Dr. Shashi Tharoor’s latest blog where he publicly praises Prime Minister Narendra Modi has created a furore among his party members and peers. A politician of a different make, Dr. Tharoor has once again found himself in the grip of controversy.
Whether you support him or not, it is hard to ignore him. Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, and one of the few ministers to be reinstated to power in the 2014 parliamentary elections in India. He is one of the most educated and prolific leaders of the Congress party, famous for his suave celebrity like persona and his plethora of experience as a leader, not to mention his prolificacy as an author.
The most recent storm around him was stirred by Dr. Tharoor’s public praise for the new Prime Minister. As a member of the Congress party, praising Prime Minister Modi openly is probably akin to sin, but as an individual it takes courage and may be something as simple as good sportsmanship. If politics is a sport where there can only be one winner, it takes a good sport to be able to praise his winning opponent. One can either leave the field sulking and swollen faced or with a smile and a handshake. As it is said, let the best man win, and maybe he just did.
However this move by Dr. Tharoor has not been well received by his colleagues. There has been tremendous speculation about the motive behind such an action. It could be dubbed as opportunism, or a premature and irresponsible assessment of the new national leader or maybe even disloyalty to his own party. As would be expected, things have been blown out of context and Dr. Tharoor has been forced to take a stand and defend himself.
When you are in politics, you are required to follow dictum than use your intellect. To be able to remove yourself from a situation and look at things objectively cannot be easy. May be Dr. Tharoor was endeavoring to do just that.
So Why All The Hoopla?
If one carefully reads the blog in question, it seems like Dr. Tharoor is simply making a plea to the Prime Minister voicing a concern that is shared by a lot of Indians, whether they have or have not voted for the winning party. Like many he hopes that the Prime Minister lives up to the standard he has set for himself so far, with his apparently inclusive and progressive demeanor and manner of action.
This has definitely drawn the eye balls of those who follow this game of politics closely. If taken in the right spirit, Dr. Tharoor’s words are informed, insightful and thought provoking. But honesty and the ability to call a spade a spade are qualities that are not always appreciated, not in politicians. It is not acceptable behavior to praise the winning opponent while compromising the interest of your own party. When publishing a blog like this, the writer is sure to have considered and realized the ramifications it may bring. But none the less, he went ahead.
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However, for us readers, it is this quality of honesty that is refreshing. Why not be secure enough to praise your opponent, it is not going to make his victory any sweeter. Headlines will change, this controversy will be forgotten, but as of now, any publicity is good publicity, and this issue has got enough publicity. Dr. Tharoor may have lost some faith within his party, but he has definitely gained a few fans.
The article that got the Congress party fuming, you can read it here.