It is a myth that empowered women are sympathetic to poor women. More women CEOs, Presidents or diplomats will in no way change the condition of poor women, just the way more male CEOs or Presidents do not make any difference to poor homeless men.
US Government followed its law and arrested Deputy Consul General of India at New York Devyani Khobragade for alleged Visa fraud, and for lying to the government, as she paid only $3.31 per hour to her Indian maid, much less than what is legally permissible in New York. She was strip searched as per standard procedures. Now, India’s Home Minister Sushil Shinde has gone crazy. India summoned US ambassador at New Delhi Nancy Powell to protest.
It is to be noted that India openly violates International Conventions and US laws by refusing to return US Citizen Children, who are illegally taken to India by one of the parents violating custody orders of US Courts. FBI lists this crime as parental kidnapping.
For example, if an Indian woman is married to an American citizen and the child is born in US, then, she cannot just fly to India carrying the child during a marital dispute as the child belongs to both parents and the child is a citizen of USA by birth. Only courts in the US have the right to decide about custody arrangements and well-being of a child since that child is a US citizen. International Conventions like tge Hague Convention on this issue are very clear about it. The Indian Government violates these conventions openly, while it criticizes US Government for doing what is legal in their own country in this issue of low wages to maid.
It is to be noted that Indian Government and its police subject its own citizens including women to worst form of humiliation and harassment in false dowry cases or what is known as false cases of section 498a. Now, the same India is complaining when US Govt arrested this Indian woman for Visa fraud.
Devayani Khobragade is a women’s rights activist and if she has employed a servant to work in her house full time for such a low wage then it is almost like modern day slavery. It also underscores the point that modern Indian working women are used to paying low wages to female servants in India. This is due to huge rich-poor gap in India. A working woman in America cannot afford such luxuries of employing full time servants. When these Indian women migrate to USA or work in USA with a Green Card etc, they think of getting a servant (often a poor woman) from India to work in their home in US, because these poor women are much cheaper than a domestic help of American origin.
Huffington Post Reports (link):
According to an employment contract obtained by NDTV, the nanny — an Indian national named Sangeeta Richard — was supposed to be paid $4,500 per month (as stated in her U.S. visa), but Khobragade later changed the salary to $537 a month. Prosecutors say this means Khobragade provided false documents to the U.S. government and committed visa fraud. Khobragade’s lawyers are arguing that since she earns only $4,000 monthly, she paid the nanny what she could afford, NDTV reports.
The Indian women employing such low-wage servants may even feel that she is being noble and generous for providing free food and accommodation in a developed country to the poor Indian woman. However, the poor servant has to live in US with literally no rights, as she is given very low wages. Furthermore, she cannot walk out of house in that alien land, if she is discriminated against or abused by her “employer.”
Recently, the wife of a member of Indian Parliament is arrested for murdering her servant. Abuse of servants by Indian women whether in India or in middle-east, where there is significant Indian population, is regular news.
Times of India Reports (link):
The wife of a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) parliamentarian was arrested Tuesday for allegedly torturing her maid to death and beating another minor servant with sticks and rods, police said. Jagriti Singh, wife of Dhananjay Singh, who represents Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested on Tuesday and booked under the sections of murder, attempt to murder and the Juvenile Justice Act for beating and torturing her maid Rakhi (35) and Rampal (17) for days.
At this point of time, the Indian Government should try to educate privileged Indian women to stop treating fellow women as slaves, and give detailed guidelines to Indian women in US or middle-east who are hiring these poor women as domestic servants. Instead of doing that the Indian Government is raking up the issue of strip-search of a diplomat and trying to mislead the people in India. This is election year and the ruling Congress Party’s Government wants to show to Indian people that as far as dignity of its women are concerned, India can take on world’s no. 1 super power.
The security and barricades around US embassy at New Delhi are reduced and the Government has asked the diplomatic staff and their family members to surrender their special id cards. Some politicians have gone to the extent of threatening to imprison the same-sex partners of US diplomatic staff by saying that homosexuality is illegal in India and by living with same sex partners, the US diplomatic staff have violated the law of the land.
It is to be noted that the Indian Government and Indian police treat their own citizens in the worst possible manner. Recently, the 60 year old mother of a Men’s Rights Activist was detained in a police station in South Indian state of Tamil Nadu for more than 9 hours, and she was used as a hostage to threaten the activist and his old father.
In 2012, more than 47,000 women were arrested without evidence or investigation by Indian police under section 498a of Indian Penal code. They are presumed guilty until proven innocent. The reason for these arrests is to facilitate blackmailing of the women’s male relatives, including their sons or brothers, by police and the wife’s relatives.
In Delhi’s “crime against women” cells, the Indian Government and judiciary openly facilitate blackmailing and extortion of husbands and their female family members to facilitate out-of-court settlements in marital disputes under the threats of arrests of husband and his family members in false cases of section 498a. When civil courts or family courts exist for settling marital disputes and for deciding alimony or out of court settlements, the Indian Government uses its police and bogus criminal laws to indulge in illegal activity and extortion of its citizens including humiliating female members of husband’s family.
The speaker of Indian Parliament, Meira Kumar has openly come out in support of such laws and procedures.
Now, the same Indian Government and media are claiming that the servant of this Indian diplomat blackmailed her for a compensation of $10,000 and facilitation of a special US VISA which would have helped her live in US.
Times of India reports (link):
July 8: Khobragade, who had also filed a complaint of theft against the maid, is called to an immigration lawyer’s office where she is asked by the maid to shell out $10,000, convert her official passport into an ordinary one and help with her visa which would allow her to live in the US. Angered by these tactics, India revokes her passport. She was now living illegally in the US.