cannot deny that there is a case, there are two sides, two versions and two victims. The maid, prima facie, is a victim of awful, callous exploitation, and the diplomat of being subjected to the horrible indignities of America’s arrest procedures. We, by the way, are a nation of other extremes. We can’t handcuff anybody, not even Ajmal Kasab, so you see these curious pictures of dreaded terrorists and policemen walking to courts hand-in-hand as if in some Jai-and-Veeru bonding. But of course, we make up by routinely torturing, raping and murdering in custody.
It will not be out of place to quote here a comment that New York Times columnist Roger Cohen made to me on a visit to Delhi last week. “Please explain your country to me. You have a Scandinavian rape law and the Russian homosexuality law.” But then all our awful laws, sick thana culture, abusive policemen and creative FIR writers are not for PLUs. Definitely not for those on the top of the PLU pyramid. All these are for Sangeeta Richard and her type. Stupid, thieving, lying, free-booting maid types. India’s original, and sadly most enduring, idea of our below-stairs class. At least that much that clown Bharara should have known! What happened to his Indian DNA? That is what we are so angry about. Just because they got away with arresting Dominique Strauss-Kahn moments before take-off, in spite of his high diplomatic status, they thought they could touch an Indian. We aren’t the bloody French.
Of course, as an Indian, I would also wish that Khobragade is brought back to India, but made to face charges here of allegedly cheating her maid and bringing disrepute to her country by lying on the maid’s visa form, if she did that. Chances are, in today’s primetime-fuelled hyper-patriotism, she will be hailed as some kind of Jhansi ki Rani. We all know the oft-repeated truism that diplomats are sent abroad to lie for their countries. But are they also paid to lie to their maids, the visa authorities, and then claim immunity? Please tell me another. And please think twice before you can accuse an honest taxpayer like me, armed with no immunity other than what Article 19 of the Constitution gives 120 crore Indians, of carrying a chip on the shoulder about the IFS (‘It’s a chip’, Rajiv Sikri, IE, December 19) for raising these simple points. Sangeeta