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July 12, 2004
It is more than a diplomatic gaffe when the Indian defence minister is forced to undergo a strip-search at the Dulles airport while on an official visit to the United States of America.
Somehow, post-9/11 paranoia doesn't cover this. If a Union minister can be forced to undergo such a treatment at the hands of immigration officers in the US, it is not hard to imagine what the ordinary traveller must be facing.
Which, in effect, gives the lie to the euphoria over Indo-US relations, and the economic and strategic partnership. The proof of the relationship is at the entry point, where Indians continue to be treated in an offhand manner.
Should the new government make treatment with dignity for its citizens the cornerstone of its dealings with the US? Tell us what you think.