from telecom to i.t. to petroleum to aviation to railways to surface transport to industries to every ministry: this govt since 2004 has probably the richest and most corrupt ministers in india’s history.. just wish they’ll stop all this sanctimoniousness over small fry tharoor. sonia, manmohan and gang make me sick.” – Kufr (via facebook)
That said, Trivandrum voted for Shashi Tharoor as MP exactly a year ago, and it’s sad to see his humiliating exit from the ministry. Netizen’s or as Tharoor called “New India” rallied behind his candidature including a very healthy debate on this blog (Can Shashi Tharoor lose in Trivandrum?). Personally I would have preferred Modi losing out in the end (yeah I did my share of anti-Modi tweets), but now that it is all said and done, some sanity check on Tharoor would be a good idea.
I wonder if there will be protests on the ground for Tharoor , or will it be limited to his 700K odd followers on Twitter. If Tharoor doesn’t evoke emotions on the ground, it could be because his priorities are slightly wrong and he is playing to the online crowd, or as the online crowd would put it, the offline crowd is “common man” or “illiterate”. I hope the offline people in Kerala are half as outraged as the angry politician hating online junta. I’m keeping my ears closer to ground, may be Tharoor should have.
Last year same time, many of us asked what Panyan (Ex-MP) did for Trivandrum, and reached a conclusion that he did nothing. I sincerely hope Tharoor has a long list on this front, or at least a small list of things he got done in the past one year for our city. At least this is the list of things Tharoor did and I heard of –
September 2009: Tharoor and SM Krishna were rapped for staying in 5-star hotels.
September 2009: “Cattle Class” remark, Tharoor explains to party.
December 2009: Tharoor publicly criticised the new visa guidelines adopted by the government. (this was a low point, if I were PM he would have been OUT that day)
January 2010: Nehru-Gandhi remark pisses off INC.
February 2010: Saudi third party mediation controversy.
April 2010: IPL Waterloo.
“U folks are the new India”
It is more saddening to see that Tharoor is not exiting on his own, but being sacked around accusations of corruption. If he had resigned in protest against “the red tape”, or “allocation of funds to Kerala”, or even “ludicrous nature of Indian foreign policy” it would have been a worth while tenure. I do not understand when people say “tharoor is the new kinda politician”. I do understand that he never fit in, but that is not enough to claim that he is any different or any better. At this point in time Tharoor was sacked for,
1. Misusing his office and authority to influence a lucrative bidding process.
Also to note that Kochi IPL is a least priority agenda for people of Kerala. Like Thomas Issac said ‘I wish he had used his influence to get a fair allocation of rice from the center”. And I didn’t hear of Tharoor excessive interest in bringing IPL to Kerala till the controversy began.
2. Trying to make money through Sunanda Pushkar.
I would like to believe that Sunanda Pushkar’s consulting services for Kochi IPL is worth 70 crores. Then, I too eat rice, and am a cynic.
And how is Tharoor different from any politician? because he retweets?
Politicians from national parties holding governmental positions have always resigned in the face of graft allegations including, in recent memory – Advani, Madhav Rao, Madan Lal Khurana, and Arjun Singh (after Hawala scam). Tharoor for one, has been creating more distractions than needed for this government, and this time, the allegations call him a crook. Tharoor may not be a crook, but a person with no ground support, who played the online and mainstream media to create a niche for himself finally finding himself at the receiving end of media’s attention. And btw Rajdeep Sardesai and Times group – well played!
At the same time, if there is anyone out there who thinks these allegations are not serious or pure media creation, you are no different from the people who support Deve Gowda and Mayawati despite their tarred hands. And to argue that every politician is corrupt, or bring up names like Modi and Raja to counter an allegation is seriously middle class. Seriously guys, I like Tharoor, but our man messed up beyond normal. He had to go.
P.P.S: In the mean time, prices have risen. Some people are protesting that in Delhi.