From the Bard of Avon to the Jumla Baaz Modi

Syed Qamar Hassan

By Syed Qamar Hassan

Only a literary aristocrat( an appellative given to Shashi Tharoor by Mrs. Anjum Babu Khan, a pucca blue stocked Hyderabadi lady part host of the event who compered the event) of Dr. Shashi Tharoor accomplishments and stature could conflate his controversial of the cuff remark of “traveling cattle class” and Prime Minister Modis’ Jumala baazi, with a finesse quoting Shakespear’s famous lines, “jests propriety lies in the ear of him that hears it, never in the tongue of him that makes it,” from bards play, “Love’s Labor’s Lost”, but not verbatim.

Dr. Tharoor interacted in a dialogue with former NDTV anchor, the charming MS, Nidhi Razdan, at the launch of his latest book, “Pride, Prejudice and Punditry” in Hyderabad at Park Hyatt on Saturday evening. When reminded by Nidhi of the all-around attack and annoyance he faced, and the calls for his resignation by the opposition for his “Cattle Class” comment as Minister of State for External Affairs and his Twitter remark that he would travel “ cattle class in solidarity with all our holy cows”. Dr. Tharoor conceded that he has realized, and believed in Shakespearean wisdom, that what is said does not matter, but what is understood matters a lot, and in the future, he would keep in mind whatever lighter remarks he makes.

MS Education Academy
Shashi Tharoor’s book

Recollecting one of his earlier interactions with PM Modi, when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he said Modi has a fine sense of dramatizing and making non-issues and affairs interesting. Once Modi, he said, was confronted by the media for his neglecting Muslims in his state, Modi told the scribes present to take out their pens and write Modi did nothing for Muslims, and then next write Modi did nothing for Hindus and then write Modi did for the Gujarati and Gujarat.

Talking about his writing that spans over 40 years beginning at the tender age of ten, when children normally dabble in other childish fantasies, Pride, Prejudice, and Punditry is his 23 rd. book. He attributed his writing skills to his late father, who he says had been a great source of encouragement and support. ” I was asthmatic, could not sleep would be restless and the best I could do was to put my restiveness to productiveness and would scribble and scribble whatever came to my mind, and my father seeing my scribbled text appointed a steno to type out what I wrote”.

“Fiction, I believe as compared to non-fiction, is difficult to pen, especially for a writer like me who has so many other errands to run and tends to lose the terrain of thoughts that is essential for coherence and continuity in fiction writing .” Non-fiction I feel is easier to write, despite the many distractions in my line of work.

The former elite diplomat who rubbed shoulders with the powerful and strong diplomatic corps and would have been the first Indian Secretary-General of the UN, but for the likelihood of the USA vetoing his candidacy fearing his upright and bold credential regarding human and democratic rights still carries the elegance and grace of his former self.

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