Pune, October 17: “When I was a kid at school, I would debate on a topic like ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. I spoke very much in favour of the motion. Today, having seen our country, its politics and its discourse, am no longer convinced it is, because if you interpret the sword as a metaphor of power and authority and you interpret the pen metaphorically as ideas and words, I am sorry to say that while ideas and words may outlast power and authority, power and authority, in the short term can crush the words,” said Congress leader Shashi Tharoor at the Symbiosis International University literary Festival on Saturday. ...
He said, the discourse has become much more intolerant, politically. “We have seen the rise of political tendencies and also deal in absolutes, that have exclusion rather than inclusion as their theme ... They talk about everyone conforming to a unified vision, worshipping a certain faith in a certain way, speaking a certain language, sharing certain cultural assumptions, thinking of history in sort of a monolithic, all of this an anti-thesis of you would consider a liberal attitude,” said Tharoor.
- Excerpts from a report in a newspaper
UNTIL six years ago, Mr. Shashi Tharoor would not have said these words. In fact, the description he made fitted better to those times. For those were the days that almost exactly represented the picture the intellectually-oriented leader painted at the Literary Festival at Pune -- perhaps in a virtual address. But he has chosen to skip that period from his consideration, and tried to paint a picture of what is happening today in the country. It is unfortunate that he has chosen to speak up such a verbose nonsense at a literary festival organisation by an institution of higher learning -- making an attempt to mislead the young minds listening to him with much respect.
But then, that is Mr. Tharoor’s compulsion. As a leader of an Opposition party, he must indulge in promotion of fake narratives as part of a bigger and dirty strategy to malign those in power, no matter what the truth is. Mr. Tharoor must indulge in building blocks of lies and falsehood and try to create the picture of a society in which power and authority are crushing ideas and words. And as he does that, like many of his ilk are doing on a regular basis, Mr. Shashi Tharoor uses a political lingo designed to tell the larger society that the current regime is crushing ideas and words -- as part of a craftily-presented picture of political persecution (which is non-existent in our country in the current times).
There is no doubt that Mr. Tharoor has earned a great reputation for his intellectual prowess. But he puts all that virtue aside as he pushes a narrative of utter political falsehood. So obsessed is he with his dirty design that Mr. Tharoor does not mind dragging the details of a subjudice case about Elgaar Parishad in which a few people are being tried for various offences. In the same speech, he blasts the investigators for booking those people for having said something that is utterly unacceptable and undesirable. He wants to state that saying mere words does not cause an offence since those people under scrutiny have not caused any physical violence. And he uses the example as one of sword crushing words.
This is nothing but an intellectual falsehood and purposeful narrative to spread a wrong and politically-loaded message. And as he does this, Mr. Tharoor does not seem to mind that his own image as an intellectual giant is getting sullied beyond recognition.
But then, Mr. Tharoor must follow his political compulsion. If his boss -- honourable Mr. Rahul Gandhi -- can call the Prime Minister of India Chowkidar Chor Hai, then Mr. Tharoor is permitted, nay mandated, to spread more falsehood.
Such verbose nonsense is the gift of the pseudo-liberals -- of whom Mr. Tharoor is a known leader -- who dominated India’s socio-political discourse for decades. Over time, this tribe built a cantankerous narrative that was fully intolerant of any other shade of opinion. In that narrative, a Hindu opinion was blasphemy, and anybody unfrocking the pseudo-secular and left-liberal lobbyists as sinner. Mr. Tharoor is a leader of those lobbies.
True, he has certain felicity with words. So people give Mr. Tharoor a patient hearing. And that concession he uses to the hilt.
Yes, for a few years, he did get a lot of respect from the people. But of late, as he started spreading falsehood, the common people have begun realising how hollow and how wrong his versions and statements are. There should be no doubt that a lot of young people listening to him during the literary festival address realised how hollow the man is intellectually, and how nonsensical his reasoning is.
There is another reality which Mr. Tharoor would never want to know: The people of his ilk are becoming more and more unpopular with the Indian society. Greater numbers of common people now realise that the pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-liberal narrative is full of falsehood and misleading statements. There should be no doubt that in the near future, the Tharoors and their likes will get a massive social rejection from whose shock they would never be able to emerge.
Of course, Mr. Shashi Tharoor would not want even to think that he is on a losing side. The larger society and its common members have already rejected his narrative and would continue to do so even in the future. In fact, Mr. Tharoor does not deserve so much attention as well. Yet, it must be the endeavour of all right-thinking people to expose men like him at least once so that the reality comes to fore and gets ultimately rejected comprehensively, uncompromisingly.