03.02.2014 Author: Vladimir Platov

India-US: The Crisis is Here to Stay

article-2540145-1AB0D50000000578-768_634x467The diplomatic row between India and the United States that is going back to the end of the last year when the U.S. authorities decided to arrest the Indian vice-consul in New York Devyani Khobragade – is miles away from being over. India continues to actively defend its positions, even though Indian officials have already confined to the media people that they are not interested in deepening the gap between the two countries.

A keen observer has recently found on Facebook a number of rather disrespectful remarks about India and Indians made by two notable members of the U.S. diplomatic staff in India: Alicia Muller May, that was responsible for the public communications of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, and her husband Wayne May, who was at the head of security in the very same embassy. According to The Times of India online magazine, in her account on Facebook Alicia Muller shared with its friends the “truth” she learned about India ” that vegetarians are more likely to rape than those who eat meat”. As the discussion moved on the diplomat explained, that she didn’t mean to insult Western vegetarians, since the rapists are merely Indian vegetarians.

This incident along with a number of fresh facts rips the mask of hypocrisy from the faces of the U.S. diplomats and their racist views. Those “diplomats” have shown an outrageous disrespect to India, its culture, and all Indians which they were calling in-between each other “the dwellers of the third world”.

Alicia Muller May has made yet another remark on the “malnutrition” of Indians, when she posted a picture of her Indian gardener together with her family’s dog saying that the dog weights more since “it eats more protein”.

Her husband wasn’t willing to lag behind in the insult spree of his beloved one, he found it appropriate to mock the local religious custom of the inviolability of cows in India, thus he shown his blatant disregard to someone else’s culture and traditions.

One should note that these remarks weren’t made by an average American redneck, they were made by diplomats who were entrusted by Washington with the role of representing the United States abroad, which means that one of the direct responsibilities of these people was to a mission to “improve public relationships with local communities”.

Shortly after the discovery of these “remarks” made by American diplomats, their account were erased by the almighty NSA. This agency that has been known in the recent months for its total disregard to all sorts of laws and norms, is there to protect Washington alone, not India or any other “third world” country, even if they are obliged to do so by the bounding agreements of “cooperation” .

However, social networks managed to preserve screenshots with the notorious remarks, they are gathered in a blog  on Tumblr, called American diplomats racist.

The true story behind Devyani Khobragade’s detention looks no less scandalous. It is said that the arrest of the Indian vice-consul was initiated by Wayne May himself, since he was directly related to the shipment of Sangeeta Richard’s (former maid in question) husband and children to the United States. Richard’s parents were employed by Wayne as domestic workers. In September of 2013 the Richard family was suspected of being involved in criminal activities so they flee to the United States to avoid prosecution. Wayne May took the responsibility of smuggling the criminal family to the United States participated, so the “poor maid” had made a deal with Wayne, she agreed to testify against Devyani Khobragade to obtain American citizenship.

After finding all the facts, the Indian authorities concluded that Wayne May was acting in his own personal interest in defiance of Indian laws. For these reasons the scandalous diplomats were asked to leave India immediately, which is understandable.

Asia burst in outrage when this story made the headlines, which led to the emergence of a number of rather unpleasant topics for Washington. Newspapers began to discuss why the U.S. exercises its own “diplomatic immunity”, disregarding the norms of the Vienna Diplomatic Convention. Particular attention was paid to racist views of certain Americans in the regard to other cultures and countries.

In order to somehow “smooth up ” the crisis, in mid-January of this year the U.S. has officially decided to return India three previously stolen antique sculptures , the raw value of which exceeds one and a half million dollars. The ceremony took place at the Indian consulate in New York . One of the returned sculptures weights 160 pounds, it was featured on the list of ten most wanted by Interpol items of art, that had been stolen from an Indian temple of Tamil Nadu in 2009.

U.S. diplomats deny that ceremony of transfer has something to do with the recent diplomatic crisis. However, it is safe to say that discriminatory arrest of the Indian Vice-Consul in New York won’t go unnoticed by American authorities.  

Vladimir Platov, Middle East expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.