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Commentary: Indians, crazed with anti-American outrage, mistake Freeman for Mandela...
Published on December 27, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Anthony L Hall

Evidently, despite reports to the contrary, Indians remain very proud and protective of their caste system. Only this explains why they are still venting anti-American outrage over the NYPD daring to arrest a high-caste Indian diplomat on December 13 “just because” she was treating her low-caste Indian housekeeper like an indentured slave.

Anthony L. Hall is a Bahamian who descends from the Turks and Caicos Islands. He is an international lawyer and political consultant - headquartered in Washington DC - who also publishes a current events weblog, The iPINIONS Journal, at
But you’d think even Indians would appreciate that just because Hollywood cast Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela does not mean that Morgan Freeman is Nelson Mandela for all other intents and purposes.

An owner of a billboard dedicated to Nelson Mandela was red-faced on Thursday after the discovery that a photo of actor Morgan Freeman was used instead of one of the anti-apartheid hero.

The billboard was erected on the side of a road in Coimbatore as part of memorials across India and the world to Mandela, who died on December 5
. (Brietbart TV, December 20, 2013)

I’m reliably informed, however, that Mandela would’ve reacted by saying that he’s flattered by the mistake….

On the other hand, given the jingoistic outrage Indians are venting over the treatment of that diplomat, just imagine their outrage if some redneck in Appalachia attempted to honor Mahatma Gandhi by putting up billboards featuring the mug of Ben Kingsley.

This would probably make the protests that redneck pastor incited among fanatical Muslims a few months ago, by threatening to burn a pile of Qurans, seem like Sunday picnics by comparison.

Meanwhile, apropos of that diplomat, it’s yet another indication of how great America is that the chief prosecutor in this case is Preet Bharara. Because he’s a naturalized citizen who hails from India and, therefore, understands all too well the cultural prejudices that are inciting those indignant protests back home.

Here’s how Bharara dismissed the Indian government’s claims about her arrest being unjustified and an insult to national pride:

[The diplomat’s conduct showed that] she clearly tried to evade US law designed to protect from exploitation the domestic employees of diplomats and consular officers…

And one wonders why there is so much outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian national accused of perpetrating these acts, but precious little outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian victim and her spouse?...

She had been accorded courtesies well beyond what other defendants, most of whom are American citizens, are accorded. [But she had been] fully searched in a private setting by a female deputy marshal [which] is standard practice for every defendant, rich or poor, American or not, in order to make sure that no prisoner keeps anything on his person that could harm anyone, including himself.
(New York Times, December 18, 2013)

All the same, because America’s relationship with India so often involves America assuaging India’s superpower envy, the Obama Administration will undoubtedly prevail upon Bharara to back off and settle this matter diplomatically….

Alas, in the meantime, the Indian government is only adding fuel to the national hysteria (and betraying its envy) by arresting same-sex partners of American diplomats, stripping diplomats of their immunity and privileges, and removing security barriers from around the US Embassy in New Delhi.

The protests are shameful enough; but Indians everywhere should be ashamed by the Indian government’s irresponsible (petty, petulant and pathetic) reaction to this NYPD arrest.

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Chandra Algoe:

The Vienna Convention grants diplomats certain rights. One of them is that they can't be prosecuted locally. If there is a criminal offence the perpetrator should be send out of the country. I would expect Mr. Bharara to know this.

Paco Smith:

This article was both enlightening and entertaining. The entertaining aspect is fairly obvious. Yet the enlightening portion buttresses something that Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles stated during his public lecture at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts/ Institute of Creative Arts in Belize, a very years ago.

In his presentation which inevitably proved to be a precursor to the overall CARICOM project to seek reparations for the descendants of African and Native peoples of the region, he gave mention of "India being the last, remaining apartheid state".

Based on what is described in the article, I can see clearly what he meant by way of his uttering such a profound statement.


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