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Monday, December 30, 2013

Will the fog in the India-US skyway last the whole winter ?



Even in the thick  winter  fog over New Delhi and  probably  New York   on the new year eve , a few things stand out  clear and shining in the Devayani  humiliation issue:
1.       *  The US believed that Sangeetha , the domestic help of Devayani  is a victim of human trafficking .
2.      *   The US considered Indian legal system as untrustworthy .

India  and the US are democratic countries where it is free to hold different opinions and beliefs. And India is in no position to  influence  the thinking of the world’s most powerful country  ( as referred to  in a leading US  newspaper edit on the Devayani humiliation issue ).  So the US  has every right to hold on to its beliefs.

But when it came to direct action, even a country like India could not remain unresponsive. And that is what happened in the Devayani humiliation case. When Devayani was arrested in a humiliating manner, India could not accept the ‘standard procedure’ argument  which left many intriguing questions unanswered , and keep quiet.

When it came to light that the husband and children of Sangeetha  were  flown to the US two days  prior to the arrest of  Devayani  and when the Manhatten  attorney explained that the ‘evacuation’ was aimed at protecting them from legal action  in India, India  had to come to terms with the fact that it was the govt of India and not Devayani who is humiliated, in view of the following: 

1.     **  That the US considered Sangeetha as a human trafficking victim knowing   fully  well that Sangeetha is an Indian citizen who travelled to the US on an Indian passport to serve an Indian diplomat there,  leading to the  inescapable inference  that the US considered govt of India to be responsible for  the alleged human trafficking.

2.      **  That the US thought it fit to ‘evacuate’  persons  against  whom  proceedings were pending in a court in India ;  that a person of the status of  Manhatten attorney had been vested with the power  to act to  thwart the legal proceedings  of a high court in India and that he had been given the privilege  to justify the act in a public statement.

Now that  the  psyche of  India is severely wounded , the US has two clear options for future course of action  based on whether the US acted
                 due to a wrong reading of the facts                                         
   or
               deliberately to punish India for its recent  defiance in policy matters.

In case it is the latter,  the US can continue  with the  legal action against Devayani , rebuke India for its demand for apology  and retaliate against the cancellation of certain privileges enjoyed by  the US diplomats in   India. This will send a strong message to the other countries  who will be reminded forcefully that might alone is right at least in international politics. 

In case it is due to the wrong reading of facts, the US can  redeem the situation thru the following steps
1.      1.   Drop the case against  Devayani.
2.      2,   Send  Sangeetha and her family back to India
3.      3.   Punish the officials who erred 

This will go a long way in promoting better  relations  on lasting terms with India and a host of other countries who fall in the same category.  And bring bright sunshine back to the calm winter skies over New Delhi and New York  .

In fact the US can go a step further  and apologise to India for trying to interfere with the Indian legal system and compensate Devayani  for   the humiliation which should have been avoided.  But these things fall in the category  of wishful  thinking , not worth pursuing.  Yet  they cannot be ruled out. Who knows what  the summer months or  the  falls  portend.