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US lawmaker mistakes Obama administration officials for Indian bureaucrats Chidanand

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prasad1

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Talk about a really awkward ''oops'' moment.

A freshman American lawmaker mistook two senior US officials of Indian origin to be Indian government representatives at a Congressional hearing earlier this week, leading to some mirth and a bit of ridicule about American insularity and ignorance.

The faux pas occurred during a House sub-committee hearing on US-India relations ahead of major bilateral visits over the next few weeks, starting with Secretary of State John Kerry's trip to New Delhi next week. Minnow Congressman Clay Clawson, a newly elected Republican from Florida, while addressing Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar, two Obama administration officials who were testifying before the panel, kept referring to ''your country'' and ''your government.''

"I'm familiar with your country; I love your country,'' Clawson said earnestly, eager to show-off his knowledge of Bollywood and the Indian IT industry. ''Anything I can do to make the relationship with India better, I'm willing and enthusiastic about doing so.''

But apparently, he was misled by the names and skin color of Biswal and Kumar into thinking they were Government of India representatives.
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American insularity and ignorance is the stuff of barbs, although in this case it was clearly a case of mistaken identity — and notion. Although foreign officials rarely testify before US Congress, it not entirely unheard of.

But the joke goes that many Americans know little about their own country and its growing diversity, let alone their own neighbors — not to even mention countries far away.

Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada, while Canadians are malevolently well informed about the United States, said Canadian historian John Brebner. Well might that apply to U.S and India. '' Even Mark Twain mocked American ignorance, saying God invented war so that Americans could learn geography.
US lawmaker mistakes Obama administration officials for Indian bureaucrats - The Times of India

Did someone say that PIO's are not integrated in American society? LOL
 
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