New Delhi/New York: "Dear Krishna, all is
forgiven. Don`t catch the wrong flight."
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 today
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
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
"You can start again," Puri told Krishna following the
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.