Advertisement
Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

'Confused By Their Indian Surnames And Skin Colour'

'Confused By Their Indian Surnames And Skin Colour'
'Confused By Their Indian Surnames And Skin Colour'
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+05:30

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."

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement

More from

Read More from Outlook

There Is A Method To The Madness In Opposition’s Demand For A Caste Census

There Is A Method To The Madness In Opposition’s Demand For A Caste Census

Non-BJP parties hoping to stall the massive shift of OBCs towards the Hindutva brigade. But there are gains too for the BJP if it plays its cards well.

Farmers Claim Pan India Support To Bharat Bandh

Farmers Claim Pan India Support To Bharat Bandh

Belying government claims, the farmers' support base has been expanding given the support from larger number of people from all walks of life and of all ages.

SRH Dent RR's IPL 2021 Playoff Chances With 2nd Win

SRH Dent RR's IPL 2021 Playoff Chances With 2nd Win

Sunrisers Hyderabad chased down Rajasthan Royals' 164/5 with nine balls to spare.

In Kashmir, Each One A Kabul Expert

In Kashmir, Each One A Kabul Expert

Long before the fall of Kabul on August 15 and before the news channels became keen on its unfolding, Kashmiris have been keeping eye on Afghanistan.

Advertisement