Shashi Tharoor


"Propagandist of obscurantism", Shashi Taroor, nominated by India for

United Nations Secretary General 




Shashi Tharoor has been forwarded as India's candidate for the post of Secretary General of the U.N. 

In The International Herald Tribune, November 3, 2002, Shashi Tharoor wrote a most unbalanced story favourable to Sathya Sai Baba. Can the world afford to have as Secretary General of the United Nations a man who believes in "materialisation from thin air" miracles by a guru who claimed to be God Incarnate, the Father who sent Jesus"... especially when these 'materialisations' can easily be seen to be sleight of hand, and the 'diamond rings' he pretends to materialise have cheap artificial 'stones' in them, with silver paper behind the stones to make them shine!



Baba cheating with vibhuti (1.84 MB):

You can clearly see how Baba gets something from his left hand, in which he is holding the letters, and then a bit later is performing vibhuti with his right hand.


Baba cheating with lingam (1,91 MB, with sound):

This movie shows how Baba acts as if he is coughing and because of this he has to use a handkerchief, but in fact he has already got the lingam in his handkerchief and puts the lingam with his left hand into his mouth; immediately afterwards he vomits the lingam.


Baba cheating with vibhuti (1.90 MB):

Look, from the beginning, at Baba's right hand! You can see that he is grabbing something (probably vibhuti) from under the letters which he is holding in his left hand, after that he performs vibhuti and distributes it four times.


Baba cheating with necklace (1.8 MB, quality of movie not very ok)

Right from the beginning you must watch his hands in the purple circle, the left hand is taking over something from the right hand, in which he holds a letter too. Then he is going to walk, and at the end he stops, and the right hand performs the 'materialization' of a necklace.


Baba cheating with vibhuti (0.9 MB)

Watch Sai Baba's right hand a moment after he takes a letter from the person he is talking to: just before the second person to the left raises his head. You can see Sai Baba deposit the letter he had taken on top of the pile in his left hand. Then you can clearly see him reach in under the letters in his left hand, which is a totally unnecessary move and pull out something. In fact you can see him make two distinct moves when his right hand is under the letter pile. First move seems to be pulling out something, and the second move is catching or collecting something. Then he pulls out his right hand and the thumb now is close to the inner palm, clearly holding something. Now he steps back, and waving his hand, "crushes" something, and passes around vibhuti.

- also Sai Baba's fake lingam production  and. for example, Sathya Sai Baba green 'diamond' proven a fake

Taroor wrote: "A private audience with the ocher-robed guru was astonishing at several levels. Sai Baba uttered insights about my family and myself that he could not possibly have known. Most startling, he materializes gifts from thin air - in my case a gold ring with nine embedded stones. He slipped it on my finger, remarking, "See how well it fits. Even a goldsmith would have needed to measure your finger.
But a skilled
magician can do that, and it would be wrong to see Sai Baba as a conjurer. He has channeled the hopes and energies of his followers into constructive directions, both spiritual and philanthropic."
Shashi Tharoor did not mention, of course, that Sathya Sai Baba's having been implicated in police executions in his own bedroom in 1993 while he stood by, which murders were never cleared up a suddenly-terminated CID investigation and were never dealt with by any court due to Government intervention. Nor did Tharoor mention that Sathya Sai Baba is very widely and most credibly accused of homosexual sex abuses by persons who cannot bring a case against him in India, where he has shown he is legally inviolate due to Supreme Court judges who are his devotees, and a devotee Home Minister and Prime Minister.
The Indian Rationalist Association have pointed out the mentality of Shashi Tharoor at some length on their website

Shashi Tharoor's New York Herald Tribune article is here



From: Pittard, Barry

Sent: Friday, December 06, 2002 1:58 AM

Subject: Google Search Shashi Tharoor

Dear All,

It is worth enquiring into this Shashi Tharoor.  The Google first page on his name drives this very point.

Shashi Tharoor was UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Executive Assistant to Secretary of the United Nations.  

Clearly in a novel turning, a Puttaparthi propaganda machine is swinging into action.  Two articles in the western press highly lauding ssb - that of award-winning journalist Keith Bradsher in the New York Times of December 1, and now, three days later in the International Herald Tribune, a high profile UN and novelist type Shashi Tharoor - isn't any 'leela.'  My take is this: 

1.  We have done much damage to the image of ssb and his org.  Their damage control has to pitch to ever new highs.

2. There will be no "divine" play for the attention of the world (which he says he will save before he has left it at the age of 96);  certainly not - it will be a worldly play, which will moblilize his countless high level government, corporate, diplomatic, judicial, police, scientific etc., devotees and admirers throughout the world.

3.  We can be sure that they are working on the likes of Bill Gates, who is gearing to throw both business and charitable billions at India. It is a big attract - here is the only figure who can get things done in India on such an almost all-embracing scale.  Here, Mr Gates, and all other corporates with a heart, is where you can see your donated dollar at work (whatever may have be cleverly 'redeployed'!). 

Highly placed ssb devotees tried to work on British PM Tony Blair (who, in a letter, has assured Tony Colman the British MP that he won't be drawn into it).  The ploy to get Al Gore onside failed when Gore failed to win the US presidency.  They tried to get him a Nobel Peace Prize.  They have some operations going at a giddily high level in Germany, but more of this later. 

However, there a plenty of other cats, and plenty of ways to bell cats.  However, at each of these steps Expose teams were there, and successful in providing alternative documentation, and shall continue to deal with these attempts by his spin doctors to make him look good.

4.  The fellow with the now cosmetic halo of bushy hair who thinks he is King of Kings will, I predict, increasingly try to rope in highest echelon international kings and kingmakers.   The ss org will portray him as very modern as well as the Ancientmost, and do their best to get him world leaders to visit him and say something nice about him.  (I wonder what Shashi Tharoor and his like have been whispering to Kofi Annan, et alia).


Shashi Tharoor

"In writing of Indian culture, I am highly conscious of my own subjectivity; arguably, there is more than one Indian culture, and certainly more than one view of Indian culture."

-- Shashi Tharoor (HAPR)


As a diplomat and writer, Shashi Tharoor has explored the diversity of culture in his native India. By exploring the themes of India's past and its relevance to the future, he has produced both works of fiction and nonfiction. In reaction to his works The Great Indian Novel and Show Business, Tharoor has been referred to as "one of the finest writers of satirical novels currently operating in English" (Shashi Tharoor). Though his works are pointedly satirical and comedic, Tharoor contends that his novels "... are to some degree, didactic works masquerading as entertainment" (HAPR). His most recent work, India: From Midnight to Millennium, is a nonfiction account of India's past and projected future inspired by the 50th anniversary of India's independence.


Shashi Tharoor was born in 1956 in London and educated in Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi (BA in History, St. Stephen's College), and the United States. He holds a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (Shashi Tharoor 2).

Since May 1978, Tharoor has worked for the United Nations. He served over 11 years with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, whose Singapore office he headed during the "boat people" crisis (SAJA). In October 1989 he was transferred to the peace-keeping staff at the United Nations Headquarters in New York (Shashi Tharoor 2). In this position, he served as Special Assistant to the Under-Secretary-General for Peace-keeping Operations. Dealing with a range of issues in this capacity, Tharoor addressed a variety of peace-keeping issues around the world and led the team responsible for the United Nations peace-keeping operations in the former Yugoslavia (Shashi Tharoor 2). On January 1, 1997 Shashi Tharoor was appointed Executive Assistant to Secretary of the United Nations Kofi Annan (Shashi Tharoor 2).

As an author, Shashi Tharoor has written many editorials, commentaries, and short stories in Indian and Western publications (SAJA). In addition, he is the winner of several journalism and literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers' Prize (SAJA).

He is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, the India International Centre in New Delhi, and the American PEN Center (SAJA). He is also an elected Fellow of the New York Institute of the Humanities 1995-96 (SAJA).

Shashi Tharoor is married to writer Tilottama Tharoor and is the father of twin sons (SAJA).

The Author in His Own Words

On his earning his Ph.D. at age 22: "I finished my Ph.D. at 22, but I had a powerful incentive: fear. I was terrified that my scholarship would run out while I was halfway though research and I would spend the rest of my life working too hard to find the time to write it. The day I got to the States on a scholarship I was earning more (after conversion to rupees) than my father earned in India to support a family of five in what most people would consider style" (The Shashi Tharoor Chat).

On his call to write: "I have far more book ideas than books, or evenings and weekends to write them in. Basically I see myself as someone with a number of responses to the world, some through my work" (The Shashi Tharoor Chat).

About his writing method: "I do it on the computer. I tend to write pretty fast (and no doubt unkind critics will say it shows)...with all of my books I have known bursts of frenzied writing on weekends when I've woken up and written pretty much straight from 7 am to midnight, pausing only for meals and tea. So you see that my working methods are not to be recommended to any sane writers out there" (The Shashi Tharoor Chat).

On Indian subcontinental literature: "I think the general crop of Indian writers in English is amazingly good. I think they're doing some of the most exciting, innovative writing being done in English today, breathing new life, new concerns, and yes, new language into English literature" (The Shashi Tharoor Chat).

On Indian expatriates: "...his [the expatriate's] nostalgia is based on the selectiveness of memory...his perspective is distorted by exile... his view of what used to be home is divorced from the experience of home. Expatriates are no longer an organic part of the culture, but severed digits that, in their yearning for the hand, can only twist themselves into a clenched fist" (in The Washington Post).

On Indian nationalism: "Indian nationalism is a rare animal indeed. It is not based on language. . .geography. . . ethnicity. . . religion. Indian nationalism is the nationalism of an idea, the idea of an ever-ever land that is greater than the sum of its contradictions" (Tharoor The New York Times).

On Indian diversity: "If America is a melting-pot, then to me India is a thali, a selection of sumptuous dishes in different bowls. Each tastes different, and does not necessarily mix with the next, but they belong together on the same plate, and they complement each other in making the meal a satisfying repast" (Srinivasan).

On the United Nations: "I believe the UN is still the one indispensable world organization we have. Sure there are wars going on, but the UN can only stop those wars where it has a mandate to do so, which means the parties are willing (or persuadable) to stop...Within those limitations I think we have a pretty good track record" (The Shashi Tharoor Chat).


Reasons of State (1982), a scholarly study of Indian foreign policy making

The Great Indian Novel (1989), a political satire which interprets the Mahabharata as India's modern history

The Five-Dollar Smile and Other Stories (1990), a collection of short stories

Show Business (1992), a satire of the Bombay film industry which was subsequently adapted into the motion picture "Bollywood"

India: From Midnight to the Millennium (1997), a historical commentary of India published on the 50th anniversary of India's independence.

The Great Indian Novel

The Great Indian Novel uses the great Hindu epic, The Mahabharata, to retell the history of modern India. Characters and situations are thinly veiled caricatures of well known elements of myth and politics; Ved Vyas/Vyasa, Ganapathi/Ganesh, and Gangaji's Epic Mango March/Gandhi's Salt March (Goldman). Even the title The Great Indian Novel is a loose translation of the word "Mahabharata." In commenting on his own work, Tharoor writes that "... the concerns in the book emerged from years of indiscriminate reading and slightly more discriminate study of Indian history and politics... [The Mahabharata] had such a contemporary resonance that I instantly thought, here is a vehicle for the book that I want to write about the forces that have made (and nearly unmade) our country" (The Shashi Tharoor Chat).

Tharoor affirms and enhances Indian cultural identity through his novel by reflecting on pluralism and openness in India's kaleidoscopic culture. He also aims to broaden the understanding of Indian culture and historical heritage. Tharoor writes that "the task of altering and shaping such resonant characters and situations to tell a contemporary story offered a rare opportunity to strike familiar chords while playing an unfamiliar tune" (HAPR). Thus this novel, by interpreting reality through myth and history, concludes that India has a vast heritage from which much can be learned.

What the Critics Have to Say about The Great Indian Novel:

"Tharoor astutely fastens fiction to politics, and myth to reality ultimately put forth a tale arisen from the depths of his soul and scope of his political career at the United Nations" (Rajay).

"I found The Great Indian Novel an entertaining and occasionally moving book that will certainly repay the time of anyone interested in and moderately knowledgeable about two somewhat disparaging subjects, the Mahabharata and the history of modern India which are so cleverly and pointedly intertwined in this remarkable book" (Goldman).

Show Business

Concerning his novel Show Business, Tharoor writes that he was "looking for a new creative metaphor to explore aspects of the Indian condition" (HAPR). He considers film to be "the primary vehicle for the transmission of the fictional experience to the majority of Indians," and thus "particularly useful for such exploration"(HAPR).
The novel, explores the Bombay movie industry. Tharoor explains the culture of this industry as "contemporary myths invented by popular Hindi cinema" (HAPR). He uses these myths to portray his perspectives of the diversity contained within India (HAPR). The Bombay movie industry thus becomes the context for this perspective.

What the Critics Have to Say about Show Business:

"Exuberant and clever...both affectionately and fiercely done... What makes Show Business particularly impressive and accomplished is its elaborate structure, [which] replicates the crazy razzle-dazzle of the Hindi film world" (What the Critics say about Show Business of "Bollywood").

"A wacky, satirical tale of hits and misses in the worlds of politics and cinema...engagingly presented... Through a montage of shooting scripts, narrative and monologues, he invents a fictional world that is a metaphor for deeper concerns" (What the Critics say about Show Business of "Bollywood").

India: from Midnight to the Millennium

Tharoor's latest work, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of India's independence provides analysis of both India's past and future. In writing, Tharoor felt that a book was needed which explored what Independence really meant for India (Srinivasan). Tharoor's themes include India's rich cultural heritage, India's contribution to the Western world, and the far-reaching role of past in present day problems. He explores these through a variety of issues such as affirmative action, the caste system, governmental corruption, and the strength of Indian democracy.

Tharoor's observations about India are extremely optimistic. Tharoor provides this assessment: "[India has] tremendous, dynamism, skills, and great will to work and to achieve, and astonishing capacity to save and invest, perhaps, above all, the freedom to express our views, change our leaders and determine our own fates" (The Shashi Tharoor Chat). The modern India he describes possesses entrepreneurial sprit, diminishing corruption, and a strong sense of democracy. India has survived all these years because "it has maintained consensus on how to manage without consensus" (Srinivasan).

What the Critics have to say:

"In this charming book which combines elements of political scholarship, personal reflection, memoir, fiction and polemic, the author deals with a wide range of subjects...contemplating fifty years of Independence from afar in the context of his own upbringing and future hopes" (Kamath).

"Blending memoir, essay and empirical argument, Tharoor carefully reviews the core questions about India’s unfinished experiment in self-governance--the durability of its constitutional democracy, its persistent struggles over caste, the rise of Hindu extremist politics, and the recent and historic attempt to catch up to Asia’s economic tigers through adoption of free-market reforms" (Coll).

Works Cited

Coll, Stephen W. "A Nation Comes of Age." The Washington Post 3 Aug. 1997, X05.

Goldman, Robert. P. "The Great Bharata War in Recent Film and Fiction." On-line. Indiastar. 12 Feb. 1998.

Kamath, M. V. "Sashi Tharoor's India: From Midnight to the Millennium." On-line. India World Short Stories. 23. Mar. 1998.

Rajay. "Reviw of The Great Indian Novel: A Twice Born Tale. On-Line. Panwala Web. 16 Feb. 1998.

SAJA (South Asian Journalists Association). "Bio of past SAJA guest speaker Shashi Tharoor." On-line. SAJA. Columbia University. 1997. 12 Feb. 1998.

"Shashi Tharoor." On-line. Rutgers University. 1997. 12 Feb. 1998. Notation in text: (Shashi Tharoor).

"Shashi Tharoor." Serve.Com. 1997. 12 Feb. 1998. Notation in text: (Shashi Tharoor 2).

Srinivasan, Rajeev. "Freedom: An Interview with the author of India: From Midnight to Millennium." On-line. Rediff On The Net. 1997.
Tharoor, Shashi. "Growing Up Extreme: On the Peculiarly Vicious Fanaticism of Expatriates." On-line. Mnet [from The Washington Post]. 12 Feb. 1998.

Tharoor, Shashi. "India's Odd, Enduring Patchwork." The New York Times. 8 Aug. 1997. A31.

Tharoor, Shashi. "Whose Culture Is It Anyway? The role of culture in developing countries: an Indian writer's view." On-line. Harvard Asia Pacific Review (HAPR). 12 Feb. 1998.

"What the Critics say about Show Business of 'Bollywood'." On-line. Arts-Online.Com Film.

Links to articles by/with Shashi Tharoor on the web

"Confronting Ancient Animosities"

"Growing Up Extreme: On the Peculiarly Vicious Fanaticism of Expatriates"

India: From Midnight to Millennium, the entire text of chapter one

"India's Odd, Enduring Patchwork"

"India, Poised to Become an Economic Superpower"

"Whose Culture Is It Anyway?"

"India Turns 50: A Transcript of an interview with Shashi Tharoor" by David Gergen

Author: Brian Oubre, Spring '98.

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