Their maladies of misinterpretation
By now it has been proven beyond a straw of doubt that the Devyani Khobragade case is not about a lone maid in Manhattan. Nor is it about the breaking of an American law in their soil, or, as the belligerent and atypically myopic US media has tried to spin it, ‘global human trafficking’ and the affiliated crimes against humanity perpetrated in today’s world. Plain and simple, the showdown between the two countries – one the so-called global superpower with the biggest military might, and the other, the emerging big power, the largest democracy and the second largest growing economy in Asia, evidently a force to reckon with – is about naked power. What started out as an overzealous US attorney’s one more attempt at prosecuting an Indian-origin person in America in order to glaze his own shining political career in the country, has turned out to be a storm in a teacup, exposing the fault-lines of Indo-US relationship, the gaping cracks in a flimsy edifice. What we have failed to see thus far, or what we have chosen to ignore, is that America’s ‘special relationship’ with India has always been based on cold and clinical geostrategic interests. It has only been to counter the rise of China on the one hand, and to have a dependable ally in the ‘global war on terror’, on the other. However, what America has been taking for granted is that irrespective of its illiberal interpretation of all the courtesies extended to it by us, it will always continue to receive the same treatment of unequivocal reverence, particularly from our elites who have been systematically silenced by its dangling the carrot of subsidised or free university education, top level jobs in the corporations and number of benefits, both political and financial, that the US apologists, and some of the agitators, have been getting from time immemorial in exchange for their carrying out the US agenda. And this includes members in both the right and left end of the ideological spectrum.
Clearly, what’s at stake the malady of misinterpretation that the American government and their ideological state apparatuses, within and outside their country, ritually indulge in to prop up the global machine that maintains the hypocritical normalcy. Americans consider it their birthright to be taken seriously and dignifiedly, even as they parrot hollowed out ideas of human rights when they are biggest flouters of the same. As far as the interpretation of the 1963 Vienna Convention of Consular Relations is concerned, it is America that reaps the maximum benefits, hiding behind the fig leaf of diplomatic and consular immunity to get away with gigantic crimes, as was evident in the case of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who had killed two people in broad daylight in the Pakistani city of Lahore in 2011. In fact, at that time, Washington accused Islamabad of ‘illegally detaining’ the ‘diplomat’, in gross violation of international law and set standards that are agreed upon between ‘friendly nations.’ Moreover, even though America is quick to point its fingers at diplomatic debacles on the part of its fierce competitors such China (for example, the current Chinese incursion into South China Sea, or, in a more domestic context across the LAC), it is defiantly blind to its own routine breaches of law and international convention in almost every foreign soil. The wheels within wheels of US politics have been exposed by Bharara’s unqualified zealotry and his falling back on tired tropes of labour exploitation. Now that India has shown some teeth, it remains to be seen for how long can it hold these fiery waters.