Stuff Happens: An Insider's View on Indian DiplomacyVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Rajendra Abhyankar, former diplomat and Ambassador to Turkey, Syria and Azerbaijan, will join Mani Shankar Aiyar, politician and former diplomat, in a conversation around Abhyankar’s new book Stuff Happens: An Anecdotal Insight into Indian Diplomacy to give you exclusive access into India's role in the global arena. They will discuss the underlying currents and larger trends that dictate Indian foreign affairs and how dealing with unpredictable events often is the key to effective diplomacy. Join us for an exploration of Indian foreign policy through two seasoned practitioners as they consider India’s position and positioning in an increasingly multipolar world.
Ambassador Rajendra Abhyankar is currently an Adjunct Professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington. He retired from the Indian Foreign Service in August 2005 as India’s Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg. He has been Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs, India’s High Commissioner to Cyprus, and Ambassador to Syria, Turkey and Azerbaijan. He was also Deputy High Commissioner in Sri Lanka and Consul General to San Francisco. He has been president of the Hinduja Foundation and Director of the Asia Foundation in San Francisco.
Mani Shankar Aiyar is a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha. He was elected three times to the Lok Sabha, and won the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 2006. He was a part of the first Cabinet of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, and has served as the Union Minister of Panchayati Raj, Union Cabinet Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Minister Youth Affairs and Sports and the first Minister for the Development of the North East Region (DONER). He served for 26 years in the Indian Foreign Service, the last five of which were on deputation to the Prime Minister's Office under Rajiv Gandhi. He was India’s first ever Consul General in Karachi and took part in diplomatic missions in Brussels, Hanoi and Baghdad. He has authored six books, including Pakistan Papers and Confessions of a Secular Fundamentalist.
About Stuff Happens: An Anecdotal Insight into Indian Diplomacy- This book re-counts how policy could, did and can often change on the basis of single events. Abhyankar notes that as unusual encounters happen without warning, unpredicatble and unavoidable situations develop- and the trick is being able to intuitively see them.
This programme is part of our South Asia in Focus series of events this July. Our other programmes include a behind-the-scenes discussion on Nepalese Thangka paintings with conservationist Anupam Sah, a discussion with Tufts University Professor Ayesha Jalal on Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto, and a conversation featuring New York University Professor Arjun Appadurai on globalisation and the politics of hope, with CEO of Rediff.com Ajit Balakrishnan, Ipsos Country Manager Mick Gordon, Founder of SPARC Sheela Patel, and Founder of Citizens for Justice and Peace Teesta Setalvad.