On Brown House Slaves, Gungadins and Sepoys
As some of you might have heard by now, an Indian diplomat was recently arrested on charges of visa fraud and lying about payments to her housekeeper. While there are many newsworthy aspects of this case including how it is being handled and reported in both countries, the current post will focus on something that is being ignored by the mainstream media in both countries.
The public response of many in the indian-american community (1st and 2nd generation) to this case has exposed their almost comic willingness to support and justify anything that comes out of the mouth of a white person in a suit. Who knew there were so many brown house n***ers, gungadins and sepoys?
Note: Gungadins and sepoys are similar but not identical to house slaves. A gungadin is somebody who is servile to anyone with a white skin under the expectation that doing so will somehow get him a vaguely promised reward or acceptance as an equal in the distant future. A sepoy on the other hand is just a mercenary who will abuse people who look like him to get paid by somebody with a white skin. The biggest gungadin (or more likely a sepoy) in this case might be the DA, Preet Bharara, himself. However we shall ignore him for the rest of this post and concentrate on some of the recent articles and opinion pieces posted by people of Indian descent in supposedly “respectable” western newspapers.
Exhibit # 1. Arresting the Indian diplomat was just. She isn’t the victim, her maid is by a bow-tie wearing coolie known as Ritwik Deo
Yet here’s the point most in India are missing: Khobragade isn’t the victim here, her maid is. Not one Indian politician, not one Indian media station highlighted the real story about paying your domestic help a mere $3.31 an hour (in a country where the minimum wage is $7.25 and the diplomat stated on official documents that she would pay the maid about $9.75 an hour).
What about the condition and pay of domestic help for consular staff of certain middle-eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia? Is he seriously trying to imply that the consulates and embassies of all other countries treat their domestic help any better? What about all those rich people in the UK or USA who routinely use illegal and underpaid nannies? Why are they not being prosecuted? What about all those upper middle-class professionals in California who employ “illegal” central american nannies and house help? Moving on..
Exhibit # 2. Having a Servant Is Not a Right by another coolie known as Ananya Bhattacharya.
Notwithstanding legitimate Indian concerns about whether American marshals used correct protocol in the way they treated a diplomat, the truth is that India is party to an exploitative system that needs to be scrutinized.
But what about scrutinizing all those white american families using “illegal” mexican labor and nannies? What about investigating the rich white people in NYC who do the same thing. Isn’t it odd that this coolie is also fixated on the behaviors of a visible minority while overlooking those very same behaviors in the majority. Is she seriously suggesting that the 10-20 million “illegal” mexican immigrants in the USA today are treated as well as whites? Is she suggesting that a country acquired by genocide and built upon the labor of slaves and exploited immigrants has any moral standing to lecture others about paying their maids?
Exhibit # 3. Why India is upset about Devyani Khobragade, and why it’s wrong by yet another coolie known as Swati Sharma.
India’s reaction is disappointing. The anti-corruption party in India is gaining incredible momentum — the party even unseated the ruling Congress party in the country’s capital, which was a huge victory. So why are Indians rallying for a privileged treatment of a diplomat? Why shouldn’t she be treated as a common criminal? In India, someone with power would rarely be apprehended for paying a servant a low wage. Actually, it’s laughable to think such a charge would even take place. But there was hope that a movement against corruption would change things.
Has even one major member of the Bush43 administration whose lie-based invasion of Iraq actions resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis been prosecuted? Why not? Have any of the major players responsible for the 2008 economic crisis been jailed? Why not? How many bigwigs at large pharma companies have been jailed for the sale of useless, toxic and or sub-standard drugs in the USA? Why not.. especially since many of these frauds caused a lot of unnecessary deaths? Vioxx anyone? Remember that fungus-tainted steroid injection scandal that killed over 50 people a year or two ago? A country that has no appetite to prosecute, let alone jail, its rich and powerful has no business telling others to do so.
Do these house slaves, gungadins and sepoys still live in a world where people in other countries are not aware of ground realities in the USA? I guess they either do believe that or are cynical enough to pretend that it is so for their older white employers.
What do you think? Comments?