Saturday, April 11, 2009

Shashi Tharoor- The Owner's Pride

To be frank, I was quite surprised when Shashi Tharoor landed up as a Congress candidate from Trivandrum. Though I have been closely following the Congress ticket allocation drama being enacted in Delhi and Trivandrum ,Shashi Tharoor to have emerged as a front runner came as a jolt to me. As a Trivandrumite, I feel quite happy for my city in particular and my State in general for the good fortune of having a candidate as savvy , articulate and scholarly as Dr. Tharoor. Sadly, the only people who repent at his candidature could be the local chota congresswallas and their netas who would have preferred a person who dance to their whims and fancies.

An amazing academia, an unquestionable resume working with the world's most influential international organization ( arguably the UN), a vivacious personality, a superb communicator, a real " doer" and last but not the least, India's official candidate for the prestigious UN Secretary General post-This description is enough to put the rival candidates in the fray look like mere mortals. I am not worried about his declared assets worth INR 27 crore as that does little to alter his strength.

After his retirement from the UN as Undersecretary general, Tharoor chose the Kerala capital as his next stop. In various interviews, Dr. Tharoor laid out his importance of Trivandrum as a knowledge city and how we are grossly underutilizing its potential. He initiated various steps such as starting a " finishing school" in Technopark to sharpen the communicative skills of budding technocrats. According to him, Kerala grads are technically competent and perhaps even superior than their counterparts from other states. However, they are at an inherent disadvantage with their lowly command of the English language. Having been born in London, raised in various parts of India and having his ancestral lineage to Palakkad, many people including myself were surprised at his decision of choosing Trivandrum as his " karma bhoomi". But these are the very factors that make his vision for Trivandrum as genuine as it may seem. To me , his words of wisdom are not an election stunt. If he wanted to get into the Parliament and be a Minister he could have have chosen the less strenous path ( a Rajya Sabha ticket). Instead , the very fact that he has chosen the Lok Sabha as his pathway to the Parliament shows his resolve to be a true representative to the people.

The average voter of Trivandrum has always accepted and elected candidates based on merit irrespective of their roots. Dr. Shashi Tharoor is a priceless gift for the constituency. If a Congress led government comes into power, he could well be a minister with a plum portfolio and our constituency and the state will be huge beneficiaries. More than that, he will represent Kerala on the international stage and is sure to bring greater glory to the state. His candidature has already hogged international headlines and even the national media , hitherto who had concentrated their attention only on the big and powerful states have allocated columns for this city down south. Whatever your political affiliations , it is THE time to unite against all our differences to vote for this charismatic man and elect him as our respresentative.

Jai Ho..

P.S: Tharoor is a regular columnist in dailies like the Times of India and has written several books like The Elephant, the Tiger and the Cell Phone, Bookless in Baghdad etc. Most of his works were based on India.

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