‘ Shashi Tharoor trying to beat Modi with the Patel stick !’

published on June 18, 2013

He’s back at the helm, with his carefully cultivated British accent and ‘bedroom eyes’ as one admirer put it. He reeks of class, but even Suhal Seth will not now cheer him on as having ‘class’ ! His opponent now is the son of a tea stall vendor, Narendra Modi himself, reportedly from the backward caste and certainly no match for our hero Shashi Tharoor, or so the latter believes.

Our hero has been resurrected from his former disgraces and is being fielded now against Narendara Modi. Forgotten are all his alleged crimes and misdemeanours, as reported by the press. He has achieved a new found respectability.

It is against this background one must also view his latest salvo against Narendra Modi at the NDTV program ‘Congress-BJP : battle for the Sardar legacy’ (June, 17, 2013). Ostensibly it was about Shri Modi’s laudable project of setting up an iron statue of Sardar Patel in Gujarat and our hero’s objection to Shri Modi wearing the Sardar’s mantle, something that the Gujarat Chief Minister had not even remotely considered. Being a Gujarati and being an admirer of Sardar Patel as one of the stars of the Freedom Movement, it was only natural that he should consider the project. Afterall, if our hero and his friends have no objection to the stature of Liberty in New York harbour, they should not object to one set up for an Indian national hero. And since the Congress Party had wilfully neglected Sardar Patel in favour of their own icons, Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter Indira Gandhi and his grandson Rajiv Gandhi, it was only poetic justice that Sardar Patel now come to the forefront of the nation’s attention.

But that is not to be, it seems. Tharoor was simply seething with jealousy, covered by a nice cloak of sauve arguments as to how the Sardar (despite his diffences with Jawaharlal, so Tharoor allowed that !) was a unifier unlike Modi. Sardar Patel was being used by our hero as a political football, despite his avowed admiration for Patel.

He held forth about the Sardar’s actions in trying to save Muslims during the partition riots. And yes, predictably he contrasted Modi’s alleged misconduct during the Gujarat riots of 2002. Ofcourse, despite his sauve liberalism our hero had temporarily forgotten his own principles : a person is innocent until proven guilty.

There has been no indictment against Shri Modi vis a vis the riots and certainly no conviction. But at the NDTV Debate anchored by Barkha Dutt he was sure of Modi’s guilt and ended his speech with the theatrical announcement: sorry Modi cannot wear the mantle of the Sardar !

The reader must be reminded that our hero had been a Shakespearan style actor during his days at St. Stephen’s College (New Delhi). He had acted as the hero in Antony and Cleopatra.

And he is still acting. In this duel with Narendra Modi he has pulled out all the stops. But unfortunately for our hero all the world may be a stage (as the poet said) but here in India, with the public disenchanted with his Congress party’s corruption and misrule, a tea vendor’s son with an impeccable record of honesty and devotion to his country appears to be the more attractive choice.

Polls have shown that the public does not any longer buy the disinformation campaign waged relentlessly against Shri Narendra Modi by our hero’s party and those affiliated with it .

And once the public hears once again Shri Modi’s historic call on Doodarshan that fateful month of February 2002 to the people of Gujarat to maintain peace and not engage in vengeance or violence because of the Godhra tragedy, there will be even greater anger towards pretenders like Shashi Tharoor for disguisng the truth for petty political gain and personal vanity.

(The author is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university).

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  1. van iyer Reply

    June 18, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Sathyameva Jayathe
    Whatever Tharoor says in favour of his masters is not correct and he knows it very well. He has no other alternative. This is for his survival he will indulge in such types of barbs. The Indian public are waiting to give a fitting reply to the corrupt congress.

  2. Dr Saradindu Mukherji Reply

    June 18, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Shashi Tharror trying
    It is no point taking people like Tharoor seriously and all those who serve the UPA govt. Just look at their imported “leader” ! how can such a man understand the serious civilisational issues involved in the debate. Tharoor may be asked to let others know why Nehru and others failed to prevent the partition of India and why they helped Jinnah and his successors to wipe out the Hindus, Sikhs, Christians from Pakisatn but prevented a transfer of the relevant population from post partition India. why did Nehru and his descendants helped the revival of the Muslim League, which now happens to be a partner of the UPA which actually stands for Unlimited Pan Islamic Ambition/aggression.

  3. Dr.Vijaya Rajiva Reply

    June 18, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Dr. Mukherji & Van Iyer
    The man must be taken seriously to the extent that each time and every time he attacks Modi there should be a counter attack !

    This is a war which we never asked for, it has been imposed on us. And in such a situation, no prisoners are taken (metaphorically speaking).

    The Hindu vote in Kerala is badly fractured. While Muslims vote for the Muslim League and the Christians vote for the Congress, the Hindus vote either for the Congress or the Marxists.

    In last year’s bye election the Hindus had begun to come together and Shri O. Rajagopalan got 30 % of the vote. He was a BJP candidate with impeccable credentials.

    But the Marxists, the Congress and the Muslims got together and voted. He lost.

    And since Tharoor is the Congress MP from Kerala he must be hit and hit hard each time and every time he attacks the BJP and Modi.I am speaking in metaphorical terms when I say ‘hit.’

    He has been a life long hanger on and opportunist and now he is maximising his electoral appeal to a certain type of Indian voter who is taken in by him.

    BTW at that same debate you had Sudheendra Kulkarni who after a long story of how the Congress had sidelined Sardar Patel and how the Left had consistently maligned, then went on to say something ominous.

    He said : Modi can build an iron man (the statue for Patel) but he must show that he is an iron man by his actions !

    With friends like these who needs enemies ?

  4. Partha Desikan Reply

    June 18, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Shashi Tharoor
    There is absolutely no comparison between the committed Gujarati and the man imported from the the UN secretariat with respect to personal regard for Sardar Patel and knowledge about what the Sardar stood for. The young UPA minister had no standing to talk either about the Sardar or about Shri Modi.

  5. Guru Reply

    June 20, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Oh Tharoor!
    Tharoor’s former UN colleagues seem to call him an opportunist

    MediaCrooks.com too came to pretty much the same conclusion:

    Allegations that Tharoor violated rules to become an Indian voter:


    Not to speak of the Cricket misadventure.

    Who is the pot calling the Sun black ?

  6. Bharat Gupt retd professor Delhi Univ Reply

    June 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Tharoor knows little history and no present
    Amusing chants from Tharoor at the behest of the party President. Tharoor should remember that Sardar did not hesitate to send in the Indian forces to prevent little Pakistan being made within India by extremist and fundamentalist Muslims nawabs and nizams. He advised Nehru to allow the Indian army chase the Pakistan army till Lahore and not rush to UN to open up the can of worms in Kashmir when accession had settled it. He advised Gandhi to stop advocating giving money to Pakistan. He would have fished out all the attackers of the Godhra train and sent them to gallows in a month. Sardar would not have followed the Congress policy of making Muslims chattles of orthodox ulemas frozen in time. Tharoor knows no present that people are sick of false secularism which divides Muslims themselves into the ulema bonded creatures on one hand and show windows of unity like Javed Akhtar on the other hand. These pseudo Stephanians like Tharoor only meddle with the Hindu Marriage Act, but will shy away from doing something for Muslims women as was the case well known with Shah Bano. Tharoor is repeating Nitish’s words,there is nothing original in this man’s thinking. In Her/His party they are colonised from brain to bottom.

  7. mathew Reply

    June 20, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Dr. Vijaya Rajiva, speaking of voting, do introspect, when a person gives up the sacred Indian passport and citizenship of our beloved India (the Hindu Rashtra) willingly that person is also giving up one vote which could have been given in favor of Modi/ BJP/ Hindu Rashtra? Gratuitous advice is easy. It does not cost any sacrifice, or even a minor discomfort. But I want to know how you can rationalize this hypocrisy (without bringing my religion, name, or patriotism into picture).

  8. mathew Reply

    June 20, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Dr. Vijaya Rajiva, speaking of voting, do introspect, when a person gives up the sacred Indian passport and citizenship of our beloved India (the Hindu Rashtra) willingly that person is also giving up one vote which could have been given in favor of Modi/ BJP/ Hindu Rashtra? Gratuitous advice is easy. It does not cost any sacrifice, or even a minor discomfort. But I want to know how you can rationalize this hypocrisy (without bringing my religion, name, or patriotism into picture).

  9. Dr.Vijaya Rajiva Reply

    June 21, 2013 at 4:05 am

    I seem to remember that you are very focussed on this question of whether an NRI can be patriotic. You may not know this but the GOI in its wisdom has granted what is effectively dual citizenship.We can all hold permanent visas to Bharat.

    Not sure whether I need to rationalise anything at this stage. You are no doubt aware that overseas Hindus are solidly behind Modi.

    Each of them have their own rationale. I have mine. I am a Hindu and my attachment to the old country is coloured by a historic imagination that stretches back several millenia to the Rig Veda.

    My concept of the Hindu Rashtra is based on this fact.

  10. mathew Reply

    June 21, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Hypocrisy still…
    Dr. Vijaya Rajiva, who will question your religious affinities and ethnic roots? I will not. By the way NRI’s can be Indian citizens and why would I Question their patriotism to India? I never did any such thing.

    I respect Hinduism and Hindus wherever they are, but believe no religion is prerequisite for being a citizen or being patriotic to any modern nation of which one is a citizen. If you do not believe in this you cannot be a Canadian citizen (one of the most beautiful countries in the world). But this is not the issue.

    You are preaching to Indian citizens and questioning their patriotism. You have been consistently questioning the Patriotism of indian Citizens squarely on the basis of their religion. When you had the choice to keep or abandon Indian citizenship you had chosen to abandon it. As a Canadian citizen, what is the object of your patriotism? Only the irrationality of your stance can match the hypocrisy.

    As I mentioned, when you abandoned Indian citizenship you also gave up your Indian voting rights, willingly. All these were personal choices which I respect, but not the hypocrisy and the preaching.

  11. nokidding101 Reply

    June 21, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Re: Shashi Tharoor and Sardar
    Shashi Tharoor is playing with the pride of Gujaratis and the entire Hindu society who recognized the greatness of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel as the true father of the Republic of India born on January 26th 1949. Attacking Modi for recognizing the sentiments of all Gujaratis and all Hindus and his mission to memorialize these in a permanent structure to commemorate the greatness of Sardar Patel and his selfless work to build India as is today, will only cost Tharoor to pay a heavy price for stepping on the toes of Gujaratis and Hindus who will finance heavily his opponents in Kerala to make sure Tharoor looses his election in Gujarat and his BJP opponent in Kerala wins a landslide victory. Watch your tongue Tharoor, you are not playing with Modi; you are playing with Gujarat and Gujarat knows how high Sardar Patel needs to be when commemorated.

  12. N.Gamgadharan Reply

    June 22, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Tharoors Talk,
    It is not fare to discuss Tharror for his comments on MODI,
    As Modi put it he is the minister in charge of marriages.He has no historical background to discuss Indian polity.He was only a glorified clerk in the pay list of UN.A fitting person for Congress.He never knew what India is Teach him the lesson that every country in the world has its own cultural nationalism. The people like him only propagate it as communaism. Here in India it is HINDUISM A person who knows the basics of history will accept it. I challenge him to dispute it.

  13. Sarath Reply

    June 23, 2013 at 12:32 am

    A sacrificial lamb?
    When the US ditched him in favor of Ban Ki Moon, Tharoor should have woken up to his senses, but he didn’t. I recall his first fall from grace following cattle class controversy and the IPL mess. Did he not even realize that he was a clear threat to Rahul Ghandi and was being sacrificed to clear the way for the clown prince? Oh, BTW, I would not be surprised if that was schemed by Rahul’s agents in Kerala itself. Tharoor should switch his allegiance to the Hindu front. never too late.

  14. Dr.Vijaya Rajiva Reply

    June 26, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I have been looking over the comments and they are all focussed on Modi and Tharoor.

    My own article is on Modi and Tharoor. Has nothing to do with religion or race. Both are Indians and both are Hindus.

    So, I am not sure what your complaint is about. It seems to have no relevance to the topic at hand.

  15. mathew Reply

    June 27, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    A Agree here…
    @Dr. Vijaya Rajeeva, and even though I don’t agree with your opinions about Modi/ Tharoor or your conclusions, I must concede that this is one of your less disagreeable articles. You are right about the contents of it, and my comments were not relevant in that narrow sense.

    Nevertheless, I have been reading all your articles here in HK, and my comments are what I strongly felt and continue to feel while reading those write-ups. They (the comments) are just.

  16. Dr.Vijaya Rajiva Reply

    June 28, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I am trying to recall your previous comments and I seem to remember that one of them had to do with an article where I criticised Ramachandra Guha. Naturally, I still hold to my criticism of his rather trivial writings released to Outlookindia . . . .

    In this instance you are not obviously aware that all immigrant communities abroad take an active ongoing interest in the old country. It is not just the Indian diaspora. . . . Even the Anglo Saxons who have been on this continent (America) for at least 500 years continue to do that. And I am
    not referring to the politicians or the politics of the situation. I am talking about ordinary folks and their sentiments.

    With regard to my other articles I continue to hold the view that Bharat is central to the Hindu psyche.

    I have just published an article on the rediscovery of the Sarasvati River mentioned some 75 times in the Rig Veda and which dried up after the Vedic period.

    The article is ‘ With the Rig Veda in one hand and a spade in the other ‘ (Vijayvaani.com).

    The comments, understandably, were nearly all from Hindus and all appreciative. But there was one lone dissenter, an Indian Muslim who comments on this site. Often, he says outrageous things, and the others either ignore him or reply rudely to him.

    I have no objections to his comments because I find him an interesting case study. Unlike his Pakistani counterparts some of whom claim descent from the barbarian hordes (Genghis Khan, the Turks and Arab invaders etc. ) he is obviously a convert from Hinduism.

    He experiences a curous split in his psyche. Unlike you, he openly exults when Indian is attacked etc. And yet he comes to what is effectively a Hindu site. Why ?

    The answer would be intriguing.

  17. mathew Reply

    June 28, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Not the issue…
    @Dr. Vijaya Rajeeva, expats’ or diaspora’s maintaining their ethnic religious affinities and love for their left behind home is normal and are appreciated. That is human nature, and a right too. You are welcome.

    Your opinions mostly go beyond that, and you often question the citizenship rights and patriotism of true Indian Citizens merely because they belong to different religions. Having given up the Indian Citizenship yourself, I do not see or agree you have a locus standi in this context. That’s all.

  18. Dr.Vijaya Rajiva Reply

    June 29, 2013 at 9:32 am

    we seem to be going round and round in circles since we are talking at cross purposes.

    I am not sure what you mean by ‘true Indian citizens’. I have already explained that there are many such true citizens (not you) who are not loyal to the country. I have given you the example of one Observer at Vijavaani with whom I have frequent discussions.

    Having given up Indian citizenship does not necessarily mean one ceases to be Indian. In fact, the Indian diaspora is very active in many philanthropic and other activities connected with the old country.

    My own personal view over a period of time is this and this is what troubles you I think : I view India as both historically and today as primarily a Hindu country in its ethos. It is not clear whether any of the converted communities (and all muslim and christian communities are converts from Hinduism; I do not believe that they are descended either from the followers of Christ or Mohammed). But they live in the country without the historical imagination that would animate their national consciousness.

    For example Observer and I at Vijayvaani have discussed the question of why Salman Khurshid took Kerry to visit the Taj Mahal.

    Further, he would have no interest in taking Kerry to visit Akshardham, at the outskirts of Delhi.

    I, on the other hand would have taken him first to Akshardham and then perhaps to the Taj. That is the difference.

    While on the subject, the Taj is a pretty mausoleum but does not have the grandeur of the great Hindu temples.A Hindu would immediately understand this.

    I should also add that my articles are intended for the general readership of HK which is Hindu. You happened to wander in.

    You are welcome but it seems to create problems in your mind.

  19. mathew Reply

    July 1, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Just an example…
    @ Dr. Vijaya Rajeeva, just one example of a true Indian citizen is: One who would not give up his/ her sacred Indian citizenship or abandon it for personal benefit or advantage. Indian citizenship and Indian voting rights are sacred. Why give it up if you value it so much, if you want to be a patriotic Indian, and even want to preach endlessly on the sacredness of it?

  20. ink Reply

    July 17, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    @ Dr VJ
    I personally think that you are wasting your time with Mathew here.

    For a person who starts with “do not bring my name or patriotism into picture”, he seems to be more focused on judging you and finding faults with u rather than the topic.

    And if he did not rate your Articles, he would not be here. The trouble is, he knows and rates your article but also despises them for obvious reasons – hence his anger is diverted at you than on the topic.

    A suggestion to you if you dont mind – you are doing a good job here; pls continue focusing on the same rather than wasting your efforts with people who “dont want to accept” …

    good luck !!!

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