( By Harsh V Shringla)
I used to be deeply saddened and pained to study of the loss of life of ambassador Ranjit Sethi. Ambassador Sethi was by far certainly one of our most excellent ambassadors. His linguistic abilities and the flexibility to strategise successfully in coping with advanced points have been legendary.
I had the privilege of serving below ambassador Sethi in Paris from 1993 to 1995. As particular assistant to the ambassador, this was a novel alternative to serve below a senior ambassador of extraordinary and unmatched calibre. I not solely noticed him have interaction in the very best practices of diplomacy but in addition took inspiration from his dealing with of the advanced points that got here earlier than us. Ambassador Sethi was mentor, tutor and information to me within the strategy of creating the talents that went into the making of a diplomat.
An space through which ambassador Sethi excelled was languages, probably the most essential attributes of a diplomat. He was a linguist par excellence. His French was impeccable and it was not stunning that the then PM, Mrs Indira Gandhi, used him as an interpreter for her conferences with French-speaking dignitaries. Some of our French notables remarked that the ambassador spoke higher French than them! Considering that ambassador Sethi’s formally allotted overseas language was Mandarin, through which he was reputed to be even higher than French, this was certainly outstanding.
Most essential of all, ambassador Sethi possessed fantastic human qualities, which all of us who served with him keep in mind and recall with an excessive amount of affection and poignancy. Kind and beneficiant to youthful officers of the Mission, I recall the various distinctive events spent socially with him and the household outdoors of the strenuous working hours.
I maintained contact with ambassador Sethi till very not too long ago. He was happy to study of my postings as ambassador and extra not too long ago as overseas secretary. I recall studying with fascination the compilation of essays he wrote of his experiences in several components of the world after he retired. I realised that I shared a few of the locations he had been posted to, and nonetheless recall his evocative description of the Red river that flows previous Hanoi. I’ve conveyed, on behalf of the ministry of exterior affairs, honest and heartfelt condolences to Mrs Indu Sethi, Vivan and Diya. Ambassador Sethi will likely be vastly missed as a senior colleague and member of the Indian Foreign Service. For me the loss is private and profound.
(The author is India’s overseas secretary)
( By Harsh V Shringla)