In an interview with Cine Ink, Shashi Tharoor differentiates between the BJP’s Hindutva and his own pitch for celebrating being a Hindu. Shashi Tharoor’s latest book ‘Why I Am A Hindu’ was one of the most talked about books at the Jaipur Literary Festival 2018 in London.
“Hindutva is a political ideology. We in the Congress Party would like to give a simple message that we are Hindu too, and why can’t we go to a temple with a sense of pride,” says Tharoor, Lok Sabha MP from Congress Party, representing the Thiruvananthapuram constituency in India.
He denies that he does not belong to any soft Hindutva brigade. “We are not attempting to go in for soft Hindutva. What we are trying to do is to neutralise this rather bigoted message coming from one side. We want to talk about development and ask, how’s your ‘vikaas’ doing. Where are those ‘achhe din’ that you promised?” asks Shashi Tharoor.
Tharoor’s Hinduism celebrates pluralism at its best.
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 organisation.