25 November, 2020

'Quitting Isn't A Patriotic Virtue'

India's high commissioner to South Africa, L.C. Jain, has been in the news of late. Reports are that despite having been recalled by the Vajpayee government, he is yet to tender his resignation. Appointed during the last days of the Gujral regime, h

'Quitting Isn't A Patriotic Virtue'
I am not the sort of person who hangs on to a post when I'm not wanted there. My bags are ready. But in this case, foreign secretary K. Raghunath called me up and asked me to stay on till the NAM summit in the first week of September. This was the express desire of the MEA, conveyed to me by the foreign secretary. And he spoke to me on behalf of the PM.

But why did you not resign when Vajpayee himself said all political appointees of the previous Gujral government would be recalled?

When we arrived here, there was anxiety that India as a government was not recognising the role its mission here has to play both in providing that special continuity in relations, and also that this presence gives South African Indians a pride in their origins: a refle-ction of India's entrenched consistent positions on colonialism, on the values of democracy, secularism and socialism. India had earlier replaced a grandson of Gandhi who had achieved remarkable goodwill here within 15 months. This had seemed 'insensitive' to the importance of India-South Africa links. When the...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

More from Ramananda Sengupta

Latest Magazine

November 30, 2020

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section