Shashi Tharoor Photo

Shashi Tharoor

Indian National Congress

Basic Info

About,Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor (Born 9 March 1956,London,UK)is an Indian politician and a former diplomat who is currently serving as Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala since 2009. He also currently serves as Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs.

He was previously Minister of State in the Government of India for External Affairs (2009–2010) and Human Resource Development (2012–2014). He is a member of the Indian National Congress and served as an official spokesperson for the party from January to October 2014. Until 2007, he was a career official at the United Nations, rising to the rank of Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information in 2001. After 29 years at the UN, Tharoor announced his departure after finishing second in the 2006 elections for the Secretary-General to Ban Ki-moon.

Education & Background

Tharoor was born in London to the Malayali Nair family of Lily and Chandran Tharoor of Palakkad, Kerala. His father worked in various positions in London, Bombay, Calcutta and Delhi, including a 25-year career (culminating as group advertising manager) for The Statesman. His paternal uncle was T. Parameshwar, the founder of Readers Digest in India. After his parents returned to India, Tharoor boarded at Montfort School, Yercaud, in 1962, subsequently moving to Bombay (now Mumbai) and studying at the Campion School (1963–68). He spent his high school years at St Xavier's College in Calcutta (1969–71). He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in history from St Stephen's College, Delhi.

In 1975 he moved to the United States to pursue graduate studies at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University,where he obtained his MA and MALD and was awarded the Robert B. Stewart Prize for Best Student and completed his PhD at the age of 22. At Fletcher he also helped found and was the first editor of the Fletcher Forum of International Affairs.

He has also been awarded an honorary D.Litt by the University of Puget Sound and a doctorate honoris causa in history by the University of Bucharest.

Political Career

Shashi Tharoor  As  Poltician

In March 2009 Tharoor contested the Indian General Elections as a candidate for the Congress Party in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. His opponents included P. Ramachandran Nair of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Neelalohitadasan Nadar of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), MP Gangadharan of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and PK Krishna Das of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Despite criticism that he was an "elite outsider", Tharoor won the elections by a margin of about 100,000. He was then selected as a minister of state in the Council of Ministers of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. On 28 May 2009 he was sworn in as Minister of State for External Affairs, in charge of Africa, Latin America, and the Gulf.

Tharoor was a pioneer in using social media as an instrument of political interaction. He was India's most-followed politician on Twitter until 2013, when he was overtaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was the first Indian to reach 10,000 and 100,000 followers on the medium and has millions of followers. However, some of his Twitter posts proved controversial and were highlighted negatively by the opposition and press. As Minister of State for External Affairs he re-established long-dormant diplomatic relationships with African nations, where his fluency in French made him popular with Francophone countries and their heads of state. He was also the first Indian minister to visit Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. He initiated new policy-planning activities on the Indian Ocean and represented India at global events during his 11-month tenure as minister. In April 2010, he resigned from the position, following allegations that he had misused his office to get shares in the IPL cricket franchise.

Tharoor denied the charges and, during his resignation speech in Parliament, called for a full inquiry. In a 2014 rejoinder he defended his position: "I was never involved in a scam of any sort in the IPL- I was brought down because..[I had] antagonised some powerful political cricketing interests" and added that he had "cooperated extensively with the detailed investigation conducted by the Enforcement Directorate into the entire issue", and no wrongdoing had been found.[citation needed]

Between 2010 and 2012 Tharoor remained active in Parliament and was member-convenor of the Parliamentary Forum on Disaster Management, a member of the Standing Committee on External Affairs, of the Consultative Committee of Defence, the Public Accounts Committee, and the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Telecoms. He participated in several important debates of the 15th Lok Sabha, including on the Lokpal Bill, the demand for grants of the Ministry of External Affairs and of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the black money debate, and so on. In the special debate on the 60th anniversary of the Indian Parliament, Tharoor was one of four members of the Congress Party, including party President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee, to be invited to address the Lok Sabha.

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