Saturday, March 11, 2017

Khaleeli law

from why some of our most engaging writers are from the Indian Foreign Serrvice
"Whatever else you do or do not do,” Akbar Khaleeli, one of India’s most distinguished diplomats, once told a group of IFS trainees that included a future Foreign Secretary, Ranjan Mathai, adding, “remember never to do anything in poor taste”. Difficult to define, “taste” is unmistakable. It is not about how one looks and seems but what one does in large matters involving policy and national interest and in seemingly “small” matters as well. This adherence to taste may be called the “Khaleeli law”.
When serving as India’s ambassador in Rome, Khaleeli roundly ticked off one of his juniors for not being exactly helpful to an Indian woman who had been suddenly widowed in the Italian capital. “Now, listen. Do not quote rules to me. The point is simple. This woman has lost her husband. She is Indian. We are the Indian embassy. Is it our duty to help her or not?”
I met him a few times during my college days. He was two years senior to me and he seemed a pleasant fellow.more about him here. He had a somewhat strange and finally tragic marriage. It is described in his words here and the Wikipedia about his first wife

No comments: