When in Rome…

In a Guardian article about Devyani Khobragade, the Indian diplomat at the center of a row about compliance with local wage regulations Indian national dignity, Jason Burke writes:

With few Indian diplomats paid wages that would allow them to legally employ local staff to perform such functions in postings in the west, the practice has long been for Indian workers to be flown out and paid rates that, if illegal in the US and elsewhere, would be generous at home.

Assume Mr Burke is right.

So, there is an established practice by Indian diplomats to pay low wages.

This suggests, and let’s not put it any higher than that, that Devyani Khobragade was paying low wages. (After all, if she had been paying legal wages, that would be easy to prove. But there has not been a shred of a sliver of a splinter of a suggestion of legal wages having been paid. I wonder why.)

With respect to Mr Burke, that would be – without any shadow of a doubt – illegal in the US. And that may well explain why all the storm and fury from the India side of the story is about dignity, dignity, dignity, and not about slave labor wages – how dare the US enforce its laws?

Of course, the suspicion is that this case only scratches the surface. I hope the US authorities stand firm and work hard to clamp down on the abuse.