Sunday, July 16, 2017

"At a Luxury Complex in India, the Maids and the Madams Go to War"

NYT:

A dispute between a maid and her employer erupted into a full-blown riot, as hundreds of the maid’s neighbors, armed with rocks and iron rods, forced their way into the complex and stormed her employer’s apartment. In response, thousands of families have locked their maids out, saying they can no longer trust them in their homes.

...

Conflicts between domestic workers and employers are a regular feature of Indian crime logs, but mass violence is almost unheard-of, Ms. Lahiri said. That is partly because in Indian cities, many maids live in their employers’ homes, giving them little opportunity to build networks and compare notes.

That has changed, however, as luxury high-rises proliferated in farmlands on the outskirts of New Delhi, and slum neighborhoods appeared beside them, in what Ms. Lahiri called “a perfect setup for an us vs. them clash.”