Shashi Tharoor has been rocking the country ever since he made his first appearance as the UN diplomat. He is sure to rock for many more years. Hailing from his constituency doesn’t make me fond of him. But he never ceased to amuse me.
Shashi shot into fame when he decided to run for the UN-Secretary post. He has always been apple of Manmohan’s eye. But all the big plans Manmohan had for him went down the drain when Manmohan’s buddy-in-arms, Bush, said ‘NO’.
The next big ambition Manmohan had for Tharoor was to put him in the Parliament. Of course, he had to face some bitterness from fellow Congressmen. But the rumor mills had predicted Shashi running for the election well before the announcement. Thus Shashi, who was running business in
Sonia and Manmohan stood their ground when Shashi got his seat in Thiruvananthapuram. But the traditional Congress bigwigs were mighty pissed. Two prominent Congress leaders filed their nominations as rebel candidates. This would have proved crucial as Shashi’s sure votes would be split into three. Shashi got into a closed door meeting with the two. This was the first rabbit he pulled out of the hat. Both the strongmen withdrew their nomination without a grumble and pledged their never ending loyalty to Tharoor. To this day I wonder: What happened behind the doors?
Those were the times Obama was sweeping America off its feet. Shashi’s campaign created ripples in Mallu hearts. First of all it seemed he brought off a few newspapers and Television channels. Day after day papers carried articles, photographs and clips on him. He captured every imagination. In every street, election workers distributed beautiful post cards .
People dreamt of electing an MP who speaks English in American accent, writes English books, tweets and has fancy ideas. He was extremely good looking. Every woman from the age of 14-70 dreamt of shaking his hands. His opponents stood no chance as he was elected by a huge margin.
And soon after he was appointed MoS for external affairs. That didn’t please the old guard. It is quite abnormal to put in a man with no experience in a crucial post which should have gone to a party faithful. But little did they know that abnormalities were just about to begin.
Tharoor taught the Indians that Ministers should live in dignity when he refused to stay in a guest house (the practice followed) and went for a five star accommodation as the guest house didn’t have gym or privacy. He was forced to vacate when media gave enough publicity about the minister staying in a five star hotel for months on end. Well, this was his first wrong move. He expected Delhi media would be kind to him just like the ones down there in his constituency. The Finance Minister requested co-operation when Tharoor refused to oblige.
For those who thought that tweet was just an election stunt, Tharoor proved them wrong by tweeting more fiercely than usual. Tharoor tweeted about everything- his breakfast, views, Sonia Gandhi . He didn’t mind ruffling a few feathers. He called the ‘untouchables’ the names he preferred. This amused many youths as he got the label as one of the fearless politician in battle with the demi-gods.
The Tharoor magic didn’t stop there. Tharoor played India’s Sarkozy when he called his old business friends to help him rule the country. He forgot about the Pradesh Congress leaders. Their demands were ignored or overlooked with a Tharoor-smile. And the war scarred ones got ready with the swords to draw the first blood.
The former diplomat even forgot the importance of protocol when he gave his own version of Indo-Pak relations even before the talks began. This jeopardized the entire process in Saudi.
Tharoor not only provided the stunning moments in political circles but also in the social circle of Delhi. The 50 year old Tharoor was already married twice and had a couple of kids when he walked in with the NRI Kashmiri beauty, Sunanda. The papers who gave him the luxury of privacy till then on his family life jumped in to the speculation game.
Together they worked for getting a IPL team and together they were hunted down. They will make a great pair in coming days.
And Mr. Shashi, as you have the burden of Ministry has been removed from your shoulder please concentrate on things you promised during the election. Even if you fail to achieve anything, you can put the blame on State government. I will help you in refreshing your memory.
a) Make Thiruvananthapuram the Barcelona of East
b) Solve the drinking water shortage
c) Clean up the Parvathy Puthan River
d) Metro rail
e) Huge fly overs, wide roads
f) Vizhinjam port
Enough work to occupy your time for another four years.