Monday, 28 May 2012

The Tweet that Wasn't!

An Aspiring diplomat's observations of India's Finest diplomat's Political Achievements.

If one randomly skims through the newspapers of 2009- 2010 you will notice at least a couple of articles every month on the the new diplomat turned politician, Dr. Shashi Tharoor. It was almost as though the following day's headlines and the Op-Ed columns were revolving around a 140 character view- point of a social- media savvy Minister who was breaking the hallowed rule of silence maintained faithfully by the government's representatives. The obloquy of the media forced the Indian politicians on Twitter to exercise a policy of caution and succeeded in making the others desist the idea of a 'direct connect'

Fast forward to 2012 and you see Shashi Tharoor continues to tweet, expressing views, opinions and even catering to citizen issues that call for immediate attention as candidly as he did before. One is abreast with the latest developments courtesy the tweet-meme. So what has changed? To put it simply, The Media- Attitude.

As a Law student the first rule that is etched in one's mind is the need for Evidence that proves your case beyond reasonable doubt. So here are a few tweets from this year which will help you understand the scrupulous measures undertaken by this Member of Parliament despite the brickbats he received in the past. What is grossly disappointing is that that none of these tweets which throw light upon the essential have found their way to the media in the way an absolutely frivolous comment like 'cattle- class' did. The larger question here is, Does the Indian Media thrive on trivia for higher readership? Is substantive journalism slowly turning into an archaic concept? Is the Indian media now the ghetto redolent of minutia owing its failure to shed light on those predicaments that affect the citizen? The affairs of the State deeply impact every citizen directly or indirectly. However, while national causes get larger coverage, one is absolutely oblivious of steps taken on the International front to improve our relations with other countries. 

 To turn the tables, here is an episodic view of the last five months of 2012 using the same 'tweet' that once stung people, to highlight work done, issues  undertaken and opinions of consequence.

On the Maldivian shift to democracy.

On the Rinkle case that took India by storm.
On the Indo- Russian diplomatic relations
As a UN diplomat, Dr. Tharoor still recommends India to work independently before it seeks UN help.

On Israel.

Dr. Tharoor on a private citizen's plea for help personally takes up the cause.

On the Norway custody row.

On the lesser discussed Latin American ties.
Yes, one learns a lot via Dr. Shashi Tharoor

What you've just read is only a glimpse of the good work that has gone unnoticed. This politico- diplomat leaves no stone un- turned when it comes to India's International Relations and prefers to share his views in black and white. One finds this MP adopts a unique and ubiquitous approach that any mature Indian reader will relate to. What is distressing is the fact that these views are currently restricted to one platform. One is forced to ask if the Media can spend enough time hounding leaders on triflings, isn't it befitting that the Indian reader should know the fact that these leaders also move beyond their realm of being Ministers, adopt a humanitarian approach to work for the greater good?

The aim of this post is not only to highlight the conscientiousness of the Member of Parliament but also to create an awareness among readers about the 'objectionable selectiveness' which has become the motif of the Media. Sparring Twitterati are blessed with the limelight for the extra spice in the newspaper. The concept as Twitter as a medium of political exchange is still in the pipe.


The point of inquiry in the second part of the article is, Are we utilizing the skills of our visionaries enough? Is it not time for the dynamic  members in the Parliament to lead from the front rather than render support from the periphery? Is it not apt that India begins to incorporate the younger Ministers to assume the reign, while the older sapient generation supports them from the background. 

Here the aim is not to demean or disregard the service that the older Parliamentarians have rendered, but as a growing democracy is it fair to choose to live with rigid principles and laws that the older generation clings to. 

Must seniority always trump caliber in the Indian political arena?

It is imperative to explicitly convey the idea to the reader vis-a-vis an example. Very recently the Ministry of External Affairs was faced with an Indo-Italian crisis wherein two Indian fishermen were killed by two Italians while at sea. Media houses deliberated on the possible consequences this incident would have on the international relations between the two countries, the Ministry of External Affairs was still deliberating on possible ways to maintain amity between the two countries while political analysts decided to unilaterally decide who was right and who was not. It was in the midst of this chaotic mess, Dr. Tharoor opined, "If both countries deem it fit, India could deliver the sentence, but the guilty delinquents could serve their sentences in Italy." A middle ground had been found. And that is the essence of being one who has spent a lifetime searching for solutions and more importantly finding ways to implement them rather than the adopt the stance of the Ministry wherein one hardly gets more than a statement by the Honourable Minister.

This is the change that India deserves. Political chicanery can and must take a back seat especially when dealing with International Relations because within the country one can belong to the Congress, the BJP, the BJD or any other party but while dealing with geopolitical issues all these divisions are inconsequential. India is then represented as a whole. 

We need problem solvers. The need of the hour is fore- thought concomitant to skillful diplomacy and not false prudery. We need leaders who will enhance the country's repute in the global community. Shashi Tharoor has been a world icon for over three decades now. Although a new-comer, this leader has achieved much more than many of his comrades. If India deserves the best why not gracefully hand over the Ministry to these able hands sooner rather than later?

It is quintessential that India must retain its position as a charismatic fore- runner in an ever changing world rather than portray itself as a country that is bound by the fetters of age and seniority.

 If the price of the Indian success is dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen, here is a leader who epitomises all three and as a responsible citizen who is bestowed with a right to voice an opinion, I believe that we have in Dr. Shashi Tharoor a perfect choice to steer the way ahead for Ministry of External Affairs. 

Having said that, I rest my case.

Please Note: The views and opinions expressed are not subject to media scrutiny.
All twitter handles apart from Dr. Shashi Tharoor's have been duly notified. 

Katherine. Abraham

@katie_abraham on Twitter

The Writer is a Law student and an aspiring U.N diplomat.


  1. Great thoughts Katie. Absolutely agree with everything you expressed. Mr. Tharoor is an ideal politician and a leader that the young India is looking for. We need more of Tharoorians in Indian politics.

    1. Thank you for your kind comments. Glad you liked it!

  2. Great article Katie with brilliant articulation. The way you scrutinized the things about Mr. Tharoor is just marvelous. Good to see our college students getting inspired by a great leader. His works, so far, has been neglected by Indians. But as they say “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
    Keep it up Katie.
    - another zealous Tharoorian

    1. Thank you for your very kind comments Amit. I would be delighted if you would contribute a post for Tharoorians For Change. Please feel free to send in your posts, suggestions or queries to I look forward to hearing from you.

  3. Dr. Tharoor also has a comprehensive website dedicated to his activities and milestones achieved as an MP. Only MP I know who has a regular log of the work he does. Out there on the worldwide web. Only those who have nothing to hide can afford to be transparent.

    1. Yes Absolutely agree. It takes a pristine politician to work with transparency. Dr. Tharoor is one of them. And it is quintessential that all our excellent minds are duly appreciated because they are India's Pride.

      P.S Look forward to your next post. Hopefully, soon!

  4. Wow.. It's superb.. Nice thoughts.. & I can't say about Tharoor sir.. No words..

    1. Thank you Mukund. Your comments are highly appreciated.