The Indian High Commission organised a gala reception for the Indian Republic Day celebrations at Grosvenor House on Friday 29 January. The event was a special one, not only because it was for Republic Day but also because it welcomed the new Indian High Commissioner to the UK – HE Mr Navtej Sarna.
A veteran diplomat who has been part of the Foreign Services since 1980, Mr Sarna is also a renowned columnist and author. The 25th Indian High Commissioner posted to the UK, Mr Sarna is among the longest-serving spokespersons of the Ministry of External Affairs between 2002 and 2008 and is an author of many fiction and non-fiction books, with the most recent being ‘Second Thoughts: On Books, Authors and the Writerly Life’ released last year.
Along with his literary streak, he is also a linguist as he is well-versed in Russian and Polish and has served in various Indian missions, including Moscow, Warsaw, Tehran, Geneva, Thimphu and Washington.
Mr Sarna succeeds Ranjan Mathai, a former foreign secretary, who retired at the end of last year.