As an individual, I’ve never quite been able to grasp the concept of Diplomatic Immunity. Every single time I read about or hear about it, it disgusts me. I can’t help but relate it to a very hierarchal society where the King and his special inner circle can get away with practically anything, while his loyal subjects are placed under a blanket of laws and law enforcement. Now one can argue that my ‘king and inner circle’ analogy doesn’t really hold true since diplomatic immunity comes into play with a diplomat placed in a foreign mission, we’ll get to that in a minute.
My issue is simple. They say diplomatic immunity serves the need for government officials to not be bothered by the hassle of overseas courtroom drama, litigation thereby hampering their ‘oh so important’ public office billets. They make it sound like a matter of national security. My argument is simple, how is a CEO of an MNC, conglomerate or an international investment bank any less important than the aforementioned diplomat?
Let me cite a very simple example. Remember the fall of the Lehman brothers? It was said that Richard Fuld (Dick Fuld), the then CEO of Lehman, controlled what was widely known as the broader financial system. They said if Lehman fell, it would risk bringing down the worldwide financial system as we know it. Politicians across the board and bureaucrats like Hank Paulson, the Secretary of the Treasury were running pillar to post to ensure something be done about Lehman Brothers. My question is simple. Was Richard Fuld, for that dreaded weekend over which Lehman filed for bankruptcy, not more important than any one politician, diplomat or bureaucrat?
Of late, the story of a young Indian female diplomat in the United States has been making headlines. A large number of Indians are yelling women’s rights, indecent treatment and racial discrimination. It is unfortunate, that only a few realize this diplomat has done nothing but flout the rules. There are other culprits in the equation including the domestic help that got her in this mess in the first place but that does not her actions.
I personally don’t believe there are people from the Middle Class sitting at home and yelling diplomatic immunity. Diplomatic Immunity as a concept is a clear refusal to grant you fair treatment as a citizen of your country both at home and overseas! Its time the average passport holder across the world woke up and rethink the way he/she wants to live his/her life.