Rakesh Manchanda for BeyondHeadlines
Two Indian News bites are hitting the audience again. One is the Jail & Bail and again arrest warrant of Indian Consulate Devyani Khobragade in US – which hides several unanswered questions. Second is the FIR on Mukesh Ambani for the KG Basin gas dollar payments-at the cost of hidden profit which is a media blackout.
‘Khas’ – VIP payments of ‘illegal’ dollar currency is the common thread of both news bytes. ‘Back- door’ setting & negotiations’ appears to be a common link in both cases. Who paid 250,000/- dollars after Devyani’s arrest? Let us re-examine the Aam Aurat – Khas Aurat divide first. Consulate Devyani is now in India and there is a weak public demand for probe as put in section of media and her code of conduct as she is still facing arrest warrant in New York. It all started with a ‘normal’ false contract and a fraud visa work permit.
Tit for Tat India Response
India has reportedly taken the following retaliatory measures: (i) Removal of security barricades around the U.S. Embassy-Delhi, (ii) withdrawal of airport passes and import privileges (iii) Withdrawal of Identity cards issued to U.S. diplomats (iv) Refusal by Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the National Security Adviser to meet a visiting U.S. Congressional delegation. Some BJP-BSP politicians have also suggested prosecution of same-sex partners of U.S. diplomats.
Images of ‘equality’ and human rights in a fast mode can help. Overseas and ‘desi’ Indian exploitation stories are common: Workers certificates, passports are retained by the company on false excuse that this shall disallow the employee to run towards better opportunity.
In Indian work culture there is a settlement by word of mouth. Wages in India depend on number of rooms, persons in family, kids and visiting guests. Salary includes day off, ‘bakshish’ in shape of ‘tyohaar’-Holi, Diwali and so on. The engagement for overseas work is as bad as a slave with live in relationship and no ‘pucca’ agreement. Is being Indian means being selfish with no respectable agreement?
It was NDA-BJP ‘Sarkar’ that entered into a 17 year written contract in 2000 to allow Reliance to extract Gas from Indian Oil Wells and sell it a cost of 2.3 dollars. How the agreement got cheated by removing several ministers shows the grand skills driven by unlimited greed of Reliance?
Balance sheets of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance show a ‘pucca’ written agreement that the cost of producing gas in India is less than a dollar per unit.
Back to Foreign Service : Can someone in India be sent to jail for not paying a baby sitter enough? It’s unbelievable? Thanks to the feudal traditions. Servants cannot sit on the same chairs and use same toilets. Imagine the hullabaloo and hard negotiations with freezing market prices if a servant asks for a hike in his salary.
Can we in India pay Rs.2,80,000/- per month to a baby sitter in line with the US work laws based on today’s dollar rate ? The minimum wage in US for a domestic help is 4500 USD wherein the cost of ‘living’ and say even of buying a tooth paste overseas is 10 times more in America.
Why does the Indian Foreign Services system fail to protect the Aam Aurat in America? No code of conduct of Ambani as KG Basin investor for overseas investors and no code of conduct for overseas employees both stand ‘real’. Ministry of External Affairs-India must announce why the how many overseas companies and foreign Indian consulates have been punished till date as millions of workers are been send out with no contract or with false verbal contract ?
Charges against Mukesh Ambani are not new. Communists in the past had been keeping this fraudulent issue alive. Arvind Kejriwal Ex- CM Delhi dared to file an FIR against Mukesh Ambani unfair loot where the neat profit on a single gas product as per AAP calculation will be Rs.54,000 crores which is Rs.14000/-crore more than the modest Rs. 40,000 crore annual budget of Delhi. Hidden nexus of Ambani-BJP-Congress is responsible for the hike in price of all essential items in India.
Any Indian Foreign Service Officer and a VIP Investor like Mukesh Ambani is expected to be an honest role models. What adds to the national shame is that the lady consulate who got arrested is on charges of fraud visa and human trafficking was working as an Indian Women Rights Lobbyist in America as per the New York Post.
When all gas is used in India and almost all major inputs including Human capital and experts are ‘desi’-indigenous then why India is gifting away payments in dollar to Reliance in KG Basin ‘ghotala’?
Will any Swadeshi gas producer or a domestic worker in India get such VIP protection?
Our External Affairs Ministry instead of a wakeup call and correcting fault in corrupt immigration procedures is busy protecting the guilty by moving Ms. Khobragade over to the United Nations, and from an A-1 to a G-1 visa, which would grant her full diplomatic immunity. Deyani faced up to 15 years in prison. On pleading not guilty before a magistrate judge in Manhattan federal court she was released on $250,000 bail.
If this VIP ‘parampara’ of dollar payment is not understood and does not get corrected fast such ugly hidden cases shall come out in the open. The harsh treatment given to Devyani by the U.S. authorities is a result of India’s inability to tackle a fraud and human rights issue through diplomatic channels. If there was a chance to negotiate a mutually accepted understanding of how U.S. visa rules and minimum wage laws would apply to domestic help employed by Indian diplomats in the country, India did not exercise it because of arrogance and trust on the old faulty unsafe corrupt system?
It is not correct to brush all Business Houses and Indian Diplomats as corrupt but the 1% corrupt are so powerful that entire foreign Services and Government of India including BJP appear to be serving only the mighty and powerful.
Unity of 99% people can save India’s global work culture and result in fair wealth distribution.
[Views expressed are personal.]