Priyanka's Blog

February 17, 2010

Brood Tharoor!?!

Filed under: Random Thoughts — P S @ 6:09 pm

November 18, 2009

So, it’s ok that you are amorous as a politician, but damn you cannot be humorous. 

A politician can be a passionate, sentimental writer, even bordering on the romantic at times. But Mr. Shahi Tharoor upsets the Congress by in fact adhering to it’s austerity drive in solidarity! Frankly, I laughed so much at Mr. Tharoor’s witty comment but even more when I read Ms. Jayanti Natrajan’s response to it. Here’s a quick recap for those who missed the episode:  On his page on Twitter, which by the way has a growing fan club (of about 5,000 followers), Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor was asked: “Tell us minister, next time you travel to Kerala, will it be cattle class?” Mr. Tharoor replied: “Absolutely, in cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows”. J

The Congress high command thought these remarks of Mr. Tharoor were insensitive, with Ms. Jayanati Natrajan stating that “These are unacceptable given the sensitivity of all Indians and not in sync with our political culture… Thousands of people travel in economy class.”

Of course, thousands of people travel in the economy class and thousands travel in business class and thousands travel in trains and buses and two wheelers and just on their two feet.  Did she say sensitivity of all Indians? Now, I don’t want to get into a jurisprudential debate here and raise the issue of “all” Indians (i.e. each and every one of them). I’d like to keep this rather simple. The simple question is – Why can we not take humor in our stride? It’s like we suffer from a colonial hangover of sorts when it comes to matters related to the legislature, executive or judiciary. Frankly there’s nothing so majestic or regal about any of these institutions inasmuch as they are comprised of very normal human beings (like you and me) who are meant to protect and promote the lives of you and me. It’s almost nauseous to hear / see things like “Yes sir… no Sir…of course Sir…Jee Madam… Jaisa Aap Kahen Madam… We believe that…”. Will we please GET ON WITH IT, throw the colonial garbage out and learn to talk to each other truly as equals, because that’s what we are – EQUAL.

If a Minister of State responds to a question asked to him, must we crucify him for being witty? Take it easy! He said nothing insensitive. In fact the Congress should be happy that the guy believes in solidarity. He moves out of his 5 star suite which he was paying for from his own pocket in deference to the Congress’ newly coined austerity drive without questioning the sensibility of the drive itself.

It appears that the government feels that the austerity drive respects the “sensitivity of all Indians”. An astute writer for the Hindustan Times, Mr. Rajesh Mahapatra, commented (in his article “The buck stops here”, Page 10, Hindustan Times, 17th September) that “Rahul Gandhi’s travel in the Shatabdi Express was a nightmare for Security officials and may have cost the government more than the Rs. 10,000 saved by the economy class journey”. Well said. Although I would like to add that the government ought to also bear in mind that the safety and security of general janta cannot be compromised in the name of an austerity drive, the very success of which is suspect. How cool is it as an idea to have Mr. Rahul Gandhi travel in the Shatabdi Express and endanger not just his safety but also that of co-passengers. Not to mention the mayhem his visit to the New Delhi Railway Station may have caused. Security personnel running amok, traffic snarls due to VIP movement…

I must say though, the idea of being austere is indeed very appealing. I personally liked the comment made by Mr. Rahul Gandhi when he said that as a politician one must always be austere and there is no particular time for being so. That was indeed an inspiring statement.

I’m amazed however at the total lack of taking humor in one’s stride. I mean give Mr. Tharoor a break! For starters, it’s a great thing that the man likes to connect with the people through the medium of Twitter. But there’s a whole bunch of people out there who object to his twittering. I think there’s nothing more appealing than connecting with the janta, protection of whose interests and person is the prime reason for Mr. Tharoor’s being in the job he is. It’s great that we have a politician who believes in “connecting” with the people as opposed to others who without giving a damn to my sensitivity, use the money I pay in taxes, to erect monumental disasters by lining up statutes of elephants in a park!!



  1. remember silence is golden>>>>>>>>

    Comment by parag — February 20, 2010 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

  2. Priyanka, good one. Have started following your blog. I have reading pleasure..rakesh

    Comment by Rakesh — March 4, 2010 @ 1:58 pm | Reply

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