Articles By Me

REASONS OF STATE: Its time for India to revisit its time
March  2,  2012
Way back in 1974, as a teenage collegian, I spent a summer holiday at the tea estate of a classmate’s father near Jorhat in Assam. Indian Standard Time, my friend’s father explained, made no sense in a place where the sun would be rising by 4 am and setting by 3.30 pm if the planters used the same clock as the people in New Delhi.>.....
Shashi Tharoor reviews ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’ by Katherine Boo
February  11,  2012
This is an astonishing book. It is astonishing on several levels: as a worm’s-eye view of the “undercity” of one of the world’s largest metropolises; as an intensely reported, deeply felt account of the lives, hopes and fears of people traditionally excluded from literate narratives; as a story that truly hasn’t>.....
Foreign Policy Matters to all
January  1,  2012
My new book, Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century, looks at our foreign relations and our place in the world. Many have wondered whether foreign policy is relevant at all to the daily lives of most Indians.>.....
Shall we call the President?
December  17,  2011
Pluralist democracy is India’s greatest strength, but its current manner of operation is the source of our major weaknesses. India’s many challenges require political arrangements that permit decisive action, whereas ours increasingly promote drift and indecision. We must have a system of government whose leaders can focus on governance rather than on staying in power.>.....
Security Council Reform: Past, Present, and Future
December  15,  2011
The problem of reforming the Security Council is rather akin to a situation in which a number of doctors gather around a patient and all agree on the diagnosis, but they cannot agree on the prescription. The diagnosis is clear: the Security Council (SC) reflects the geopolitical realities of 1945 and not of today.>.....
Wanted: A genuine Test all-rounder
December  6,  2011
The dearth of genuine Test all-rounders is a stark reality, a worrying fact, as not many cricketers offer consistent all-round quality these days, notes Shashi Tharoor.>.....
The end is a journey
October  25,  2011
To travel is to wilfully leap into the unknown – to give up the assured security of home for the exigencies of the world. This is true whether one journeys from home to a nearby town to see a mela, or to another continent in search of work. Over time, the world and its mores seep, imperceptibly, into our lives and into our minds.>.....
Amitav Ghosh’s ‘River of Smoke’: Stormy sequel doesn’t disappoint
September  27,  2011
“River of Smoke” does not disappoint. “Sea of Poppies” ended amid a raging storm, rocking the triple-masted schooner, the Ibis, and its colorful array of seamen, convicts and demi-slaves. Its sequel catches another storm-tossed vessel, the Anahita, a sumptuously built cargo ship laden with opium owned by Bombay merchant Bahram Modi, as it heads to China>.....
The end of Kerala’s IPL dream?
September  20,  2011
Poorly supported by the lethargic and self-interested administrators of the Kerala [ Images ] Cricket Association, Kochi Tuskers Kerala had promised to rewrite the cricketing history of the state. Their demise is a blow whose major victim is Kerala cricket itself, writes Shashi Tharoor, member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram>.....
Welcome To Garden East, A Theatre Of Absurdities
September  19,  2011
Pakistani novelist Mohammed Hanif, who had already demonstrated many of these qualities in his highly praised debut novel A Case of Exploding Mangoes, serves a near-ace in his second, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti. It is brilliantly written, powerfully conceived and richly imagined;>.....
Has the world really learnt the lessons of 9/11?
September  11,  2011
It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since the terrible events of September 11, 2001 events which forced every one of us to explore how to move forward in an increasingly uncertain world, and to reflect on how to cope with terrorism at home and around the world. Wednesday’s bomb blasts outside the Delhi High Court are another stark reminder that no one is immune to the threat. >.....
Comedy of Manners
September  2,  2011
Few things in international affairs are more agreeable, all round, than the non-official dialogues diplomats refer to as “Track-II”.New Delhi played host this month to a visiting delegation of Pakistani parliamentarians, brought here by an enterprising Islamabad NGO called PILDAT>.....
Shashi Tharoor on the Lok Pal Bill and Anna Hazareji
August  23,  2011
As one who has long urged an end to public apathy about politics, I’m inspired by seeing the passion of Annaji’s followers. I share their passion against corruption, and I have no doubt that he has touched a chord amongst millions of Indians. >.....
The world’s not enough
August  18,  2011
In the last two decades, India has gone from being one of the least globalised economies in the world to one of the most dependent on international commerce. Right up to the late 1980s, foreign travel was a rare and much-coveted luxury for the middle classes. If one got to go abroad, one had to depend on the largesse of foreigners, since you could carry out of India only a measly foreign exchange allowance>.....
How good is Sehwag?
August  8,  2011
As a demoralised, underprepared, injury-ridden and outclassed Indian team attempt to regroup for the third Test, the air of expectation surrounding the return of Virender Sehwag can be compared only to that of the faithful anticipating the second coming.>.....
China’s cheerleader
August  7,  2011
He was the architect of Nixon’s notorious “tilt” against us in 1971 and is now a leading advocate of close relations with New Delhi. (I have never quite adjusted to calling this venerable giant “Henry”.) Yet his most signal achievement remains the one that first thrust him onto the world’s consciousness – the secret mission to China in 1971 that paved the way for Nixon’s historic visit to Mao Zedong in Beijing>.....
Amitav Ghosh’s River of Smoke: A history reclaimed
July  10,  2011
Over the last two decades, Amitav Ghosh has established himself as a writer of uncommon talent who combines literary flair with a rare seriousness of purpose.>.....
Shashi Tharoor: War For Peace
May  30,  2011
This was a twist to the earlier arguments for “the right to humanitarian intervention”, turning the issue on its head: the principle was no longer about the right of foreigners to intervene in third countries for humanitarian purposes, but rather their responsibility to protect people, if necessarily through intervention. The evocative image behind R2P was that of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda>.....
It’s bloomtime now
May  22,  2011
In the 1920s, a young Tamil girl sang and starred in her school musical. It was, ostensibly, a private event with few outsiders. Yet so exceptional was her singing that Swadesamitran ran her photograph and wrote about the event. Seeing that photo in the newspaper, her household “was appalled” for, as the music historian V Sriram writes, “good, chaste women never had their photographs published>.....
Wariness about impact of ‘Mohali spirit’
April  17,  2011
India-Pakistan relations —a challenge at the best of times, and in the doldrums since 26/11 —received an unexpected boost last month from an unlikely source: cricket. When the two countries became semi-finalists in the game’s quadrennial World Cup, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited his Pakistani counterpart, Yousaf Raza Gilani, to watch the game with him at Mohali, with talks over dinner.>.....
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