So, what exactly has Tharoor done to be forced to resign?

Updated: Added link to the news article about Ministers of State not having any work and complaining to PM

One relatively communication free weekend away from Bangalore for some relaxation and the world seems to have changed. Prof. C. K. Prahlad passed away, Bomb Blasts happened in Bangalore, IPL semi-finals went out of Bangalore and Shashi Tharoor resigned. We caught up the last piece of news late night yesterday on the hotel room TV.

Now for God’s sake – can somebody tell me what exactly has Tharoor done wrong? Supposedly taken money from Rendezvous Sports making Sunanda Pushkar his front, but did what in return? What did he influence? What could he influence? The logic seems to be absent from the entire discourse!

And until somebody can give a good enough an answer to this question, I don’t see any reason to disbelieve any of what Tharoor or Pushkar are saying!

Its frustrating for me, because he is one person in Indian politics today, who speaks a language people like me understand. And no, by language I don’t mean English with American Accent. Just the things he says, the way he presents himself, a clarity of expressions & thoughts that none of the political talk in this country carries, an attempt to ensure that a minister and a politician does not remain an enigma to the general public. In this entire hue and cry, I can easily understand what Tharoor is saying, but despite hogging much more media space, people who wanted him to resign are just not making their charges clear! Its some random gibberish about benefiting from the office, and corruption and moral grounds and blah, blah. And all I can say to this is “Look who is talking!”

There was this educated looking lady in the bus today, who was having a fairly intelligent conversation about all things on earth with her co-passengers. And then the topic of Shashi Tharoor comes up. Since the resignation was a late night incident and this was an early morning bus, some of the co-passengers had not heard of the resignation. So, she took the conversation in her hand with this smart ass remarks – ‘He is not doing any external affairs work. He is only having extra-marital affairs. This is what – his second divorce?’ [what an irony that the bus was passing through the state of Tamilnadu at that time – any strong politicians around??] And then she went on to take a dig on his staying in five-star hotel at taxpayer’s expense! I have lost count of the number of times Tharoor has clarified that he was staying at his own expense!

Oh wait! Probably we know what he is doing wrong

  • He is out there, working, when 36 other Minister of States are playing cry-baby in front of Prime Minister moaning lack of work.
  • He does not realize that people of this country happily accept their politicians having 2 wives and countless Mistresses, but will not accept two clean divorces!
  • He does not duck as soon as a controversy erupts by denying having any association with Sunanda Pushkar. He accepts things as they are.
  • He does not speak and act with the sole aim of preserving his reputation; he is concerned about he reputation of others too. This paragraph from his intended statement in parliament makes me really respect him

    Madam Speaker, it is unworthy of any member of this august House to imply that a reputed business professional and entrepreneur with a long track record of business success can, because of her gender, only be seen as a front for someone else.

    Just a ploy to get sympathy? At least, he is talking of much better issues that Congress sources according to whom “Tharoor should have at least offered to resign instead of ruling it out!” Hypocrisy in open…

  • He does not resort to twisted Indian political practices like “offering to resign” when he doesn’t intend to resign. Yes – he does not learn from our honorable Home Minister!

Arr… Just realized something. These are precisely the reasons I respect him. I know – I am useless to the politics!

Frustrated anyway.

What next? Will we really learn something evil about Tharoor? Will he continue in the politics as an MP? Will he continue to tweet? Is is possible that the current resignation is a means to douse the current fire and congress leadership will be open to having him back once the situation is cleaner? Or is it THE END? Its not a great situation either way.

If there is any chance of coming back, he’d probably have to keep quiet about the affair from now on and not open his mouth about the leadership decisions. We won’t know the reality and this would kill that one thing he does right. Be open and opinionated.

If, on the other hand, it is THE END, then he does not have to compromise, but we have lost the political hope we had put in him! I don’t expect him to form his own party!

What a pain!

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About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe ( with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: Twitter: @jayajha Facebook:

19 thoughts on “So, what exactly has Tharoor done to be forced to resign?

  1. what exactly has Tharoor done wrong? -> Just to update you with what newspapers have been shouting since past few days: He through his political clout helped Rendezvous Sports clinch the bidding process (allegedly in an unfair way). In return, Rendezvous Sports showered his mistress Sunanda Pushkar with sweat equities amounting to a whopping 70 crores; and this was done by flouting all company rules regarding who can be awarded such equities. Read the newspapers to find why Sunanda was not eligible for this. In his parliamentary written response, he says that he helped a bidder from Kerala win the bid; but he intelligently sidelines the charges made by some other bidders from Kerala itself. When media blew this news of Sunanda being ineligible, she quietly surrendered all the equities. Why did she do this is she was innocent? And could she have made this fortune w/o the influence of a minister. Your liking for Shashi Tharoor because of his openness, …., etc is one thing. And this indefensible corruption charge is an orthogonal issue. Don’t mix the two. We can have a very rough, un-opinionated leader who is very corrupt. At the same time we can have a very refined, opinionated leader (like Tharoor) who is also corrupt. So lets separate the two, and refrain from making emotional judgments before law takes it own course.

  2. Don’t get me wrong, I am just correcting another of your prejudiced facts: You said two “clean” divorces –
    Tharoor is still married to his second wife (a Canadian), though he has filed for a divorce. The divorce had been filed a few months back but is not expected to end any sooner, given his wife’s allegations against his character and demand for a large alimony. He actually met Sunanda in Toronto, Canada where Sunanda had gone after her husband’s death. And his wife alleges that they started to nurture a relationship there which led to the divorce filing. I don’t know who is saying the truth, but don’t want to run to any conclusion. May be a woman like you can analyze the situation better.

  3. Dear Anonymous,

    I think till we have people like Karunanidhi as respected members of parliament who openly has 2 wives, it is really not fair to bring Tharoor’s personal life in this.

    Second, you say “He through his political clout helped Rendezvous Sports clinch the bidding process (allegedly in an unfair way)” – So are you saying he forced Lalit Modi, who was overseeing the bidding process, to bend rules? Lalit Modi hasn’t said this even one time. And it is well known that Lalit Modi wanted some other groups to win the auction – so what exactly did Tharoor leveraged to get him to let RS win?

    And even if he helped RS tooth and nail and helped them win the bid, there is no taxpayers’ money involved, it is a free market enterprise. If RS flouted company rules, actions should be taken against them. Why is Tharoor responsible for RS’s mistakes?

    Shibu Soren even after committing a murder can come back into cabinet and that is fine with everybody. It is rightly said that people get the leaders they deserve.

  4. Loved this post! It’s good to read an objective opinion on this issue.

    And it’s true that we accept politicians with more wife than one and countless mistresses, but not one with a clean divorce. If there are other personal details in relation to this divorce, that women in the bus was not aware of it… she basically condemned him for his divorces.

  5. “So are you saying he forced Lalit Modi, who was overseeing the bidding process, to bend rules?” – Well, having participated in some business bidding processes, you can trust me when I say that there are so many things that can be rigged in a bidding process, esp in a clout-liking country like India. I don’t know who forced whom to do what. I don’t want to be judgmental here. During the biddings of other IPL teams, a large corporate house always presented the largest bid. Like for Mumbai, Mukesh Ambani could have easily estimated what max the other bidders would bid for, and then quote a substantially higher bid with a safe margin, to win with almost 100% probability. Same was true with Vijay Mallya (Bangalore), Sahara (Pune). In case of Kochi, RS was a relatively smaller unknown player compared to some other big names. Now its perfectly fine to believe that Mukesh Ambani might have lost the bid even after his estimation and overbidding. But fingers of suspicion rise when some favorings and illegal money/equity transfers involving the small player come to limelight. Keeping the long story short, what Modi is alleging implicitly between his spoken/written lines is this – The bid amounts were not kept secret (you and me can’t find them, but a minister certainly can). Did you read how papers of two bidders (Sahara and one more) are missing now. RS allegedly knew the largest bid among the rest (through Tharoor?) that helped them win. In return, they had to shower gifts to their helpers. Well, all these are allegations, and like you I too wish Tharoor comes out clean. I am a big fan of some of his books.

    And your other point about Karunanidhi and Shibu Soren – I think that was just a digression from your side. We both are logically mature to know that a bigger sin doesn’t absolve a smaller one. Just because A’s sins are smaller than B’s, A doesn’t get a reprieve.

  6. So, your assumption is that Tharoor helped leak the bid amount for RS. Probably, but that’s just a guess. And by a little thinking, we could come up with many more ways in which Tharoor could have been ‘corrupt’. But nobody is coming out and saying any of those. The entire focus is on Sunanda Pushkar getting the equity, but that doesn’t mean anything until we know exactly what was done in return for that favour!

  7. 1. Mr. Tharoor getting a divorce and is a “good” friend of Ms. Sunanda Pushkar.
    2. Mr. Tharoor accepts that he is “mentor” to the RS.
    3. Ms. Sunanda Pushkar offered sweat equity of 70 crores without being eligible.
    4. Ms. Sunanda Pushkar offered to give away her stake long after the controversy reached the point of no returns. (read when Mr. Tharoor was on his way out)

    I think any one can put in 1-2-3-4 together and get a clear picture. No need to go into 5-6-7’s

  8. Nope. None of 1-2-3-4 answer my question unfortunately. What illegal/inappropriate thing did he do in return for the money? I am not trying to argue that Tharoor is definitely innocent. But if there is a problem, nobody has really talked about it.

    • Jaya, the problem seems to be the fact that Sunanda obviously did not deserve the kind of stake she is holding, there are no credentials that have come to light for which she would be paid that kind of money, she has no background in handing big sports events…so there was an obvious favour that was done to her. Her only link to IPL seems to be through Tharoor and their Dubai connections. That is where the problem potentially is…

      I can see your admiration for Tharoor, I am myself an admirer of him. But this time he probably went wrong. No doubt there are bigger sinners in that political world, but then that does not mean he is not wrong. I think his inexperience in the political arena shows and worked against him.

      • Yes I admire him. But I would not have a heart-break or anything if he turns out to be guilty. But making a competent minister resign over a “speculation” on a private party transaction is not acceptable to me. That’s just too big a loss.

  9. “And it is well known that Lalit Modi wanted some other groups to win the auction”

    so you accept one assumption as truth( or did you investigate into this??)

    and other as just fabrication and maligning of a “great” personality.

    How convenient this is.

  10. Why digress by nitpicking! Okay – Modi is blemish free. Even if he isn’t, I don’t care – either way. I am not asking for his resignation.

    Why the hell did Shashi Tharoor have to resign? What did he do in return for the supposed favour he received through his “front”!

  11. It will take time for the dust to settle down and we will get the details of Mr. Tharoor’s actions once the investigation is over. (Some ways in which the auctions could be rigged are explained by Mr. Anonymous in 6th comment above) At this moment we can certainly say that he had personal interests and the right person as his front in the transaction. Now how exactly he did it is something that the investigating agencies will have to find out.
    As in Indian legal system, any person is innocent till proven to be criminal. Mr. Tharoor is an intellectual and I think he has gotten himself into a big mess. Either he fell prey to the temptation of the quick money or he is being used.
    It is also interesting to note that the IT dept. choose the exact same time to raid Mr. Lalit Modi and company. I might be digressing but then if one thinks about it, it might be related.

  12. mr Tharror is nice gentle man he can improve the Indian National Congress party with party genral secretory post by his twiting nature and poleticaly smartness than being the Minister in first Lok Sabha win.

    Yes we know his ability as poletician as he won in first atempt with huze margine and no doubt about he is deshbhakta too.

    hope you too see as future president of Indian Republic .

    thanks for helping your constiuncy person and good luck for future.

    a humble citizen.

  13. Pingback: Global Voices Online » India: Twittering Minister Forced To Resign

  14. I am no Tharoor fan, but as I have heard elsewhere, it was probably Tharoor’s growing popularity that became his bane. I don’t know if Tharoor ever thought himself as a competition to the dynasty (highly unlikely of anyone who has joined that party of invertebrates). But given madam’s well known track record of taking the INTERNET threats seriously (in this case 700k twitter followers), I can see why she might have gone with the scam of framing a scape goat. Not only it saves the skins of the real big fishes (pawar?) in the IPL mess, but most of all gives a nice breather for the McMohan govt on the real issues facing the land, while the country and the media stay frenzied over IPL.

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