Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Did Tharoor deserve the boot? May be he did

It has been quite an eventful week, wouldn’t you say, what with the Tharoor-Modi saga drawing itself out on television and in the newspapers, and, of course, some of the worst days in aviation history seen after World War II.

Shashi Tharoor deserved what he got, many would say. After all, it was not his first gaffe after assuming public office, nor was he unwise enough not to gauge the consequences of talking a bit too much. After all, when you are a minister in government, there is a certain restraint you have to bring to bear, if not for dignity’s sake then at least for ensuring you are not opening the doors to criticism and the inevitable boot.

In any case, it was not a first time for Tharoor; he always seemed to have a way with courting trouble, the foot-in-the-mouth disease sort of thing, and this time neither Sonia Gandhi nor Dr Manmohan Singh was amused by his dalliance with the IPL. Whether Tharoor will survive to be minister again can only be guessed but my hunch is that he may well have written his obit in politics, with such derring-do. Sad really, when you come to think that he had so much in him and could have contributed in a significant way as minister.

Strangely, his contribution to ‘external affairs’ was insignificant. His remark about Saudi Arabia acting as interlocutor on issues concerning India and Pakistan was just an example of his naivetĂ© and certainly was not welcomed by the PM or the External Affairs Minister. In the end, Tharoor dug his own grave and it will take a while for him to regain all that he has lost.

Anything can happen in politics, but my hunch is Tharoor must have had enough for now. He would rather withdraw and settle down with people and things more private and personal.

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