Indian-American lawmaker blasts NYT for anti-India editorial

In an editorial on the eve of the visit of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to India on July 17, NYT had termed New Delhi as a "longtime nuclear scofflaw" and held India responsible on Kashmir, relations with Pakistan and also partly blamed it for the nuclear weapons programme of Iran.

Kumar Barve, the Majority Leader in Maryland House of Delegates, said, "to me the most troubling aspect of the article was not to be found in the blatant and unprofessional factual errors or omissions. It was the tone. How haughty, how condescending, how arrogant and patronizing. How like the British Raj."

"The Times' editorial contains a factual error in its very first sentence when it describes the Republic of India as a "longtime nuclear scofflaw".

"Actually, India never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty because it felt it discriminated against third-world counties," Barve wrote in an email to his constituents.
"The Times is free to disagree with this policy, but it ought to at least agree that one can only be a scofflaw if a law, or in this case a treaty agreement is violated. India has done nothing of the sort," Barve said in a rare email on international matters.

"It is not customary for me to comment on international matters. But the recent editorial of the New York Times on the occasion of Secretary of State Clinton's visit is too appalling to ignore," Barve wrote giving reasons for him writing on such a issue.

"The tone of the narrative gets worse. The article goes on the chide India for undermining international negotiations that it deemed were not in its favour, including ones relating to global warming. What major, secular multi-party democracy does this remind us of? The United States, perhaps? They ask for India to "take more responsibility" internationally," he wrote.

Barve also criticised The Times, for holding India responsible on Kashmir, relations with Pakistan and partly blaming New Delhi for the nuclear weapons program of Iran.
"So, what are we to make of all this as Americans of Indian origin? While it is a jolt to the senses, it is important for us to be reminded that there are still many who maintain an outdated, cold-war-era mentality about the subcontinent. Unfortunately, there are too many people in positions of influence who form their opinions not on a study of recent history, but instead upon unquestioned prejudices in popular media," he said.

"India is as an imperfect but successful secular, multi-ethnic, representative Democracy beset on all sides by threats. It is important to remember that this reality is not widely accepted even today," Barve said. 

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