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Shashi Tharoor
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Dr Shashi Tharoor is Chairman of Dubai-based Afras Ventures; a prize-winning author of ten books, both fiction and non-fiction; and a widely-published critic, commentator and columnist (including for The Hindu, The Times of India and Newsweek). In 2007 he concluded a nearly 29-year career with the United Nations, including working for refugees in South-East Asia at the peak of the “boat people” crisis, handling peace-keeping operations in the former Yugoslavia, and culminating as the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. In 2006, he was India’s candidate to succeed Kofi Annan as UN Secretary-General, and emerged a strong second out of seven contenders. His books include the classic The Great Indian Novel (1989), India: From Midnight to the Millennium (1997), Nehru: The Invention of India (2003), and most recently, The Elephant, the Tiger, and the Cell phone: Reflections on 21st Century India (Fall 2007). Dr Tharoor earned his Ph.D. at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at the age of 22, and was named by the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1998 as a "Global Leader of Tomorrow." He was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, India’s highest honor for overseas Indians. [For more on Shashi Tharoor, please see www.shashitharoor.com.]

He is married to Christa, a Canadian who is Deputy Secretary of the United Nations Disarmament Commission, and is the father of twin sons Ishaan and Kanishk.

Blog Entries by Shashi Tharoor

Indian Ocean Unity

Posted July 23, 2009 | 17:36:40 (EST)

NEW DELHI - What international association brings together 18 countries, straddling three continents thousands of miles apart, united solely by their sharing of a common body of water?

That is a quiz question likely to stump the most devoted aficionado of global politics. It's the Indian Ocean Rim Countries' Association...

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Indian Strategic Power: Soft

Posted May 26, 2009 | 16:15:36 (EST)

The Indian elections are over. What is all this talk of Indian strategic power? Not so fast...

As an Indian, I have become a little concerned about the proliferation of those who speak of India as a future 'world leader' or even as 'the next superpower.' The American publishers...

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Which Way India? Decision Next Week

Posted May 20, 2009 | 17:10:06 (EST)

New Delhi -- A month after they first queued to vote in India's mammoth general election, the country's voters will learn the outcome on May 16. The election, staggered over five phases -- involving five polling days over four weeks, rather than one "election day" -- will determine who rules...

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Corruption

Posted May 11, 2009 | 13:12:17 (EST)

One of the questions people keep asking me since my entry into politics is what we can do about corruption. What would I do, one citizen recently asked in an on-line chat, if I became the "concerned authority"? No such prospect -- the Vigilance Commissioner isn't a Member of Parliament!...

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Police Brutality

Posted May 4, 2009 | 19:16:56 (EST)

As the well-deserved excitement over the worldwide success of Slumdog Millionaire fades at last, it may be time to address an issue peripherally raised by the movie that has been entirely ignored amidst all the hoopla. The film opens with and features horrifying scenes of police brutality, with the cops...

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The World's Greatest Democracy Keeps Breaking Its Own Record

Posted April 27, 2009 | 18:27:28 (EST)

On April 16, the largest exercise of the democratic franchise in history began taking place, as Indian voters headed to the polls to elect a new national Parliament. They have done this 14 times since India gained its independence in 1947. Each time India has voted has been the world's...

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Campaign Journal from Shashi Tharoor

Posted March 20, 2009 | 16:55:31 (EST)

On Thursday night, 19 March 2009, the Indian National Congress party announced my nomination as its candidate for the Lok Sabha (the Lower House of Parliament) at the forthcoming general elections. I will contest from the capital of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram (known more familiarly as Trivandrum).

It's a huge...

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An Open Response to "an Open Letter to Shashi Tharoor"

Posted February 26, 2009 | 10:21:24 (EST)

Note from Shashi Tharoor:

"Some of my regular readers are aware that of late, my writing has been taking a back seat to an increasing involvement in public affairs in India. This has involved me in some occasionally-interesting polemics, including the recent exchange of "open letters" that...

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Olympic Proof: India is Not China

Posted February 11, 2009 | 15:29:57 (EST)

It has become rather fashionable these days to speak of India and China in the same breath. These are the two big countries said to be taking over the world, the new contenders for global eminence after centuries of Western domination, the Oriental answer to generations of Occidental economic success....

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An Obama Moment for India's Untouchables

Posted February 3, 2009 | 14:29:45 (EST)

NEW DELHI - Among the many international consequences of Barack Obama's stunning victory in the United States is worldwide introspection about whether such a breakthrough could happen elsewhere. Could a person of color win power in other white-majority countries? Could a member of a beleaguered minority transcend the circumstances of...

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Apologia

Posted January 27, 2009 | 10:41:19 (EST)

Dear Friends,

Instead of an article this week, I'm issuing an apologia.

Several of you have written to me in response to my last column, syndicated around the world by Project Syndicate, which appeared under various titles written by assorted editors, including
"India's Israel envy". Many of you have...

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India longs to follow Israeli path of reprisal

Posted January 19, 2009 | 16:16:36 (EST)

*"Author's Note: this article was written just two days into the Israeli operation against Hamas but has appeared in syndication around the world over the last week. "

AS Israeli planes and tanks exact a heavy toll on Gaza, India's leaders and strategic thinkers have been watching with an unusual...

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Keep Up the Pressure

Posted January 12, 2009 | 16:36:08 (EST)

More than six weeks after the terror attacks on Mumbai, Pakistan continues, disingenuously, to express skepticism over India's evidence and to disclaim complicity. The grudging admission that the surviving terrorist, Kasab, was Pakistani was followed by the dismissal of the official who admitted it. We should not be too quick...

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Air Farce

Posted January 5, 2009 | 16:05:32 (EST)

I have been a frequent air traveler since I was a few months shy of my sixth birthday, when my parents packed me off to boarding school two plane rides away from home. Those days of being willingly handed from air hostess to air hostess as an "unaccompanied minor" made...

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After the Horror

Posted December 17, 2008 | 15:23:19 (EST)

In the bloodstained aftermath of the horror in Mumbai, India picks itself up and counts the cost in lives lost, in property destroyed and, most of all, in the scarred psyche of a ravaged nation. But there are other consequences, yet to be measured, that the world will soon be...

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Muslims and the Indian Police

Posted December 8, 2008 | 10:36:44 (EST)

As the country copes with the aftermath of the horrors of Mumbai, the hard work of reconstruction, of rebuilding -- of reimagining our country -- has begun. One genuine cause of satisfaction must be that there was no demonization of our Muslim minority, which the terrorists must have hoped to...

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Keep up the spirit to fight

Posted December 1, 2008 | 19:57:43 (EST)

There is a savage irony to the fact that the horror in Mumbai began with terrorists docking near the Gateway of India. The magnificent arch, built in 1911 to welcome the King-Emperor George V, has ever since stood as a symbol of the openness of the city. Crowds flock around...

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Terrorism in Mumbai: Is It All Over for India?

Posted December 1, 2008 | 19:51:26 (EST)

There is a savage irony to the fact that the unfolding horror in Mumbai began with terrorists docking near the Gateway of India. The magnificent arch, built in 1911 to welcome the King-Emperor, has ever since stood as a symbol of the openness of the city. Crowds flock around it,...

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Gritty Portrait of Real India on Reel: A Review of Slumdog Millionaire

Posted November 24, 2008 | 13:50:49 (EST)

Movies made by westerners about India have rarely been worth writing home about, ranging as they've done from the appallingly ignorant racism of Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom to David Lean's well-intentioned but cringe-making Passage to India, with Alec Guinness in brown face and dhoti, warbling...

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How Obama Can Win the World's Trust

Posted November 19, 2008 | 12:02:52 (EST)

Though the euphoria surrounding Barack Obama's election last week as President-elect has not yet begun to subside, it is already time to recognise that the most important challenge facing the next US president is to restore America's standing in the eyes of the world. A new president must reinvent the...

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