Krishna stayed low, flew to 86 countries

  • Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Oct 27, 2012 00:15 IST

SM Krishna, who resigned from the council of ministers to "make way for the  younger generation" on Thursday, was an aam admi foreign minister who seemed bored by high diplomacy.

Unlike his predecessors, K Natwar Singh and Pranab Mukherjee, Krishna kept a low profile on policy issues. Some key policy issues during his tenure were driven by the Prime Minister's Office, and Krishna never disagreed.

At 80, few could bear the perils of overseas travel like him. He had been to 86 countries as external affairs minister - trailing only Hillary Clinton, who visited 110 countries.

His tenure will be marked by a few feats aimed at helping the aam admi - including hassle-free passport issuance, 24/7 helplines, steps to bring in bodies from other countries, and Haj reforms. 

He had his share of gaffes and moments of embarrassment, like the one at the United Nations when he wrongly read the speech of a Portuguese foreign minister.

It was also during his term that India became a non-permanent member of the world body after 19 years.


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