In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has turned out to be his silver bullet on the foreign policy front, splendidly managing one crisis after another, even as he lends his extraordinary intellect and pragmatic spine to the ruler in Delhi.
Of course, Home Minister Amit Shah remains the PM’s foil, counterfoil and everything in between. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has been associated with the BJP for some time and his hands-on experience as a former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief has been instrumental in managing the Modi government’s biggest national security challenge in the second term — how to pacify Kashmir.
But there is now a new rising star on the BJP block and his name is Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
From pulling off the biggest image-building exercise for PM Modi in recent times — the “very successful” visit by US President Donald Trump, travelling to Srinagar to ensure that all negative coronavirus Kashmiri students recently returned from Iran were nicely settled, Sunday afternoon’s teleconference between Modi and other SAARC leaders – Jaishankar has managed them all while doggedly staying in the background.
The big visit
Let’s start with the Trump visit. All those who asked “what India got” missed the main point, which is that all politics, both foreign or domestic, is primarily about communicating how you achieve your goals.