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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Devyani Khobragade And Gajar Ka Halva

image source

Okay, so she is finally back here in India, and I am glad that she is safe and back with her family. Devyani Khobragade landed in India and is now with her parents, waiting for her kids and husband to return to India from the US (the kids are US born citizens).

The last few weeks have been filled with reports about how Devyani was ill-treated in the US, publicly handcuffed as she went to drop her daughter to school, was strip searched and put in custody with other regular inmates. The newspaper was filled with these horror stories of an Indian diplomat being harassed and humiliated in the US.

Even as the Indian government and the public retaliated, burning effigies and shouting anti-US slogans and, for the first time in recent memory, showing some spine, after the initial first few reports, it started looking like this was actually some kind of a cover-up from the Indian side.


While the US has been completely sure about its actions and has refused to budge, stating that Devyani broke the laws, mistreated her servant and hence, is a criminal as per US laws, there is very little that we, the Indian readers have been told.

I have scanned the newspapers to get a better idea of both sides, to know what exactly happened, but sadly, the Indian reports have clearly removed any such news. What I learnt online from other sources is that the lady did actually mistreat her help, the maid stated that she was made to work so hard that she never got time to eat or sleep, that she was not paid properly, that she was repeatedly harassed. I, as a reader, would have wanted to know the 'real' story, but that has been clearly erased from the Indian news papers and channels at least.

So today, I was pretty miffed to see reports of Devyani Khobragade at her parents' place, eating, yes, Gajar Ka Halva, from her mother's hands. I mean, this is not really what I am paying for to read, is it? I agree it is good that she is back home safe and sound, that her parents are finally relieved, but no, I do not want to know, to see pictures of her eating gajar ka halve from her mother while sitting at her paternal home. This is surely not what I want.

It is irritating, it is dumb and useless journalism that reports about what the woman is eating, what she is wearing and what she wants to do now that she is back - which school she wants to admit her kids in and the fact that she wants to gain back weight by eating meals cooked by her mom.

I mean, seriously???? After all this brouhaha, is this what the Indian journalists have to report?

We are still waiting to hear the story about the maid, and even though it is there out in the online world to know of, getting both sides of the story in the Indian media would be much appreciated.

- Debolina Raja Gupta

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And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta