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Shashi Tharoor
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]

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.

Entries by Shashi Tharoor

Modi's Indian Ocean Tour Shows That India's Watching China

(9) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 4:34 PM

NEW DELHI -- India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a tour across the Indian Ocean this week that is noteworthy both for where he's going and where he's not.

He's already arrived in the Seychelles, a strategically important island off the African coast that has become...

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Why Caste Won't Disappear From India

(119) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 5:15 PM

The news that a recent survey has established that 27 percent of Indians still practice caste untouchability is not, in many ways, news at all. Most Indians have grown up in an India where we have seen such behavior, though the kind of people who read English-language op-eds...

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The Politics of UN Leadership

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 11:02 AM

NEW DELHI -- Election cycles are growing longer worldwide. In the United States, for example, ambitious politicians are already campaigning hard in bellwether states for the 2016 presidential election. Yet some races -- such as that for the next United Nations secretary-general, which will also be held in 2016 --...

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China's Silk Road Revival -- and the Fears It Stirs -- Are Deeply Rooted in the Country's History

(12) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 12:53 PM

NEW DELHI - The phrase "Silk Road" evokes a romantic image -- half history, half myth -- of tented camel caravans winding their way across the trackless deserts and mountains of Central Asia. But the Silk Road is not just part of a fabled past; it is an important feature...

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India and China Have Outgrown the West

(5) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 12:32 PM

NEW DELHI -- From the heady days of "Chindia," when China and India were twinned together in the global imagination, comparisons between the two countries have taken on a more modest hue. Once united by their shared status of being giant Asian countries with booming demographies and unlimited economic potential,...

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Come Narendra Modi potrebbe essersi trasformato in "Modi 2.0"

(1) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 11:08 AM

Quando Narendra Modi ha riportato una vittoria schiacciante nelle elezioni politiche, diventando il primo Premier indiano degli ultimi trent'anni a disporre di una maggioranza assoluta nella camera bassa del litigioso Parlamento indiano, molti si sono chiesti con timore cosa bisognasse attendersi da quella vittoria. Per gli...

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How Narendra Modi May Have Evolved into 'Modi 2.0'

(70) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 3:02 AM

When Narendra Modi swept to a dramatic victory in India's general elections, becoming the first prime minister in three decades to command an absolute majority in the lower house of India's fractious Parliament, many in India worried about what his victory would portend. To political opponents and members...

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Indian Ocean Unity

(1) Comments | Posted July 23, 2009 | 4:36 PM

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

(4) Comments | Posted May 26, 2009 | 3:15 PM

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

(1) Comments | Posted May 20, 2009 | 4:10 PM

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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(5) Comments | Posted May 11, 2009 | 12:12 PM

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

(5) Comments | Posted May 4, 2009 | 6:16 PM

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

(10) Comments | Posted April 27, 2009 | 5:27 PM

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

(5) Comments | Posted March 20, 2009 | 3:55 PM

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"

(1) Comments | Posted February 26, 2009 | 9:21 AM

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

(3) Comments | Posted February 11, 2009 | 2:29 PM

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

(1) Comments | Posted February 3, 2009 | 1:29 PM

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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(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2009 | 9:41 AM

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

(4) Comments | Posted January 19, 2009 | 3:16 PM

*"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

(1) Comments | Posted January 12, 2009 | 3:36 PM

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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