Tharoor chooses writing to bounce back



Kolkata: Shashi Tharoor, diplomat-turned- politician had suffered a setback early in his political career, but he is back doing what he does best - penning books and delivering lectures - to bounce back.

"Everyone at some point or the other will have a fault. The issue is how you rise again. And I have chosen to try and bounce back through a contribution to policy debates and the world of ideas," Tharoor told PTI here.

His latest book 'Pax Indica', published by Penguin India, discusses India's role in shaping the global order while arguing that foreign policy can be used as an instrument to promote the country's domestic transformation.

Tharoor, who has been awarded with the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for his contribution to the literary world, hopes that the book will serve as a vision document for the ruling Congress in foreign policy matters and contribute to the national discourse on international affairs.

The controversies in his short stint as a central minister have, however, made him cautious. He has added a disclaimer at the end of 'Pax Indica' emphasising that the opinions expressed in the book are his personal and engages neither Congress which he represents in Parliament nor the government.

"I am a former minister now. One day, I may be a former MP but I hope never to be a former writer," said the 56-year-old author of bestsellers like 'The Great Indian Novel' and 'The Elephant, the Tiger and the Cellphone'.

Tharoor said writing would always be an indispensable part of his identity. "The responses I have of the world around me are reflected in my writing and the work I do in politics."

Speaking of the other hats he dons - that of a columnist and a compelling speaker, the Congress MP from Trivandrum pointed out that he has been giving regular speeches in Parliament on major policy issues.

On his future in politics, Tharoor said it will remain his principal obligation as he is anxious to play a role in winning elections and making policies at the national level.

"I would certainly hope that my party would once again give me a ticket in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. I have been working very hard in my constituency," Tharoor, who quit as minister of state for external affairs over the IPL controversy, said.

About his journey from the world of diplomacy to politics, the former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations admitted, "It has been bit of a discovery for me as it is a new field. There are many things in that I am not naturally gifted at".

"As an elected politician I should not be writing anything that would complicate life for the country or make it difficult for me to play a role in issues of foreign affairs in future. My goal ultimately is to be remembered more as a statesman than as a controversialist," he said.

PTI