A Thiruvananthpuram resident has filed an online petition asking for Shashi Tharoor to be made the prime ministerial candidate from Congress , which already has 8400 signatures. The petition reads, “Shashi Tharoor is a man well qualified with deep knowledge of international and national issues, who can connect with the people of India and with world leaders.”
In a city where the politicians and their parties thrive on nitpicking and mud-slinging the other parties, Tharoor in 2014, praised PM Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan placing himself on the receiving end of hostility from his own party. He is known for saying the words which the politicians shy away from saying these days.
Tharoor, who is known to be one of most liberal politicians of India, is a former diplomat, former minister of state for external affairs and a bestselling author. He has worked at the UN in various positions and is known for voicing his progressive opinions which is a breath of fresh air in Indian politics. He has spoken against Britain’s ‘historical amnesia’ of the colonial acquisition of India, putting him in the news.
He is an Arts graduate in history from St. Stephen’s College. He published his first work of fiction at the age of 10. An exceptionally bright student at The Fletcher School Of Law and Diplomacy, Tuffts University, he completed his PhD at the young age of 22 after completing his MA and MALD (Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy). In his 27 year career in the UN, he held some key positions as a diplomat and later, as Under-Secretary General to the then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He was nominated as India’s candidate for the post of Secretary-General of the UN but lost to Ban Ki-Moon in the selections in 2006.
Shashi Tharoor has been called as a misfit in the Indian ‘babu’ way of things while some have called him too sophisticated for Indian politics because of this outspoken and modern outlook. He has also been at the receiving end of controversy in a country where sentiments are hurt too often and loyalties questioned easily.
In a world where racism is disseminated by a world leader, communalism reinforced by a ruling party, and clamant sexism practised by almost every other politician – we need leaders who are progressive and well-educated, even if it’s in the Opposition. With Rahul Gandhi at the helm of affairs, things are not really good for the Congress party and they are in a need for a good leader and Tharoor doesn’t seem too bad an option for heading the party. Don’t you think?