Sunday, November 28, 2021
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Obey the laws of the land

Indian Diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s issue has been blown out of proportion with both the countries adamant on their stand. The stand taken by both the countries are partially justified. While America is trying to uphold its labour laws, India is trying to protect its diplomat by means of diplomatic immunity. It is difficult to say who is the villain in this regard. Surely, there is no real villain, tragic hero who is the victim of circumstances in this regard. Devyani has breached the law, and justice has to be done. However, America also knows that diplomats enjoy immunity so it was unfair of them to treat her thus. Here comes the larger question of America’s racist attitude towards Indians.

Devyani Khobragade, 39, was arrested on Dec. 12 while she was dropping her kids in schools. She was arrested on account of committing a visa fraud. She was also held guilty of underpaying her maid. According to reports, Richard, Devyani’s domestic help, went missing since June and appeared two weeks later accompanied by a lawyer and demanded a sum worth $ 10,000 and a regular visa against the diplomatic one which she had. Thus Devyani had landed herself in doldrums.

Then followed an arrest which India termed as unfair. She was handcuffed during her arrest and was cavity searched. Her lawyer emphasised upon the fact that the nature of her crime was civil, not criminal. Yet America stuck to its deeds. India tried to prevent her from undergoing such an ordeal, but all in vain. This led to some protests in India, some ministers suggesting that US diplomats practising homosexuality should be arrested. India’s reputation was at stake as Devyani was a representative of the nation. Unable to protect her under the US laws, India asked Washington to accredit Devyani at the U N. It did so and in return, asked India to do away with the diplomatic immunity. India naturally refused, following which Devyani was asked to leave the country.

Now, the tragedy is that Devyani has to live away from her family. If her children decide to reside in US, then she will have to live apart. Besides, lots of Indians settled in America have hired maids by following similar procedure. Now they too are at a risk of being arrested, looking at which, the government is looking forward to amend the law relating to this issue. There is also a question of whether Bharara was trying to get Devyani arrested for his own political gains. Whatever the reasons be, one should be aware and adhere to the laws of the country they reside in.

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