Dear Germany, enough is enough!

I can only call them terrorists. Corporate terrorists.

Remember my post in May 2012 — German Minister promises to ensure Just Resolution of Ideafarms Dispute? Well, it looks like there are more and more such injustices now coming to light.

Close on the heels of the last post on this blog (Indian Court Issues Warrant for Porsche C.E.O.s Arrest –, comes another shocker. Now Padma Rao, A senior journalist has alleged discrimination at the hands of her former employers, a leading German magazine, because she is an Indian. 

Padma Rao. Photo: Sanjay Rawat

Read this Tehelka expose Is Padma Rao a victim of racism in the German media?

Of late, Germany, which has always enjoyed the reputation of an admirable welfare state and a fair judiciary, has been arbitrary and racist.

While it’s not uncommon for journalists to get entangled in law suits, as inescapable fallout of the occupation, it’s rare for a journalist to go to court over the issue of employment. In 2009, in one such unusual case, a labour court in Delhi ordered the Associated Press (AP) to award a gratuity of Rs 50 lakh to Laurinda Keys, a former employee working in India, who was sacked wrongfully. And now, more recently, the former South Asia Bureau Chief of the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, filed a lawsuit against her employers, for what appears to be a case of racial discrimination.

Padma Rao, 53, has worked for Der Spiegel for the past 14 years, covering major events and interviewing prominent personalities. “The first 10 years were brilliant,” says Rao, “but with a new set of editors, things changed. My writings were published under someone else’s byline. My story ideas were assigned to others. And then they told me I would be demoted under two junior correspondents.”


Padma’s case is not unique. I am heartened to see Tehelka expose the arbitrariness of the German legal system trying to protect their own corporations. It is a brand of arrogance unbecoming of the keepers of the world’s ethical practices. Call it “kleptocracy”.

This post is a call to India to come out and rally against this injustice. Especially to our hallowed media as well as Industry associations, to come out in support of the truth without fearing ‘financial’ repercussions of not aligning with could-be clients.

This is also a call for Government’s backing — the only way errant German corporations will be deterred from treating Indians the way the likes of Continental AG, Porsche and Der Spiegel have been doing.

This is our rally cry on behalf of India’s Davids.

25 Replies to “Dear Germany, enough is enough!”

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