These things happen, says Krishna on his faux pax
This is not a message to the External Affairs Minister from his boss, the Prime Minister but is what Dr Yum Yum Singh, a fictitious Manmohan Singh, wrote on his Twitter on Sunday commenting on Krishna`s faux pax in the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Friday.
At the UNSC meeting, Krishna began reading the wrong speech by inadvertently reading the Portuguese Foreign Minister`s English translation of his text for about three minutes before being corrected by India`s envoy to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri.
Krishna`s mistake made headlines in the media back home and the Pakistani press gleefully played it up too.
A lot of traffic was generated on social networking sites since the goof up became public with many bloggers poking fun at the expense of the External Affairs Minister but leaving many others wondering what the fuss was all about.
After all many a public figure have committed such gaffes.
US President Barack Obama began reading the speech of the Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen at the UN in 2009 after the teleprompter mixed up their speeches.
Former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan G Parthasarathy, now a well-known commentator on Foreign Affairs, said, "It is a mistake which even Obama has made. It makes good gossip, but more important is what he said in substantive terms. It can happen. Everybody in the Security Council knows that ministers are busy people. It is not an embarassment for the country."
K Natwar Singh, one of Krishna`s predecessors, declined to say anything on the episode.
"He has been a friend for 30 years and I would not like to comment," he said.
As for Krishna himself, he described the incident as unfortunate but said there was nothing wrong in it.
"There was nothing wrong in it," Krishna said, adding "there were so many papers spread in front of me so by mistake the wrong speech was taken out."
"Unfortunately, it happened," he said, noting that many of these speeches contain the same thing in the first paragraph, which is to convey greetings to the country presiding over the Security Council
India got the rotating non-permanent seat at the UNSC for a two-year period from January one after nearly two decades.
The first portion of the speech initially read out by Krishna at the UNSC meeting in New York related to general issues pertaining to the UN, development and security.
But a few lines seem to be out of place. "On a more personal note, allow me to express my profound satisfaction regarding the happy coincidence of having two members of the Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), Brazil and Portugal, together here today," was one of them.
Krishna could have said this thinking it fit because Brazil holds the current presidency of the Security Council.
"The European Union is also responding in this manner in coordination with the United Nations," he said, before Puri intervened.
"You can start again," Puri told Krishna following the faux pas.
Portugal`s Minister had already spoken before India but he did not stick to the script of his prepared speech.
Krishna is here on a three-day visit to push India`s agenda for Security Council reforms.