POSTED BY Buzz ON Jul 26, 2014 AT 14:44 IST ,  Edited At: Jul 26, 2014 14:44 IST

While some Indian lawmakers seem to be insisting that all Indians are Hindus, at least one important American lawmaker the other day seemed to have difficulty in accepting that some people of Indian origin could be Americans too.


Freshman Congressman Mistakes Senior Government Officials for Foreigners from Foreign Policy on Vimeo.

As John Hudson reported for the Foreign Policy

In an intensely awkward congressional hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, freshman Rep. Curt Clawson misidentified two senior U.S. government officials as representatives of the Indian government.

The two officials, Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar, are Americans who hold senior positions at the State Department and Commerce Department, respectively. Although both Biswal and Kumar were introduced as U.S. officials by the chairman of the Asia and Pacific subcommittee, Clawson repeatedly asked them questions about "your country" and "your government," in reference to the state of India.

Clawson was "apparently confused by their Indian surnames and skin color."

"I'm familiar with your country; I love your country," the Florida Republican said. "Anything I can do to make the relationship with India better, I'm willing and enthusiastic about doing so."

 "Just as your capital is welcome here to produce good-paying jobs in the U.S., I'd like our capital to be welcome there," he said. "I ask cooperation and commitment and priority from your government in so doing. Can I have that?"

The question prompted a lengthy pause and looks of confusion from State Department and congressional staff attending the hearing.

"I think your question is to the Indian government," Biswal said. "We certainly share your sentiment, and we certainly will advocate that on behalf of the U.S."

Nisha Biswal, who is the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, U.S. Department of State, later tweeted:

Among other things, Biswal told American lawmakers that the Obama Administration is looking forward to welcoming Modi in Washington in September.

"When the President invited Prime Minister Modi and welcomed him to come to the United States, that he did so knowing that a visa would be granted for him to be able to do that, and we look forward to that.

"I think that we have always made clear for any individual that visa issues are determined on a case-by-case basis. That is not unique to the situation with the prime minister, but we look forward to welcoming (Modi)."

When Congressman George Holding pointed out that Modi was only individual ever to be denied a visa under a particular clause, Biswal said while it occurred in 2005, since then there has been no application and there has been no review or determination.

"So there has been no hypothetical basis on which to make a determination, but we have definitively said that we welcome the visit of the prime minister and therefore we don't believe that there is any further issue to be addressed with respect to that.

"The administration is very much looking ahead, looking forward and looking to the future in terms of building a very strong partnership with the Prime Minister and with his team and strengthening the relationship between the US and India. We think that we are on the path to do that."

POSTED BY Buzz ON Jul 26, 2014 AT 14:44 IST ,  Edited At: Jul 26, 2014 14:44 IST
Follow us on Twitter for all updates, like us on Facebook for important and fun stuff
TRANSLATE INTO:


Post a Comment
Share your thoughts
You are not logged in, please log in or register
Must See
Daily Mail
Digression
Order by
Order by
PhotosNewsBlogsLatest
Short Takes
click for more
recent tags
9/11: Terror in the United States
Advertising, Ads
Arnab Goswami
Bloopers-Gaffes
Constitution
Education
HRD - Human Resources Development
Indian Languages
Khalid Sheikh Mohammad
Languages
Levity
Music
Schools
Smriti Irani
Subramanian Swamy
Terrorism
Turkey
 
bloggers
A. Sanzgiri
Boria Majumdar
Buzz
Dr Mohammad Taqi
Freya Dasgupta
G. Rajaraman
K.V. Bapa Rao
Maheshwer Peri
Namrata Joshi
Omar Ali
Our Readers Write Back
OWD
OWD
Poster
Prarthna Gahilote
Shefalee Vasudev
Sundeep Dougal
Sunil Menon
ARCHIVES
Go
SMTWTFS
1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30
recent comments
The three-language formula of the central government...
Poll Started on: Nov 21, 2014
More...
The United Nations just turned 69. How well do you...
Rimme Dirchi
More...


ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SUBSCRIBE | ADVERTISING RATES | COPYRIGHT & DISCLAIMER | COMMENTS POLICY

OUTLOOK TOPICS:    a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   
Or just type in a few initial letters of a topic: