I am unable to understand the fuss over the patting down of Ambassador Meera Shankar at the Jackson-Evers International Airport, Mississippi. It is just another creation of the Indian media, and grist to their sensational mill which has been overactive in recent times. There are strident calls for retaliation, politely referred to as “reciprocity,” which point to an underdog kind of oversensitiveness.
A nation's security policy reflects its threat perception. The U.S. has reacted far better to 9/11 than we have to our terror threat, and introduced practices which seem to have achieved their objective. The call for “reciprocity” is absurd. If we genuinely feel there is need for foreign diplomats to be patted down or frisked, why don't we do it instead of waiting for the U.S. or other countries to frisk our leaders or diplomats? The question the government would then have to answer is: “What were you doing till now?”
One of the reasons for the widespread laxity in our security is the existence of a long list of VIPs and their cronies whose larger-than-life ego comes in the way of security personnel performing their duties. Instead of crying foul over the Meera Shankar episode, our government would do well to instruct its employees to abide by the regulations in force in the countries they visit.
I am sure many Americans say the sari is a graceful attire (Letters, Dec. 13). But the trouble with us, Indians, is we become sentimental at the drop of a hat and, in the process, overlook the importance of routine checks and procedures laid down for the safety and security of the passengers themselves.
All women may not be subject to a security check but that does not take away the right of the security personnel to perform their duty. Nothing much should be read into the Meera Shankar incident.
Seshagiri Row Karry,