11 thoughts on “The good Sen”

  1. Gaurav,

    Why? Because he spoke the truth or because he did a good job handling India’s relations with the United States?

  2. That editorial in The Hindu stinks to high heavens and stinks all the way to Beijing as well (with a brief stop-over at Pyongyang, you bet).

    Calling MPs “headless chickens” maybe a bit over the top, but why may not the Indian ambassador to US hold the opinion that this is a good deal and that we’re dealing with a friendly president? Disagree with it all you want, but why is it not a legit opinion to hold?

    The usual commie dialectical spinmeisterism in evidence: on the one hand the editorialist accuses Sen of intolerance to opposition to the deal, but at the same time exhibits rabid intolerance to views supporting it!

  3. Gaurav,

    Diplomats are paid to lie for the country. His truth didn’t violate this dictum.

    Oldtimer,

    Yes. Stinks to high heavens is the best way to describe Mr Ram’s latest agitprop.

  4. Nitin,

    Diplomats are paid to further national interest. I don’t see how his truth furthered national interest, seriously as a seasoned diplomat he should have known the consequences of his diatribe. When political MMORPG is in progress, it is not advisable to be Leeroy Jenkins

  5. Lets be clear on facts first: He called the media “headless chicken”, not the MPs. This is absolutely clear from his words, as quoted by Rediff in the original text of the interview.

    At this point, it should be obvious that the “outrage” of MPs has been orchestrated.

    Leaving that aside.. from the original transcript, it is clear that it wasn’t an “interview” as such. You can see that the report does not quote any questions asked by the reporter. My guess is that it was more like a general discussion. If it was an interview, Rediff should report what the reporter asked so that we can judge the facts for ourselves.

    But even then, why did he say all these “tactless” (as he admitted later) things?

    We don’t really know. Ronen Sen says that it was off the record and Rediff reporter says that it was not. Rediff reporter’s stand is that Ronen Sen did not specify that it was off the record. My understanding of such affairs is that in such sensitive matters (and even otherwise in case of govt. officials) everything is off the record by default and you have to seek permission to quote people. Bloggers do it all the time. E-mails are not to be quoted before you ask permission to quote them. Isn’t that the general rule?

    The Rediff reporter also says that he has known Ronen Sen for quite some time and has often talked to him. So I guess it is a case of “familiarity breeds contempt”.

    And now, we have a completely pointless storm in a teacup.. and it is costing taxpayers crores of rupees everyday in lost time at the Parliament.

    On a concluding note.. I totally agree with Gaurav that Ronen Sen should have known better. Media would do anything for eyeballs, and he ought to have been more circumspect.

  6. If Sen did call MPs and politicians whatever for opposing the nuclear deal, he better go. Sure he put in a lot of work into it and he is the point man in the US for the deal and other issues. But because he is top diplomat he should’ve explain why the opposition is flawed instead of calling them names. Even Manmohan, not a diplomat in the current avatar, doesn’t call opposition names. Because Sen is paid by GOI, he needs to go.

    I am sure there are other able diplomats out thereto take his place and be equally effective.

  7. The Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister should be made compulsory reading for all bureaucrats and politicians. Sen should have known better that the only “off the record” conversations he should have with the media ought to be those where he is either leaking something or is planting an inspired story.

  8. BOK

    Rediff reporter’s stand is that Ronen Sen did not specify that it was off the record. My understanding of such affairs is that in such sensitive matters (and even otherwise in case of govt. officials) everything is off the record by default and you have to seek permission to quote people. Bloggers do it all the time. E-mails are not to be quoted before you ask permission to quote them. Isn’t that the general rule?

    Well, the first thing corporate media trainers tell you is “Don’t say anything that you don’t want to see on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow morning!”. The second thing they tell you is “that there is no such thing as off the record”. Those are the ‘rules’. Third thing I’ve come to realise is that many people (journos and some bloggers too) can quote from private emails without permission. In this last case, the rule is that emails are private communication, but people—knowingly or unknowingly—break them. So, the bloggers you are dealing with appear to be good people :-), but I’d caution you not to generalise.

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