Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
India is embarrassed by the misconduct of a lady officer of Indian Foreign Service in USA. But Indian Government is acting as a tamed pet to protect the same officer. And, in this, the misusers of freedom of press have an overwhelming role.
A section of Television media, almost in a Hitlerian style, have made a lot of noise over prosecution of the officer by the law-keeping machinery of USA for having committed offenses prosecutable under American laws, as if action against her has shattered the nationalistic pride of India.
The lady officer’s offenses are (1) false information provided to procure Visa for a private female servant and (2) exploitation of the said female servant as an employer.
The Tv channels are not focusing on these offenses; but are busy in amplifying how the lady officer caught for the offenses was strip searched, cavity searched and how DNA swabs were collected from her in custody. Somebody must be getting a sadistic pleasure out of such avoidable amplification, though such nasty details must further have disadvantaged, disappointed and embarrassed the lady.
A matter of more concern to unbiased Indians is that, in this case, a section of the corporate Tv media has been making a farce of free press by making noise over prosecution of the offender as if an Indian diplomat is entitled to stay unanswerable to charges of cheating the law and exploiting the servant!
Whether or not the allegations against the lady officer are factual is a matter for the court to decide. But for corporate Tv media in India, her prosecution in USA is an affront to India’s pride.
The sordid aspect of Tv media conduct in this matter is that no dissent is being allowed in panel discussions over the issue. As for example Sri Meghna Desai, a prominent participant in panel discussion over the issue in Times Now channel, was not allowed to elaborate why he was not willing to side with the channel in condemning US action against the lady diplomat. Other panelists were so much encouraged to condemn him for his honest voice of dissent that he had to fold his hands and repeatedly bent his head to be pardoned from the panel. Arnab Goswami did not feel ashamed of what sorry state he had dragged the discussion to! Is it not Mediacracy overtaking whatever semblance of democracy India has? Indian politicians are not ashamed of this degradation.
But unbiased Indians are ashamed of the fact that a lady consular officer, who, by the virtue of her posting carries the mana of India in her person, has shattered Indian pride by being prosecuted over visa fraud and exploitation of a female worker she had imported to USA from India thereby.
She should have been recalled to face parallel trials in this country for her misconduct. But instead of that, she has been given UN assignments in order to give her impregnable diplomatic security!
Official shenanigans over the issue do not merit mention. India has a Prime Minister in Manmohan Singh, who, till reprimanded by his extra-constitutional master Rahul Gandhi as ” nonsense”, had no intelligence to understand that law-breakers were not to be protected through an ordinance in an attempt to foil a Supreme Court verdict and who, thereafter, has ensured by way of amendment in law that India is not to be cleansed of corrupt and malicious law-makers as readily as the Indians want!
Such a government is bound to act a tamed pet to bureaucrats and burrowing media run by corporate houses.