Oh, it’s such an informal affair
Yesterday evening, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohammed ElBaradei were not seen holding hands. Which doesn’t mean, as the Left parties were scared stiff about, that they held formal talks that would ultimately lead to the operationalisation of India becoming ‘a client State of the United States’. But we are curious what informal banter Mr Mukherjee and Mr ElBaradei indulged in — dying as both of them were to talk business formally.
Did the IAEA boss ask our Foreign Minister whether he had read Robert Jungk’s classic book on the pioneers in nuclear physics, Brighter Than A Thousand Suns? Did Mr Mukherjee in turn make pleasant conversation about how everyone in India loves Homer Simpson, the man with a day job at the Springfield nuclear power plant? Some people who know about how informal an informal tête-à-tête of this nature can get have stated, “There is enough [of subjects] to talk with him [about]. We have a whole range of issues. We don’t have to discuss the nuclear deal.”
Which doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t exchange formal ideas under the table away from prying eyes. When Mr Mukherjee tells Mr ElBaradei, “The weather is turning,” he could, he just could, be implying in code that India may be ready to sign the CTBT if....