Shashi Tharoor Eats Humble Pie for His Tweet Remarks

Why Tharoor is Inviting Trouble Through His Inadvertent Remarks.

It is said “Loose lips sink ships”. It seems to be true with Shahi Tharoor, a former UN Diplomat turned politician who is courting controversies one after another mainly due to his inadvertent remarks.

Tharoor recently ran into trouble when his “cattle class” remarks drew fire from one and all including his own Congress party. Jayanthi Nataraja, Congresss spokesperson, was quick to disown Tharoor’s remarks and termed the phrase “unacceptable” and said Tharoor was perhaps not conscious of local sensitivities since he was new to Indian politics.

Many joined Jayanthi in condemning Tharoor while MP CM suggested his removal from the cabinet. Shahi Tharoor who is in Liberia said “Sorry” for his remarks as they were only a reply to the question posted to him in Twitter.

Tharoor said he had no intention to hurt the sentiments of the masses and that his remarks were misunderstood. The Minister, who is in Liberia on an official visit, tweeted late night on Thursday that he had, “learned belatedly of fuss over my tweet replying to journo’s query whether I would travel to Kerala in ‘cattle class’.” He pointed out that the phrase “cattle class” was used in the query, which he just repeated.

All said and done, a man of his caliber and standing should be careful with his public utterances. Indians are hyper-sensitive and any slip can raise a big storm in the country.

Of late, Shahi Tharoor, a junior minister in the MEA is finding himself an odd man out there, not having enough work to engage himself. His lifestyle and modern English language may not fully fit him in the Indian atmosphere. Either he must better adapt to the changing conditions or seek a more valuable job to suit his temperament. He has come from the state of Kerala, where literacy is the highest in the country. May be if he is sent back to Kerala to live with his grass root level workers, he might learn the nuances of political life.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi should at least expect her party senior pros to behave in such a manner to not cause embarrassment to the party and Government as well. He needs to be disciplined or he may be shifted to another ministry giving independent charge so that he can make himself busy, working for the masses.

Congress is facing a litmus test in Maharashtra, Haryana and other states where Assembly elections are due to be held. Such controversies involving or hurting peoples’ sensitivities, may sink their chances. Tharoor in particular may better guard himself. Jai Hind.

A.M. Jamsheed Basha
A.M. Jamsheed Basha is a Chennai-based columnist, political commentator, who writes on matters of importance, political, social and self-improvement.