategy, so far, is undeniable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkgA2rUAY-o

CNu said...

If we're on the same page wrt the playbook, did you happen to peep game on the extent to which she's been personally enriched? The article that DMG linked this morning disclosed a smidgeon of that information http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/indias-devyani-khobragade-advocated-for-womens-rights-but-underpaid-her-nanny/2013/12/20/13e23688-69a2-11e3-8b5b-a77187b716a3_story.html

It appears that she's been tapped for "bigger and better things" politically and personally for some time now. There's a reason this tiresome wench has such an obnoxiously smug expression on her face, she's leading an unnaturally charmed life and she knows it.

makheru bradley said...

I will check that out. Her husband and children are US citizens. If she returns to the US she could be arrested. What are the odds that the indictment will be dropped after the pols have milked this issue to their advantage?

CNu said...

Khobragade seems like a very nasty piece of work. http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/after-being-indicted-in-employment-case-indian-diplomat-devyani-khobragade-leaves-us-469311?ndtv_rhs having first tried to cover the situation up by compulsion, extortion, and lying - and failing that - instigating a trumped up case against Richards in India.



Because Richards is effectively hostage in the U.S. with herself and her husband under specious indictment in India, and because Khobragade is effectively hostage in India, with her wine philosopher husband straight chilling with the children in NYC - the matter will be resolved by a mutual and reciprocal agreement to dismiss all charges.



The runaway slave and the smug, lip-poked out 3rd line inheritor of Indian affirmative action will never be reconciled, but the kerfluffle will go away after being thoroughly milked for all possible political advantage on both sides. And because nobody else follows any of these things in any kind of detail, very few people will be any the wiser concerning what really happened.

CNu said...

oops, check that, Richards husband and family have been safely relocated to the U.S., that was why an American consul in New Delhi got expelled and the basis for my Ice Cube tit-for-tat post.

Dale Asberry said...

She and her father are psychopaths... clearly deserving of a chance to break into the psychopathocracy. She's clearly headed for a star career in livestock management. I'm also sure that the ruling Brahmans love the irony of using a Dalit to further suppress the Dalit caste.

CNu said...

I'd go as far as "narcissistic sociopath" - but absent any documented murdering - I'd hesitate to carry that any further. While it's a harder call on Narendra Modi, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/In-Panaji-Narendra-Modi-attacks-Shinde-Natarajan-at-rally/articleshow/28710346.cms because we know big work was put in on his watch, I'm not sure I'm willing to call him a psychopath either.



For my own purposes, I choose to take these people at face value. In other words, I choose to believe that Modi is a sincere, old-school, hardline Hindu - and operates from that space. Similarly, I choose to believe that Khobragade feels sincerely entitled to have a personal maidservant at her beck and call, and is sincerely embarrassed at having been singled out for doing what all the other beautiful and chosen people do.



Now, back to the Brahman handlers who know all the strings to pull with either of these little puppets, that thurr might be a whole other cup of tea. Two-legged livestock management is NOT imoho, necessarily the exclusive province of psychopaths. However, deuterostome husbandry does often require a degree of detachment and ruthlessness wrt individual and individual human groups involving prejudicial sacrifice in the interest of policy, governance, and the greater "good".

Vic78 said...

She's Dhalit acting like that? Whatever they do, I hope they keep her sorry ass in India. Next time they send somebody they should school that person on how they do things in the states. All of this could've been avoided. That makes me wonder what kind of ship they're running over there.

Dale Asberry said...

Yeah, you use a slightly different definition than I use. Capable and willing doesn't seem much of a distinction to me...


Yep, they're both definitely being sincere. This whole thing caught them (Indian ruling and management classes) off-guard --- every one else does it, why we pickin' on beautiful Devyani??!! It does strike me as interesting that she's (being groomed for being a woman's advocate and) getting called out for the very abuse she's supposedly advocating against, a very curious coincidence.


Still, being hard-line isn't the only cost of admission...

CNu said...

In the political class, that set of intermediaries who serve to buffer the proprietor class from the rest of you humans, I think being subject to extortion is an indispensable characteristic. A cursory look at Khobragade's background shows that she and her father are sketchy as hell and can be brought up on charges in a heartbeat. (but it doesn't happen)

So also the Clintons with their laundry list of scandals and dirty dealings going back decades(but it doesn't happen) - so much energy and effort has been expended by the teatards to bring to light some or another dirt on the manchurian Hon.Bro.Preznit that you KNOW sum'n not right in his background, but nothing substantive ever seems to materialize and stick.

What you absolutely cannot ever be, and be of political use as a go-between the proprietors and the herd, is shiningly upright, self-disciplined, austere, moral, and clean.

CNu said...

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/12/justice/indian-diplomat-charges-dismissed/ federal charges against khobragade dismissed...,

CNu said...

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/14/justice/indian-diplomat-indicted/ comedy gold - Indian diplomat whose arrest and strip-search in NYC drew protests is indicted again

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