Talk:Shashi Tharoor

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  • The idea of India is not based on language, not on geography, not on ethnicity and not on religion. The idea of India is of one land embracing many. You can be many things and one thing: you can be a good Keralite, a good Muslim and a good Indian all at once.
  • Even though India has all the attributes of a great power,its most striking asset is actually its soft power. - Shashi Tharoor at the 2006 Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi.
  • India is more than the sum of its contradictions. Any truism about India can be contradicted with another truism. There is no fixed stereotype. But even thinking about India makes clear the immensity of the nation-building challenge. - Shashi Tharoor at the PANIIT 2006 in Bombay.
  • There is no one way to look at India. There are many Indias. Pluralism is a reality that emerges from the very nature of the country; it is a choice made inevitable by India’s geography and reaffirmed by its history. We are all minorities in India. - Shashi Tharoor at the PANIIT 2006 in Bombay.
  • The first challenge is that we cannot generalise about India. One of the few generalisations that can safely be made about India is that nothing can be taken for granted about the country. - Shashi Tharoor at the PANIIT 2006 in Bombay.
Miscellaneous Ideas
  • Freedom of the press is the mortar that binds together the bricks of democracy -- and it is also the open window embedded in those bricks.
    • Speech at the UN's World Press Freedom Day, 3 May 2001
  • Of course, we meet to mourn that part of our human family that is missing -- to remember the individuals and tell each other their stories. But we also meet to unearth the lessons we can draw from their lives and their fates
    • Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General, at the UN’s Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, 29 January 2007.
  • Just as human beings have an almost infinite power to destroy, they also possess an enormous capacity to learn, to grow and to create.
    • Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General, at the UN’s Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, 29 January 2007.
  • The UN is the place to draw up blueprints without borders. It is the one indispensable global organisation in our globalizing world.
Conversations with History, Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley
  • The Jesuits have developed an interesting vocation of educating the privileged of the third world.
  • I went through a period of schoolboy atheism -- of the kind that comes with the discovery of rationality and goes with the realization of its limitations.
  • I had the misfortune of being good at studies, and I say that without any false modesty. Particularly in the Indian system, those who are good at taking exams tend to do well, doesn’t necessarily imply that they have fine minds.
  • Like many foreign students when they go abroad, I was instantly thrust into a position of having to explain and defend my country. That is a very common predicament.
  • To write fiction you need not just time but a space inside your head -- to create and inhabit an alternative moral universe whose realities have to be consistent in your mind and as real to you as those you dealing with in daily life.
  • The Indian adventure is at its best of people working together, dreaming the same dreams, who don’t look like each other, don’t speak the same language, don’t eat the same kinds of food, don’t dress alike, and don’t have the same color of skin.
  • I make no bones about the fact that India matters to me, and I would like to matter to India.
  • Satire enables you to recast both the great ideas and great stories and great men in a light that is so unfamiliar that immediately provokes a fresh way of looking at them.
  • If I can borrow the wonderful statement of Molière, who said that "Le devoir de la comedie est de corriger les hommes en les divertissant." If I can paraphrase it, "If you want to edify, you have to entertain."