October 2021 \ News \ PM AT UNGA
Young IFS wins Twitter

By Nikhila Natarajan
  • Ms Sneha Dubey

The first time 2011-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer Sneha Dubey won the internet was due to the calmness with which she delivered on September 25, 2011, India’s right to rebuttal on the falsehoods attempted by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Dubey’s family roots, her education in Goa and Pune’s Fergusson College, culminating in a masters from New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, and even her dream of joining the foreign service since she was 12, were shared fast and furious over multiple news reports and social posts.

Some padded this up invoking another young daughter of Indian diplomacy, Enam Gambhir, who delivered the lines, “Pakistan, the Ivy League of terrorism”. Gambhir had put in just 12 years of service at that time and there she was, rebutting a head of government.

A more recent comparison was in 2020. Then Vidisha Maitra, a 2009 batch deputy-secretary rank diplomat, yorked Khan’s veiled threat of nuclear devastation as an example of ‘brinkmanship’ and not ‘statesmanship’.

But in Dubey’s case,it wasn’t just her stinging quote, “Pakistan is an ‘arsonist’ disguising itself as a ‘fire-fighter’.” More glory came thanks to an extra enthusiastic anchorperson, live feed backing her, gate-crashing into an ante room where Dubey was calmly reviewing some papers. The anchor did the standard number of thrusting the gun mike demanding a quip. But what did Dubey do? She smiled charmingly and didn’t utter a word. Not even “no comments”.

When the anchorperson, who incidentally has a PM interview among her achievements, persisted, Dubey struck a courteous bow and pointed her right arm akin to adman Bobby Kooka’s Air-India Maharajah we’ve grown up seeing. Result? Both ladies trended. But only Dubey won Twitter. Without saying a word.

Tags: India, UNGA

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