America is the world’s only superpower. No question about that. Their government is supposed to consist of the best and brightest minds the world over, yet with the recent issue regarding the arrest of the Indian deputy consul general one cannot help but doubt their political acumen. How did it come to this? All of this drama and bad blood could have been avoided. The Indian public is outraged with the treatment of their diplomat and claim that her arrest was an insult and her subsequent strip-search even more humiliating and demand that she is returned to India without any action taken by the US authorities. The Indian government is also infuriated and is taking steps to display that, with the removal of the American consulate’s security barricades, blocking their liquor supplies and looking for any way to implicate an American national to some criminal offence to give the US a taste of their own medicine.

America claims that it arrested her due to the misrepresentation of her maid’s salary in the visa documents and is convinced that the maid was being treated badly. They dismiss the notion of diplomatic immunity and believe that it only extends to direct diplomatic missions and not to consuls or their family members. The US is right in pointing out that the Vienna Convention does not extend unlimited immunity to consular offices, however, one wonders whether America would be so eager to quote the international law if one of their foreign delegates was implicated in a similar event. The Raymond Davis incident and America’s stance on the question of his immunity implies that this is not a policy which is applied universally.

But why is all the Indian indignation only pertaining to the handling of the diplomat? Why is no one concerned with the treatment of the maid? Yes, hiring in-house maids in India, much like in Pakistan, is a norm for middle-class and upper-class households, but surely concerns for her welfare and that of her family, should also be voiced, given the fact that she is also an Indian citizen. Yet her plight is ignored, and the Indian society is concerned with bringing only one daughter back to the homeland. Maybe it is time governments across the board start looking out for the interests of all of its citizens and not just those that enjoy a greater status in society.