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Bharat Joshi

British Deputy High Commissioner, Chennai

Part of UK in India

20th November 2013 Chennai, India

CHOGM, and a childhood hero met

Life is – gradually returning to normal. The weight of 400 e-mails in the inbox is distracting, but I’m trying to use the week to better understand the operation.

A great outcome on CHOGM, I think. It was a difficult decision to attend, but I think the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary’s willingness to do exactly what they said we would – raise the difficult human rights issues with the Government of Sri Lanka – has vindicated it. I’m proud that the Government continues to make the hard foreign policy decisions because they’re right.

This is a particularly sensitive issue in Tamil Nadu, but the political commentary is pretty positive.

Last night I attended a Rotarian prize ceremony for an amazing ex-rowing champion called Neville Bilimoria who runs marathons and cycles for charity. He’s raised millions of pounds for kids suffering from cerebral palsy and to build toilets and schools for the needy. He remains genuinely modest (and very, very fit).

I also had the privilege of sitting next to the very funny Krishnamachari Srikkanth. Amongst other interests, he’s closely involved in promoting English through sport, including in partnership with the British Council. But I remember him as the top scorer in India’s famous cricket world cup victory in 1983 at Lords.

It was an unexpected victory against the world’s best side, the awe-inspiring West Indies (the turning point was Kapil Dev’s amazing catch to get Viv Richards). I was watching in black and white in Kent where we were – to coin a phrase – the only Asians in the village (and nearest town).

I remember, as a confused 13 year-old the sense of confidence and pride in my Asian identity that that victory brought me. A special moment. Thanks Kriss.

About Bharat Joshi

Bharat was brought up in Kent. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1995 from the hotel industry and has had diplomatic postings to the Gambia, Dhaka and…

Bharat was brought up in Kent. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1995 from the hotel industry and has
had diplomatic postings to the Gambia, Dhaka and Qatar. He was most
recently British High Commissioner to Cameroon, and non-Resident Ambassador to Gabon, Chad, Equatorial Guinea and Central African Republic.
Before that he worked as a Private Secretary to two British Ministers, as well as in various Departments of the FCO including the European Union Department and Press Office.
Bharat has experience of crisis management and has been deployed to the scenes of major incidents involving British nationals, including after the tragic bombing of the British Consulate-General in Istanbul in 2003.
Bharat’s varied career has been spent dealing with a full range of
HMG objectives, including promoting political and economic reform and
improved human rights; improved UK prosperity through trade; climate
change and UN policy issues. A major part of his portfolio in Chennai is supporting mutual prosperity between the UK and India, transforming lives through jobs, entrepreneurship and skills partnerships.
Bharat has been very happily married (at least forhim) to Bhakti for 18 years and they have two
wonderful daughters. His interests are cricket, badminton, history, reading and travelling.
Bharat speaks English, French, Gujarati and Hindi and Spanish, and is desperate to learn Tamil.