December 17, 2013

"Public transport appears to be a particular point of tension for Indian dignitaries in the US."

The Guardian "Mani Shankar Aiyar, a veteran of the Congress party, wrote that..." by Jason Burke

'"...Democracy in America apparently means the right of the lower orders to be rude to their social superiors" after a trip to the US last year.

'In 2010 there was uproar after India's UN envoy, Hardeep Puri, was reportedly asked to remove his turban at a US airport and detained in a holding room when he was refused. A hands-on search of India's US ambassador Meera Shankar at an airport in Mississippi that year also prompted claims that India had been "insulted".

'In 2009 Continental Airlines apologised to former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam for searching him in Delhi before he boarded a flight to the US, and in 2005 India's former speaker of parliament Somnath Chatterjee refused to attend an international meeting in Australia without a guarantee that he would not have to pass through security.

'Chatterjee said even the possibility of a security screening was "an affront to India".'

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