As a student up until last year, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I too would look up to an Indian politician as a Role Model. In fact the existence of an honest political figure in the Indian political setup who could connect with the common man on a public portal was novel to me. I do not completely deny the existence of pristine politicians in the past, but given the intermittent political trends that exist, the statistics spoke otherwise. I have always aspired to be a diplomat but quite frankly never had a chance or the initiative to look up to anyone until the April of 2010!
It all started with our esteemed Fourth Estate playing the role of Knights unravelling the Shroud of the IPL scandal. Given the number of scandals that the Media ‘supposedly’ unveils every day, honestly I shouldn’t have been so engrossed in it. All of a sudden though the entire world around me seemed to be talking ‘IPL’ language (can’t blame them, really!) and that got me delving for information to understand what the entire brouhaha was all about.Apparently, the Head of the IPL commission had accused the Minister of State for External affairs of using his influence to earn some easy money and so on. All this was again supposedly ‘exposed’ to the media through a popular social networking medium Twitter. Something seemed terribly amiss. The plot seemed all too easily executed.
The major problem with my generation (No offence guys, but its true!) is that we hear one fragment of the entire story and the media so beautifully interweaves its own story on that line of thought that by the end of all the media bludgeoning, we pass an immediate and biased judgment on the person concerned!
I guess wisdom had the better of me so instead of falling prey to wanton media gossip I read up Dr. Shashi Tharoor’s bio on Wikipedia. It became clear that there definitely had to be a serious lapse on the part of those accusing him. Why would someone with an unblemished international career of 30 years feel the need to sacrifice a good name for a few ‘Rupees’ more? Well, the media had their heifer and they were definitely not going to miss any chance of slaughtering his name. When we discussed it in college back then, most of my colleagues had already made up their mind that Dr. Tharoor had indeed committed a folly! Revelations of the unheard second angle however led them to understand that they had indeed been a little too judgmental.
Dr. Tharoor’s popularity among the ‘Twitterati’ is unquestionable. Most people thought he would probably quit Twitter for good, but my instincts knew better and soon after my Graduation exams I too joined this networking site with a hope that I might just be able to receive atleast one tweet in reply! Simultaneously I began to watch older videos that had been posted on the internet and learnt a lot more on his philosophy, his career at the UN and the person himself. I made sure I got myself every book that was available because I was genuinely interested to read Dr. Tharoor’s books. This came as a surprise to friends and family who know all too well that I never read an Indian author unless I have to write an exam! (Maybe I just read the wrong writers!) I loved every work both fiction and non- fiction that he has written. Reading his works helped in replacing my own cynicism with a hope for a better India.
Well, but things seemed bleak on the Twitter front. The peril of being a newbie on a networking site is that you are inadvertently confronted with impatience. I tweeted and tweeted and tweeted completely unaware that there were a hundred other people tweeting the gentleman all at the same time! Fifty tweets and two months later when I was on the verge of giving up I received my first tweet from Dr. Tharoor who readily helped me out with a couple of questions I had regarding the United Nations. Soon, this Twitterbug called ‘Me’ received help to get a topic for an International Public Speaking Exam and sure enough I had his blessings too! It was a kind gesture on his part. Conversing with him was an absolute delight and he became (and continues to be) an inspiration for me! My dad was a little taken by the fact that now his daughter had enough to talk on Politics but wasn’t very interested in talking Hollywood or MTV. I guess he understands now.
So what defines Shashi Tharoor?
Getting to know Dr. Tharoor for me has been a very enriching experience. You can meet a movie star tomorrow and return home with stars in your eyes and that’s it. On the other hand, attend a Shashi Tharoor talk and you will return with an amazing amount of knowledge and positivity that will remain with you for a lifetime. I have had the privilege of attending two sessions in my hometown and can’t wait to hear him again! Trust me, this is no hero worship, it’s the Plain Truth.
I think it would be a privilege to get a chance to achieve atleast a quarter of what Dr. Tharoor has achieved and to contribute to society and my people the same way he is incessantly trying. I am sure the Indian Parliament does not lack good members but I guess we need our Ministers to reach out to the commoners more often. In fact it would be great if all citizens were just given a leeway to express their thoughts as it were. What has most ‘Tharoorians’ like me over-awed is the fact that with all the popularity he enjoys, here is a man who exudes humility perfectly complemented by the most charming witty responses that has the audience spell- bound.
I hope that Dr. Tharoor’s work receives the recognition it deserves in our country the way it has for so many years abroad. God willing, his good work will dispel the myths revolving around him so that the youth of today have the opportunity to learn a lot more from the person I call My Mentor!
How I Define Dr. Shashi Tharoor as a leader: (I’m sure there are many quotes, but this one strikes a chord for me!)"If Your actions inspire others to dream more learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” It is this quality that sets him apart!
Please Note: The views and comments stated in this Article are personal and not subject to media scrutiny.