Updated: January 10, 2014 12:25:33 am
The tit for tat over the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York has escalated a domestic issue into a bilateral crisis. It is a situation tailor-maid for anger and overheated rhetoric. Heres what could happen if both sides take the retaliatory route.
The striptease: This involves hauling in the chargé daffaires at the US Embassy and subjecting him to a striptease. Anyone who has seen this performed in a seedy Mumbai bar will know how excruciating it is to watch. Since the US Ambassador is a woman,the second-in-command,or the the man in charge of affairs,will have to undergo the torture.
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Boycott made in America: Suggested by Pravin Togadia on Twitter,while forgetting that Twitter is a US company. He demanded that India should boycott everything made in America. This could mean grounding the Boeing aircraft which make up Air Indias fleet effectively boycotting Air India. It may also entail returning your visa cards,since they have accused Devyani Khobragade of visa fraud. It will also mean hiding your arsenal of Apple products; the list is endless. If you dont know what to do,send them all to Togadia,it was his suggestion anyway.
Suspend call centres: American companies,from banks to airlines and major service providers use Indian call centres for back office operations. Suspending these will cripple the American economy. American consumers ordinarily have a hard time figuring out what Bill (real name Baalachandran) is saying because of the heavy ethnic accent,but no call centre means that hiring locally,and paying American minimum wages,as opposed to Indian,will send a lot of people to bankruptcy or jail.
Man the barricades: Instead of removing the barricades outside the US Embassy in Delhi,India should reinforce them,and strip-search and DNA swab everyone going in and out of the visa section to ensure there are no more evacuations as Preet Bharara calls them. The last time Americans evacuated anyone,it was from the rooftop of their embassy in Vietnam.
Step up snooping: Edward Snowden has established that India was among the top five surveillance targets of the US in terms of Internet data and call records accessed. It could raise the surveillance stakes,increase snooping on Indian politicians and their call records which,in turn,could change the political landscape if made public,considering every party is making secret deals for electoral alliances in 2014,while most other politicians are just making deals.
Stop access to social media: The US government can influence social media sites to stop access in India,which would be disastrous for those who use it to plug an agenda,raise their profile,comment on current events or inform us what they are doing or wearing and where they are going or coming from. Amitabh Bachchan will be voiceless,Sunanda Pushkar cannot complain about being denied her inheritance,husband Shashi Tharoor just about anything,Omar Abdullah on life in politics,Narendra Modi on shehzada,Suhel Seth on Suhel Seth,and how on earth will AAP decide whether or not to form the government in Delhi if theres no vote by SMS?
No invitation: The large number of people who get invited to the lecture circuit,college semesters,official visits,tourist junkets,think tanks,seminars and the like will be stranded in Delhi with nothing to do,except appear on TV channels and slam the Americans for mistreating an Indian.
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