A2LET TERS India Abroad January 10, 2014 16 The International Weekly Newspaper founded in 1970. Member, Audit Bureau of Circulation
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There has been a huge uproar in India at the arrest and
personal search of an Indian diplomat in New York City.
There also have been reactions from Indians here, as
seen from several Letters to the Editor in India Abroad.
While I don’t condone the insensitivity and the harsh
treatment meted out to the diplomat, I am surprised at
the relatively lower level of demonstration of support
that was shown for the Indian soldiers who were beheaded by the Pakistan’s military murderers a few months
back. While our soldiers were doing patriotic duty for
their country, the diplomat is charged with breaking the
laws of the host country.
Why is there such a vast difference in our attitudes in
these two instances?
Allentown, New Jersey
All Indian consulates except New York should be
closed. With the help of the embassy at Washington, DC,
everybody can be taken care of, thanks to today’s technology.
Bringing servants from India should be prohibited.
Only immigrants and citizens should be used.
The angry souls of New Delhi do not realize they are
harming thousands of Indians who are temporarily here,
thousands of Indians who want to come here, industrialists who have business here.
I take issue with Lal Vishin’s pronouncement that
exploitation of the servant class by the rich is intrinsic to
Indian society (Letters, January 10). Nothing can be
His belief is flawed and his pronouncement is unsubstantiated.
In my growing up days in independent India, we had a
maid to do the dishes, sweep the floor and at times wash
the clothes. She was provided lunch and at times given
surplus food for her family. She was fairly paid and was
often gifted clothes. She would not leave this job for anyone.
It is true that opportunities for the betterment for this
class of working women — not servants — at that time
were nonexistent. Things have now changed tremendously, yet the number of maids has not decreased.
On a recent visit to India, I saw that these maids exercise tremendous power in bargaining. They dictate terms
and periods of time and work for many households per
day. They openly boast that they make more money than
So what we are witnessing is that the maid era will
never disappear from Indian society as long as the job
pays rich dividends. This by no means is indicative of
exploitation of the servants class by the rich.
The issue being discussed is whether Indian diplomats
should obey American laws if US diplomats flout Indian
laws. I believe that reciprocity should be the basis for
If American diplomats’s relatives work in India and fail
to pay taxes, would it be wrong for India to prosecute
them for tax fraud?
How about Indian servants employed by American
diplomats, who are paid less than a dollar a day?
I believe that Preet Bharara should first set his house
straight before he teaches foreign diplomats how to obey
American laws. He seems to be running with the hares
and hunting with the hounds.
Fairport, New York
ADNAN ABIDI/REUTERS A protest near the American Center in New Delhi, December 21, 2013.