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Devyani Khobragade Issue: US Regret Not Enough
Devyani Khobragade Issue: US Regret Not Enough

“New Delhi, 19 December, 2013:

Welfare Party of India demands unconditional apology from the Government of the United States of America. If denied, India should scale down diplomatic relations.
Welfare Party of India views the ill-treatment of Mrs Devyani Khobragade, the deputy consul general of India in New York, as shameful and unacceptable. The manner in which she was arrested, interrogated, strip-searched, DNA-swabbed, cavity-searched and thrown into a cell with criminals and drug-addicts, has shocked the entire nation. This happened due to a complaint to the New York Police of an Indian housekeeper employed by Khobragade. The complaint of underpayment in contravention to the US minimum wage rules was blown out of proportion and used to humiliate a representative of India. This ill-treatment happened in spite of Mrs. Devyani’s revealing her diplomatic identity. Such approach is a result of a racist mindset and an overdose of the self-acquired “American Exceptionalism” which the US has been following for long in its relations with other countries. This attitude has to be condemned in the strongest words. What happened to Devyani was not the humiliation of an individual but was the humiliation of the whole nation. The strip-search and cavity-search was an unpardonable assault on the people of India.
Welfare Party finds nothing new in this episode as it happened in the past when similar humiliation was heaped on dignitaries, diplomats, politicians and cine artists like APJ Abdul Kalam, Sharad Pawar, Praful Patel, George Fernandes, Digvijay Singh, Meera Singh, Shah Rukh Khan, Mammutty etc. Leave hundreds of unreported incidents meted out to ordinary Indian citizens.  Had India taken a strict stand at the right time, such insults would not have continued.
The Welfare Party of India urges the Government of India to make it clear to the US leadership that the half-hearted regret expressed by State Secretary John Kerry is insufficient and that nothing less than an unconditional apology and action against the erring officials will settle this dispute over an insult to the people of India.
The Party wants to see that the hard stand taken now by the Central government by withdrawing certain consular facilities to the US embassy staff here in India is not a political gimmick in view of the forthcoming general elections, but is a product of genuine outrage over an unpardonable insult to the people of India.
The Party strongly urges the government of India to scale down the diplomatic and commercial relations with the US until our demands are met and that country comes to its senses.”
Mujtaba Farooq

National president, WPI

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