Let me share a realization that most have in the US. No one treats Indians as bad as the Indians themselves. Through our actions, we literally shout to others – “Indians are 3rd rate group of people, please do not waste your time trying to treat them as normal people of this world.”
There are lots of example, let me give you one which might be counter-intuitive, but it is very true and factual. If you have worked in IT consulting, which is how most of the educated Indians start their career – you will know that to “compete”, the Indian consulting companies – specifically, Infosys, Wipro, and TCS – treat their own employees working in the US (mostly brought from India) pretty shabbily. There was a time when a person from India was hired by the US companies like IBM or Accenture from India and were given free accomodation and all the help to settle down. No more. These American companies follow the Indian companies’ example now – where you are supposed to get an apartment on your own with out car or help and also get a car without any assistance and an allowance of $2000!
So, basically, instead of using the new power in IT to sell value and richly rewarding their employees and setting higher standards, the Indian companies competed on cost (“he does it for 25 cents I will do for 20”) and undercut the employees’ incomes.. and basic rights. The message to the IBMs and Accentures of the world – “Indians are 3rd rate group of people, please do not waste your time trying to treat them as normal people of this world.”
Cut to the story of enslavement by the Indian consulate employee. Neena Malhotra of her domestic help Shanti Gurung. In that case, US Magistrate Judge Frank Maas awared $1.5 million in compensation to Shanti Gurung.
Maas said Gurung, who is now in her early twenties was a victim of “outrageous and shocking conduct”. Her “documents were seized, her travel was restricted, and she was not permitted to telephone her family.
Significantly, Gurung also was deprived of food, which caused her to lose more than sixty pounds in just over three years and was subjected to physical and mental abuse,” Maas said adding that Gurung’s compensation should also include $500,000 as damages for “emotional distress”.
According to the court papers, Gurung came to the US at the “behest” of Neena and her husband Jogesh Malhotra and was promised a monthly salary of approximately $108 in exchange for “light cooking, light cleaning, and staffing the occasional house party.”
Just look at the salary of $108 per month! First of all, it must have been a fraud by these guys and their lawyer to get a visa approved for a domestic help for such a salary. Quite obviously they would have fudged the numbers in the visa application.
Second, $108 is nowhere near the Minimum Wage in US!!
Instead of stripping this person and her husband of their position and throwing them out of the Foreign services for having abused their status, Indian Government actually comes up with some legal trick.
The Government filed a petition to restrain Shanti Gurung to pursue the case further – since she is still an Indian Citizen, and the Delhi High court passed an order
The Delhi high court has restrained an Indian domestic help, awarded nearly $1.5 million relief for alleged “ill-treatment” by an Indian consulate employee in the US, from pursuing her case in a New York court till further orders.
The court’s interim order came in response to a petition filed by the central government seeking to restrain domestic help Shanti Gurung from pursuing her case in the US.
In my view, this is an ideal case now for Shanti Gurung to file an asylum case – because the Indian Government is abusing her for asserting her rights! For, it is obvious to anyone that Shanti will not get any justice in the Indian court system, given her monetary situation.