Published On: Tue, Jun 30th, 2015

Govt needs to abolish culture of taking Indian workers abroad with diplomats

New Delhi: The government needs to abolish the culture of taking Indian workers abroad with diplomats to avoid Khobragade-Thapar like diplomatic situations in other countries.

Former Indian High Commissioner to New Zealand, Ravi Thapar

Former Indian High Commissioner to New Zealand, Ravi Thapar

If not, an alternative has to be looked into. India can’t afford such embarrassments time and again.

For our government, it’s the Devyani Khobragade case revisited, as the Ministry of External Affairs recalled the Indian high commissioner in New Zealand, Ravi Thapar, an IFS officer 1983 batch, after his cook accused him and his wife of assault.

Thapar’s case comes about a year-and-a-half after Khobragade, India’s deputy consul-general in New York, found herself arrested and strip-searched in the US, charged as she was with visa fraud and underpaying her housekeeper.

Unlike the December 2013 incident, which snowballed into a massive diplomatic row between India and the US, this time the government acted with maturity.

Without wasting any time, it asked Thapar to return to India before the incident could strain the bilateral relationship.

This, however, shouldn’t take the attention away from the big question: Why are such incidents happening so often?
The government needs to have answers before another embarrassing story comes up in some other part of the world.

To begin with, the government must find out whether our diplomats need the ‘perk’ of taking along domestic workers on their postings abroad.

While critics call it a ‘feudal’ practice, some justify it on the alibi that the diplomats have to entertain a lot of people at home while performing their duties overseas. Since local domestic help, especially in the West, is extremely expensive, they are forced to take workers from India.

The issue become all the more urgent, given the charges that domestic helps from India, particularly in the US, make all sort of allegations to stay back, lured by the prospect of better wages and lifestyle.

Inputs with Mail Today

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