Tharoor's twitter tragedy...

Twitter is again in news, for all wrong reasons though...and so is India's handsome Minister of States for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor.  The matter in debate this time, is a harmless, and innocuous one liner. Apparently, Indian ministers, on the direction from the ruling Indian National Congress, is on an austerity drive, avoiding 5 star hotels, and travelling in the Economy class, to show solidarity with people suffering from floods, across the nation. Now, Tharoor was asked by a follower in his twitter, whether he will follow all these, to which he replied, that he will "absolutely travel in cattle class, to show solidarity with the holy cows...". Funny, (I almost squirted coffee out of my nose!), witty, disastrous anywhere in the World for any new minister, almost suicidal, in this sub-continent. 


 Now for people uninitiated with Tharoor, (I don't guess he needs an introduction anyways, still...) he was born in London, educated in St. Xaviers, Calcutta, and St. Stevens, New Delhi, earned his Ph.D. from Tufts University, Massachusetts. He served as the Under-Secretary General for communication and Public Information, from June 2002, to February 2007, under Kofi Annan. Was the official candidate from India, for the office of the Secretary General, and came out second among seven, losing marginally to the present Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon. He is a prolific blogger, Journalist, author, columnist, human rights advocate, and advisers in a number of institutions such as Red Cross, Aspen Institute, and USC center for public diplomacy. He was responsible for the peacekeeping operations in Yugoslavia, and is also regarded to have supreme oratorial skills.


 Now, anyone even remotely knowledgeable about Indian, or for that matter sub-continental politics, should be aware that this part of the World doesn't run on merits. They run on gimmicks. The austerity drive, which most of the average Indians are buying as an arguement is basically, more problematic to the taxpayers. 'Cause for the ministers to travel in the third class compartments in trains, the whole compartment is being booked for security arrangements, (as pointed out correctly by Jug Suraiya, in T.O.I.), thereby evident loss in Business. Also no whereabouts of this so called, saved money, and it's subsequent usage. But since when did Indians started caring about all these trivial issues? 


 As of the matter of staying in 5 star hotels, why should a man, be pointed out if he decides to spend his own money, is beyond me. But that is a common practice in our country, to isolate, and mark rich people as morally corrupt, elitist, and outright evil. 


 Tharoor, the face of new, young India, with his wit, was always a point of jealousy among his contemporaries in his party. Many senior leaders are not pleased with this man, rising and overtaking them. Naturally they got an opportunity they couldn't afford to miss. The opposition, itself riddled with in-fighting and controversy, wants him to resign, his own party rivals wants him to be sidelined, even after the Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh, ignoring the thing as a joke. It's war in the blogosphere. Here's an interesting clip, which I wached in a friend's Facebook wall, (Thanks Murtuza Chhil) which quite sums up, the arguement of both sides...

 The open ended statement, is a bit difficult to dissect, and what Tharoor actually meant will never be known. Whether the "holy cow" is actually the general public, as claimed by the opposition, or it's the Congress high-command, is and in future will be a matter of debate...but one thing is for sure. The political class, and the self-proclaimed moral guardians of our society, will keep on fighting over hilariously trivial issues, forgetting about serious threats that's facing the country.


 And Shashi, the Tuft educated, god of the urban college crowds, who hurriedly issued an apology, before clarifying the stand, is no better than the average politicians across the World, who can't and don't have the courage to stand up for their conviction and for what they feel right...quite an appalling commentary in itself.