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US media cries foul over India's reaction to diplomat's arrest
Saturday December 21, 2013 8:34 AM, IANS

Taking the moral high ground, US media in general has dubbed India's reaction to an Indian diplomat's arrest as "misplaced" and "deplorable" though at least one commentator has said that US owes India an apology.

Calling it "India's Misplaced Outrage" the influential New York Times said: "India's overwrought reaction to the arrest" of Devyani Khobragade, its deputy consul general in New York, "is unworthy of a democratic government".

"Despite the way many Indians seem to view the case, it is not a challenge to India's honour. It is a charge against one diplomat accused of submitting false documents to evade the law," it said.

In a similar vein, suggesting that India was sympathising with the wrong woman, The Washington Post said: "India is siding with a woman who was in the wrong - who lied, paid her help poorly and now is brazen enough to claim that she should not be treated like a criminal."

"What's 'deplorable,' to use the prime minister's words, is not Khobragade's treatment, which was standard, but the fact that many in India aren't speaking out against the treatment of the nanny," wrote editor-producer Swati Sharma.

In a CNN commentary Friday, Jeremy Carl, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, also suggested India had "overreacted", saying "l'affaire Khobragade shines an unflattering light on several elements of India's diplomacy and its politics of privilege".

"Whether or not the charges and manner of arrest were proper, the intemperate reaction of the Indian government in response shows that, despite its status as an aspiring great power, India still frequently lacks the maturity on the world stage to behave like one," Carl wrote.

However, Ruben Navarrette, CNN Contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group, wrote "US owes India apology over strip-search" saying US relationship with India is vital and shouldn't be lightly endangered.

Blaming US Marshals Service squarely for the "tense times in US-India relations," he wrote: "Questions of Khobragade's guilt or innocence can wait for another day."

"Yet, decency and common sense can be dealt with now. Those things tell us something went wrong in this case. It's up to the Obama administration to make it right before this diplomatic crisis gets any bigger," Navarrette wrote.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)



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