- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Question of the Day
The Indian ambassador was censored by her own embassy.
Ambassador Meera Shankar apparently stumbled into forbidden, if unspoken, territory in a speech at Emory University last month, when she referred correctly to Sonia Gandhi, leader of India's largest political party, as a Christian.
However, when the Indian Embassy in Washington posted her speech, it deleted the reference to Mrs. Gandhi and her religion.
The backlash in India took a few weeks, but now leading newspapers are questioning why the embassy censored the ambassador, whose speech was about India's political, ethnic and religious diversity.
"While it is generally rare for any senior member of the Indian government to make a direct reference to Mrs. Gandhi's religion, especially during an election year, the controversy undercuts the candid and positive nature of Mrs. Shankar's remarks on religious tolerance in India," The Hindu newspaper said.
The India Express added: "For the [National] Congress [Party], the subject of Sonia Gandhi's religion is a touchy one and generally off-limits when it comes to official communications."
Of India's 1 billion people, 80 percent are Hindu, 13.4 percent Muslim and 2.3 percent are Christian. Sikhs make up 1.9 percent. The government promotes religious tolerance, but Hindu-Muslim violence is common. Attacks on Christians are less frequent.
Democracy and diversity were Mrs. Shankar's main points in her talk at the Atlanta university on Feb. 24.
"Today, the fact that we have a woman head of state, a Sikh head of government, a Muslim vice president and a Christian as the leader of the largest national political party is perhaps the best statement of the multi-ethnic and multi-religious nature of our state," the ambassador said.
In addition to Mrs. Gandhi, she was referring to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Vice PresidentMohammad Hamid Ansari.
The Indian Embassy removed the entire reference to Mrs. Gandhi when it posted the ambassador's speech on its website (indianembassy.org).
However, the embassy could not keep it off the Internet. Her entire speech is on YouTube.
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
• Carlos Miguel Escarra-Malave, vice chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy, Sovereignty and Integration of the Venezuelan National Assembly. He meets administration officials.
• Defense Minister Brownie Samukai of Liberia, who discusses prospects for peace in West Africa in a briefing at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
• PresidentValdis Zatlers of Latvia, who meets Vice President Joseph R. Biden and House Speaker John Boehner and discusses U.S.-Latvian relations in an address at Georgetown University.
• Dr. Fredrick Makumbi, director of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Uganda's Makerere University; Dr. Oladosu Ojengbede, director of the College of Medicine at Nigeria's University of Ibadan; and Dr. Frank Taulo, director of the Center for Reproductive Health at the University of Malawi. They discuss family planning issues in Africa at a briefing at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
• Mohammed Alghatam, former chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bahrain Center for Studies and Research, who discusses developments in Bahrain at a briefing with the Middle East Policy Council.
• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or e-mail email@example.com.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Embassy Row: India 'shocked,' 'appalled' by consular officer's arrest
- Wife of jailed U.S. Christian in Iran calls for White House help
- Embassy Row: Wife of Christian held in Iran feels abandoned by Obama
- Senate debate: Is Santa Claus an American citizen?
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
- GOP report sees ties between rich donors, green 'nonprofits'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world