Shashi Tharoor: A ready-reckoner

first_imgWho is Shashi Tharoor?Born on March 9, 1956, Shashi Tharoor is a Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram. He has been appointed Minister of State, Ministry of Human Resource Development in the latest Cabinet reshuffle on October 28, 2012. Political CareerUntil 2007, he was a career official at the United Nations and rose to the position of Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information. He resigned after he lost the 2007 election for UN Secretary General to Ban Ki-Moon. Upon his return to India, he joined politics in 2009 and served as Minister of State for External Affairs. He resigned from the post less than a year later following a controversy generated by one of his tweets. Literary CareerA prolific author, he has written numerous books most of which were best-sellers. His book, The Great Indian Novel, is currently in its 28th edition in India and his latest book The Elephant, The Tiger and the Cellphone has already undergone seven hardback reprints. Tharoor is not just an author, he was a successful actor also and played Antony to Mira Nair’s Cleopatra in a 1974 production of Antony and Cleopatra. Personal lifeFollowing his divorce from his first wife, Christa, a Canadian working at the UN, he married Sunanda Pushkar at his ancestral home in Elavanchery village in Kerala’s Palakkad district in 2010. ControversiesIn September 2009, he was accused of staying in luxurious 5-star hotels at the government’s expense. He, however, clarified that the money was being spent from his own pocket for the accommodation. Another controversy erupted when, while responding to a question as to whether he would travel in “Cattle Class”, he answered in the affirmative, thus equating the travelling public to cattle. His tweet was also a tongue-in-cheek dig at his party, the Congress, over its austerity drive. He again courted trouble when he said that people should work on Gandhi Jayanti instead of staying at home taking a holiday. In January 2010, he was reprimanded by his party for criticising Gandhi and Nehru for their vision on Indian foreign policy by the Indian media. He was also involved in a controversy regarding the Kochi IPL team’s franchise owners, Rendezvous Sports World (RSW) group. In his tweets, former IPL chief Lalit Modi had mentioned that he was asked by an influential Union Minister not to get into details of Sunanda Pushkar, who was given sweat equity of 4.5 per cent in Kochi IPL team. Tharoor, however, denied having made any gains from the sale or having pressured Modi in any way.advertisementlast_img