Shashi Tharoor: Political Career, Speeches & Personal life - Shashi Tharoor Books PDF Download Free

Shashi Tharoor: An author, politician, and former international civil servant, Shashi Tharoor straddles several worlds of experience. Currently, a second-term Lok Sabha MP representing the Thiruvananthapuram constituency and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, he has previously served as Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs in the Government of India. During his nearly three-decade-long prior career at the United Nations, he served as a peacekeeper, refugee worker, and administrator at the highest levels, serving as Under-Secretary-General during Kofi Annan's leadership of the organization.

Childhood and Education - Shashi Tharoor

Tharoor was born in London, the United Kingdom to a 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 Tharoor Parameshwaran, 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 Collegiate School in Calcutta (1969–71). He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in history from St Stephen's College, University of 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 Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy and completed his Ph.D. in International Relations and Affairs at the age of 22. At Fletcher, he was awarded the Robert B. Stewart Prize for Best Student and 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.

Shashi Tharoor - Diplomatic Career


Tharoor's career in the United Nations began in 1978 as a staff member of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva. From 1981 until 1984 he was head of the UNHCR office in Singapore, during the boat people crisis, leading the organization's rescue efforts at sea and succeeding in resettling a backlog of Vietnamese refugees. He also processed Polish and Acehnese refugee cases. After a further stint at the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, during which he became the first chairman of the staff elected by UNHCR personnel worldwide, Tharoor left UNHCR. In 1989 he was appointed a special assistant to the Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, the unit that later became the Peacekeeping Operations Department in New York. Until 1996, he led the team responsible for peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia, spending considerable time on the ground during the civil war there.

Assistant Secretary and Under-Secretary-General at the UN

In 1996, Tharoor was appointed Director of Communications and Special Projects and Executive Assistant to Secretary-General Kofi Annan. On January 2001, Tharoor was appointed as Interim Head of the Department of Public Information (DPI) at the Assistant-Secretary-General level. He was subsequently confirmed as the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information (UNDPI) with effect from 1 June 2002. In this capacity, he was responsible for the United Nations' communications strategy, enhancing the image and effectiveness of the organization. In 2003 the Secretary-General gave him the additional responsibility of United Nations Coordinator for Multilingualism. During his tenure at the UNDPI, Tharoor reformed the department and undertook a number of initiatives, ranging from organizing and conducting the first-ever UN seminar on Anti-Semitism, the first-ever UN seminar on Islamophobia after the 11 September attacks, and launching an annual list of "Ten Under-Reported Stories the World Ought to Know about", which was last produced in 2008 by his successor.

On 9 February 2007, Tharoor resigned from the post of Under-Secretary-General and left the UN on 1 April 2007.

Shashi Tharoor Political Career in India

Tharoor once said that when he began his political career he was approached by the Congress, the Communists, and the BJP. He chose Congress because he felt ideologically comfortable with it. 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",[citation needed] 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, including the Haj pilgrimage, and the Consular, Passports, and Visas services of the Ministry. 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.
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. Some of his Twitter posts have proved controversial in the past and were highlighted negatively by the opposition and press.

He was also the first Indian minister to visit Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. He reformed the arrangements relating to the conduct of the Haj pilgrimage. He initiated new policy-planning activities on the Indian Ocean and represented India at various 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] antagonized 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.
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.

In 2012 Tharoor was re-inducted into the Union Council of Ministers by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with the portfolio of minister of state for HRD. In this role, he took a special interest in the problems and challenges of adult education, distance education and enhancing high-quality research by academic institutions. He was responsible for the ministry's written answers to Parliament's questions and responded to oral questions on education during the Lok Sabha's Question Hour. He addressed forums and conferences on education, explained a vision of India's educational challenges in the context of the country's demographic opportunities, and stressed that education was not only a socioeconomic issue but also a national security issue.

As Member of Parliament for Thiruvananthapuram, Tharoor became the first elected representative in India to issue annual reports on his work as MP, including furnishing accounts of his MPLADS expenditure. In 2012 he published a half-term report followed in 2014 by a full-term report.

In May 2014 Tharoor won his re-election from Thiruvananthapuram, defeating O. Rajagopal of the Bharatiya Janata Party by a margin of around 15,700 votes, and became a member of the 16th Lok Sabha, sitting in Opposition. He was named Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs. Shashi Tharoor was dropped from the post of Congress spokesperson on 13 October 2014 after he praised statements of his party's opponent, Prime Minister Modi.[33]

In regards to Tharoor's removal from the post of Congress spokesperson, Calcutta's The Telegraph opined, "For an Opposition MP to have and to exercise the freedom to appreciate a good thing done by the government and for a ruling party MP to speak and vote against the party line is not just legitimate parliamentary practice, it is the very essence of parliamentary democracy. Shashi Tharoor, from the ranks of the Congress, has tried to do that; there is not one BJP MP who has matched him. Blind conformism is not loyalty, nor independent thinking, dissent."

After the BJP victory of 2014, Tharoor was asked to help the treasury benches draft a statement condemning Pakistan for freeing Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the Lashkar-e-Toiba commander, who masterminded the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. In January 2015, Tharoor asked not to debunk genuine accomplishments of Ancient Indian Science due to exaggerations of the Hindutva brigade, amid 2015 Indian Science Congress ancient aircraft controversy.

In March 2017, Tharoor called for the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata to be converted into a museum on atrocities by the United Kingdom during its rule in India. He wrote in an Al Jazeera column that British Empire "conquered one of the richest countries in the world (27 percent of global gross domestic product in 1700) and reduced it to, after over two centuries of looting and exploitation, one of the poorest, most diseased and most illiterate countries on Earth by the time they left in 1947. Nor is there any memorial to the massacres of the Raj, from Delhi in 1857 to Amritsar in 1919, the deaths of 35 million Indians in totally unnecessary famines caused by British policy."

Although many people want him to contest as the Prime Minister candidate in 2019 General Elections, he has disowned, downplayed, and humbly distanced himself from any such online campaigns run by his large number of followers.

Dr. Tharoor has also tried to introduce a number of Private Members Bills in the Parliament. Notably, his efforts to amend Article 377 were voted out by the majority of parliamentarians on two occasions. Interestingly, the Apex court of India later ruled in favor of amending the controversial article in 2018, indicating the views upheld by Dr. Tharoor, thereby.

Shashi Tharoor Speeches

Tharoor is notable for his eloquence while speaking, as demonstrated by the popularity of his speeches on online platforms such as YouTube. For instance, his speech decrying British Colonialism, delivered at the Oxford Union in 2015, has amassed over 5 million views on one site alone, while simultaneously being praised as ground-breaking in various educational institutions in India. Further speeches such as those explaining the importance of "soft power" and analyzing the impacts of education in India have garnered over one million and two million views respectively.

Additionally, Tharoor is known for his views on a number of topics including economics, history, governance, and geopolitics due to both his well-regarded educational attainment and his broad experience while at the United Nations. He is an outspoken supporter of the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, an organisation which campaigns for democratic reformation of the United Nations, arguing that "United Nations needs to open its doors to elected representatives" Many note that it is his combination of wit, charm, wry humor, and intelligence that make him accessible and held in high esteem, both in India and abroad.

Shashi Tharoor - Personal life

Tharoor's first wife was Tilottama Mukherji, a granddaughter of Kailashnath Katju and thus a first cousin of Markandey Katju. She is now a professor of humanities at New York University. They have two sons, Kanishk and Ishaan.[90] Ishaan is a former senior editor at Time magazine and now writes on foreign affairs for The Washington Post. Kanishk is a former editor at Open Democracy, is the author of the highly praised short story collection Swimmer Among The Stars[91], and he is working on a novel in New York. Kanishk also served as associate editor at 2006-09.

Following his split with Tilottama, Tharoor married Christa Giles, a Canadian diplomat working at the United Nations in 2007. After their subsequent divorce soon after his return to India, Tharoor married Sunanda Pushkar in his ancestral home in Elavanchery village in Kerala's Palakkad district in August 2010. On 17 January 2014, Sunanda, aged 50, died at The Leela Hotel in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.

Tharoor is a vegetarian and he "abhors the idea of consuming the corpses of animals," although he claimed that he does not have a problem with those who do. He has stated that he is "very proud of being a Hindu" and that he's a "worshipping" and "believing Hindu". Tharoor also claims to have read a "fair amount" of the Upanishads.

Honors, awards and international recognition

1976 – Rajika Kripalani Young Journalist Award for the Best Indian Journalist under 30.
1990 – Federation of Indian Publishers' Hindustan Times Literary Award for the Best Book of the Year for The Great Indian Novel.[citation needed]
1991 – Commonwealth Writers' Prize for the Best Book of the Year in the Eurasian Region, for The Great Indian Novel
1998 – Excelsior Award for excellence in literature, Association of Indians in America (AIA)[citation needed] and the Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP).
2000 – Doctor of Letters in International Affairs by the University of Puget Sound
1998 – Global Leader of Tomorrow, World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland[citation needed]
2004 – Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, India's highest honour for non-resident Indians (accepted 2007)
2008 – Doctorate Honoris Causa, University of Bucharest, Romania.[citation needed]
2009 – Zakir Hussain Memorial "Pride of India" Award.[citation needed]
2009 – Inspiration of the Year Award at GQ's Man of the Year Awards.[122]
2009 – Hakim Khan Sur Award for National Integration, Maharana of Udaipur.[citation needed]
2010 – Sarva Deshiya Prathibha Award, Pazhassiraja Charitable Trust, Kozhikode.
2010 – "New Age Politician of the Year" Award, at NDTV's Indian of the Year awards.
2010 – Fifth IILM Distinguished Global Thinker Award, New Delhi.[125]
2010 – a Digital person of the year, Indian Digital Media Awards (IDMA), for popularising the digital medium in India.
2013 – First Sree Narayan Guru Global Secular and Peace Award at Thiruvananthapuram.
2013 – PETA's "Person of the Year".

Shashi Tharoor Books - Download PDF Free

  1. Inglorious Empire - 2017 (Download PDF Free)
  2. An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India - 2016 (Download PDF Free)
  3. Why I Am a Hindu - 2018 (Download PDF Free)
  4. The Great Indian Novel - 1989 (Download PDF Free)
  5. Pax Indica - 2012 (Download PDF Free)
  6. Nehru: The Invention of India - 2003 (Download PDF Free)
  7. India: From Midnight to the Millennium - 1997 (Download PDF Free)
  8. The Elephant, the Tiger, and the Cell Phone: Reflections on India, the Emerging 21st-century Power - 2007 (Download PDF Free)
  9. India Shastra: Reflections on the Nation in Our Time - 2015 (Download PDF Free)
  10. Bookless in Baghdad - 2005 (Download PDF Free)
  11. The Five Dollar Smile and Other Stories - 1990 (Download PDF Free)
  12. Riot: A Love Story - 2001 (Download PDF Free)
  13. Shadows Across the Playing Field: 60 Years of India-Pakistan Cricket - 2009 (Download PDF Free)
  14. Show Business (novel) - 1992 (Download PDF Free)
  15. Kerala, God's own country - 2003 (Download PDF Free)
  16. Nehru: A Biography - 2011 (Download PDF Free)
  17. Reasons of State: Political Development and India's Foreign Policy Under Indira Gandhi, 1966-1977 - 1982 (Download PDF Free)
  18. Epic India: M. F. Husain's Mahabharat Project - 2006 (Download PDF Free)
  19. Unity, Diversity, and Other Contradictions: (Penguin Petit) - 2018 (Download PDF Free)
  20. Imdiya - 2009 (Download PDF Free)
  21. India-Ardharatrimuthal Aranoottandu (Download PDF Free)
  22. Pax Indica: India and the World in the Twenty-first Century - 2012 (Download PDF Free)
  23. India: The Future Is Now - 2015 (Download PDF Free)
  24. The Paradoxical Prime Minister - 2018 (Download PDF Free)
  25. India Sutra: Reflections on the World's Largest Democracy in the 21st Century - 2017 (Download PDF Free)
  26. Indien. Zwischen Mythos und Moderne (Download PDF Free)