External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday tore into Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for calling the Indian Foreign Service “arrogant” and said it was “confidence and defending national interest” instead.
Gandhi, while speaking at an event organised by non-profit think-tank Bridge India in London, said several bureaucrats from Europe had told him that the Indian Foreign Service had “changed completely”. “They are arrogant, they don’t listen to anything. Now they are just telling us what orders they are getting,” Gandhi said.
Yes, the Indian Foreign Service has changed.
Yes, they follow the orders of the Government.
Yes, they counter the arguments of others.
No, its not called Arrogance.
It is called Confidence.
And it is called defending National Interest. pic.twitter.com/eYynoKZDoW
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) May 21, 2022
Jaishankar, who has been at the forefront of positioning India as a strong nation in the global order by articulating the country’s concerns and stand on critical issues as well as calling out the hypocrisy of the West, took to Twitter to respond to the Congress leader.
Tagging a video of Gandhi, Jaishankar said: “Yes, the Indian Foreign Service has changed. Yes, they follow the orders of the Government. Yes, they counter the arguments of others. No, its not called Arrogance. It is called Confidence. And it is called defending National Interest.”
A former low-key foreign secretary, the career diplomat was far removed from active politics and was a surprise choice for the role of external affairs minister. However, his repartee and ability to call a spade a spade has helped cement India’s position in the global order.