Alexander Kadakin, Russia’s ambassador to India, created a stir on Thursday when he greeted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani on his 85th birthday by touching his feet.
It was a nice touch—the Russian embassy justified the action as a mark of respect for an older person—which is in keeping with Indian tradition—especially because it comes in the context of a party which is a near touch-me-not in Indian politics.
Still, if recent actions of diplomats are any indication, then the BJP seems poised to come out of its political hole. Last month, British high commissioner James Bevan created a similar stir when he decided to re-engage with Gujarat’s chief minister Narendra Modi, otherwise in diplomatic wilderness for his alleged role in abetting the 2002 communal riots.
Then, diplomats don’t vote.