David Cameron took the biggest delegation to India since the Raj in an attempt to revitalise relations. But, impressive as it was by UK standards, the trip has clearly not provided much of an aide-mémoire for Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister.
Here is a telling dispatch from James Lamont, the FT’s man in New Delhi:
Speaking at the Hindustan Leadership summit at the weekend, 78-year old Singh failed to recall Cameron’s name.
When listing the leaders of the permanent five United Nations Security Council members, Singh started with US President Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president, but stumbled when he came to the UK.
After a couple of goes at remembering the name of its leader, Singh simply opted for the “UK’s prime minister” and moved on to China and Russia.
Liam Fox is the latest minister in to pay homage to the Indian growth story. He’s meeting with the Indian defence minister today and giving a speech on closer defence training co-operation. It includes a mention of the first exercise involving a British army unit in India for 60 years, the unforgettably named Shamsheer Bugle.