Payment. The contract must state that after the first 90 days of employment, all wage payments must be made by check or by electronic transfer to the domestic worker’s bank account. Neither Mission members nor their family members should have access to domestic workers’ bank accounts. In addition, the Department requires that the employer retain records of employment and payment for three years after the termination of the employment in order to address any complaints that may subsequently arise. Further, the bank account must be in the United States so that domestic workers may readily access and utilize their wages.
If this was a requirement, she was clearly in violation.
- Devyani: moving with her family to a European country or pursuing a political career in India.
- Bharara: Very likely to be indicted and barred from entering India (he’s already barred from entering Russia)
- Kerry/State Dept: Look stupid for handling this with unmatched incompetence.
- Other Indian diplomat nannies: probably on their way home.
It looks like there will be a final court encounter between Devyani and Preet before she leaves. That may be worth of a scene in a bollywood movie.
wouldn’t they be more likely to hire locally rather than importing domestic help?
No. This article completely ignores what’s broken about American system. Healthcare and housing have been made artificially more expensive by the fed. It’s nearly impossible to hire a nanny in Manhattan unless you’re a wall street banker.
Someone getting paid $2000 without housing and food would be significantly poorer than Sangeeta Richard.
Worse, just before the arrest, the maid’s family was spirited out of India on US visas for victims of human trafficking. The implication that an Indian diplomat in a wage dispute with her maid is guilty of human trafficking understandably riles Indian diplomats as much as the treatment of Khobragade after she was detained. The American habit of imposing its worldview self-righteously on others is deeply unwelcome. To most Indians, common discourtesy cannot be repackaged as moral virtue.
Martina Vandenberg cites a few cases involving diplomats from Italy, Mauritius and Taiwan and asks:
So why the fracas in New Delhi?
She’s been on Arnab Goswami’s show, but doesn’t look like she tried to understand the anger in India or worse, intentionally chose to ignore it. Hope this helps her and all the other well meaning, “overwrought” human trafficking advocates in New York:
- Devyani didn’t snatch her passport like in other cases. There was no need to. Sangeeta was on a passport that didn’t allow her to work elsewhere.
- There is no evidence of physical mistreatment or confinement as in other cases (esp: involving Saudis).
- No forgery of any documents. Visa fraud is a trumped up charge. Expect Devyani to be vindicated in the court.
- Doesn’t acknowledge her own role in getting the T-visa (disproportionately issued to Indian nationals) and subverting the legal process in another country.
- No evidence of strip search - even when the crimes were much more “grave”.
This case should be recognized for what it should be: wage dispute between two nationals of another country, where a legal process is underway. Martina should go represent Sangeeta in Delhi high court, if she believes in the case. She may be able to find a few other cases involving underpaid Indian workers in the US embassy.
The cynicism was compounded by what Amartya Sen has made India’s badge of self-identification: the argumentative Indian. We thought arguing was generally a good thing, since it denoted a kind of freedom and engagement with learning.
Media summary on #khobragade:
- US/UK/Aussie: list of domestic worker abuses by diplomats
- India: what US embassy pays brown vs white visa clerks
- China: come ally with us instead of the US
- Pakistan: war of civilizations
Handbook for offending brown people
- Get a cop to strip a brown person
- Ensure that the brown person is a woman
- Pick a woman who is a UN accredited diplomat
- "Visually inspect" cavities
- Handcuff her
- Get another brown person to claim that she was treated well and that she was “fully searched” for her own security as a part of “standard procedures”.
- Write editorials about how brown people habitually overreact
- Prefix them with a primer on how caste system works in India.
- Educate the user on how class is replacing caste.
- Get more brown people to write editorials about the “feudal” system and elitism among the ruling class.
- Stop writing about the topic when contrary evidence is presented.
- Regret, but do not apologize.
- Find more brown people in the state dept to issue press releases.
- Do not write anything about the diplomat’s caste, since it’s too inconvenient for the narrative.
- Get white women on TV to claim what is essentially a wage dispute is actually “human trafficking”.
- Completely ignore the well known desire of poor brown people to take great risks to migrate to America and the willingness to do unethical and illegal things (unless they come from Mexico).
- Pay for the tickets of brown people using diplomatic discounts and fly them out of the country when there are ongoing legal proceedings in a court with brown judges.
- Write about universal declaration of human rights and purchasing power parity in the same sentence.
- Get brown people to fight among themselves by bringing up other hot button issues: corruption, land rights.
- Get the president to give speeches about the great democracies and independent judiciary that brown people have.
When history books are written a few years from now, they’ll probably mention 1336x768 as the number that killed Dell and the rest of the PC industry.
Well, other guys do it too, but Dell is probably egregious among the PC makers in selling $1000+ core-i7 laptops with 1336x768 resolution at a time when 1920x1080 Nook HD sells for about $100.
Really, the job of the PC vendor should be to figure out what customers want and try to provide it at the best price point. On the other hand, what Dell does is to complicate the process of buying a PC by a factor of 10 by adding a gazillion irrelevant options and bloatware. Then they pay the bargain shopping websites to push this to their customers: 2.5 hour battery life, batteries that last 6 months, bad resolution, cheap plastic, extra thick form factor, power hungry CPU - pick any two and you’ll find it in a Dell laptop.
They do make nice aluminum ultrabooks which are free of all the hassle you say? Just check the price. It ends up being more expensive than a Macbook Air. Given that Apple is the #1 brand in the world now, do they have any hope of selling any serious volume of those?
It’s not that hard to figure out. Take a Dell 14z ($499) or HP Chromebook ($300?) and spend $50 on the high-res panel. Add some nicer materials and a mainstream PC vendor should be able to sell for $750 something with:
* 14 inch body
* 1080p resolution
* 128 GB SSD
* Decent webcam
* Under 3.5 lbs
* Nice materials (glass or aluminum)
* 8-9 hours of battery
But no, everyone is happy selling junk at $400 or poor Macbook Air clones at $1200. What’s wrong with these people?
Dirt roads and expensive cars
[ There are two photos in the slideshow above ]
One of the many contradictions in Bangalore that puzzle me. I’ve seen an Audi Q5, A Jaguar and several other really nice cars, certainly not built for rough terrain like this on this 100 ft stretch of unpaved road. It’s doubly anomalous when you consider the fact that these cars/SUVs cost twice as much in India due to taxation.
There are at least two phenomena to explore. I’m sure there are other explanations.
- Temples and roads have a relationship that’s not exactly friendly in India.
It’s not very uncommon to build a temple right in the middle of a busy road. The reasoning could range from an attempt to get hold of some government land, an expression of political power or something else. There was allegedly a temple covering the entire stretch, but parts of the structure have been demolished and limited to a smaller piece of land under the tree you see in the first photo.
- Procedure, paperwork and rules always trump common sense.
The land of course is disputed and given the pace at which courts move, is likely to remain that way for years. But given the amount of traffic that passes on these roads, it makes no sense to leave it this way (the actual condition of the road is much worse than I could capture in this photo taken on my phone).
Other examples of this kind of obsession with paper/signature/red-tapism: the principal of a college locked up the question papers for an exam in his cabinet and went on vacation. Some other dude had a copy of the papers and could’ve let the exams proceed on schedule. But he’ll do it only if the principal gives him the instruction “in writing”. A rubber stamp would add extra authenticity of course.
In the meanwhile, I have to put up with this bumpy dirt road in a small hatchback every time I visit my mom and dad.