In the first part of this article we discussed the Jail-Bail-Re-indictment of Devyani Khobragade. The second issue discussed was the FIR on Mukesh Ambani for the KG Basin gas payments. In Mukesh Ambani’s gas scam all political parties except the left and AAP were silent (and a total media blackout).
— dna (@dna) March 15, 2014
Here is a sample of the report you may find on recent court proceedings (but for which there is no mention in the media):
Hearing of two PILs seeking the junking of the government decision to increase the gas price from $4.2 MMBTU to $8.4 MMBTU is in slow progress. This includes NGO Common Cause seeking a SIT/CBI probe into the increase of gas prices, gifting tax benefits to Reliance and not insisting on the relinquishment of gas blocks in KG Basin by Reliance Industries.
Dollar Payment against Constitutional Norms:
When all Indian gas produced is used in India and almost all major inputs including Human capital and experts are indigenous then why is India gifting away payments in dollar-terms to Reliance in KG Basin ? Will any other Swadeshi gas producer in India get such VIP treatment ? Imagine the hiring of a plumber who is asked to transfer and monitor water from a ground level tank to the higher floor tank by a flat owner for 17 years. Will the flat owner allow the plumber to breach the contract, corrupt the managers and then start charging for water as per the international market rate even when the water ownership never belonged to the plumber ? In the case of Reliance the ownership of oil wells belongs to India and Indian people wherein the skill, technique and labour risk belongs to Reliance.
— Chandragupta Acharya (@ChandraguptaA) March 17, 2014
Devyani Arrest warrant in US reads : “Khobragade’s decision to manufacture a fraudulent employment agreement that complied with the requirements of US laws demonstrated clearly her knowledge of the applicable legal requirements. Because it was created by Khobragade solely to deceive the US embassy during the victim’s (visa) interview,the employment contract ‘included false statements’ that made it seem as if the diplomat’s arrangement with the victim would comply with applicable US laws”.
Why should immunity not be given in such cases to millions of Aam (common) immigrants who are sent overseas on false promises. Mrs.Pratibha Patil, our ex- President in her lavish visits to European countries took 61 (yes Sixty one) people with her including 8 skilled cooks. (From my personal experience) When few Indian investors in Africa requested for a cook’s visa permit the Indian embassy with double standard failed to provide any help. Government does not wake up on stories of double standards and poor service to overseas Indians by the Indian embassy which is the core issue for millions. As an example, If there is a group of forty Indians in Zimbabwe who are there without their families and they want to have a desi-cook then what do they do?
Shouldn’t Ministry of External Affairs explain why the Indian immigration law fails to stop companies in exporting employees without written contracts which is completely illegal? Can MEA share how many companies they have been caught & penalized to stop this inhuman trafficking ?
Standing by the weak or safeguarding business of the strong ?
It is high time that the Indian government declares the code of conduct for investors and workers. Patriotism is not just about standing by the rich and powerful but about standing by Gandhi’s ‘last’ (the poorest and weakest) individual or Ambedkar’s Dalit (oppressed) person.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley has asked the government to take action against the U.S. diplomats, Samajwadi Party’s Azam Khan has offered a seat in his constituency to Ms. Khobragade and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has said that the Indian government by being slow in reacting to Ms. Khobragade’s arrest because she is a Dalit are ignoring the very ethos of equal rights on which our nation rests.
BJP failed in the past to take action against the business companies of its ex- President Mr.Gadkari where he declared his driver, his pundit ji, and his ‘bakery-wala’ all as Directors of his company.For more details see the article which appeared on 28th Feb-2014 in this column titled: Nitin Gadkari `insults` Honest Business Houses.
If India is really interested in including the concerns of 99% of its workers then the policies have to be holistic enough to safeguard people’s needs and not just the needs and greed of few. Arvind Kejriwal while explaining the 18 conditions of his voters on Channels exposed the exploitation as to how millions of workers are signed on monthly wage of Rs.10,000/- but in actual they receive only Rs.4000/- per month. Extortion saga by contract system does not end on the unskilled workers but there are reports of how even doctors and nurses are being signed on higher salaries but are paid a deducted amount at the end of the month.
We need to formulate a single policy that deals with the concerns of Indians here and abroad and — not just involving diplomats but of investors, workers, sailors, businessperson, cooks, factory fitters, fishermen and others like babysitter. The host country usually discourages cooks and babysitter as they are easily available locally . As the global and business profile of India increases, it is only natural that more Indians find themselves in legal and diplomatic cross hairs around the world. Resolving the concerns of the majority of Indians sent abroad through verbal commitment needs to be restored instead of demanding an apology from US government.
The fundamental error in Government’s Desi- Foreign service hides a short-circuit in the name of tradition. The core issue is the economic gap between a servant and a diplomat and between a small company and a crony capitalist like Ambani. India needs a wake up call to protect the common man instead of the privileged VIP groups for justice on Indian-foreign soil as we see in Mukesh Ambani- Devyani case.
By Rakesh Manchanda
Image Source: Reliance Industries@wikipedia