Maj Gen Nilendra
Going Strong, Amb Lalit Mansingh, Part 5

Going Strong, Amb Lalit Mansingh, Part 5

Transformation of Indo-US Relations
In this video, Lalit Mansingh points to the historical path of Indo US relations from the Cold War to the recent proclamation of Comprehensive Strategic Global Partnership. It is indicative of a radical shift and a change in mutual perception of the two countries in just two decades.
Mansingh was Foreign Secretary during the tenure of President Clinton which witnessed the modest beginning of a new understanding between the two nations.
As Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington from 1989-92 and later as Ambassador from 2001 to 2004 Mansingh had the opportunity of observing how, within a decade, the American perception of India changed from that of a destitute and dysfunctional democracy to an aspiring global power and a multibillion dollar market.
Assisted by a prosperous and politically active diaspora, India has today acquired considerable influence in the US Congress. An India Caucus, established during the tenure of Ambassador Sidharth Shankar Ray, is today the second largest caucus in the US House of Representative. A decade later, the bipartisan “Friends of India” Caucus was launched in the US Senate during Mansingh’s tenure as Ambassador.
From his postings in Delhi, London and Washington, Mansingh also had a ring side view of some of the sessions of the Jaswant Singh - Strobe Talbott dialogue. Clearly, Jaswant Singh was a prime mover in the dramatic transformation of the relationship. With his erudition and eloquence, he was the perfect interlocutor with the US leadership.
Brajesh Mishra, as the National Security Advisor, also played a major role. He was a seasoned diplomat and a master negotiator. Mishra was able to cut through layers of bureaucratic hurdles on the Indian side and his counterpart, Condoleeza Rice, did the same with the equally formidable American bureaucracy. Senior Officials of the MEA and those in the Embassy in Washington under Mansingh’s leadership provided solid support. It was diplomatic team work at its best.
Amb Lalit Mansingh had served as Foreign Secretary of India, Ambassador to the USA and the UAE and High Commissioner to the UK and Nigeria. He was also Secretary (West) in the MEA, Dean of the Foreign Service Institute and Director General of the ICCR.
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