(Last Updated on : 28/02/2012)
Shashi Tharoor, born on 9th March 1956, is a writer, journalist, columnist, human rights advocate and Indian politician
. Currently he is the member of Indian parliament (MP) from the constituency of Thiruvananthapuram
. He served the UN as United Nations Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information. He was also the Minister of State for the Ministry of External Affairs for a short while.
He is also the managing trustee of the "Chandran Tharoor Foundation" which he, with his family and friends, set up in the name of his late father, Chandran Tharoor.
Personal Life of Shashi Tharoor
Shashi Tharoor married Tilottama Tharoor. Tilottama is a journalist and scholar and now divorced from Shashi Tharoor. They have twin sons, Ishaan and Kanishk. Ishaan works for Time Magazine and lives in Hong Kong. The other brother Kanishk works for open Democracy in London. Shashi Tharoor married Sunanda Pushkar in a quiet ceremony at his ancestral home in Elavanchery village in Kerala's Palakkad district
on 22 August 2010.
Early Life of Shashi Tharoor
In India Tharoor studied at Montfort School in Yercaud, Campion School in Mumbai
in the Indian state
. He came to Kolkata
, West Bengal
to attended High School at St. Xavier's Collegiate School. Shashi Tharoor received his graduation with a Bachelor of Arts
degree in history from St. Stephens College
. Then he completed his Ph. D. at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he received the Robert B. Stewart Prize for Best Student in 1978.
Career of Shashi Tharoor
Stint at the UN
Shashi Tharoor, since 1978, worked for the United Nations, serving with UN high Commissioner for refugees. Since 1989 he has been a senior official at the United Nations headquarters in New York. He was responsible for peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia during this period. From 1997 to 1998 he served as the executive assistant to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. There after he was appointed as the director of communications and special projects. In 2001, he was appointed by the Secretary-General as interim head of the Department of Public Information. He was confirmed as the Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information on 2002. In 2003, the Secretary-General appointed him United Nations Coordinator for Multilingualism. In February 2007 he resigned from the post.
Dr Tharoor is Chairman of Dubai-based Afras Ventures and the Joint Chairman of United Nations Simulation International Conference at Abu Dhabi and Dubai in short UNSICAD. Shashi Tharoor is the award-winning author of nine books, as well as hundreds of articles, op-ed page and book reviews in a wide range of publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribune, Time, Newsweek and The Times of India. He worked for two years as a Contributing Editor and occasional columnist for Newsweek International. Since April 2001 he has been the author of a fortnightly column in The Hindu and since January 2007 in The Times of India
His three novels are the classics in a sense it incorporates the "indo-nostalgic" elements. "The Great Indian Novel" in1989 is a satirical novel basically a fictional work which takes the story of the Mahabharata
, the epic of Hindu mythology
and resets in the context of the Indian Independence
. The mythical story of India is retold as the history of Indian independence. His post modern satirical novel "Show Business" in 1992 tells the story of a Bollywood
superstar was made into film 'Bollywood' in 1994. The novel describes the working of Bollywood. It received a front-page accolade in the New York Times Book Review. "Riot" is his third novel released in 2001. It is a searing examination of Hindu-Muslim violence in contemporary India. Shashi Tharoor's books have been translated into Malayalam, Marathi, French, German, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Russian and Spanish.
"Shashi Tharoor is one of those rare writers who felicitously combine gentle satire with an urgent concern for society's ills." - Kirkus Review. His innovative writings are cantered on Indian themes and "indo-nostalgic" elements. An author, journalist and fellow of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, is an Indian national from the state of Kerala.
As a Politician
In 2009 Tharoor contested the general election for Indian National Congress
from Thiruvananthapuram (Lok Sabha constituency) in Kerala. His opponents were from various Indian political parties
including Communist Party of India
(CPI), Bahujan Samaj Party
(BSP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Bharathiya Janata Party
(BJP). He finally won the election and formed the cabinet under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Honours, Awards and International Recognition by Shashi Tharoor
* 1976- Aged 20, he won the Rajika Kripalani Young Journalist Award for the Best Indian Journalist under 30.
* 1990 - Wins the Federation of Indian Publishers' Hindustan Times Literary Award for the Best Book of the Year for The Great Indian Novel.
* 1991 - His book The Great Indian Novel wins the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for the Best Book of the Year in the Eurasian Region.
* 1998 - Awarded the Excelsior Award for excellence in literature by the Association of Indians in America (AIA) and the Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP).
* May 2000 - Conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in International Affairs by the University of Puget Sound
* 1998 - Named Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
* 2009- Presented with the Hakim Khan Sur Award for National Integration by the Maharana of Udaipur
* 2004 - Awarded the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, India's highest honour for non-resident Indians, but did not accept it at the time owing to UN rules prohibiting acceptance of governmental honours.
* 2007 - Went on to accept the award after having resigned from the position of Under Secretary General at the UN.
* 2008 - Conferred a Doctorate Honoris Causa by the University of Bucharest, Romania.
* 2009 - Awarded the Zakir Hussain
Memorial "Pride of India" Award.
* 2009 - Awarded GQ's Inspiration of the Year Award at its Man of the Year Awards.
* 2010 - Awarded the Sarva Deshiya Prathibha award by the Pazhassiraja Charitable Trust, Kozhikode.
* March 2010 - Awarded "New Age Politician of the Year" Award by NDTV at its Indian of the Year awards.
* 2010 - Awarded the Fifth IILM Distinguished Global Thinker Award in New Delhi
* 2010 - Awarded Digital person of the year at the first ever Indian Digital Media Awards (IDMA) for popularising the digital medium in India
Books Written by Shashi Tharoor
* Riot (2001)
* Show Business (1992)
* The Five Dollar Smile and Other Stories (1990)
* The Great Indian Novel (1989)
* Shadows Across the Playing Field: Sixty Years of India-Pakistan Cricket [with Shaharyar Khan] (2009)
* The Elephant, the Tiger and the Cell Phone: Reflections on India in the 21st Century (2007)
* Bookless in Baghdad (2005)
* Nehru: The Invention of India (2003)
* India: From Midnight to the Millennium (1997)
* Reasons of State (1982)
* Kerala: God's own country (2002) [with artist M.F. Husain]
* L'Inde (French) and India (English) (2008) [with photographer Ferrante Ferranti]