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Updated: July 3, 2013 00:59 IST

India’s cowardly display of servility

Vijay Prashad
Comment (78)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Nehru had a healthy suspicion of superpower motives.
The Hindu Archives Nehru had a healthy suspicion of superpower motives.

New Delhi’s undignified response to revelations that the U.S. spied on it is in sharp contrast to its stand on the same issue in the 1950s

Among the documents released by The Guardian, via whistle-blower Edward Snowden, is one from September 2010. It notes that the National Security Agency (NSA) used a range of methods to spy on a number of Washington-based embassies — including countries friendly to the United States from Europe and Asia. In the Asian list is India.

If these allegations are true, then the U.S. has violated Article 22 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, of which it is a signatory. That article notes, “The premises of a diplomatic mission, such as an embassy, are inviolate and must not be entered by the host country except by permission of the head of the mission. Furthermore, the host country must protect the mission from intrusion or damage. The host country must never search the premises, nor seize its documents or property.” The nature of the spying, with bugs on crypto-fax machines and on communications cables, clearly breaches the protections enshrined in the convention.

While European countries have been forthright in their criticism of this espionage, India’s response has been shocking.

European reactions

Union Minister for External Affairs, Salman Khurshid, said, “It is not snooping. It is only computer study and computer analysis of patterns of calls.” Compare this to the European Union’s Commissioner Viviane Reding, who said, “Partners do not spy on each other.” She invoked the U.S.-EU trade agreement that is to be negotiated this month, “We cannot negotiate over a big trans-Atlantic market if there is the slightest doubt that our partners are carrying out spying activities on the offices of our negotiators.” The German Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. Ambassador to make a formal complaint. India, meanwhile, put its tail between its legs and tried to defend the U.S.

Ronen Sen, former Indian Ambassador to the U.S. (2004-2009) and now director at Tata Motors, joined Khurshid in the defence of U.S. policy. “It is standard practice for all major countries to keep an eye on the diplomatic missions of friend and foe alike. And not only embassies — also guesthouses, car services and trade mission known to be used by foreign diplomats,” he said. During his tenure in Washington, the U.S. and India inked the highly contentious nuclear deal. If the U.S. had been eavesdropping on Indian communications between Washington and Delhi, it would likely have afforded the U.S. an advantage in the negotiations. It is unlikely that the Indian government has the capacity or stomach to spy on the U.S. embassy in Delhi, which suggests that it is not “standard practice” for all countries to spy on each other. The asymmetrical advantage afforded to the U.S. is what confounds much of the world.

India was not always so servile to the American narrative of world affairs. In the 1950s, the Indian government was very aware of attempts by the U.S. to spy on India, and made it clear that this was unacceptable.

In the early 1950s, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru told his Foreign Secretary, Subimal Dutt that his government was “fully aware of the clandestine activities of a number of Foreign Missions in India,” with particular focus on the “Americans [who] indulged in such activities.” Spying could not be countenanced by Nehru, nor could the soft bribery of parties and friendship. “These Americans in India are lavish with their money and with entertainment,” he wrote in 1954. “They invite large numbers of our officers and other citizens, entertain them and, more especially, offer them alcoholic drinks in large quantities. Many of our people who go there talk freely and even loosely.” Nehru and his circle attempted to foster a healthy suspicion of the motives of both superpowers regarding India. His was not a sentiment that one could say is now anachronistic — faded away with the end of the Cold War. Nehru wanted to promote the dignity of the new India. That ethos should remain alive and well.

India’s response to the Snowden affair is both shoddy and undignified. At the very least, the External Affairs Minister should have taken the same kind of tack as adopted by the Europeans, arguably closer allies to the U.S. than India. India is also a signatory of the 1961 Vienna Convention. To be so cavalier about the implications of espionage shows that India, like the U.S., has become cynical about international law. This is a walk-down from the high ground that India once occupied.

(Vijay Prashad’s most recent book is The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South, Verso and LeftWord, 2013).

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when do u justify something which is widely considered improper or wrong ? Either u strongly feel that it is correct or u r also doing the same thing. I think india jus appears to be weak from outside....

from:  abhilashkulkarni
Posted on: Jul 6, 2013 at 09:47 IST

There is a thin line between being diplomatic and servile.
Some people have certainly crossed that, and the shame is the fact that they are the ones are the representatives of new India.

During the time JawaharLal Nehru was skeptical of the clendestine intentions India was still striving to make a mark in the world, and people like him who represented that cause were treading carefully.
We are still developing, and if our attitude is casual about such activities, the time is not far away, when we would be struggling for independence again.

from:  SunnyYadav
Posted on: Jul 5, 2013 at 14:16 IST

Independent foreign policy is the luxury of nations with a strong backbone & the backbone is economic & military power. India's economy is bust (thanks to Congress' anti-industry policy) & for military power we are dependent on everybody as we cannot manufacture even a petty mobile phone.

from:  Anish Khindri
Posted on: Jul 5, 2013 at 13:39 IST

Vijay Prashad lives and works in the US at Trinity College and writes about what India should or should not do WRT US where he lives and earns his livelihood.

What's wrong with this picture?

Should he, an American, be supporting his country or is he a fifth columnist only there for the money

from:  Jack
Posted on: Jul 5, 2013 at 07:18 IST

U.S security policies over the past decade have inarguably become
aggressive so it shouldn't come as a surprise that it has gone above
and beyond the ethical realms to collect intelligence and as someone
in the below comments has rightly pointed out a prudent exchange of
diplomatic communication rarely contains anything highly sensitive.
Nonetheless the comment of Mr Khurshid has brought out how docile
India is towards U.S violations. The least the govt should have done
was to feign anger and released sharply worded criticism and saved
face in the international community. As for asylum to Snowden, India
is in no position to grant one. When our country is being eaten alive
from the inside by people in control and when issues of varying
severity exist like epidemic, do we expect them to take a stand on
this external nuisance which pales in comparison?

from:  Sai
Posted on: Jul 4, 2013 at 22:42 IST

It is pathetic that the minister was commenting irresponsibly. This a fundamental violation of the law and speech. It clearly shows that the Govt is not concerned with its Citizens. All the ministers now want is to make more money and throw its citizens to dogs. This is just a classic example of a Govt that is not capable of doing nothing for its citizens. It shows how clearly some country can just bully India and get away with it and US is just doing the right thing...Bullying INDIA and its irresponsible Ministers.

from:  Sampath Kumar
Posted on: Jul 4, 2013 at 21:21 IST

A nation where 5million kids die every year due to nutrition and health issues and we are worried about servility?

from:  Anna
Posted on: Jul 4, 2013 at 12:37 IST

Slavery is often accepted as an obligation rather than a compulsion,
some time it is also inherited if you happen to have some two hundred
years of fateful service record under your belt. India has displayed
tremendous commitment to dissociate itself from its citizens right to
privacy and liberty which were being taken for granted by U.S led
snooping program called Prism.

from:  Hiranmoy Goswami
Posted on: Jul 4, 2013 at 12:13 IST

It will be shocking if anybody is surprised when a renegade
"exceptional" US disregards all laws outside itself. As for India,
Economy? Defence?External Affiars? India has its priorities which are to
perpetuate Govt profligacy, insouciance and corruption as the Neta-Babu
Quota-Corruption Raj! Even if it has to end up operating as a Govt in
exile from some safe haven:

from:  S. Suchindranath Aiyer
Posted on: Jul 4, 2013 at 10:59 IST

Even so called insignificant neighboring countries like Sri Lanka,
Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, etc don't respect us. Then how do you
expect from USA. India is spineless state even to these small fishes
around us. Indian government run by the corporate and the personal
agendas of the politicians. Therefore you cannot expect more from them.

from:  Amudhavanan Arunachalam
Posted on: Jul 4, 2013 at 10:26 IST

We have heard of sharing of wives amongst the Indian naval officers, but this snooping has gone a level up by supporting the USA's mission to gather, eavesdrop and intrude into the privacy of every national. Another passing cloud for the incapable Indian government.

from:  Ramya
Posted on: Jul 4, 2013 at 10:21 IST

Don't forget how they (govt of India) handled the Italian Marines
fleeing to Italy issue. The Chinese Military entering 20Kms into India
issue and many other such issues whether international or national.
This govt is probably the worst govt. A PM who can't speak. Ministers
who are expert at scamming and then shouting as if it would make their
lies more true than the truth and reason itself and the overall
attitude that tries to take attention of general public away from the
failures of the govt and put the blame on opposition. They ignore the
protests and then come out and say that protest don't mean much. They
are organised by people trying to destabilize the country and other
such rubbish.

We must make sure that at these people don't come to power for the
foreseeable future. We can try a new option like Arvind Kejriwal
(although he doesn't seem to offer solutions but there at least be some
change in the dynamics of politics).

I wish I could say more but I am out of characters now.

from:  Akshay Jain
Posted on: Jul 4, 2013 at 01:52 IST

What a terrible op-ed. Much of it based on hypothetical statements
such as, "It is unlikely that the Indian government has the capacity
or stomach to spy on the U.S. embassy in Delhi, which suggests that it
is not “standard practice” for all countries to spy on each other. The
asymmetrical advantage afforded to the U.S. is what confounds much of
the world."
As Khurshid pointed out, most nations keep tabs on each other. It
would be foolish not to. As far as I know, most diplomatic cables and
communication is strictly sterile and devoid of sensitive information.
the real sign of ineptness would be to assume that all diplomatic
communication is held sacrosanct and to use them to relay sensitive
information.
This is an embarrassing situation for the US as it has been caught
with its hand in the cookie jar, but it would be foolish to think that
we keep our best cookies made with mother's secret recipes in that
jar.

from:  prakash d
Posted on: Jul 4, 2013 at 01:16 IST

@Vighnesh I am utterly confused reading your comment. Did you read the
article before commenting. India is among one of the 38 missions that
was the target of intrusive US surveillance. Indian embassy is under
surveillance in violation of UN laws. What has Indian embassy got to do
with terrorism?

from:  Roopesh P Raj
Posted on: Jul 4, 2013 at 00:11 IST

Nehru ended up having Indian humiliated. Nehru may have talked big to
Americans, just like his insistence that China be let into UN 'Hindi
Chini Bhai Bhai'. But when China attacked and nearly destroyed Indian
forces in 1962, same Nehru begged Kennedy / US to fly US bombers to
attack Chinese lines (in Communist camp).

from:  RameshG
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 23:46 IST

Denial of asylum for Edward Snowden by India is known and expected decision but the statement given by Mr Salman Khurshid is truly shameful. US breaching the agreement of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by spying on partner countries. UN should come forward for the safety of Snowden as most of the countries refused asylum request.

from:  Abhi
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 23:31 IST

Maybe the Indian mission in the US communicates using pigeons, and thus the reason for their lack of response?

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 23:25 IST

This kind of response on something serious to react is shamefull. The
recent reactions of our leaders to international issues are showcasing
India as weak nation.Facing the recent border intrusion by China is to
be rememberd here to highlight our weakness in leadership on
internatoinal front.

from:  Pavan kumar
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 22:43 IST

External affairs minister's remark is nothing but disgraceful and unacceptable. Even when our nation's sovereignty is questioned, the hapless response from our external affairs minister, has clearly vindicated the shoddy character of our central government. If the government cannot raise a finger against the 'big brother', we might find ourselves servile to another nation albeit in a different manner than we were under british.

from:  Deepak
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 22:03 IST

many of us call this decision is spineless act by the govt., arguably
yes but at the same time its not brainless act in order to protect our
so called dollar economy .. since elections in due... finance ministry &
PMO offices are busy in cleaning up the mess to cut the "CAD" ., of-
course snowden asylum will worse this further.. why big country's not
yet came forward to give asylum!!!!!,

from:  Yadhava Priyan
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 21:59 IST

Thanks to Hindu for posting such an article. I wish our foreign minister
read the voices of our nation. Government has been consistently self-
contradicting on it's position on many national significant issues and
this is not the first time, we're seeing such a irresponsible statement
from our minister.

from:  Raj pethan
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 21:55 IST

I feel ashamed! Sir, Salman khurshid it's highly disgraceful to defend US.

from:  Vikas Yadav
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 20:46 IST

The congress leadership has time and again showed its spineless cowardliness when it comes to foreign relations, protection of the sovereignty of the land from all type of aggressors. Its shame that this massive country will still be subjected to bullying and the leaders will nod their heads for this to happen. What else one can expect when the leadership still owes allegiance to other countries.
Both Land loss as well as Rupee slipping has been observed only during Congress governments ruling! Shame on the party and their lies about Aam Aadmi!!!

from:  sriram
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 20:40 IST

As far as Internal affairs are concerned, the Central Govt. can be
termed as a biggest failure but on International base what performance
it has given is a Shame on India's pride. India till date was known as
Land of Idealism and Self Respect but today we lost that also.
May I ask,one of the strong reasons servility is done just because U.S.
is against Modi and Centre is in great fear that Modi can be elected as
Next P.M. by the citizens? or Central Govt. is too weak to take
Diplomatic and Intellectual judgements ?

from:  Shubham Darvaikar
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 20:15 IST

Now it became well known truth that india is losing dignity,economy,moral and holds to the world as it was before congress govt. countries is going back and congress is focus on Ishrat jhan and releasing and helping dependent on Terrorist,so it is worst situation stand on it self decide among top management then decide we should give him shelter or not by considering the US face only.

from:  mukesh kumar
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 19:55 IST

Turning down the asylum request of Snowden exemplifies our government's
ineptitude in handling international issues through diplomatic
channels. While China handled the issue on legal and technical
grounds, India simply bowed to America's pressure. An independent
neutral stand in the interest of the larger public is the fundamental
characteristic of a democratic nation. Its high time govt. forms strong
legal framework for the protection of whistleblowers if its committed
to upheld public liberties as envisioned by founding fathers of our
constitution.

from:  Tejoprasad
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 18:59 IST

We live in a world fraught with danger. A world where there are people who live with the sole aim of destroying humanity. These people, called terrorists have no boundaries. Their job is to kill and create mayhem , primarily in the name of God and various other trivial reasons. A democratic government’s most important job is to protect its citizens from such people. It is not an easy job. It takes a lot of intelligence gathering to identify them and prevent them from carrying out massive terror strikes. The US government have done just that. An individual of that country who brought out such a program out in the open has managed to put his fellow citizen’s life at risk. He is not exactly a hero. He is a fool. If I have to choose between privacy and a chance to live, I would gladly choose the second. I don’t want to be blasted to shreds by a bomb planted by some terrorist.

from:  Vighnesh
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 18:50 IST

It is because of the spineless leaders in power, our country's
sovereignty has been at stake. These US lackeys will never open their
mouth against Obama-govt even though it deliberately commits illegal
act brazenly violating all existing norms. In the recent past also US
govt forced India to strain our relation with Iran and sabotaged IPI
gas-pipeline project causing immense damage to our economy.The Indo-US
nuclear-deal is nothing but a trap to put India more servile to Obama-
govt. The lame-duck congress govt has brought down 1.2 billion Indian
to an inferior status vis-a-vis the European

from:  dipendutta
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 18:33 IST

Good decision ..
helping snowden will give us nothing but not helping is help for us.
USA(for its own sake) is helping us.Our economy , strategic
position,civil nuclear supply are because of USA. Everytime you can't
just take decision in the flow of emotions.We have to look for best
suitable path for us and our people.

from:  abhimanyu
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 18:08 IST

I wouldnt compare our reaction to 1950s. For one thing, the world has turned onto its head. US has emerged over the last many years as an economic force to reckon with. its markets and influence on markets of its allies provide ample reason for india to avoid economic sanctions. Sheltering snowden would be a wise choice if we were not so globalized, and had a bone to pick with US. India has no major diplomatic standoff with US and if anything, US has changed its position on pakistan quite dramatically from bush era for better. Apart from all the hoopla, there is not one revealation in showden's expose that is very dramatic. after 9/11, US has become hyper on security matter and rightly so. If US was spying for sadistic pleasure, sure I would be worried. Spying is nothing new and has been there since generations and will remain until there are elements that threaten a democratic setup.

from:  Nitin Korepal
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 17:55 IST

The rejection of asylum petition of Edward Snowden by Government of
India was not surprising at all.It was expected from our government as
our foreign policy is being influenced by U.S.A. after Indo-US nuclear
deal.We should be ashamed of that we can't give asylum to an unarmed man
being persecuted by the most powerful country on the planet for
revealing the truth.

from:  shakeeb
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 17:42 IST

Probably, Snowden was given wrong counsel. He should have paused for a
while before requesting India. This a country where Sikh victims are
waiting for justice right from 1984. This is a country where Tsunami
victims are waiting for rehabilitation. This is a country where Bhopal
gas victims are waiting for proper compensation and fair justice.
Anderson is happily living in U.S. and this government did precious
little to bring him back to stand trial. This is a country which stood
mum when Tamils were massacred in Lanka. Dear Mr.Snowden, It is better
for you to surrender to U.S. than to come here.

from:  Murugan
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 17:33 IST

Why does anybody expect India to take up a stand here. India is itself
implementing a system that puts NSA's PRISM to shame! This all reminds
of the times during the East Germany era, where the government was
spying on its own citizens.
Not just the government, it is the people of India themselves, whose
response has been at best, "moribund". No campaigns to save freedom of
speech, Pro-Privacy campaigns.. Even our paid media has chosen to keep
this under the wraps.

from:  Prabhjot
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 17:18 IST

India's foreign policy was praised for its idealism. We mixed pragmatism
with idealism for larger benefits. The statements on American snooping
expose is very disheartening, even a small pinch of idealism is not
present. We should remember that long term ideals always wins rather
than the short term appeasements.

from:  pavan
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 16:43 IST

Can anyone tell me what is India's stand in international issues?I bet surely we will still remain a developing nation even by 2050.India can't even have a say for a small problem even in Nepal or Afghanistan.That's the strength we have.
India a fast developing nation???This is a small trick the Western countries are using to capture our markets from telecom to retail.The fact is we are losing our domestic markets and traders and we are as same as a Sub Saharan country.
we are not even able to force the Chinese who occupied our territory.In the name of PPP we are depriving even the basic needs of lakhs of tribal people.Is that not deprivation of freedom?In a country where our politicians are not caring about the people they rule how can we expect India to grant asylum to a person who by no means related to our country?
In this situation,how India will oppose the U.S.?

from:  Jeeva
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 14:52 IST

I have craved many times for an option which allows me to declare
emphatically that this government no longer represents me. In fact,
this government doesn't represent India any more.

The central government represents fading, weak and fragile ideologies
of Gandhi family which have lost relevant in today's India.

It would have been 100 times better had we provided asylum to Edward
Snowden. It would have made every Indian proud because India,
culturally and historically, is a land where mind is free of fear 9as
Tagore expresses in his iconic poem).

Alas! our central government has declared through this declaration
that idea of India is moribund. Any chance of revival exists upon who
leads the country after next elections.

This is slavery.

from:  Santosh Singh
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 14:42 IST

Well, I would say that it was a bad decision of Mr Snowden, who
courageously opened up the flaw and then sought India's help. In India,
Indians, themselves don't know when they will be picked up any Freedom
of speech and booked in any case by anyone...

from:  Prabhu
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 14:19 IST

Is this also a part of liberalisation? You opened the Indian market for foreign MNCs and said it is for the growth of nation. Now you brought FDI in retail and said it is for compensating fiscal deficit. Now the Startegic classified documents are shared. This is not Indian Government. this is a Puppet government formed by united States. All our natural resources and Human resources are summoned to US.

from:  Vignesh R
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 14:18 IST

I wish India had taken a bolder stand at the least in this case.

from:  Nithin Sebastian
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 14:02 IST

Nehru was nobody's chamcha. By contrast, his descendants have surrounded themselves with sycophants who are only capable of groveling. One can hardly expect to act differently when dealing with foreign powers.

from:  thampi
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 13:42 IST

India has a become a slave of US and is nodding its head to whatever US says. This shows that we are not capable of taking up an independent stand. This is such a shameful incident. Look at the reaction from the EU and compare the same with India's. Ashamed to be an Indian... really....U will always keep letting us down...

from:  vikram
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 13:23 IST

The same Ronen Sen, once called Indian politicians headless chickens is today talking like a puppet.
May be, the appointments to the high offices are influenced by powers outside the country.

from:  Abhinav
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 12:56 IST

India has never had a strong foreign policy, we curry favor with everyone. The end result is the way we are treated even by our small neighbors leave aside the world !

from:  Avinash
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 12:54 IST

This guy is a real shame on our country. Today he has declared that it is not actually snooping but just monitoring. This guy needs to be taken to court for treason.

from:  Honga Singh
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 12:50 IST

What do you expect from a government whose head is always there on beck and call of his party president, keeps mum on all important issues.
Just pray this government does not create more mess for the country.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 12:48 IST

Is this also a part of liberalisation? You opened the Indian market for foreign MNCs and said it is for the growth of nation. Now you brought FDI in retail and said it is for compensating fiscal deficit. Now the Startegic classified documents are shared. This is not Indian Government. this is a Puppet government formed by united States. All our natural resources and Human resources are summoned to US.

from:  Vignesh R
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 12:41 IST

India is not an ally... its trying to be an ally and hence the
servitude... i guess that explains the behavior.

we should have used stronger lines like...

if this doesn't stop.. we will make it prohibitive for Indian students
to pursue studies in the US and the like.. that would have gotten
attention..

from:  rony
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 12:14 IST

Truly shameful behavior by EAM Khurshid. He must go.

from:  Sachi Mohanty
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 11:50 IST

Its not India, but it is this foreign minister who seems to relish
bending over backwards and get some 'nice guy' compliments...be it
China or the US. But then you look at his background as a Family
loyalist and then you are not surprised....remember his shameless
statement "I will die for the family" when he was actually the Law
minister who was supposed to prosecute Mr. Vadra...we need leaders
who will die for the country rather.

from:  venkat
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 11:26 IST

//The asymmetrical advantage afforded to the U.S. is what confounds much of the world.// This servile approach on the interests of Nation & Her citizen is the prime risk; praying for an Agile governance which would make the Nation prosper. Though out of the purview of the article, it triggered me to write the following:People are ready to share personal information in privately owned social networks but not to the Government. How Governments would make them share? Because citizen believe, Govt. gathers information just to punish in case of any illegal incidents. Why such informations can't be used in understanding the agony/displeasure of the citizen and proactively regulate/correct the stratagy and make the Nation a better & comfortable place to live?

from:  Siva
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 11:26 IST

This is a show of incompetent foreign policy of government of India.
Every week, there is one shocker from this government which is lead by
highly intelligent persons (on the record)available to decide our
policies. This act snooping on Indian mission in USA and its leak and
further reaction from the top of the ministerial heads are making a
conjecture that they were well aware of such kind of activism from
American agencies. If there is any percentage of reality in this
probable conjecture, opposition should immediately call for a white
paper by government of India on this issue.
Unfortunately, we do not have such strong, constructive and dedicated
opposition also. One must appreciate the wisdom of media for raising
such issue in public so that world will take note of it.

from:  Aditya Samdershi
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 11:25 IST

India's foreign policy is in shamble. There is no clarity and purpose in it. India cannot handle even smaller countries in the neighbourhood who enjoy our aid. Foreign policy too is affected just like the all prevailing erosion of values, confidence and growth brought in by the united group of apportunistic politicians. Hope Indians see through and bring in a change to this deterioration of adminstration

from:  Ayyappa
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 11:20 IST

It would have been better, if remained silence. Atleast that would have displayed indians as cowards. But by endorsing their act of spying as standard practice, we have told the whole world in loud and clear voice that, we are not cowards but slaves. The respect and dignity of the whole nation is compromised for the sake of policies formulated by selfish politicians. Common indian will write like this for ever craving for international dignity and at the same time, our good politicians will keep their jobs, as usual. it is a shame, let the indian citizen cry within themselves, because this is yet another standard practice of INDIANS.

from:  Elangovan
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 10:58 IST

Leaving aside the legalities of the issue, a few questions that could be asked of the Indian Government are:

a) If the US exercise was "innocuous" , would permission have been accorded if it had been sought? For that matter would any other ally have accorded permission. Perhaps, yes, if all saw some common interest in the exercise. In which case, it would be a co-operative exercise and not clandestine.

b) How can the Indian Foreign Minister claim that it was just some ordinary exercise? Does he know the details? Did the US tell us what was exactly being done?

c) In the age of high technology, how can we assume that such surveillance done by anyone, does not compromise our own security?

The US must be asked to disband such methods and if it were to continue, should be a joint operation amongst allies and friendly countries.

from:  varadarajan raman
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 10:54 IST

It is a sordid episode when our MEA endorsed what the USA did on our embassy and all citizens.
Instead of protesting with mr. Kerry, he endorsed it and accpeted its continuance.
We are being ruled by the spineless leaders whos tail waggers to the US.
US need not to snoop on India.
For money our politicians will sell anything and everything.
The Hindu should expose our leaders connivance also in this regard.

from:  Prabhakaran K
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 10:38 IST

Of course, we have to make a big hue and cry of this revelation because it is one of those instances which we can use to beat the US with. Otherwise, India is constantly at the receiving end of the ad hominem attacks, unsolicited advice etc. from the western nations. However, we need to be careful too in not taking it too far because snooping even on closest allies is a normal practice among all nations. I am pretty sure our own R&AW does it too. Trans-Atlantic diplomatic communications from India by the Govt. of India must be encrypted and secure. Otherwise, they cannot and should not complain.

from:  Subramanyam Sridharan
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 10:35 IST

shows utter lack of pride, looks like Mr. Khurshid has turned himself as a spokeperson of NSA rather. At this rate Inida would voluntarily let itself being spied on rather than stand up for anything significant on world stage.How would Inia be trusted by developing countries if they become mere stooges of Us interests ?

from:  Aswin
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 10:31 IST

What can you aspect from Indian government? Look at the state of business and their
moral standards.

from:  R S Rathore
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 10:28 IST

One wonders why the UPA government has to demonstrate to the people of this
country on a continuous basis how incompetent it is in all areas of governance
including securing our embassies in foreign countries from the possible prying eyes
of the host countries. If the Prime Minister does not agree with his External Affairs
Minister on the above matter, he should say so.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 10:19 IST

"It is unlikely that the Indian government has the capacity or stomach
to spy on the U.S. embassy in Delhi, which suggests that it is not
“standard practice” for all countries to spy on each other." - and here
i was hoping that our intelligence was equally devious...

from:  twistleton
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 10:15 IST

Instead of showing righteous anger at the violation of international protocol by snooping, our leaders are bending over backwards to justify US' behavior. Maybe the Americans should consider hiring them as their spokespersons. They certainly are doing the job.

from:  T.Nethra
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 10:09 IST

Over the years Indians have built a reputation as cowards. They talk big but act
small. Very sad. I am an Indian just waiting for that day when India will stand for
courage and morality. On this matter I am sure India is also doing the same thing as
the US and spying on others, like everyone else. Rather then appear cowardly cover
up your tracks by taking the offensive. Instead, Indian is siding the Americans. What
a load of foolishness.

from:  Visu
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 10:07 IST

Europeans might be still having their spine in place, unlike the
Indians. Thank you Mr. Vijay Prashad for sharing legal side of the US
act, viz., the Article 22 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic
Relations. It is beyond doubt that USA has violated the Article. USA
should be taken to task for this cowardly act, and all the countries
should stand against the policing of the USA.

from:  Roopesh P Raj
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 09:47 IST

Where are we heading ?...we have no problem with countries like Maldives coming under the perview of SOFA with US and now government is OK with US spying...clearly we are becoming US chelas...we should have have foreign policy like FRANCE - independant and dignified....

from:  Naresh
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 09:27 IST

Honestly, what else do we expect from this Congress government, which has time and again proved to be a national shame. While this is all happening, the government is busy helping RIL with gas price hike. *Sigh*

from:  Jay
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 09:20 IST

Keeping the present state of our country in mind,I don't think we can
afford to strain our relationship with the US. Lets accept the
truth,not being emotional for a moment,that the US,primarily a superior
and much advanced country,can spy on us for decades and we might not
even discover it . Lets speak up when we can,at least,serve our own
people first.

from:  karan ambasht
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 08:50 IST

Very bold, clear and concise article. Truly Appreciate the author.

from:  balaji krishna
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 07:48 IST

Salman Kurshid shows his true colurs against Indians who question bribery allegations
against him and his wife, but when it comes to Foreigners in India and outside his support is
unconditional even when allegations are against his country.

from:  Aditya
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 07:35 IST

Rightly said, the India that I had admired in the History Textbooks with
the foreign policies is gone! We are so very dependent on other
countries now, more than when ever even when we were starving and
deprived. It is okay to state the facts, but somehow, for some reason,
the blatant truth hurts. Atleast for some sake, the External Affairs
Minister could have said something else. It is very much demoralizing
and seems very much to be a knee jerk reaction. We are becoming the
Pakistan of earlier days.! We need to stand up again.!

from:  adithya bharadwaj
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 07:19 IST

As a citizen of this once great nation,my head hangs in shame.

from:  atis
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 07:12 IST

The author says .. "high ground that India once occupied". We never
opcvcupied the high ground -- we were servile to the Soviet Union and
continue to be servile to China. Please support your "opinions" with
hard facts.

from:  Jay Ravi
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 06:49 IST

I can not understand the logic of defending and outrageous and immoral
act of snooping into someone private files. More worse is action of a
hypocrite nation of being the only one with greater good perspective.
Thing that comes in my mind is where is the thin line left between the
snooping and sneaking into one's bedroom. How can over the time, one can
lead a life if he is being watch. Most disturbing aspect is, it can be
used to target someone specifically to take out political rivalry and
similar things over the time.

from:  Sudhanshu Kumar Ashwini
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 06:28 IST

Maybe the United States was sharing it's spied information with
India.

from:  ATMarson
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 03:48 IST

Commendable article. I was also shocked by the reaction of the Indian government to this travesty. This article is a welcome respite from the cynical and sycophantic rhetoric which pervades India's foreign policy. We are in dire need of strong willed and smart men in the political front who do not need to equivocate and who can push us forward as a nation. The world is not a hopeless place yet for everyone to bow down to one countries government. We should at least show defiance in support of the American people, most of who are outraged at the betrayal by their government.

from:  Pramoy Pratap
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 03:04 IST

Great article by The Hindu. I loved reading this bit.

thanks

from:  Ras
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 02:10 IST

The bilateral ties between India and US on various aspects does not
imply that India cannot sustain itself without US.It indeed helps both
the countries equally.India with potential Indians can reach the
pinnacle of success only if the ruling body provides its citizens
respect and a level of privacy.So supporting US on the issue of
snooping and bugging will portray India as weak and vulnerable.This
cowardly act will portray US as Oxygen for Indian growth which is not
at all true.This uncanny act will also jeopardize India's global link
with other nation.

from:  Ganapati Bhat
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 02:03 IST

Does anyone need one more evidence that there is no leadership at the center?
Just the facade to loot the country every possible way and question the legitimate
voice of the people.

from:  Anamendra Bharati
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 01:16 IST

doubt salman khursheed has a spine ..career minister.
though 1950s was a different time, after '62 India realised its place in the world

from:  arman
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 01:14 IST
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