15 June, 2021


As a TV-wallah in Britain, I'd close working relationships with the successive Secretaries of Information at the Indian High Commission, all first class professionals. One of them, a friend, had a very proper accent and an English idiom that came straight from P.G. Wodehouse, "Old chap" and "splendid", though generously peppered with "Farrukh, yaar, kaisey ho?" and other flattering emphases. One morning I had professional occasion to call this friend from my office. Here's how the conversation went:


"Farrukh!! Bloody good to hear from you, old chap. Busy, boy. The PM's here for the Commonwealth doo-dah. South African sanctions which India is sponsoring and Britain is opposing is at the top of the agenda...."

"That's what I called about. I must in all fairness tell you that today in peak time we've a documentary, secretly shot, claiming India is clandestinely breaking sanctions in several ways with South Africa." Silence at the end of the phone. Then: "Eh, shuddup yaar!" The veneer stripped by shock. It was pure Delhi University...

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