Disclaimer: This post contains personal opinion consisting of speculations and piecing together of many reports which were available over the month of April. And I don’t belong to any political party, though I have my own inclinations.
Shashi Tharoor was and perhaps still is a sensation among educated middle class in India and among political diplomats around the world. He was truly an Indian citizen, this I say because, he was born in London(our motherland!). Kidding, but because, his parents hailed from a small town near Palakkad, Kerala. His parents did what all educated mallus (Keralites) do, left Kerala for better economic prospects. He did his schooling in Bombay and Kolkata. He did his Bachelors in the famed St.Stephens, New Delhi. This gave him a taste of living in the three of the four metros. He had spent his vacations in rural Kerala too. He is the youngest to obtain Ph.D from Fletcher school of law and diplomacy (Oldest and foremost graduate school in US for international relations). He had spent his entire diplomatic career outside India which spanned almost 30 years. Served as UN under secretary general for 6 years. His literary life is also exceptional
Sorry to have bored you with the short bio, I think it was relevant. I am going to follow it up with his bio for the last 2years.
He was not in any controversy until he finished his term in UN. The controversies started even before he was elected as an MP(Member of Parliament). The opposition criticized him of being Israel friendly, not knowing his mother tongue, having a strange accent so on. The accusations were baseless and he responded it with firmness. He had worked for Palestinians and speak Malayalam among the half dozen languages he understand and speak. The public decision prevailed in the election and he won the MP seat with 100k votes over his opponents. He was made the MoS for external affairs. The critics followed him accusing him that he doesn’t have any “MP” experience. Baseless again. Then came the austerity drive issue, the cattle class issue, the interlocutor issue. Many things were common in all of them. Tharoor being criticized by the envious folks, the media continually following him picturing him as the ‘hunted’, ‘not suited for Indian politics’, ‘urban elite’ etc. Tharoor responded it with TV interviews, press statements and clearing out his name and guarding his integrity. Urban elite was sympathetic towards him. The young educated mass sought inspiration from him. His work as a minister with African and Arab countries was hardly covered in the media. The Indian mass expects drama and gossip from the news channels just the way they expect and obtain it from TV serials. Indian media is more than happy to provide that, and Tharoor’s character was of the “tortured daughter-in-law” or “bechari bahu”.
The current(yes, its not over yet) events includes IPL, ministry, Kochi team, opposition, corruption and of course Tharoor with a bit of Bollywood thrown in. Media and Indian mass equally love every damn thing in that list.
Let us rewind, Lalit Modi is a crook but an exceptional business man. He made IPL, the biggest brand in India. He has plead guilty for selling and using drugs in US. He is known for bending rules to get into cricket boards in India. OK! sorry, Lets not go by past credentials, anyone can start scamming after 50 years of honest work and anyone can become Gandhi after some dirty work. So lets forget history.
But here, Lalit modi has holdings in Jaipur and Rajasthan Team. He made big noise about N.Srinivasan having a share in Chennai team, But 1) that was open and public, then 2) he held shares in India cements which owned Chennai team. (BTW N. Srinivasan is the BCCI secretary)
Remember the time of second round of auctioning, only two groups were there to auction, Videocon (for Pune) and Adani (for Ahmedabad). This was due to strict regulations and high cap prices and all. Mohanlal-Priyadarshan and many others who were interested in a team backed out (as per the plans chalked out by Modi for him and his friends. Then BCCI intervened and reduced conditions so that more people can participate. This time, both Videocon and Adani group lost to Sahara group (for Pune) and Rendezvous group (for Kochi). This was against the scheme of things Modi and his friends had planned. They had asked(purportedly) others to bid less than certain(300m $) for each teams. The bid for Kochi was around 322m $ and they won the team. It angered Modi and his friends. He tried to flex muscles and finally came out with the share holding pattern in an un official manner(through twitter). Remember, the share holding pattern of no other team is known. And Sahara was a big group to even touch, so Modi targeted Kochi. He even accused of Tharoor trying to take the team to Abu Dhabi (Give me a break, Who would believe that).
Once that happened, opposition snatched opportunity with Sunanda Pushkar who was a friend of Tharoor and asked him to resign and accusations include, 1) he misused his ministry position to get a team for Kochi, 2) Pushkar is his proxy. Let me mention few stuff there, The lady love Pushkar had a share of 70 crores. 1) It’ll take at least 10 years for the IPL team to make profits and Puskar to earn something from it. 2) Nobody asks a public friend (whom he ‘may’ marry) to be proxy. 3) 70 crores is a meager amount in the scams happening in India. A small and incomplete list follows,
- Fodder scam by Lalu P Yadav- 1000 crores
- Satyam scam 14,000 crores
- Raja 2G spectrum scam 20,000 crores.
- Harshad Mehta securities scam 4000 crores.
These are the few which had seen the light of the day. But scam is still a scam, but Sunanda Pushkar was given a job as event mgmt specialist in the form of sweat equity. She needs to earn it through hard work, just like a director in a consortium. The problem here was nobody knew who owned Kochi, There was no celebrity face apart from Tharoor. So media and mass were interested in knowing the real owners. By the way, a broker is allowed 15-20 crores as per RBI regulations. Also, Pushkar surrendered her stake after the controversy.
BJP and the left seized the opportunity, they argued for Tharoor’s resignation, Tharoor shouted back in Parliament “For what?”. The next day, he gave an interview in NDTV to clear his stand. He mentioned his love for cricket and his enthusiasm to bring cricket to Kerala. The interview by Burkha dutt did seem a bit biased as blamed by manyy. But I haven’t seen any politician do an interview on the second day of any accusation. He released a press statement. A man of guilt will only do that(if at all) after consulting with lawyers and twisting and turning the story for weeks. BJP which is regrouping now and along with left wanted to defame this man who is capable of being PM someday. At that time, Tharoor rejected an interview from Karan Thapar (The lion), Thapar may be a bit pissed, interviewed Farooq Abdullah(A congress MP) and ‘made’ him say that “he would have resigned, if he was in Tharoor’s position”. Media carried the news, The opposition embraced it and shouted for Tharoor’s resignation with much more vigor disrupting parliament.
Congress was cautious. They are a smart party. But they were in a tough situation, Tharoor is a man with immense capability and huge mass support (He is the Indian with maximum followers on twitter). There is no way, Congress would sacrifice him. But, the tough situation, I mean for Congress/UPA is that they have so many bills waiting. The Finance bill, the Women’s reservation bill, the Nuclear liability bill etc. The parliament disruptions by the opposition were not helping their governance. So, they were indeed cornered due to Tharoor.
By the way, P Chidambaram when he was the finance minister had sensed anomalies in IPL, but they overlooked it as Lalit Modi was just a small fish, but the small fish is crossing waters now. Hence the IT raids now. The congress is ruling the government with tough alliances. The NCP and DMK being the toughest. It is hard for Congress to do good in Tamilnadu for the time being, so they don’t want to break the alliance, so they will close their eyes against Raja. (Whatever Bullshit media, opposition, and DMK-chief utters). Sharad Pawar of NCP is also a big fish whom congress would like to control, if they find anything, a scam or anomaly in the IPL or BCCI with Sharad Pawar in it, then Congress would love to use it against him in the long run. Hence the IT raids now. After all, Tharoor is just one MP seat (that too, a congress ticket, no alliance needs to be pleased). Everyone including MMS(Manmohan singh) knows that Tharoor’s hands are clear.
I was sure that he will be included in the next cabinet expansion, I said “was”, because already the speaker has included him in the parliamentary committee of external affairs. So, the next time when he is going to be included in the cabinet, BJP and left would be tired to raise the “old, by then” issue. Sonia, Chidambaram, Pranab and MMS (the so called think tank) have done a smart move. And the person who understands this is Dr. Shashi Tharoor himself. So he will take it for the bigger good and the even bigger plan. He will take a step aside, and wait for the smooth functioning of parliament. So, as I Wonder whether all this is diplomacy, hypocrisy, gambling, game orlife? I get the answer, its not any of them, but Politics.
As my brother used to mention, may be its not even politics, its poli-”tricks” ( poli in Malayalam means dirty)
-Santhosh K Ramachandran
Links of interest:
Tharoor’s response in parliament after resigning (a five minute video, Recommended)
You can get a PhD writer from India, who is a reader in a University, where all classes are taught in English, to make a neatly written papers that will get an A for a native verbalizer websites to type essays for free Each vitrine was for a characters caper a major my nerve in to be of. Ofqual licensed the consultants London Economics to doings a secret Policy Act of 1911, patch a 1,250-word English essay covered media topic of their prize.