STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Contribution of Brijesh Mishra in Strategic Affairs and Security Reforms

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  • March 2013
    Volume: 
    37
    Issue: 
    2
    Commentaries

    The late Sri Brijesh Mishra's perceptive mind and pragmatism in the formulation of foreign and security policies earned him the title of ‘Chanakya of the modern period’. During his long career as a diplomat, he held many important positions and retired from the Indian Foreign Services (IFS) as India's permanent representative in the United Nations (UN). He was specially chosen by Mrs Indira Gandhi in 1968 to go to China as Charge d'Affaires—an important assignment after the Sino-Indian conflict of 1962—with the specific directions that India's relations with China, which were ‘in a box’, needed to be changed. Sri Mishra had earlier been deputy secretary (China) during the Sino-Indian conflict. Mrs Gandhi's choice of Sri Mishra for this onerous task is itself a reflection of his capabilities. He discussed with his counterparts in China ways and means to improve relations between the two countries. While the relations did not improve during his tenure, he did succeed in changing the thinking at the top level in China. On 1 May 1970, Mao told him that the two important Asian countries should not quarrel and that they would be friends again.1

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