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Priests Purify Shrine After Bush Visit

A U.S. security personnel inspects near the eternal flame at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial, before the visit of U.S. President George W. Bush at the memorial in New Delhi, India. Hindu priests who take care of the memorial of Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi conducted a purification ceremony at the shrine after a visit by U.S. President George W. Bush, reports said Sunday. It wasn’t the American leader who offended them, but the sniffer-dogs that scoured the area ahead of his visit. (AP Photo/Ajit Kumar, File)

Respect, what’s that?

After the dog visit, the memorial was cleansed with water brought from the Ganges river, which Hindus consider holy, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported Sunday.

Bush visited the memorial on Thursday during his three day visit to India. The site, where pacifist icon Gandhi was cremated, is considered sacred and all visitors, including Bush and his wife Laura, removed their shoes before going in.

The dogs, flown in from the U.S., were part of the intense security surrounding the president, but the Hindu priests believe they tainted the site. Letting dogs into the memorial also drew sharp protest from Hindu politicians and Gandhi’s great grandson, Tushar Gandhi, who called the incident a “national shame,” the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

I don’t see why our government couldn’t have shown more respect to the Hindus. There had to be a way to provide adequate security for the President without resorting to the use of dogs, or they should have bypassed going to the shrine to avoid this.


Also, while on the trip, Dear Leader honed his coordination during a cricket clinic with the Islamabad College for Boys within the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.

REUTERS/Jason Reed

Hat tip Holly.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding