The complex issue of Devyani Khobragade has come as a boon for ruling party in India on the verge of facing one of the worse defeats in upcoming Parliamentary Elections in 2014. It has allowed its leaders, who have lost their sheen, to talk big about saving the pride of nation, forgetting that most of them enjoy a chequered past! Its most of the leaders, who have been relegated to the background, have now emerged on the surface, speaking aloud about attributes which they rarely displayed both in public and personal lives. Consider the manner in which the Lokpal Bill got passed after the government was left with no other option but to take cognizance of growing unrest over this issue in nation!
The Indian leaders, especially from the ruling party, definitely lack the moral right to make shrill cry about violation of standard provisions in case of Devyani Khobragade. It’s quite evident from a deeper analysis of issue at hand that facts have been blown out of proportion. Like always the issue has been given a larger-than-life colouring, making it look like some shrewd diversionary tactics on the part of hidden players behind the curtain.
Devyani Khobragade is no child that she could not apprehend the consequences of misrepresentation of facts on visa application of the domestic help Sangeeta Richard. How come she is so much aware of “Vienna conventions” but pretty unaware about the violation of domestic laws of U.S. even as there were reported incidents of atrocities committed upon domestic help in the past by other Indian diplomats in the same country? Being an Indian diplomat she should have set high precedents instead of giving impression of being a “victim” in the aftermath of strict actions on part of U.S. authorities.
Let’s be very clear that it’s not the case of making mockery of sovereignty of India but it’s more the case of playing with the fire. Devyani conveniently forgot that she was living in United States and not in India where even a petty “Sarkari Babu” (government official) can use his power to thwart the investigation on being caught.
The urgency exhibited and absurd statements on part of Congress Ministers make them laughing stock in the eyes of all conscious people, who believe in the rule of law. The paid mainstream media might give the impression that knee jerk reactions on part of Indian counterparts back in India are “bold measures” and fitting response to United States, but it would never diminish the ugly truth that she is guilty. The moves on part of U.S. sound more appropriate when Preet Bharara makes it clear that “This office’s sole motivation in this case, as in all cases, is to uphold the rule of law, protect victims, and hold accountable anyone who breaks the law — no matter what their societal status and no matter how powerful, rich or connected they are.”
All those who are talking aloud about diplomatic immunity granted to Indian officials posted at consular office surely needs to answer questions posed by this U.S. prosecutor: “One wonders whether any government would not take action regarding false documents being submitted to it in order to bring immigrants into the country. One wonders even more pointedly whether any government would not take action regarding that alleged conduct where the purpose of the scheme was to unfairly treat a domestic worker in ways that violate the law. And 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?”
Yes, it’s disturbing that mainstream media pressure and chaotic voices within the government have made it a “diplomatic row” when it’s nothing more than criminal action committed by a responsible Indian officer. However, let’s view critically the actions taken on part of U.S. The WikiLeaks have proven beyond doubt that American leaders are no saints. The U.S. might give the impression that dealing fairly with violation of human rights is always their topmost priority but when their own men get trapped it takes recourse to most shrewd measures to save them.
Or, for that matter, it can go to any extent to get its job done, even if it means sabotaging the sovereignty of other nations. It’s no secret that documents and evidences were forged to justify their attack on Iraq. The drone attacks in various parts of Pakistan make it clear that borders become meaningless in face of its interests, and so death of innocent civilians means nothing! The controversial release of Ramyond Davis, C.I.A contractor guilty of double murder in Pakistan, speaks volume about subtle pressure employed by American leaders.
The U.S. claims it’s very much in pain over episodes of violation of human rights but see the treatment meted out to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay! So it’s evident that rich and powerful nations have dual standards and the U.S. is no exception. It’s not at all wrong to presume that it used its domestic laws to enter in barbaric behaviour which many in India see it as an assault on the pride of India and modesty of a woman.
India needs to learn few lessons from this episode instead of entering in retaliatory actions. Before I come to that point let me state that introduction of gender-neutral laws in India or need of tough measures to punish abusive women always lead to raised eyebrows.The so-called messiahs of women’s rights start making noise in India. The U.S. has perfectly demonstrated that laws are equal for men and women and, therefore, women cannot claim special privileges or concession.
In India despite the leap of so many centuries woman is still inherently seen as a weak specie, a saintly figure, who can first commit no crime and even if she commits crimes she needs to be given special treatment! It’s an impression that’s even supported by foreign based agencies, working for the rights of women in India but the same agencies would remain silent about inhuman behaviour done with Devyani just because it happened in U.S.!
Anyway, India needs to demonstrate its own strength not in reactionary way but in a more mature way. It needs to take away all the special privileges and concessions it offers to U.S. citizen in extraordinary way. Very recently a Visa Officer in India was transferred because she had refused to grant visa to a gay American diplomat on the ground that such marriages are not legal in India. The Indian government instead of supporting her argument, transferred her to a lesser department.
In the light of recent Supreme Court judgement, which has upheld the validity of section 377, one needs to follow the words of former Finance Minister of India, Yashwant Sinha, to let United States become aware of consequences if other nations also become strict in implementing their domestic laws.”My suggestion to the Government of India is, the media has reported that we have issued visas to a number of US diplomats’ companions. ‘Companions’ means that they are of the same sex. Now, after the Supreme Court ruling, it is completely illegal in our country. Just as paying less wages was illegal in the US. So, why doesn’t the government of India go ahead and arrest all of them? Put them behind bars, prosecute them in this country and punish them.” (Yashwant Sinha).
Sometimes back there was controversy about alleged permission granted to American sniffer dogs to enter Rajghat as a part of the security drill before the visit of U.S. President George Bush. In future this sort of “desecration” could be avoided since it’s not permissible as per our own rules. It’s time for India to exhibit that it has a backbone, instead of entering in knee-jerk reactions. That can be perfectly demonstrated by pursuing its own interests in a rigid way without granting extraordinary privileges to outsiders, being least influenced by their nationality and position.
Pic Two Is From Internet
Very recently photographs of a completely naked Prince Harry became the hot favourite item searched in the virtual world through the search engines. The celebrity news site, which first revealed its prize possession to the world at large, stated that Prince was involved in game of “strip billiards” at his VIP suite at the Wynn Resort, Las Vegas. It all began when he intercepted some hot chicks at the hotel bar, whom he invited to his VIP suite. The main aim of celebrity news sites is to cash in on crass sensationalism, and so most of us not are really not that prepared to analyze these incidents with seriousness they actually demand. For the average mass these happenings deserve passing attention-one that’s mixed with cheap thrills. The tabloids keep serving such items, at regular intervals, to make average mass kill their boredom.
That’s the impression which is generated in haste to avoid deeper speculation. For instance, just look at the way one section of media tries to portray such issues with touch of dignity. After all, it involves a royal family. Ingrid Seward, royal biographer and editor of Majesty magazine, was quick in offering a suitable defense stating that such acts do not damage the reputation of Royal Family at all.“I don’t think it will damage the Royal Family at all,” Seward said. “He’s the Boris Johnson of the Royal Family.” So the ultimate conclusion that gets pasted on our minds is that temporarily these acts might cause some embarrassment for the oft-spotlighted British Royal Family but all in all such acts are okay in royal circles.
So when such incidents appear in the life of a person belonging to lower echelon of society, such a person be ready to be labeled as a womanizer, a person with loose morals and etc. but when same acts get committed in the higher sections of society, the person still enjoys enough dignity to serve as “the Royal Family’s representative at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics.” In fact, such incidents are great blow to the flawed Victorian ideals once prevalent in this part of the world, which never believed that “sex is about affection, caring and warmth, and is the ultimate expression of love” and indulged in brutal suppression of niceties associated with love-making- a wonderful art form which found brilliant expression in Kamasutra of Vatsyayana.
When a section of western media was pretty busy in providing a touch of honour to the glorious acts of Prince Harry, a section of mainstream western media was baying for the blood of British MP George Galloway for offering defense in the favour of Julian Assange that “having inappropriate sex with a woman while she was asleep is not rape”. He is being severely condemned for expressing that allegations against Julian Assange “don’t constitute rape”.
“Even taken at its worst, if the allegations made by these two women were true, 100% true, and even if a camera in the room captured them, they don’t constitute rape,” he said.
“At least not rape as anyone with any sense can possibly recognise it. And somebody has to say this. Woman ‘A’ met Julian Assange, invited him back to her flat, gave him dinner, went to bed with him, had consensual sex with him, claims that she woke up to him having sex with her again. “
“It might be really bad manners not to have tapped her on the shoulder and said, ‘do you mind if I do it again?’. It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning..I don’t believe either of these women, I don’t believe either of these stories.”
Obviously, this was bound to give rise to ferocious reactions on part of various circles representing United States and other important bodies associated with this case, terming Galloway’s observations as “offensive and deeply concerning”. Without going further into this debate whether or not Galloway was right in his observations, it’s interesting to note that anybody who reveals the dark sides of powerful governments becomes a person with a chequered past. Julian Assange is not all wrong when he accuses US government of a witch-hunt against himself and his team. That’s the most standard pattern noticeable in almost all the nations.
The moment an individual or an organisation exposes the misdeeds of powerful governments, the respective governments order their investigative agencies to trap them under various sections of law. Isn’t the same thing taking place in India against Baba Ramdev and Team Anna trying to put the Indian government on mat over issues pertaining to corruption and black money? So it’s hard to believe in the version offered by the United States that WikiLeaks founder is trying hard to divert the attention via “wild” claims.
Interestingly, nobody can understand the whole issue better than me. Very recently, one of my popular websites operating in United Kindom and other nations was blocked in such a manner that’s its now impossible for me to access the site. No suitable explanation was offered. The real reason was to curb the growing influence of this website, which had taken tough stand on sensitive issues not in league with popular sentiments. The same website, not a long time back, received loads of compliments from various quarters but the moment it took a rigid and candid stand on critical issues, it got targeted.
Anyway, it really needs to be analyzed that why people belonging to royal background and the powerful governments remain in good books despite being found involved in corrupt practices, but at the same time individuals and organisations, involved in making world a bit better place for survival, are treated as criminals? For how long this tendency would prevail? Any answers?