Freedom fighter and one of the doyens of Indian diplomacy, Ambassador A K Damodaran passed away in New Delhi on 31 January 2012. Born in Tripunithura, Kerala in 1921, Damodaran was an IFS officer of the 1953 batch.
Damodaran had joined the foreign service in 1953 after playing an active role in the freedom struggle and a brief two-year stint at the Delhi University where he taught English. He practiced the diplomacy of realpolitik without surrendering national interests in the immediate years after Independence and was one of the last surviving diplomats of the Nehruvian era.
He was one of the towering personalities of free India’s diplomatic community. Damodaran held several key posts around the world. He was one of the architects of the 1971 Indo-Soviet Treaty. He also served in Sri Lanka and China, and was India’s envoy to Italy and Sweden.
A committed Nehruvite, Damodaran was one of those Indian diplomats, who was trained alongside their Pakistani counterparts at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston before taking up full-fledged diplomatic postings.
Veteran diplomat, eminent writer, and freedom fighter Ambassador A. K. Damodaran worked on the Nehru papers after retirement.
He penned down and editing several books on India's foreign policy.