Applauding two Indian diplomats

The resolute ladies in Lebanon and The Netherlands

Nengcha Lhouvum, India’s ambassador to Lebanon was at the centre of efforts to evacuate Indian citizens soon after the Israel-Hizbollah war broke out in late July.

Riva Ganguly Das, charge d’ affairs at the Indian embassy in The Netherlands, was on the scene when Dutch authorities turned back the Northwest Airlines flight to Mumbai and took 12 Indians into custody. Ayub Abdul Qadir Kolsawala was one of them. Here’s an excerpt from his account:

We were served bread, butter, tea and a cup of milk. Later, the officers from the Indian Embassy came. I can never forget Amarji there or Ganguly Madam. Especially Ganguly Madam. (a reference to Rupa Ganguly Das, the charge d’ affaires at the Indian Embassy). You know, she came despite a family function, she did not leave it to any other junior in the embassy. All I know is that she told us she wouldn’t go anywhere until we were moved to a hotel. She kept her word. They gave us all our baggage and we were moved to a hotel that day.

The hotel we were moved to was top grade, five-star, I can’t recall the name. [IE, the newspaper has got her first name wrong]

Two great examples of how the Indian Foreign Service lives up to its name.

3 thoughts on “Applauding two Indian diplomats”

  1. May be if we don’t have a minister for a ministry, the babus will actually do their job like they are supposed to instead of waiting for an “OK”?

  2. Atlast the Indian MEA is beginning to “serve” the people. For too long the ambassadors abroad thought of themselves as nawabs on a foreign vacation. Its a good sign and will be more meaningful if they also show the backbone to standup to rich, spoilt arab oil regimes where Indian workers are routinely mistreated and abused in such states as Saudi arabia, Kuwait and UAE.

  3. Cheering news, considering that mostly we hear only criticism about our missions abroad. Ms Das & Ms Lhouvum appear to be exceptions in a service that is mostly about, as a well-known columnist Raja Mohan would put it, “good draftsmanship and the capacity to harangue the rest of the world in English”.
    I think that the officers of IFS sometimes forget that India and Indians will be better respected around the world if we took better care of our diaspora and particularly the vulnerable expat workers in places like the middle east. Apollo’s comment is very valid. Forget about the middle east. Even a piddly country like Maldives mistreats and exploits Indian labour with impunity. This is particularly galling consider that our diplomats like to strut around boasting that India guarantees the security and Sovereignity of Maldives and showers aid on them.
    Something needs to be done to wake up the IFS zombies and steer the whole MEA setup to more productive direction.
    But the idea of my outburst is not to diminish the value of service and initiative displayed by Ms Das & Ms Lhouvum. My congratulations to them.

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