On Shashi Tharoor and his session at Kolkata Literature Festival 2018

I joined Twitter long time ago but didn't use it much until I came to hear about this legend, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, in November, 2017. Since then, I use Twitter regularly to keep up with his tweet updates. When I listened to him on YouTube for the first time, I was enthralled by his speech in Lok Sabha on demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. He debunked demonetisation and explained how it was a bad idea by providing facts and doing rational analysis. Undoubtedly, his passionate and effective style of speaking, putting logical arguments into discourse, and of course, his humour carried me away to be a great admirer of him. Undeniably, he is an excellent orator.

The erudite and articulate politician, Dr. Tharoor, wears numerous hats. He is a prolific and eminent writer and has authored 17 books till now including the latest one - Why I am a Hindu. He worked for United Nations as an Under-Secretary General doing refugee work, peacekeeping and so on. After serving United Nations for 29 years, he became the chairman of a Dubai-based company and then finally came back to India and joined politics. He was a Minister of State for External Affairs (2009-2010) and a Minister of State for Human Resource Development (2012-2014). He is a Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha since 2009 and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs and All India Professionals Congress. He has oodles of professional affiliations and achievements including the accomplishment of finishing his PhD at an age of 22, in short, he is indeed a polymath.

Last month, when I came to know that Tharoor is going to hold sessions at Jaipur Literature Festival, I couldn't hold my excitement. I expressed my willingness to my parents to attend the festival in Jaipur and requested them to let me do so. But, as very obvious, they denied. In spite of consistently trying to persuade them, they didn't agree and hence, I failed miserably. Later on, out of anger, I booked the train tickets and decided to leave alone for the festival. But soon I realized that it would be bad to disregard my parents and leave without their consent, so I canceled the tickets.

Few days later, I read in newspaper that he is going to come to Kolkata for a session on his new book at Kolkata Literature Festival in Book Fair. After missing a chance to see him live at Jaipur Lit Fest, I was happy to know that he is coming here.

We all welcomed the debonair Tharoor with a rock-star reception. He got up on the stage, took his seat and flicked his marvelous hair which looks quite brilliant every time he does. It seemed to be as glorious as you can see in the image below.

Tharoor's tharoorish swag! 

"Hindutva is a 20th century political ideology", he exclaimed. Hindutva was conceptualized by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. Unlike Congress, Hindutva is honestly followed by right-wing, Hindu nationalist political parties like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The sole purpose of this political propaganda is to make India a Hindu nation. Last month, Surendra Singh, a BJP lawmaker from Uttar Pradesh declared that India would become a Hindu nation by 2024. To my mind, if this ever happens, my beloved India will no more remain 'India'.

That idea of India is of one land embracing many. It is the idea that a nation may endure differences of caste, creed, colour, conviction, culture, cuisine, costume and custom, and still rally around a consensus. And that consensus is about the simple idea that in a democracy you don't really need to agree—except on the ground rules of how you will disagree.
From Tharoor's book - The Elephant, The Tiger and The Cellphone 

He just perfectly described what our India actually is. Moreover, in that book, he calls India as "thali" in which different dishes are present without getting all mixed up and thus making the whole thali a delectable one. India has always accepted a diverse set of people, different cultures, religions, languages and even various opinions. All of these make India — one of the largest democracies in the world — a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation. But continuing to nurture Hindutva politics would be detrimental to India's pluralistic democracy.

"It is not the job of a Hindu to teach a Muslim to be a Hindu" 

"BJP's Hinduism is of intolerance, bigotry, gau rakshaks, ghar wapsi, mob lynchings", said Tharoor. The Hinduism that BJP always flaunts is actually a distorted version of Hinduism which they proudly call as Hindutva. I too have noticed in news the rise in mob lynching of Muslims and beef eaters, and rise in intolerance against non-Hindus especially Muslims after BJP came at the centre in 2014.

As far as I know, none of the Hindu texts teaches us to hate people from different religion. Tharoor quoted from Vivekananda's Chicago speech, "Hinduism teaches not just tolerance but acceptance". He said that Hinduism is a liberal, eclectic and inclusive faith. I wonder if Hinduism is so benign then why do political parties like RSS and BJP, who likes to brand themselves as Hindu parties, are intolerant against other religions?

As not being a pseudo-liberal I completely agree with him. People from all over the world love India predominantly because of its rich pluralistic culture. If this multi-dimensional India ever gets transformed into an one-dimensional India because of all those bigoted and chauvinist people perpetrating Hindutva politics, then it would get hard to recognize India that day. Therefore, it's a crucial time now to protect our culture and beliefs to ultimately safeguard our nation. Tharoor warned us by saying that it is now a high time to reclaim Hinduism of pluralism, acceptance and embracing difference.

In my opinion, we must not bother much about our religion because above all we are all humans made up of flesh and blood. Let's accept differences, stay together and maintain the harmony.

Well, I learnt an interesting fact about Modi from Tharoor, he said, "While our Prime Minister hails the Constitution as holy book, he also hails Deendayal Upadhayaya as guru. But it was Deendayal who thought Constitution was a bad document, imported from west and based on flawed premise". Did this bewilder you?

Tharoor is a rock-star. The way he slashed Britishers in the Oxford Union debate titled "British Owe Reparations", because of the atrocities done to us during British Raj in India. Similarly, he criticized Hindutva politics and its followers today.

Yaasss! *_*

One of my favorite quotes:
India shaped my mind, anchored my identity, influenced my beliefs, and made me who I am. ... India matters to me and I would like to matter to India. - Shashi Tharoor

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  1. Thanks, bruh :)
    The reason for your disappointment is valid to some extent. Yes, I have wrote this blog on Shashi Tharoor, what I think about him and also on his session that day adding my opinions too. I thank you for presenting a honest feedback bluntly.

  2. Very nicely put! May your flair for writing continue!

  3. The write up is good. Actually it is much more than just good. But everyone will flatter you anyway so I am going to sound a little different. What makes me a little disappointed here is that what you have wrote is basically an ode of a fanatic to his or her fandom. Maybe I am feeling this way because I hoped for something more of Mayukh Datta than of Shashi tharoor as it is written by you and not him. I am really not sure whether I am making any sense or not.

  4. Well written Mayukh.More opinion = More of coducer_guy.
    Could have been a little bit longer as the article was living it up to the hype.
    Keep up the good writing...

  5. Hi there mates, how is everything, and what you would like to say on the topic of this
    piece of writing, in my view its genuinely remarkable designed for me.

  6. My family members all the time say that I am wasting my time here at net, but I know I am getting know-how everyday by
    reading thes good articles.

  7. I am not literate enough to understand this blog without google or more thinking capabilities. But seems really nice :-) Keep Going. Best Wishes.

  8. I believe in "Read today, Lead tomorrow". So, I urge you to start reading. Anyway, thanks dada for your wishes :)

  9. An awesome blog on Sashi Tharoor but it's about your thoughts on him so it would be more beautified if u put ur views a little longer making the blog a little bigger ... But overall it's an awesome writing nd tribute to Sashi Tharoor.


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