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Friday, 13 May 2011

Tea and biscuits with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Department of the Indian National Congress party

Dr Karan Singh, from the former royal family of Jammu and Kashmir,met with a small number of Indian journalists in London Friday May 13 2011 for tea and a chat in the Nehru Centre, belonging to the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (the arts wing of the Indian government). He was frank, honest and jovial, and broke into Urdu poetry occasionally. India's former ambassador to Unesco, member of the Indian parliament's upper house, was candid on the results of state elections today ("I'm very happy with the result") and his heartbreak over young people killed in Jammu and Kashmir in 2010 ("perhaps the police could use rubber bullets or some kind of gas")Indian foreign policy, the death of Bin Laden and corruption. He was charming all the way through, answered all questions, and after finding out how many Indian journos there were in London, remarked that there were only two in Paris compared to 100 Chinese.

He has revived the concept of cultural diplomacy through Festivals of India started by Indira Gandhi. There have over the last few years been Festivals with Japan, Russia, China and France.

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