A few thoughts about the unprecedented arrest of Indian Deputy General Counsel Devyani Khobograde in New York.
1.) In the past, diplomats from South America and Arab countries have been detained for the same crime involving domestic staff and their wages. They were instructed to leave the country and were given 48 hours to do so. This is the appropriate punishment not the overreaction that occurred – Arresting Khobograde in front of her daughter, strip searching and sexually assaulting her through cavity search then throwing her into a cell with drug addicts.
2.) The maid in question attempted to blackmail Khobograde prior to contacting the police. Her family in India was involved in this
3.) It is customary to pay a domestic servant a chunk of money up front and then littler amounts once they follow their employer to the country where they are posted. The USA may not like it but that is the policy of a lot of other countries beside India.
4.) Trotting out naturalized Indian American Preet Bharara, New York US Attorney, to defend this action just looks cynical and cheap and doesn’t in anyway justify this overreach.
5.) Khobograde is of the Dalit caste, traditionally the lowest caste in India, not a Brahmin, the highest caste in India, as was misreported by some news outlets.
6.) Recently, the Indian Supreme Court once again criminalized homosexuality which is something the USA objected to. Could this be payback for that?
7.) If the USA can do something unprecedented and against protocol like this India is well within its rights to remove barricades from the front of the US embassy that slow up traffic, kick out same sex partners of embassy/consular staff ( in keeping with anti-gay supreme court decision), hold up special discounted shipments of liquor and other goodies etc.
8.) The USA owes India a huge apology. One thing that George W Bush, an otherwise terrible president, did was wisely cement Indian relations at a time when it was important but India is not America’s poodle and they don’t have to go along with unfair treatment like this.
9.) I’d say strip search and cavity search Obama but he’d probably enjoy it too much.