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Tharoor in Office: For How Long

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September 19, 2008, December 28, 2008 and March 1, 2010. Tharoor has done it again bizarrely. Without showing any sign of care he has taken of his tongue after each controversial remark. His recent views on Saudi Arabia’s ‘valuable interlocution’ between India and Pakistan for peace talks, has not been digested so well by the opposition and the media. His remark of ‘cattle class’ for the Indian middle class had caused much of uproar last September. Three months down the line his views against tightening visa rules had once again embarrassed the Congress government in rule, forcing it to keep a mum over the issue. Tharoor has also been filling the void left over after the big controversies have settled down by his regular tweet comments. His latest public comments on Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Indo-Pak talks have begun to question his presence in Indian politics altogether. With the issue being much more serious this time and the clarification from Tharoor being more unconvincing, Tharoor has given an open invitation to more worries for him in the coming days. His defending remarks, saying that the style and tone of the English he speaks is more often misunderstood, is even more annoying and speaks volumes about what he thinks of Indians. Is it a justifiable remark Mr. Tharoor over an issue which is concerned with Indian foreign policies and its relation with neighbors’?

I think the ace columnist, journalist and writer seriously needs to update himself with the English Dictionary he is using. What reference is he talking about when he uses the word ‘interlocution’ for the Saudis? Is he not hinting towards a third party talk for solving Indo-Pak conflicts which has been totally unacceptable by all ruling governments in power so far? It’s just not that only the government is against it, the common people of our nation have also supported this fact that only bilateral talks can improve the ties with our neighbor. Third party intervention will only delay the peace process with focus shifting from main issues and diverting towards the needs of the third party in return of helping the mediation.

The Minister of State for External Minister has taken the importance of such portfolios to a new low. His comments can only be termed as a slip-of-tongue rather than being treated as meaningful, to-be-heard and acted upon suggestions by a cabinet minister. His other debated opinions include his views as expressed in the article ‘India’s Israel Envy’ in which he expressed sympathy towards Israel and questioned India’s foreign policy in this regard. Another controversy had erupted on Gandhi Jayanti when he said that people should be working rather than taking a holiday, thereby paying real homage to Mahatma Gandhi. Mr. Tharoor is so concerned about the GDP level of our country that even a day of leave when we recall our Father of Nation is irking him. I wonder how much we will think of Bapu if we do not keep a holiday. The diplomat has a message to convey here but the way of implementation is against Indian culture and history. He can be more elaborate than using his ‘Tweeting’ style in the media. It is high time Mr. Tharoor that you keep a check on your words when you speak about anything. It only adds to the general feeling of less understanding of Indian politics and culture of yours. The day is not far when we hear about Congress stripping the minister off his post over his controversial tweets and public statements.

The writer is a Goa based correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz and also a student at BITS, Pilani — Goa Campus

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  1. Shailesh Gupta

    Writer has written without deep understanding of Mr. Tharoor’s political affiliation. Seems like he was biased in his judgement before writing this article

  2. Astik

    Does seem a little one sided to be fair to Mr Tharoor. If one checks the meaning of “Interlocutor” from various sources there is a sense that this controversy was more so due to the lack of an understanding of the term and its context in foreign policy matters. Do take into account that certain sections of the media and political class are rather envious of the fact that a globe trotting NRI with an elite education and no political constituency was given a Congress ticket, shockingly won by 1,00,000 votes and then made junior Minister on his maiden voyage. Twiteroor may well be on the road to becoming MOE in UPA 3, under Prime Minister Rahul Gandhi ! The fact remains you can love him, you can probably hate him, you cant ignore him and in politics thats a great thing!

  3. asif

    the point of yours regarding the holiday to recall GANDHI seems illogical.If u really think that giving a holiday only reminds you of GANDHI, i pity you my friend.
    The logic is we need to imbibe his traits and carry on with our work rather than waste time celebrating their birthdays and giving holidays to institutions.Dont bring in heritage and culture my friend,that has been a poor tool used by incompetent INDIANS raising unecessary controversies.

  4. Ankur Kumar

    @ Asif

    Thanks for your valuable comments. I agree with your views. We should surely be imbibing Bapu’s traits and moral values in our day to day life. But the question is who has to take the initiative of doing this ? There should be someone who can effectively do this, to the extent that it reaches to the common mass and that someone is not you and me who are just writing articles on Youth Ki Awaaz, they are the Gandhian Institutions who are working hard to promote Gandhian ideologies. To name one we have a National Council of Rural Institutes, Hyderabad. I visited this institute on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti last year. They organized a National Seminar in the month of October in which they invited all institutions having Bapu’s ideologies as its objective for promotion. They deserve financial support, manpower for their better functioning and media attention for their recognition. All this is achieved to some extent during the month of October when we recall Bapu on his birthday and organize such seminars, conferences. It is this one day holiday which gives these organizations some motivation and enthusiasm to work for the whole year. What Mr. Tharoor has pointed out is good but without any alternatives and path to achieve. In fact, what he has said is idealistic and something which we all know but don’t follow it.

  5. Ankur Kumar

    @ Astik

    Thanks for your comments Astik. I feel that instead of just blabbering in the media and making controversial remarks, Mr. Tharoor can do something which can relate him to the Indian citizens easily and make us see him as an Indian thinking and working for India and not just an NRI making a mockery of Indian democracy, government, administration every now and then without having a full insight. Mr. Tharoor, in his capacity can restrict himself to foreign affairs rather than making remarks of ‘cattle class’ and giving his views on ‘Gandhi Jayanti’.

  6. Ankur Kumar

    @ Shailesh

    Thanks Shailesh for you comments. I would be pleased to know about Tharoor’s useful political affiliation, other than being an M.P. and holding a cabinet post, which has helped our country and not created an uproar in the media.

  7. Elessar

    I wish to say is this(not that I claim you don’t believe in it, just saying :)):

    1. Creating Media uproar is not equivalent to doing something wrong
    2. Criticizing own party’s decision is a brave and honest thing to do
    3. Criticized by party doesn’t mean it was the wrong thing to do

    And about his controversies, most of them actually make a lot of sense. I am shocked to see such an article in youthkiawaaz. I mean, he’s one of the few sane ministers left in current politics! 😉
    1. “Visa”: He had a perfectly valid logic behind the visa issue. Tightening the visa regulations was attributed as a consequent response to Mumbai attacks. Tharoor’s claim that 26/11 killers had no visas is a fact! The claim that the regulations will be less welcoming for tourists is a rational conclusion
    2. “Cattle-class”: He said that he would travel in cattle-class when asked if he would. What should he have said? “no”? Now you think that wouldn’t be a controversy? It’s just the media exploiting the unwanted ego problems of insecure people.
    3. “Gandhi”: I would like to say a real lot about this, but I won’t. Instead, an analogy: Did the cast and crew of “Lage raho Munnabhai” get into any controversy when there was a similar thing there? Well, it wasn’t a “we don’t need a holiday” thing, but the same message was implied. Respect is not given by declaring holz or putting up a large photo framed on every wall. It’s by following what he said. And you can very well do that if it were a working day. If the father of our nation knew about the losses our country would make by one holiday dedicated to him, I think he would be displeased. Say, we all respect our parents and relatives. Why don’t we all take a day out(personal leave, not national holiday) for their birthdays.
    4. “interlocution” is what he said it is. I had checked it up in the dictionary too. What he said is what the media should report and not the list of various possibilities of implications that could create some controversy. It is sensible that by talking to Saudi Arabia, we could make progress. If people think that only bilateral talks can improve the situation, I wonder why we have had problems with Pakistan ever since independence. Moreover, no one says that things can’t be done simultaneously. Who says that we have to stop the bilateral talks?

    I agree with the other comments. Most of the “controversies” that the media created were with the intention of just one thing: blindly criticizing the newcomers who made too much sense. By reading your article, I’m afraid they have been fairly successful.
    If an ex-UN-diplomat cannot accepted as a minister, then who can? Some third rate politicians who throw sand in the eyes of the poor to gain votes?

  8. YouthKiAwaaz

    @Elessar: We agree with you to an extent. In fact, talking about the latest controversy, he did not deserve to go. Also, this article is at YKA because it is a youngsters voice, which must be respected and highlighted. We do not align ourselves with any political ideology 🙂 Do join us at

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