Shashi Tharoor Quotes
A weak, insecure nation needs sporting heroes, players larger than life on the cricketing field, who can transcend the limitations of their country and team.
A witticism in an airport security line is like a Swiss tap - turn it on, and you instantly find yourself in hot water.
Above all, Danny Boyle's 'Slumdog Millionaire' is the work of an artist at the peak of his powers. India is his palette, and Mumbai - that teeming 'maximum city', with 19 million strivers on the make, jostling, scheming, struggling and killing for success - is his brush.
Among the many international consequences of Barack Obama's stunning victory in the United States is worldwide introspection about whether such a breakthrough could happen elsewhere. Could a person of color win power in other white-majority countries?
As an Indian, and now as a politician and a government minister, I've become rather concerned about the hype we're hearing about our own country, all this talk about India becoming a world leader, even the next superpower.
Because so many voters happen to be illiterate, India invented the party symbol, so that voters who could not read the name of their candidate could vote for him or her anyway by recognizing the symbol under which they campaigned.
Education in India has made monumental progress since Independence but continues to face daunting challenges at multiple levels, particularly in terms of quality, infrastructure and dropout rates. We have islands of excellence floating in a sea of mediocrity.
Elections are an enduring spectacle of free India, and have provided foreign journalists with the opportunity to remind the world that India remains the world's largest democracy.
Five decades ago, as India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, began visibly ailing, the nation and the world were consumed by the question: 'After Nehru, who?' The inexpressible fear lay in the subtext to the question: 'After Nehru, what?'
Foreigners have a complex set of associations in their minds when they think of America - from Iraq to 9/11, certainly, but also from Coke to jeans. It is entirely possible for people around the world to love American products, American books, American movies, American music, and dislike the policies of the government of America.
Global challenges also require global solutions, and few indeed are the situations in which the United States or any other country can act completely alone.
Going abroad to study as a teenager, and joining the United Nations at 22, confirmed my ease with the world of the frequent flyer. I saw the average airport terminal as a familiar haven, like a friend's sitting room. But 9/11 changed all that.
I am proud to represent the capital of Kerala, a state that in so many ways is a trailblazer for India's progress, though in other respects it seems to have been left behind in the race for 21st century development.
I believe in an India of pluralism and diversity, not of religious bigotry and caste politics. I believe in an India that is secure in itself and confident of its place in the world, an India that is a proud example of tolerance, freedom and hope for the downtrodden.
I don't go by my caste, creed or religion. My works speak for me.
I have been a frequent air traveler since I was a few months shy of my sixth birthday, when my parents packed me off to boarding school two plane rides away from home. Those days of being willingly handed from air hostess to air hostess as an 'unaccompanied minor' made me blase about the rigors of air travel.
I returned to India after long years of international service, because I had always cherished the desire to make a difference in my own country.
I returned to India because I believe in an India of honesty and hard work, not of corruption and crookedness. I believe in an India of openness and straightforwardness, not of hypocrisy and double-dealing. I believe in an India where opportunities are available to all, and not just to a chosen few.
I'm not a techno-determinist. I believe we need to improve our existing human resources, and technology can only be a complement.
If China wants to build a new six-lane expressway, it can bulldoze its way past any number of villages in its path; in India, if you want to widen a two-lane road, you could be tied up in court for a dozen years over compensation entitlements.
Shashi Tharoor Profile
March 9, 1956
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