Hashtag Devyanihumiliated. Trending at No. 3. The “Khobragade affair” has touched off a storm on the microblogging site, Twitter. Many supported her, while others slammed the young diplomat.
A majority of tweets from India and by Indians in America deplored the treatment meted out to the Indian diplomat and supported India’s muscular retaliation.
Diplomatic immunity or not, a cavity search for underpaying wages seems a bit too much. #DevyaniKhobragade— Röhhan A Divanji (@Rohhan) December 18, 2013
The uproar was set off when Indian leaders, including BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, refused to meet a US Congressional delegation visiting New Delhi.
Refused to meet the visiting USA delegation in solidarity with our nation, protesting ill-treatment meted to our lady diplomat in USA.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 17, 2013
Devyani Khobragade, India’s deputy consul general in New York City, was arrested on December 12 while dropping her daughter off at school on charges of underpaying her maidservant and visa fraud. She was stripped and subjected to a “cavity search”.
“Since US decided to give asylum to Sageetha Richard's family India should consider giving visa to Edward Snowden,” wrote @calmgalin. The family of Richard, Khobragade’s maid, was granted visa to the US and flown to New York two days before the diplomat’s arrest despite a warning from India that the family might migrate illegally.
Some tweets saw Khobragade being ridiculed. ”Poetic justice! Serial fraudster Devyani Khobragade with huge unaccounted money nailed in US,” wrote @academic.
“Sangeeta Richard's side of the story suddenly shoved under d carpet, she is just a domestic help,” wrote @sarkar_swati, a Upenn professor.