Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s former permanent representative of India to United Nations (UN) and now a retired ambassador, was a surprise pick in the latest Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The 65 year old retired diplomat, who joined the Indian Foreign Services in 1974 and held ambassadorial level assignments in London and Brasilia, took oath of office today (3 Sept 2017).
His diplomat career spanned over 40 years, including as the permanent representative of India to the UN from 2009 to 2013. He was also India’s ambassador to Brazil and the United Kingdom.
Hardeep, who studied at The Hindu College, Delhi, is also a prolific writer. In 2016, he had released ‘Perilous Interventions: The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos‘, a book that captures his experiences during the UN days.
In the book, he showed how some recent instances of the use of force – not just in Libya but also in Syria, Yemen and Crimea, as well as India’s misadventure in Sri Lanka in the 1980s – have gone disastrously wrong.
“A perilious intervention is about whimsical and reflexive decision making, and about taking decisions with far-reaching consequences without thinking through their consequences,” he writes in the book.
In the case of Libya and Syria, he writes that the UN decision makers ‘did not weigh the consequences carefully, shut out sound advise and better judgement because they seemed inconvenient, and ignore perfectly feasible alternatives’.
In a July 2017 entry at his Facebook page, Hardeep announced that Penguin Random House India will be publishing his next two books, ‘Delusional Politics’ & ‘The Perfect Storm’, in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Hardeep has also been actively contributing articles to magazines and newspapers. In one of his latest articles, ‘The importance of trade’ published in the Business Standard last month, he writes: “We do ourselves and India great disservice if we continue to perpetuate a flawed narrative on trade, one based on myths rather than facts.”
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