Selasa, 17 Desember 2013

United States beware - you have twisted Ramamritham's tail

The recent diplomatic spat between India and the US, should normally not be the subject matter of this blog - it having nothing to do with economics or business. However, since the nuclear weapon of Ramamritham has been invoked by India, it now falls into the realm of comment here, considering rhe world beating expertise this blog has on that venerable gentleman.

In case you have not been following the events, the US arrested the deputy consul of India in New York on the grounds that she had underpaid her domestic maid (imported from India) and consequently committed "visa fraud". I don't wish to discuss the merits of the case here, although this pertained to an event in the past, is subjudice in an Indian court, and very likely debatable hinging on the obscure valuation of accommodation and food. But in true American government fashion, this was handled with extreme insensitivity - the lady was arrested as she was dropping her children to school , handcuffed in public, searched (allegedly strip searched) and taken to jail before being released on bail.  This blogger has long been a critic of how America handles such matters even when it comes to its own citizens - there is hardly a need to handcuff people , make them do the perp walk, hold them along with those accused of criminal charges etc, for alleged civil crimes. No civilised country does this  but that is the prerogative of American voters to decide if it is right or wrong.

India, or at least, the Indian government is mightily pissed and has retaliated. It has done such things as summoning the US ambassador in India and giving her a dressing down, refusing to meet a US delegation currently in India and such other diplomatic rebuffs.  But the real deadly move has been to let Ramamritham loose on the US embassy in India ! Ramamritham has now sought details of the activities of every diplomat and his or her spouse, asked them to furnish details of salaries paid to Indian staff, including maids, they employ here, etc etc. He has asked them to turn in their ID cards and has withdrawn their special privileges that breezes them through the every day bureaucracy that anybody in India faces. He has also hinted that gays in the US embassy could equally be arrested under the current laws of India !!

America does not know what it is risking by attracting the attention of Ramamritham. If he puts his mind into it, he will discover innumerable violations of the law that American diplomats have done, albeit in ignorance or involuntarily.  Such is the nature of India's laws and pedantry that it is impossible for any human to exist in India without having violated the letter of  one law or the other. The violation may be purely procedural in nature - for example not filing some form or intimating some trifling detail, but that is enough. Ramamritham will go after you with gusto. There is no power on earth who can stop him. For example if the diplomat and his family have stayed in a hotel somewhere and not taken great care to fill their nationality as US citizen on the hotel form (whoever looks at that form's fine print when checking in at 11 PM after a delayed flight) - he has committed a crime. Years ago, Ramamritham arrested Nusli Wadia precisely for this ! If the embassy has not displayed the Provident Fund rules on its notice board for the benefit of Indian staff (and there are rules on where the notice board has to be situated in relation to the office) , it has broken the law.  There are potentially 1,453, 678 violations he can look into. I have great pity for the American embassy staff and their families - they have no idea what they have gotten into - and all because of the actions of some insensitive pig headed Ramamritham equivalent in New York.

If the United States knows what is good for it, it will promptly meet with Ramamritham, beg his pardon, fall at his feet ,  do shashtang namaskar, recite Abhivadiye three times and beseech him to turn his kind attention back on the hapless Indian citizens who he has been torturing from time immemorial.
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