The United States of “Hypocrica”

By Sunil Kumar

Land of the unfree; home of the double-speak. If there’s one country that has global currency; literally and figuratively, it’s the United States of America. Beyond the historical brief that practically everybody must be aware of, America has a disproportionate effect on the world. After all; a country with less than 1/3rd the population of India or China should not wield so much influence.


Visit India (Photo credit: Spicygreenginger)

But; as we know, it still does. The last week India has witnessed the Khobragade incident; an affront to the collective psyche of our genuflecting leaders. After all this time; as a citizen, I am pleasantly surprised to see the spine displayed by every political party. Granted that it is a bit overdone; as we are only partially aware of the real facts of the case; India’s assertive stance could be a healthy change.

When it comes to a normal citizen; the Indian government often does nothing at all. Even when it came to two other diplomats and former President Kalam; the monolith of bureaucracy did not shed its remarkably immune skin. So, how did Devyani Khobragade instigate the establishment’s latent and justified angst! Some people attribute it to this being done to one of their own; her Dalit identity, or the fact of being subjected to barbaric treatment usually meant for other “less fortunate” souls.

Update: President Obama is on a visit to Hawaii; Secretary of State Kerry is on his vacation; and India keeps debating.

Also, Interestingly, Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade (father Uttam Khobragade is a top state bureaucrat), arrested and subjected to strip search in the USA triggering a
stand-off between the USA and India, is one of 25 allottees who have been found
ineligible to own a flat in the Adarsh Housing society by the judicial panel.
She had bought a flat in the Adarsh Housing Society paying Rs 90 lakh,
according to her statement of immovable property returns for the year ending 31 December, 2012. She owns a total of 11 plots of land and flats in places including
Mumbai, Greater Noida, Aurangabad, Ernakulam and Kochi.

Khobragade was born in a town near Mumbai, into a family of Dalits — the name for the country’s lowest caste, once called the “untouchables.” Her professional success shows how far India has come in recent years. (In short; a liberal land where the upper caste Hindus have to bear the brunt of everything)

Her father, a bureaucrat, owed his career in part to a policy to set aside 15 percent of jobs in India’s government for members of lower castes. His daughter benefited from this quota when she joined the foreign service in 1999.

The Khobragades are a prominent family from a sub-caste of Dalits called Mahars, who were once street sweepers and village watchmen forbidden to enter temples or drink water from the same wells as the upper castes. In recent years, as India’s rigid system of social stratification weakened, Mahars have risen to prosperity

Miles away; an overzealous Indian-American Preet Bharara is again trying to be more “white” than the natives. Famous for his role in the prosecution of Rajat Gupta and Rajaratnam amongst others; Bharara is in the second most important prosecutory role in the fifty states; also leading from the front in other political and mafia trials. But he seems to reserve maximum venom for his own community; so to speak.

On the flip side; other commentators talk about the maid’s point of view. Was she subjected to inhuman treatment? Probably yes; probably no. The concerned parties alone know. The Indians protest in righteous indignation; and Delhi sees token gestures; such as removing of barricades. But, what about us all? Can’t we see this sort of assertiveness permanently; so that Indians are accorded parity in every sphere of life. Doesn’t the country deserve better?

In the American series, “24”; when Jack Bauer tries to abduct a Chinese citizen from the country’s consulate; the counter-measures taken by the Chinese security chief are extremely drastic, making Bauer suffer for interfering in the sovereign affairs of another nation. It shows in a way; the fear which is intrinsic in the country’s establishment; that indulges in global policing; in a uniquely narcissistic way along with it’s 51st state; the bleak island of Britain. China’s belligerence is in full evidence; to nations that believe only in an “eye for an eye”.

It is time India sheds its adherence to the Gandhian “New Testament” virtue of turning the other cheek; and strike back at the heart of the heathen; the country that is responsible for the most hypocritical distortion of “human” values on the planet. Jesus would agree! He lived in India.




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