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Justice for Devyani Khobragade: India needs to stay firm on its demand for an unconditional apology from the US
India's deputy consul general Devyani Khobragade's humiliation by the US police is simply a routine act of bullying by the US! It’s not the first time, such complaints have come. There are enough cases, where Indians were mortified. Former defense minister George Fernandez admitted that during frisking in New York airport he was simply de-clothed. Similar things happened with many high stature leaders, celebrities etc.

Devyani Khobragade a 1999 IFS batch was placed as deputy consular general in Indian Embassy at New York. She had been arrested, handcuffed in public in an alleged visa fraud case, when she was dropping her child in school. She was detained in lock up for around two hours along with other detainees involved in severe crimes like drug addicts. She was subjected to strip-search, DNA swabbing  and finally released on a USD 250000 bond after pleading not guilty in court.

Has India's image of being a very soft state encouraged US to harras Devyani Khobragade?
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Before analysing the present reaction of India, let’s discuss why America is doing all this. It is clear that in Global era, international polity and economic connections do not follow Gandhi’s policy. Here if a country is more bully, then it’s more effective and more successful. USA as a bully dictate the international polity and economic kingdom due to its sheer muscle power coupled with economic strength.

Since 1945 or say World War-II, it’s the only super power which attacked countries along with his allies successfully if we disregard the unsuccessful attacks by USSR on Afghanistan and Iraq’ s attack on Kuwait!

They became rude to particularly soft countries and once they find a country fallible, not only the government but also the local authorities including American Public starts considering them higher. Those countries didn’t come under their pressure and ready to confront, they have another yardstick. Let’s consider China, it never allowed to dominate USA and thus USA’s yardstick is different to China. China welcomes foreign investments but with riders. It has its own terms and conditions that are never dictated by the USA.

It is said that China had pressurized foreign corporates who were doing business there to bring Olympics in the country. Thus it had got its share of Olympic tournaments despite they are considered as highest human right violators. Similarly Cuba and Iran restrained. Russia under Putin didn’t come under the pressure of USA and hence maintained its own respect. Recently the US agreed to strike deal with Iran, knowing Russia’s support.

India in early days with USSR support remained as non-aligned country. It fought three wars successfully. Out of the three, two were with Pakistan. However in 1971, it was India under Indira Gandhi which attacked Pakistan to liberate Bangladesh. During Rajiv Gandhi’s era, India's China policy helped USA to hold control despite division of USSR. In 1990 onwards, because of the economical condition, India had to liberalize the economics and during this process, USA has taken economical advantages dictating through World Bank and IMF.

Anyhow because of India’s growing economy, they see India as an ally hence started partnering. During the Vajpayee's period, because of the nuclear test they put sanctions, but India managed not only to survive but also strengthening its economy. After 9/11, USA ended its sanctions and accepted India as an emerging power. This continued till 2009 when America was desperately wanting nuke deal. Thus as India never came under the pressure of the US till then, the attitude was somehow gracious to India except on two or three occasions.

In 2007, global recession came and America was most affected and India was affected least. That made America, India’s rival. Thus America sounded as India is looting American jobs through out sourcing and various mechanisms were put to check Indian growth.

Suddenly, during UPA-II, its foreign policy as well as economic management have gone disarray. USA and other countries came out from global recession where as India’s economic condition declined despite no global recession. The policy paralysis in every sector made India weak. Small neighbours like Maldives started challenging India. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh allowed space to China. Pakistan repeatedly violated LOC and entered into Indian area to behead Indian soldiers.

China’s aggression increased a lot and they camped on Indian land for weeks. All these things are due to India’s presentation as a very soft country under UPA-II. The so called peace-nicking attitude is in fac very damaging. The attitude that you nick here or nick there, I am follower of peace and hence tolerate, is the weakest defense by India.

Apart from the fact, the dirty politics played in Indian polity is also responsible in lowering the image of India. When Modi was not allowed a visa, there was a very weak objection from UPA government. In fact they justified US' action. Why not India had objected that an elected chief minister can’t be treated like that? Differences in internal polity may be there, but when you go global, the country must be one and everyone’s respect must be upheld! The more we remain divided in internal space, the more we remain weak and slammed!

India is a very big country with 1/6th of World population. No country including USA or China can really dare to confront this country, if it wants to stay in its position firm and united!

However, good things are happening now. Like Indian public is asserting nowadays, it’s good to see that the Indian government and political class started asserting. The way Miera Kumar, Menon, Rahul, Modi and Shinde refused to meet American Congress members protesting the humiliation meted out to Devyani, it’s unprecedented.

In addition theere are reports that the Indian government is taking this case seriously and has already started the downgrade the privileges given to the American consulate's staff. Such actions may be symbolic at the moment but they are very important development. India must not allow America in this case to escape through technicalities. America should tender an unconditional apology in this case with assurance of no repeat of such indecent behavior.

India must stand firmly this time without diluting it through any diplomatic or other tactics. Indian government must understand that to control a bull, one has to tackle it through face side holding the horn. India is doing exactly that and if it not steps back, I am sure America will have to concede and such development will give reach dividends in terms of defense and foreign affairs. America can’t afford to loose India as its ally or turning against it as it knows that India is the largest democracy in the world!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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