Saving Face/Climbing Down US Expels Accused Diplomat, Settles Dispute with India
Devyani Khobragade is on her way home. The Indian diplomat, accused of mistreating and underpaying her nanny, was the focus of an international incident when US authorities had her arrested and strip-searched. In India, the retaliation for the alleged mistreatment of Khobragade was swift: defense barriers around the embassy in New Delhi were removed, US diplomats’ privileges revoked, and a torrent of criticism poured forth in newspapers and on TV.
Saving Face/Climbing Down India Escalates Diplomatic Dispute with U.S.
The dispute between India and the United States over an Indian diplomat’s “mistreatment” at the hands of U.S. police is getting worse. Yesterday, India requested that the U.S. embassy in Delhi stop commercial activities at a well-known club that has a bowling alley and swimming pool and other amenities. The Indian authorities also said that U.S. vehicles would not be immune to traffic offenses anymore. Then the U.S. energy minister, after a “conversation with Indian counterparts,” canceled a planned trip to India, becoming the second American official to postpone a visit there.
Saving Face/Climbing Down Solving The Simmering India-US Diplomat Disagreement
The dispute between India and the United States over the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York is more complicated than it looks. The tiny Indian Foreign Service (just 1,750 people) is an elite body of carefully selected, extremely well-trained and very intelligent career civil servants. The IFS faces some problems, though. First, it is so small that it has a hard time managing India’s growing international portfolio. Second, as Indian politics becomes more populist, life gets harder for the elite bureaucracies, including the foreign ministry, who ruled the roost in India’s post-independence era.