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S. Jaishankar – The journey of an awe-inspiring diplomat

Niranjan Bhombe

Shreya Sharma

19 April 2023

"Belonging to a family filled with bureaucrats, it must be a no new dream for...."

.....Dr S Jaishankar to be one of them, but who knew his experience, contribution as a diplomat and notable intelligence would one day make him the External Affairs Minister of Bharat. A diplomat who never felt the need to enter politics but with his sheer wit and brilliance that Prime Minister Narendra Modi saw and even the opposition can’t turn a blind eye to, Dr S Jaishankar has unveiled to the world what more Bharat is capable of.


Personal Life

The building blocks of Jaishankar’s career began with his family’s bureaucratic background, with his grandfather, father, brother, and uncles who were already in service. As he says not only his family but his dreams too were bureaucratic. He was born on 9 January 1955 in New Delhi, India to a Tamil Brahmin family. Being born to Sulochna and K. Subrahmanyam. His father, K. Subrahmanyam was a prominent Indian strategic affairs analyst, commentator, and civil servant, he further was made the secretary for defense production and then under the rule of Indira Gandhi was the first secretary to be removed. He has two brothers Sanjay Subrahmanyam and S. Vijay Kumar. Sanjay Subrahmanyam is a distinguished professor and historian at UCLA, who specializes in the medieval and early modern history of South Asia and Europe. S. Vijay Kumar is a former IAS officer and Rural Development Secretary of Bharat.

Jaishankar was first married to his classmate at JNU, Shobha Jaishankar with whom he had Dhruva and Medha, who later died of cancer. After years Jaishankar married Kyoko, a Japanese origin woman whom he met in Japan and had Arjun Jaishankar.


Early Life and Education

His early education was completed at Air Force School in Subroto Park, New Delhi. Jaishankar completed his graduation in Chemistry and MA in Political Science. Simultaneously obtained MPhil and Ph.D. in International Relations. Before entering politics as the external affairs minister, S Jaishankar had his own diplomatic journey. In one of his stories that he told, he shared that he was going to take admission to IIT-D but midway was intrigued by the crowd in JNU and so took admission there.


Diplomatic Career

‘I may have sat 40 years in the parliament gallery, it’s not the same as being on the parliament floor.’ The BJP member was neither a member of Rajyasabha or Loksabha nor did he stand or participate in elections but still managed to become the cabinet minister under Modi Government. The former diplomat previously served as the foreign secretary from 2015 to 2018. He joined Indian Foreign Services in 1977 and served as third secretary and second secretary in the Indian mission to the Soviet Union in Moscow from 1979 to 1981. From 1985 to 1988 he was the first secretary at the Indian embassy in Washington, D.C. From 1988 to 1990, he served in Sri Lanka as the First secretary and political advisor to the Indian Peacekeeping Forces (IPKF). From 1990 to 1993 he was Counsellor at the Indian mission in Budapest. Jaishankar was then Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy in Tokyo from 1996 to 2000. In 2000, he was appointed India's ambassador to the Czech Republic. From 2004 to 2007, Jaishankar was Joint Secretary (Americas) at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. In this capacity, he was involved in negotiating the US-India civil nuclear agreement and improving defense cooperation, including during relief operations following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. In 2006-2007, Jaishankar led the Indian team during the negotiations on the 123 Agreement with the United States. He had previously served as high commissioner to Singapore.

S Jaishankar retired from the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in January 2018 after serving as the Foreign Secretary of India for three years. After retirement, Jaishankar took charge of the post of President of Global External Affairs at Tata Sons Limited.


The Expert

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was honoured with the Padma Shri award in 2019. Being one of the most powerful diplomats, he has shown the world, western hypocrisy and how Bharat is no more a puppet for the west along with it, it is not afraid to express its viewpoints regarding it. He has openly verbalized what Bharat wants and what it detests. He has changed the whole face of Bharat and its Foreign Policy. He has clarified Bharat’s stance on basically every major event and has produced in front of the world how Bharat staunchly sticks to its interests and to what is beneficial for it, he has indicated many times that Bharat under no pressure is going to behave the way west wants it to. The decision to make a bureaucrat the external affairs minister has proven to be so exceptional and mindful that it has shown how the bureaucratic world is capable of bringing positive and remarkable changes in the Bharatiya Politics.

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