Shashi Tharoor is just the kind of man one wanted to see in politics. Educated, eloquent, experienced… A person whose integrity you can take for granted…
And then came his tweets… Lets jump past the cattle-class tweet and come to his Gandhi (the Mahatma) Jayanti tweet. Which started this debate on why we should observe a holiday on that day… Among other tweets, Shashi Tharoor has the following:
– “Vietnamese VP said ydy: in V’nam, HoChiMinh’s birthday is a working day & citizens are expected to put in extra effort at work to honour him.”
– “I want us to start the day w solemn commemoration of Gandhiji & then work, bearing his ideals & principles in mind”…
Tharoor is one among the many great Indians who have found inspiration from the Mahatma.
There is this other eloquent and educated person, who is considered the Guru of communications, and is a revered icon of the Advertisement field… He was on TV in a panel discussion about Mahatma Gandhi (Note: the Mahatma prefix is just to clarify which Gandhi we are speaking of).
And the Ad-man, with folded hands, said that he considered Gandhi as his guru, and that Gandhi had an intuitive understanding of communication… And then he went on to say that even though Gandhi was a South African, he took to wearing Indian dresses at the behest of Gokhale, and that was quite amazing considering that Gandhi was at heart a liberal westerner (or words to that effect)…
Was the loin cloth of the Mahatma merely a “communications device”?
Not sure how many “liberal” westerners go around doing constant japa of the name of Rama.
Coming back to Tharoor and the tweet :
“I want us to start the day w solemn commemoration of Gandhiji & then work, bearing his ideals & principles in mind”…
For one, the Mahatma would not have stayed in a five-star hotel. He would not have done that, for he was frugal with his spending. He would take the least expensive option, a post card rather than an inland letter, a third-class train ticket rather then an upper class one, a hut rather than a room (what to speak of a suite in a five-star hotel)… He would certainly not justify any excessive spend saying “it was my money that i spent”, and he would not insist on “gym and privacy”.
So, among thousands of folks following Shashi Tharoor, I too sent a reply-tweet:
“On Oct 2, politicians following the Mahatma’s ideals may fast, spin charkha, introspect and pray [if that is not a No-No 🙂 ]”
But then they do very little of these things in Vietnam!
Ok… To end this post, let me RT (retweet) (requote) words of the great Mahatma, whose last will and testament, written on the eve of his assassination, commenced with the following lines:
“Though split into two, India having attained political independence through means devised by the Indian National Congress, the Congress in its present shape and form, i.e., as a propaganda vehicle and parliamentary machine, has outlived its use. India has still to’ attain social, moral and economic independence in terms of its seven hundred thousand villages as distinguished from its cities and towns. The struggle for the ascendency of ‘civil over military power is bound to take place in India’s progress towards its democratic goal. It must be kept out of unhealthy competition with political parties and communal bodies. For these and other similar reasons, the A. I. C. C. resolves to disband the existing Congress organization and flower into a Lok Sevak …”
Now what was that again?