It is not easy to describe a man who has so many attributes of near perfection. A brilliant student, an accomplished sportsman, a forceful debater, a successful career diplomat, a loving husband, a doting father and a friend of friends. That, to some extent, describes Mr. Prabhu Dayal. Ambassador Prabhu Dayal has been heading the Indian Consulate in New York since September 2008. The New York Consulate is one of the most important and prestigious Diplomatic Missions of the Government of India and its jurisdiction covers Connecticut, Maine,
Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, ,Puerto Rico, ,Rhode Island and Virgin Islands. Says Ambassador Dayal about his posting in New York, ‘This assignment gives me the opportunity to interact with the creme de la creme of New York — including people from the world of business, finance, media, culture, politics etc. Iam delighted that so many Americans of Indian origin have done so well in the United States and made their countrymen back home proud of their achievements:’ India has always chosen a senior and experienced diplomat to head the New York Consulate. Prabhu Dayal joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1976 and has served in a number of high-ranking positions including as Ambassador to Morocco (2004- 2008),Ambassador to Kuwait (1998- 2001) and Consul General in Dubai (1994-1998). His other postings have been to Egypt, Pakistan,, India’s Permanent Mission in Geneva and Iran. He is of the rank of Secretary to the Government of India ,and is one of the senior-most Foreign Service officers of India.
During his tenure in New York, ,he has tactfully handled some of the ticklish issues that arose concerning NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) and PIOs (People of Indian Origin) such as the requirement of cancellation of Indian passport requirement for OCI/PIO cards and hike of surrender fee and its revocation. He oversaw the outsourcing of some of the consular functions to improve efficiency and convenience of people seeking consular services. And, of course, he is the gracious host to frequent visits of Indian ministers and dignitaries, particularly in September/ October when the United Nations General Assembly is in session. Dayal has a refreshing style of functioning and reaching out to the community. He is accessible and obliges as and when possible when invited to grace community events as a guest or honor or to address conferences and conventions. But what Indians in Tri-State area are grateful to Ambassador Dayal for is introducing a number of cultural events and holding of Indian festivals besides the mandatory celebration of Republic Day and Independence Day.
In his own words, “,India has a rich culture, and not only Indian Americans but other friends of India here like to avail of opportunities to attend cultural events”. “We have been inviting a number of prominent artistes to perform at the Consulate from time to time under the “Jewels of India” series. Prominent artistes who have performed under the series include Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Anup Jalota, Sivamani and Sujata Mahapatra. We also celebrate various Indian festivals such as Diwali, Dussehra, Eid, Baisakhi, Hanukkah and Christmas. These events reflect the cultural diversity of India and provide members of Indian community and friends of India, regardless of religion, an opportunity to take part in them. The idea is to promote unity in diversity”, says Dayal Ambassador Dayal is all praise for the Indian American community. Indian Americans have served as a bridge of friendship between India and the US. .They have become patriotic Americans while remaining proud Indians at the same time. They have left Indian shores but have retained their Indianness. It has been correctly said that ‘you can take an Indian out of India, but you cannot take India out of an Indian’. “My message to the community is that they should continue to do the wonderful work which they have been doing to bring India and America closer.” Born in 1953, Dayal holds a Masters Degree in Political Science from Allahabad University where he was amongst the toppers. He taught for a while before joining t the Indian Foreign Servicein1976. He is married to Mrs. Chandini Dayal and the two have a son, Akshay Dayal and a daughter, Akansha Dayal. Post superannuation, Dayal plans to play golf and bridge, relax and write a book detailing his experiences as a diplomat.