NEW DELHI: One rarely expects a discussion on the weighty issue of India-Russia ties to feature iconic Bollywood actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor in the staid world of diplomacy. But the Ministry of External Affairs wants to break the mould, as part of which it launched a social media interactive session, 'Ask the Spokesperson', on Friday.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar held a nearly 20-minute-long session on 'Periscope' where he fielded a volley of questions thrown up by viewers, ranging from 'Is SAARC dead?' to recruitment in the Indian Foreign Services. On the stalled SAARC process, Kumar said a meaningful progress will happen only when there is an atmosphere of trust and security and an environment "free of terror".
Asked about India's ties with Russia, he underlined how Raj Kapoor continues to be popular there, which is reflective of the "time-tested relationship" between the two countries. His somewhat unconventional take on the issue was in line with the stated objective of the initiative, which is essentially making people aware of the "nuances" of foreign policy.
"The idea is to explain to the common people the nuances of foreign policy. To give replies in very simple terms. For example, when someone asks a question on Russia, I will try to give them an answer which is very simple and try to connect it at their level," Kumar told reporters during a briefing earlier in the day. Such sessions will be held once in two months, he said. PTI