I have a life of integrity behind me: Shahsi Tharoor
Shashi Tharoor’s new book India Shastra s a collection of 100 articles and essays that are a comment on contemporary India from the perspective of late 2014. The politician cum author says that the book is already sold out in Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad and is #1 in the political books category on Amazon. India Shastra is dedicated to Tharoor’s grandmother and mother- The dedication reads,
“As the Republic of India turns 65,This book is for my grandmother as she turns 98 And for my mother Lily Tharoor On her 78th birthday“
His late wife Sunanda does not find a mention in the dedication. To which Shashi replies, “I did not include her because I had already dedicated my earlier book Pax Indica to her. It read To Sunanda, the love of my life and the life of my love. I can’t better that, can I? Also, she is not here now to enjoy it.”
When asked what has been his strength during the last six years of trials and tribulations, he says, “A clear conscience and I have a life of integrity behind me. The tremendous support of my voters is a great responsibility. I will never let my voters down by giving up my responsibility. I have the trust and support of my voters and that is my greatest strength. Adversity can come from the most unexpected quarters – it is how you deal with it that defines you.”
Asked about whether he will join the BJP, he says, “My values and principles will not allow it. I still have the support of my party and it is a matter of honour that on many debates in the Parliament on creaky issues, the Congress party has turned to me. I am grateful for the trust they have reposed in me by making me the chairman of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.”
Regarding Modi, Tharoor says, “The Prime Minister is a master communicator and that has its merits but it is not enough. However much of what he has promised is yet to be implemented. I have given a blueprint for Swachta Abhiyan for my constituency, Thiruvanathapuram but I haven’t heard from them as yet.”
The former diplomat-turned politician also says, “You can’t say sabka saath sabka vikas and then have ministers speaking outrageously and talking about how many children women should bear.”
Shashi Tharoor’s books include the path-breaking satire The Great Indian Novel (1989), the classic India: From Midnight to the Millennium (1997) and most recently, the visionary Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century (2012). He has won numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, was honoured as New Age Politician of the Year (2010) by NDTV, and pioneered among Indian politicians the use of Twitter, where he has over two and a half million followers, as of 2014.
Dr Tharoor earned his Ph.D. at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at the age of 22, and was named a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1998. He was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman – India’s highest honour for overseas Indians.
He is the bestselling author of fourteen previous books, both fiction and non-fiction, besides being a noted critic and columnist, a former Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and a former Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs in the Government of India. He served 29 years at the United Nations, culminating as Under-Secretary under Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s leadership. As India’s official candidate to succeed Annan as UN Secretary-General, he emerged a strong second out of seven contenders. On returning to India he contested the 2009 elections on behalf of the Indian National Congress, and was elected to Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram. Re-elected in 2014, he now chairs the Parliament’s External Affairs Committee.
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