obscurantism", Shashi Taroor, nominated by India for
United Nations Secretary
ADDITIONAL NOTE (25 JUNE 2006):
Shashi Tharoor has been forwarded as India's candidate for the post of
Secretary General of the U.N.
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
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
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
Baba cheating with vibhuti
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
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.
Baba's fake lingam production and. for example,
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
Shashi Tharoor's New York Herald Tribune article is
Friday, December 06, 2002 1:58 AM
Subject: Google Search Shashi
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
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.
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).
"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).
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
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).
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).
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).
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).
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
Smile and Other Stories (1990), a collection of short stories
(1992), a satire of the Bombay film industry which was subsequently adapted into the
motion picture "Bollywood"
Midnight to the Millennium (1997), a historical commentary of India published on the
50th anniversary of India's independence.
The Great Indian
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:
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
"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).
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
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
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
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
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.
observations about India are extremely optimistic. Tharoor provides this assessment:
"[India has] tremendous strengths...energy, 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"
What the Critics have
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).
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).
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.
Kamath, M. V.
"Sashi Tharoor's India: From Midnight to the Millennium." On-line.
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.
Tharoor." On-line. Rutgers University. 1997. 12 Feb. 1998. Notation in text: (Shashi
"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.
"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.
"What the Critics say about Show Business of 'Bollywood'." On-line.
Links to articles
by/with Shashi Tharoor on the web
Extreme: On the Peculiarly Vicious Fanaticism of Expatriates"
India: From Midnight to
Millennium, the entire text of chapter one
to Become an Economic Superpower"
Is It Anyway?"
"India Turns 50: A Transcript of an interview with Shashi Tharoor" by David
Author: Brian Oubre,
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Postcolonial Studies at Emory
(Image of an
"Homme Carrefour" from Donald J. Cosentino's Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou
[Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 1995].)
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Last Update: October 26, 2001