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It’s all about Money?

December 22, 2013

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So from what I understand, this Devyani Khobragade – Sangeeta Richard case is about a maid who was getting Rs. 30K per month but claiming she should be getting about three times that.

The US – India diplomatic ties being strained because of this, and rightly so. Whatever said and done, Devyani is in the US on a official passport and the “crime” doesn’t warrant the treatment meted out.

And then there’s the issue of mistreatment of the maid. Sure we should treat this in the context of the country where these two were at that time, but should we also not treat this in the context of salary levels in the country these two people belonged. At the end of the day it’s all about money. I am not aware of the full facts, but hey the whole world is speculating and so I might as well too. Have you ever heard of a maid getting Rupees Thirty Thousand even when it is full time live in maid? To me this does seem like a case of money and trying to get into a foreign country on the promise to make a better life. Doesn’t seem like the “caste” and “class” case made out to be.

There are the usual arguments that we in India don’t value life, one segment constantly exploiting the other segment. In my view, in today’s urban Indian situation, it really is a case of demand and supply in the labour market. There are just more people available and that are ready to take up jobs for long hours. While we lament the middle class for exploiting the “poor”, at least in urban India, I haven’t seen anyone putting a gun on anyone’s head to take up jobs. The “poor” are completely free to walk away, and many do. I am not saying there are absolutely no cases of exploitation. Sure there might be, but then those are specific criminal cases. One cannot use those to generalize the alleged exploitation. India fundamentally is still socialist at heart. The media roots for the “poor” all the time so much so that it’s almost scary to make money the honest way.

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