Wednesday 27 June
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice lifts a basketful of mangoes from India, presented to her to her by Sanjaya Baru,
the media adviser to the Indian prime minister after delivering her speech at the US-India Business Council (USIBC) in
Washington D.C. The US Secretary of State created a diplomatic stir this week after questioning the relevance of the
Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and asking India "move past old ways of thinking and old ways of acting" to build the
future of Indo-US relations. In her speech at the the 32nd anniversary celebrations of the USIBC, Rice said, "at a time when people of every culture, every race and every religion are embracing political and economic liberty, what is the meaning of non-alignment?" and further added, "how can we not afford to join each other, on a global scale, to support opportunity and prosperity and justice and dignity and health and education and freedom and democracy?". The MEA was cut to the quick and shot back weakly by saying: "We don't believe that the movement has lost its relevance," and that India "remains committed to its ideals" and its "firm and abiding commitment" to non-alignment could not be questioned.