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Majority of Indian Americans Side with Arrest of Diplomat: Survey

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Story Dated: Saturday, December 21, 2013 12:25 hrs UTC

BOSTON, Mass., United States



A majority of Indian Americans believe the United States was justified in arresting India’s New York Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade, according to a survey conducted this week by Boston-based INE Media, Inc. In addition, a vast majority of Indians also agreed that Khobragade took advantage of her domestic worker, Sangeeta Richard, and paid her a mere fraction of legal minimum wage. Nearly half of those surveyed, however, agreed that the U.S. officials mistreated Khobragade after her arrest, according to the national survey, which was conducted Dec. 18-19, 2013.



"We were getting very passionate and divided opinions on this issue and wanted to know the truth and find out what was really in the minds of the majority of Indians living in the United States," said Upendra Mishra, president of INE Media Inc., which publishes IndUS Business Journal, India New England News and the Boston Business Times. "One of the surprises from the survey was that about 57 percent of the people surveyed said that Ms. Khobragade should not be protected from prosecution due to her diplomatic status." Khobragade, 39, was arrested Dec. 12 for allegedly providing false statements in order to gain entry into the U.S. for an Indian national she intended to employ as a housekeeper.


The Indian diplomat reportedly falsified documents to cover up the $3.31 she paid the housekeeper, a figure which is well below New York's minimum wage of $7.25. Arrested after dropping her daughter off at school, Khobragade was strip-searched and jailed for six hours before posting bond. In the aftermath of the arrest, India has called Khobragade’s arrest "barbaric" and has said she deserves diplomatic immunity. The U.S., on the other hand, has stated it was simply following standard procedures during the diplomat’s arrest and detainment. Here are the results of the survey and the questions asked:


1. Do you believe the U.S. was justified in arresting Devyani Khobragade?

Yes: 51 percent

No: 30.4 percent

Maybe: 12.4 percent

Don’t know: 6.2 percent


2. The U.S. has stated Khobragade’s treatment was routine and followed standard procedures. Do you believe U.S. officials mistreated her after her arrest?

Yes: 45.4 percent No: 33 percent Maybe: 11.3 percent Don’t know: 10.3 percent


3. Khobragade’s attorney has said the diplomat should be protected from prosecution due to her diplomatic status. Do you agree with this?

Yes: 29.8 percent No: 56.5 percent Maybe: 7.3 percent Don’t know: 6.3 percent


4. Do you support India’s strong reactions following Khobragade’s arrest?

Yes: 43.0 percent No: 37.8 percent Maybe: 12.4 percent Don’t know: 6.7 percent


5. Will this affect diplomatic relations between the U.S. and India moving forward?

Yes: 17.5 percent. No: 44.8 percent Maybe: 23.7 percent Don’t know: 13.9 percent


6. Do you think Khobragade took advantage of her domestic worker and paid her a mere fraction of legal minimum wage?

Yes: 59.5 percent No: 11.3 percent Maybe: 14.4 percent Don’t know: 14.9 percent


7. Is this dispute a diplomatic issue or a human rights issue because Khobragade paid her worker only $3.31 pet hour, instead of the $9.75 the documents outlined?

Human rights issue: 40.8 percent Diplomatic issue: 13.1 percent Both: 35.1 percent Don’t know: 11.0 percent


8. Do you think a diplomat should be treated differently than any American citizen who mistreats a worker, either foreign or domestic?

Yes: 22.1 percent No: 68.2 percent Maybe: 7.2 percent Don’t know: 2.6 percent.


Courtesy : INDIAWEST


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