MEA’s first directory of diplomats a record of Nehruvian era
Volume is uncommon to return throughout and is discovered solely in restricted quantity of libraries and in private collections
In 1958, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) beneath Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru determined to publish a ‘Statement of Services of Officers of Branches A and B of the Indian Foreign Service’. The accountability of enhancing the quantity, which contained the biodata of all of the diplomats who joined the ministry within the Nineteen Forties and the Fifties, fell on KPS Menon Jr. Finally, what emerged was a slim quantity of 95 pages containing the small print of careers and attention-grabbing developments involving many younger officers who would form India’s diplomacy within the subsequent a long time. It additionally exhibits how Mr. Nehru deliberate diplomats to be a combine of various backgrounds and abilities.
The quantity is uncommon to return throughout and is discovered solely in restricted quantity of libraries and in private collections. Writing the Preface, Menon acknowledged that he may need overlooked some colleagues by mistake and requested them to submit related particulars with the Under Secretary (FSP) for inclusion within the subsequent situation. Thus started an annual publication, which supplies particulars of globe-trotting diplomats of India. The doc is “Restricted for Official Use Only”. The first quantity, nonetheless, is exclusive because it consisted of officers who have been hand-picked by Nehru personally for the IFS.
The quantity is a mine of details about the insurance policies of the federal government of that point. At the time of publication, the MEA had Haribans Rai Bachchan as an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for promotion of Hindi within the works of the ministry. Bachchan, who is understood for his literary works in addition to for being the daddy of actor Amitabh Bachchan, was recruited in December 1955. It mentions that Haribans Rai Bachchan might learn, write and converse in Hindi and Urdu. He left a snug job on the Allahabad University and was persuaded by Nehru to hitch the MEA.
The directory is also a proof of the extent of male dominance in Indian diplomacy within the Nehruvian interval. The complete quantity comprises solely two girls – Mira Ishardas Malik, who joined on May 1, 1954, and Chonira Belliappa Muthamma of 1949 batch of the IFS. Both Muthamma and Malik got here by aggressive examination. According to former External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh, they have been the one girls diplomats of India throughout that point other than Vijaylakshmi Pandit, who served in ambassadorial positions in Washington DC and Moscow by that point.
Among the private particulars, it’s the part about Ramchandra Dattatraya Sathe that pulls consideration at a bygone era of Indian diplomacy. Till 1950, India, persevering with with imperial apply of the previous, maintained a consulate at Kashgar. Sathe, who joined the MEA after serving within the Army, was posted at Kashgar as Consul General in November 1948. Next yr, the People’s Republic of China was born, and in 1950, the Communist rulers of Beijing arrived in Tibet. Under the circumstances, Sathe was requested to return and India shut down the consulate.
The quantity comprises the small print of a number of veterans like Brajesh Mishra, who turned the National Security Advisor of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee; Mr. Natwar Singh, who went on to function the External Affairs Minister throughout Manmohan Singh’s premiership; Chinmaya Gharekhan, who formed India’s diplomacy on the United Nations; and Romesh Bhandari, who served as Foreign Secretary of Indira Gandhi and was concerned in brave anti-hijacking operations. Mr. Singh, Gharekhan, Eric Gonsalves and Maharaja Krishna Rasgotra are a handful of the diplomats who stay energetic until date.
Dominance of Menons, Nairs
The quantity additionally comprises the well-known diplomatic households just like the Haksars and Menons amongst a few others. SN Haksar, PN Haksar and Haksar have been from the identical household and out of the three, PN Haksar went on to function a shut advisor to Indira Gandhi throughout the 1971 battle. However, the Haksars have been overpowered by the Menons and Nairs, who seem like essentially the most quite a few in IFS prime order at the moment. The directory begins with Kumar Pedma Sivasankara Menon or KPS Menon Sr and comprises not less than 11 diplomats from the Menons of Kerala. Subimal Dutt, the Foreign Secretary from 1955 who served throughout the Suez disaster, is on the first web page.
It additionally exhibits the extent of language abilities possessed by Indian diplomats throughout the Nineteen Forties and the Fifties. While most individuals selected Spanish, French and Russian as international language, there have been a few who spoke Burmese, Arabic, Bahasa Indonesian as properly. Jayantanuja Bandyopadhyaya of the 1956 IFS batch, who later turned the creator of a common ebook on Indian international coverage, specialised in Kishwahili.
The quantity was revealed on September 1, 1958.