4 min read.Updated: 27 Sep 2017, 09:35 AM ISTKunal Singh
Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran is at his best when talking of India's neighbourhood
According to the late British diplomat David Kelly, the essential qualities of a good diplomat are common sense, good manners, understanding of foreign mentalities and precision of expression. In India, one need not look beyond Shyam Saran, the former foreign secretary and the prime minister’s special envoy on nuclear affairs and climate change, for Kelly’s good diplomat. Saran, in fact, may be a notch higher. It is for this reason that Saran’s book How India Sees The World: Kautilya To The 21st Century was highly anticipated. The “part memoir and part thesis on India’s international relations since independence" also revisits the strategic wisdom encapsulated in ancient texts such as Kautilya’s Arthashastra and Kamandaki’s Nitisara.