Advertisement

Home / India / Jaishankar's rebuttal to Rahul jibe at Indian Foreign Service

'Indian Foreign Service officers are obedient'

Jaishankar's rebuttal to Rahul jibe at Indian Foreign Service

Congress leader had earlier said he had been told by European bureaucrats that Indian Foreign Service officers are arrogant
S Jaishankar
S Jaishankar
File Picture

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 22.05.22, 01:56 AM

After former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said Indian diplomats have become arrogant since 2014, external affairs minister S. Jaishankar on Saturday agreed that the Indian Foreign Service had changed but said: “It’s not called arrogance; it is called confidence.”

Participating in the Ideas for India summit in London on Friday, Rahul said he had been told by European bureaucrats that the “Indian Foreign Service has completely changed; they don’t listen to anything. They are arrogant.”

Advertisement

Further, he said, they had told him that Indian diplomats now tell them what orders they are getting, and that there is no conversation as such.

Jaishankar, who retired from the IFS in 2018, tweeted: “Yes, the Indian Foreign Service has changed. Yes, they follow the orders of the Government. Yes, they counter the arguments of others. No it's not called Arrogance. It is called Confidence. And it is called defending National Interest.”
 

By 2014, Jaishankar had had a long career as a diplomat. He had served as ambassador to China and was serving as India’s ambassador to the US when the Narendra Modi government came to power. He served as an IFS officer for four years more before retiring as foreign secretary in 2018.

It is not clear if he was suggesting that in all those years the IFS lacked confidence or did not defend national interest.

A retired diplomat who did not want to be identified said Rahul was not off the mark. “Unfortunately, in recent exchanges with foreign governments, the Indian foreign minister has shown lack of diplomatic skill and an assertiveness which does not serve Indian interests well. Career diplomats are following this line,” he said. 

But another former diplomat, K.C. Singh, was of the view that both the Congress MP and the minister were wrong. 

“Both wrong. IFS has had phases. During emergency they defended the indefensible abroad. They defied Gov when Rajiv Gandhi sacked FS AP Venkateswaran in a presser. They, including Minister, are now back to unsuccessfully selling BJP’s majoritarian agenda — not same as nat interests,’’ Singh tweeted.



Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
 
 
 
Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. All rights reserved.