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Shashi Tharoor ko gussa kyun aata hai?

Sreedhar Pillai

Updated: October 26, 2014, 1:35 PM IST
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For most people, Shashi Tharoor appears to be just a confused man these days. For many others, the ex-minister of state already appears to suffer from dementia as well.

The recent actions of this brilliant, aristocratic, Malayalee who goes on in public life as if he were the Secretary of the United Nations, a post he once aspired for, rather than a strong pillar on which his own Congress party can be rebuilt, appear to be absurd. Was it Napoleon Bonaparte who once said "In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap"?

Is Shashi Tharoor, who constantly courts controversies, just one of those politicians who John Quinton qualified as people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel?

The real question is if his wife Sunanda Pushkar, who was one called a "Rs fifty crore girl friend" by Narendra Modi, was alive today would this Congress MP be behaving as if he already belongs to Modi's BJP?

The Gujarat CM regaled his supporters with jibes at Tharoor. "Everyone has heard about the minister, taken back on board and rewarded for his conduct. He claimed in the Parliament that he is in no way connected to the Rs 50 crore and that these are in his friend's name. Who has heard of a crorepati girlfriend? And then girlfriend becomes wife, we learn some time later."

Political observers might have gone by the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson who said "Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct." However, Sunanda Pushkar and other enlightened women of India reacted strongly to the above statement as being bigoted and chauvinistic, which was promptly celebrated by the Indian media.

We don't know enough of the depth of Sunanda's feelings of shame or whether Sunanda had wowed like Draupathi never to pleat her hair Till Shashi smeared some political blood of his jingoist opponent, whose conduct of his own matrimony would have raised intense scrutiny and debate in any civilised country.

However the conduct of Shashi Tharoor, after the sad demise of Sunanda Pushkar, beckons the question, despite all his erudition, whether he has never heard the story of Draupathi and the immense honour of valour a woman values in her man.

Valour apart, It looks as if Shashi Tharoor has lost his Mojo itself in cozying up to a political opponent who won an election and seized power by incessant distortion and belittling of his own party's achievements of half a century.

Certainly Sashi Tharoor hasn't heard of Chairman Mao's dictum "Politics is war without Bloodshed, War is politics with bloodshed" or the Gospel truth "All is fair in love and war". Is it because, Shashi Tharoor had the luxury of growing up in a diplomatic cocoon, much different from the hostile, racially abusive and intensely competitive outside world every Indian expatriate has to cope with?

For his well wishers it is a question if Shashi Tharoor will ever grasp the harsh reality that the essence of being in politics is being in power (unless you belong to the Aam Aadmi Party) no matter what your ideology is or which side of the divide you belong.

For his political backers in Kerala, who have to constantly fend off Mao's compatriots, the suicidal nature of Sashi Tharoor's endorsement of Narendra Modi, a political Goliath they have to beat to have any chance of governing India from Delhi again, is a political nightmare.

For others, the question is what type of blackmail this politician at a critical juncture of his career is facing which evokes his bizarre behaviour. Is it mere rottenness in his character as he casting a longing eye on office under Narendra Modi?
First Published: October 26, 2014, 1:35 PM IST

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