It’s confirmed, Dr. Shashi Tharoor is contesting for the Lok Sabha elections from Thiruvananthapuram. Hoardings proclaiming and endorsing his candidature have come up at every nook and corner of the city. Dr Tharoor has even got himself a custom web portal for his campaign promotion. His repute as an international statesman, celebrated journalist, and his tenure in the UN have given Mr. Tharoor a plethora of accolades. An acclaimed author who has fully realized the power and potential of India as a country, his prescient works like ‘India: From Midnight to Millenium’ clearly depict his immense knowledge about the length and breadth of India. Clearly, Dr. Tharoor is someone who can take the nation to the next level with his expertise and skill. He, indeed, is among the most eligible would-be MPs and Thiruvananthapuram must be proud to have someone as potent as a candidate for the Lok Sabha.
I’m no one to predict a landslide victory for Tharoor. There’s a rather fat chance that he might suffer an acrimonious defeat, considering the uncertain political terrain in the state which even toppled the state’s best actor Prem Nazir when he contested elections – despite all his charm and personal goodwill.
I’m eligible to vote in this general election. My name is in the voter’s list and I’ve my Voters ID card. And I’m proud to say that I’d exercise my primal electoral franchise to vote for Dr. Shashi Tharoor! Not because I’m a supporter of Congress – I’m politically neutral. In fact, I support SFI at college, but again, I’m no communist. True, I’m a fan of Dr. Tharoor (I’ve read almost all works of his and I’ve had the opportunity to interact with him once – I treasure his autograph.) But that’s not the reason why I would vote for him. I’ve my set of reasons.
Why my vote goes to Dr. Shashi Tharoor
- I’ve already mentioned this – but Dr. Tharoor is well-educated and experienced by all conventional benchmarks. An alumnus of St. Stephen’s college, Delhi, he stood first and obtained his BA (History) degree with a record score in History (honours). He served as the chairman of the college union during his days there. During his tenure at the debating society, he won every single debating prize ever possible! Dr. Tharoor went on to obtain a Ph.D at the Fletcher School of Law and diplomacy at the age of 22! A Fletcher record that has not been broken till date. Enough education to be the President of a country!
- Let wiki do the talking about Tharoor’s career at the U.N.
- All said, Tharoor has proved himself as a globally renowned statesman, but will he take care of good ol’ Thiruvananthapuram, as he has proclaimed in his campaign website? The answer is simple. If he could govern global issues, far in magnitude and scale with ease, why can’t he do the same with Kerala? I’ve heard Tharoor speak and I’ve read all his books. He speaks insightfully and raises issues as yet ignored by most. He realizes the enormity of Kerala’s problems and has his set of vision statements that could and would change the way we live, sort-of.
- Alright, you’re not voting for Tharoor. But who else are you going to vote for? A ‘communal’ P.K. Krishnadas? Or another run-of-the-mill politician P. Ramachandran Nair? Or rather, you would like to cast your vote in the favour of our ‘cultured’ BSP Candidate Mr Neelalohitadasan Nadar (Nalini Netto case fame). If you’re an educated voter, you know whom you’re goanna cast your votes for!
Tharoor’s was an exceptional UN career, rising as he did from the P-2 level to the highest possible rank of Under-Secretary-General in a mere 23 years. He was privileged to play a key role in some of the major events of his time, from the Vietnamese boat people crisis to the Yugoslav Civil Wars, to serve in both the humanitarian and peace-keeping arenas as well as in the Secretary-General’s office. He established a reputation at the Department of Public Information as a reformer and as the UN’s most articulate voice for the principles of the United Nations Charter and the work of multilateralism in an increasingly unipolar world.. He took a number of initiatives, ranging from organizing and conducting the first-ever UN seminar on anti-Semitism and against Islamophobia to launching an annual list of “Ten Under-Reported Stories the World Ought to Know About” 
I guess that again speaks volumes about Dr. Tharoor. A man who campaigned against ‘Islamophobia’, and someone who is very well aware of the global terrain, is indeed well equipped to ensure the progress of our God’s own country.
Criticisms against Shashi Tharoor and why they’re not goanna affect my mandate
- Lack of Malayalam Knowledge: Tharoor speaks beautiful Malayalam. In fact I’ve spoken to him in public! His Malayalam is perfect and he pronounces words fluently. Alright, he himself admits that he finds it hard to write/read the language, but again, as a Member of Parliament, his job is to communicate with the center and with his flawless English and immaculate Hindi, he’s the right person for the job!
- Tharoor’s personal life: It’s a fact that Tharoor has divorced once and is now married to a Canadian national. But how would that affect his skills and capablity to represent a state’s issues? I don’t get that point!
- The Coca Cola Debate: ‘Open letters’ like this condemning Tharoor’s Coca Cola connection have propped up. Tharoor boldly replied to the letter here. Tharoor does not stand for the Coca Cola company, as he himself says. He is only an Advisory Board Member of ‘Yatn’ – A foundation by Coca Cola India for the greater good. Agreed, many of the claims raised in the open letter are true and that Tharoor speaks in favour of the company in his reply. But that doesn’t mean Tharoor is a bad statesman! He was just citing his point of view in his reply. All we hear about the Plachimada issue was brought to us by the media which sensationalizes issues. We don’t know what’s true. Tharoor’s take was based on his analyses of the entire issue. It may be right or wrong – its validity is not much of an issue here.
- Hidden corporate interests? This claim is raised unequivocally by all communists. Sigh! When are you people goanna learn? Will someone who has not a blemish on his name when he was managing global issues falter when it comes to a small state like Kerala? I don’t think so!
- The National Anthem ‘Scandal’: A mountain made out of a molehill, truly! We have politicians like Lalu Yadav who’ve gone wild, disrespecting the anthem. All Tharoor did was to hold his arms onto his chest in respect. That calls for another moot point – we need to upgrade our laws, period.
So, if you live in Thiruvananthapuram, and if you are eligible to vote in this general elections, choose wisely. Don’t vote for Shashi Tharoor because he’s a congressman. Vote for him, because he is what he is.
UPDATE: A very noted Malayalam blogger and a friend of mine – ഞാന് , has vehemently opposed what I’ve written and has actually replied and vehemently criticised this post. You might like to read that post too.
ഞാന് is someone I respect and honour a lot. I respect his political stance and choose not to counter-question his points, lest it morph into a fully-blown fight. But I’ve a question to ask him – a question that I’d posed earlier in this blog post. Assuming all what ഞാന് says are true, who else should I vote for? Another politician who would rob the district to abject poverty?! Analyze in whichever angle possible, find as many criticisms as you can; my views remain unchanged – My vote goes for Dr. Shashi Tharoor!