Thursday, December 19, 2013

While in Rome, Do as the Romans Do.

By Rabin Man Shakya

Yesterday, I read a story in the New York Times, under the headline "Outrage in India, and Retaliation, Over a Female Diplomat's Arrest in New York" which begins in the following lead: "The way an Indian diplomat was treated by law enforcement officials in New York last week has touched off a furor in India, where politicians from across the political spectrum expressed outrage and the New Delhi police retaliated by removing security barriers that were meant to protect the American Embassy.

The New York Times story detailed about the diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, the deputy consul general in New York being arrested last Thursday and accused of submitting false documents to obtain a work visa for her house-keeper and paying the house-keeper far less than the minimum legal wage.

The news made big headlines in Indian mass media as well as in the US media. According to the news, the female Indian diplomat was strip-searched after her arrest, and that she was kept in a holding cell with drug addicts before she was released on $250,000 bail.

Do like what Romans do, while in Rome, goes the century-old saying. Why do rich and powerful people from South Asia keep committing the same mistakes in the US over and over again? I remember Darshan Rauniyar, a Nepali-American, who ran for a congressman seat in the US primaries from Seattle, made the same mistake a couple of years ago.

Law enforcement is very strict in the US; it is not like in Nepal and India where the powerful leaders and tycoons can get away with anything. People living in the US know about it, but even then they keep screwing up again and again.

But, I must say that I was stunned, surprised, and disappointed by what I have learned from the NYT times story, that the Indian female diplomat was handcuffed on the street as she was leaving her daughter at school, that she was strip-searched and that she was kept in a holding cell with drug addicts. This is high-handedness on the part of the law enforcers.

The bottom line of this saga: Hey rich and powerful guys from South Asia, do not dream of hiring Naukers and Naukranis here in the US like in your countries.  

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