14 jan 2014
Devyani Khobragade row: expelled US diplomat, wife made offensive remarks about India
New Delhi: Wayne May, the US diplomat expelled last week by New Delhi in tit-for-tat action over the Devyani Khobragade row, and his wife Alicia Muller, also an embassy official, made deeply offensive comments about India, its people and culture on Facebook during their stay here.
In a photograph posted online, they said their pet dog Paco looks bigger and in better health than their Indian gardener. Mr May commented that this was because his dog got more protein in his diet than the gardener did.
His wife, Ms Muller, who worked as a liaison officer, joined a discussion over a textbook that reportedly claims non-vegetarians are more inclined to commit violence and sexual crimes to say, “It’s the vegetarians that are doing the raping, not the meat eaters – this place is just so bizarre.” When another commentator joked that he had never raped anyone, Alicia wrote, “Applies only to Indians, not westerners!”
In another post, Alicia put up the picture of a cow in India and called it “stupid cow”. When someone observed, “You just insulted their god…,” Alicia retorted, “Not the first time, not the last”.
The US state department has distanced itself from the couple’s comments. State department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said today, “Those comments absolutely do not reflect US government policy, nor were they made on any official US government social media account.”
In an interview to a journal called Monitor International Interviews, in 2011, Mr May said about his three years here, “Challenges in India include unhealthy living conditions like air and water pollution, the threat of disease and sickness, bad traffic and everything else that one would associate with a developing country with a population of over 1.2 billion”.
Wayne May headed the security team at the US embassy in Delhi. He was expelled last week in retaliation for the expulsion from the US of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, who was arrested and strip-searched in New York last month for allegedly underpaying her domestic help Sangeeta Richards.
Mr Wayne was involved in arranging for the “evacuation” of three members of Ms Richard’s family from India two days before Ms Khobragade was arrested.