News » India headlines » Devyani Khobragade’s husband to join teaching faculty at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi

Devyani Khobragade’s husband to join teaching faculty at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi

India heaves a sigh of relief.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: Devyani Khobragade scored a small victory in her ongoing diplomatic saga when her husband, Aakash Singh Rathore, was offered and subsequently accepted a job to teach at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, thus reuniting Khobragade with her husband and two young children.

Khobragade’s family has been staying at the India’s Permanent Mission to the UN building, for which Khobragade was accredited and given diplomatic immunity from her charges (which has since been revoked by the State Department). Now, Rathore will be abdicating his current teaching position at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and coming to New Delhi.

Both Rathore and the couple’s two children are US citizens, and therefore stayed back in the States even after Khobragade left in January when she was formally indicted on charges of visa fraud and making false statements regarding a housemaid, Sangeeta Richard, who the US government alleges was underpaid by the former DCP.

Having Khobragade back in New Delhi but the rest of her family still in New York had put the Indian government between a rock and a hard place. New Delhi was reticent to request that the rest of the family follow Khobragade back to India out of concern that her father, retired IAS officer Uttam Khobragade, would have created a furor and re-started US-India tensions regarding the case.

Additionally, a security issue was raised by the fact that Rathore and the two children were technically US citizens – both Khobragade and her husband elected to have the children declared as citizens of the US rather than India and were staying in an Indian consular building, where top-secret documents and sensitive information is kept.

Now, the three will be leaving within the next two weeks, ending their technically unauthorized stay in the UN Mission building and allowing both New Delhi and New York to breathe a sigh of relief. But the case is still not over, as Washington is not dropping its charges against Khobragade despite repeated pleas from India and the UN endorsement of Khobragade’s diplomatic status at the time of her arrest.

Meanwhile, Khobragade’s father has said that his son-in-law is evaluating offers of employment from both JNU and Delhi University, where he has previously been on faculty.

Rathore is currently a professor of philosophy and oenology (the study of wines), and in addition to Rutgers, also teaches in a visiting capacity at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from Louvain and in Comparative Constitutional Law from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. He has taught at the University of Delhi, Humboldt University, and Louvain, a French-speaking university in Belgium.

To contact the author, email to deepakchitnis@americanbazaaronline.com


1 thought on “Devyani Khobragade’s husband to join teaching faculty at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi”

  1. @just101
    USA has tougher labor & other laws. It doesn’t mean all(labor & people) are treated equally(generally & in terms of law) in ground realities[as superior complex US Americans claim] or all USA laws are correct/superior/righteous than it can be. It also doesn’t mean USA laws can always be uni-applicable.

    I doubt if it’s really correct to apply the USA law(in it’s present form) in this(embassy domestic maid) case.

    ***************Many diplomats from developing countries(India included) work in their embassies in USA at less than the so called USA’s min. wage.

    _________(1)Should we say that these diplomats are being exploited????? We can’t, because they are paid as per their country(Economy, cost of living, consumer price index,
    & most importantly exchange rate[I think exchange rates are most unfair thing in the world:but perhaps it is okay in economy])

    ________(2)Or is it that they can’t have maids???!! Why can’t they?? They can easily afford a maid in their own country. (but you will say, they are not in their country. Yes they are not, they are in their respective country’s embassy: I think embassy are intermediate between two countries)

    ________(2′)And they certainly need maids if they want to focus on their diplomatic work without worrying about the house chores or childcare.

    That’s why they take maids from their respective country. The maids are given much more than they could have earned otherwise in their country.

    But then you will say, if it’s less than USA min wage, how will they live in USA?(Here I think if it’s true that no one lives under USA’s min. wage in USA, what about the unemployed & the homeless people AND I wonder if no one is employed(in other field) in less than USA’s min. wage) .

    But then again it’s perhaps illegal(employing in other field part, but not being unemployed & homeless).

    *************But then how the diplomats are being paid less than so called USA’s min wage??! and manage??!
    _________Well, because the diplomats are covered from the extra expenses like healthcare, travel, housing and given other accessories.
    ***********Then aren’t house maids given many of those allowances?!
    _______Yes they are, like free food, healthcare,travel housing & some other accessories.
    ******Then what’s the problem? seems like they are well taken care of.
    ____Well here comes the root thing i.e. USA’s min. wage.
    ******Oh!

    ______Perhaps they should have a debate about the applicability of USA’s min. wage in this case.
    ______Maybe they should have bilateral USA’s min wage for this case & along with other expenditure paid for.
    __—-__So that the maid is well taken care of & can avoid this conflict later on.

    But the policy makers doesn’t seem to grasp the root problem and willing to bring about a change in the law in this case.

    ########Now let me make clear that yeah, I am against overwork and house abuse(house abuse isn’t the case here) but not in support of current USA’s min. wage to be applied to maids in embassies from developing countries.

    ^^^OR perhaps they can meet the current USA’s min. wage benchmark with calculating the value of expenditure(like food, housing, healthcare) taken cared by the embassy for the diplomats and their maids.

    ******I heard someone saying that they have the rule of a fixed direct salary to be of USA’s min wage for a REASON along with other benefits(without any benefits, they would considered slaves)

    ____But HERE I think much more benefits are provided and in THIS type of case a new min wage should be fixed along with a no. of benefits.
    There would be no question of exploitation as the maid comes in agreement with unanimous amount of salary and benefits.

    *#*#*#USA and India should discuss and have a permanent solution to this.(maybe a varying payment depending upon the country’s economy, cost of living, consumer price index or exchange rate & diplomats income along with much of the benefits scheme)

    *#No one is saying that diplomats can break laws.

    She is a diplomat & India’s representative.
    The reaction was because how it was handled , like handcuffing a diplomat in public, strip searching her, cavity searching & placing her in a cell with drug addicts: it is unnecessary & unacceptable.

    the USA officials should have applied common sense or better sense of judgement of the moment. Strip search & cavity search is for violent criminal offences & drug addicts to obtain any concealed weapons and drugs.
    ((((( This case was taken up by a guy who thinks I can create big noise here… and it did… but at the cost of lot of things…)))
    As they know about the complication they could have acted sensitively.
    They should have first talked/infomed to Indian Govt. and Officials prior to arrest or anything.
    And US knows there r many maids in embassies in USA from developing countries where they are under paid as per US min. wage.
    Then why is India is singled out here.

    You should also know that the maid has an arrest warrant in India,
    for blackmailing Dyvaani to make her visa from official to general one.
    Yeah, probably because as Sangeeta reached USA she wanted more income by working outside the embassy and then to settle in USA.

    There is double standard, see Raymond Allen Davis,
    And also about equal treatment of all, you know that USA govt bailed Goldman sachs and others,
    And you know there is controversy surrounding grounds for frisking
    and strip searching, these being heavy invasions of sexual privacy.
    All know the NSA harassings.

    ######Embassy maid min wage and strip search should be a matter of large debates in USA and others. I didn’t see any debate of that kind.

    ***Laws are to help us, it can be changed to comply with different situations.
    The world is much more complicated compared to the laws and rules we make.

    kshitish

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