Indian envoy in Britain on a roll
India's High Commissioner Sharma is in great demand to deliver speeches in London.india Updated: Feb 13, 2006 11:23 IST
India's High Commissioner Kamalesh Sharma is in great demand to deliver speeches and meet delegations here, as India remains the reigning flavour of London's literati, chatterati and economerati.
Sharma takes in top business executives, British government officials, visiting Indian ministers, students at British universities, Indian organisations in Britain and several others - all in a day.
Diplomats say Sharma's busy diary is a reflection of India's increasing weight in international affairs and the global economy. In the one-and-a-half years that he has been high commissioner, Sharma has delivered over 200 speeches across Britain.
"I don't think any high commissioner has ever been in such demand as I am now," Sharma says.
"India's increasing prominence stems from the fact that it is making economic and social advances without paying the price for democracy and fundamental freedom. Comparisons with China are very telling."
Sharma describes his role as "promoting recognition and approval of India in all directions".
Speaking at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan last week, he said: "The number of students studying here has gone up from 3,800 five years ago to 18,000 last year, the same as in the US, despite the steep hike in the fees."
Then at the Nehru Centre, Sharma joined a farewell last week to Padam Talwar, who was the centre's deputy director. Talwar has been posted as Programme Director (Exhibitions) at the Delhi office of ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations), while Lesley Jacob from ICCR Mumbai has taken over as the new deputy director.