Twitter Erupts Over the Khobrogade Affair

Some back calls to punish gay American diplomats in India

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Raj K. Raj / Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Delhi policemen watch as a bulldozer removes a barricade in front of the US Embassy on December 17, 2013 in New Delhi, India.

The “Khobragade affair” has flared a firestorm on social media. Devyani Khobragade, India’s deputy consul general in New York City, was arrested on Dec. 12 while dropping her daughter off at school. Opposition leader Narendra Modi jumped on Twitter to declare (in his very conservative tone) that he wouldn’t meet with a visiting American delegation in response to her treatment, a move that was later reprised by members of the rival Congress party.

Many users cheered the Indian government’s decision to remove barricades protecting the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.

But some reacted to the hashtag #DevyaniHumiliated by arguing that it was actually the diplomat who had brought shame to the country.

Others thought that Modi would have done a better job, and responded even harsher, if he had been in power.

The statement by Modi’s fellow Bharatiya Janata Party politician Yashwant Sinha, suggesting that India should punish gay American diplomats, polarized opinion. Whereas a few people championed the suggestion …

… most appeared appalled:

But in the din of high-flying emotions, some calm comments still prevailed.