Romesh Bhandari was an accomplished Indian diplomat and politician, who made significant contributions to Indian foreign policy during his illustrious career. Born on 29 March 1928, in Lahore, which is now in Pakistan, Bhandari's birth anniversary is celebrated annually to commemorate his life and legacy.
Born in Lahore, which is now part of present-day Pakistan, Romesh Bhandari was the son of Amar Nath Bhandari, a Judge of the Punjab High Court who served on the bench that adjudicated the Gandhi assassination case. Bhandari commenced his career as Vice-Consul at the consulate in New York in 1950, before moving on to serve as minister at the Indian Embassy in Moscow from 1970 to 1971. He then served as ambassador to Thailand and Permanent Representative to the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East from 1971 to 1974, and as ambassador to Iraq from 1974 to 1976. In February 1977, he returned to the Ministry of External Affairs as Additional Secretary until July 1979, following which he was promoted as Secretary, and eventually appointed Foreign Secretary on February 1, 1985, a post he held until his retirement from service on March 31, 1986.
Bhandari was known for his notable achievements during his career, one of which was the successful return of Indian Airlines Aircraft hijackers from Dubai to India in 1984. He also served as the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi from August 4, 1988, to December 1989, and later as the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands from December 1989 to February 24, 1990. He went on to serve as the Governor of Tripura from August 15, 1993, to June 15, 1995, and the Governor of Goa from June 16, 1995, to July 18, 1996, before assuming the role of Governor of Uttar Pradesh from July 19, 1996, to March 17, 1998.
Bhandari's distinguished career came to a close after a prolonged illness, as he passed away on the night of September 7, 2013. His contributions to Indian diplomacy and politics are remembered to this day, and he remains an inspiration to those who strive for excellence in public service.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)