Ex-envoy Santosh Kumar's book " Rats, Cats and Diplomats" released
Former Indian envoy Santosh Kumar released his book titled "Rats, Cats and Diplomats" at a small function held at Sapru House here on Wednesday evening.
Ambassador Kumar turned nostalgic, and recalled that the title for the book should be creditted to former External Affairs Minister and veteran diplomat K. Natwar Singh, who he met to seek valuable suggestions for his book, as well as a suitable title.
Ambassador Kumar recalled that in his a typical style, Natwar Singh looked upto the ceiling, and suggested the title "Rats and Diplomats", to which Kumar added "Cats".
The author said that some may find the book provocative, but added that it would appeal to the general reader, as it contained a few popular experiences of his diplomatic service, managing international crises and negotiations on various issues.
He also said there were some contra-perceptions about the Indian Foreign Service actually being a social world and an institution promoting cocktail parties. Kumar said he had, through his book, brought some of the caricatures alive.
He praised and thanked the publisher for giving more ballast to his book in the last chapter.
He said foreign policy should be open to public discourse, as events happening in the neighbourhood, affect India's security, "and, we need to discuss with both professionals and even with the general public."
He also pointed out that even though in a large democracy like India there is bound to be a cacophony created by multiple stakeholders, all should gel into a symphony for the greater good.
Former foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal also read a couple of anecdotes from the book, and shared his thoughts about the book and the author.
On a lighter note, Sibal said since this book were so thin, it should be a must read, unlike the difficulties faced in going through some of the more voluminous ones.
Former Delhi University vice-chancellor Professor Deepak Nayyar described the book's narrative style as elegant and wise.
He said Ambassador Kumar wrote it like a an amused, astute and fuddled participant.
He, however, said the book shows how seriously the author took the task of penning it.
Nayyar added that he was baffled by some of the chapter titles, which were according to him, more splendid than the title of the book itself.
Narendra Kumar, Chairman, Har-Anand Publications Private Limited, said it was a personal delight for him to release this book.
The event came to a close with the author signing some copies of his book.
(Posted on 03-04-2014)