On a special diplomatic mission

The Ganesha idol at the Embassy of Ireland in New Delhi on Saturday.

The Ganesha idol at the Embassy of Ireland in New Delhi on Saturday.  

THERE IS A NEW high-profile "diplomat'' in town. Indian by birth, he is on a foreign posting in New Delhi. Though this might be his first assignment, he is being talked about even before he takes over. While this is not his regular area of expertise, they don't call him `god' for nothing. Usually recognised as the harbinger of prosperity, this time Lord Ganesh is on a special diplomatic mission -- to bring India and Ireland closer.

This marks the beginning of a new kind of diplomacy in which the best of heaven is being invoked. No need for bilateral treaties, or memorandums of understanding, this single act by the Irish Ambassador is enough to send the "right'' signals. Probably the first Embassy to put the statue of an Indian God on its premise, it is a significant move.

He might not be the typical symbol for luck in Ireland, but it is thought that he shall prove to be auspicious for the Embassy, besides linking both the countries culturally. Officially being installed on Monday by the Irish Minister for Trade and Commerce, the statue has been made to order by a sculptor in Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu. On duty for the Irish, he is still adhering to Indian customs. Placed on the front of the green lawns, he is following all the guidelines of good "vastu''. A regular supplier, Bhaskaran, the sculptor, has been sending shipments to the country. And this time he is just sending one closer home.

Though most diplomats do get more "desi'' by the time their tenure is over, most Embassies are a mini version of home and usually reflect the architecture typical to that country. The white classic pillared building of the Greek Embassy might look out of sorts in Chankyapuri, but it still represents a bit of the white and blue.But the effort to add a bit of the tricolour by the Irish might be a more effective way of bringing the countries closer than all tried and tested diplomatic channels. A little bit of India in Ireland, it might make all the difference.

By Mandira Nayar

Photo: S. Subramanium

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