From the Chattering Classes to the Twittering Classes, the transition has been seamless. Today, the world is divided into ‘Those who Tweeter’ and ‘Those who Tweeter not.” Shashi Tharoor belongs to the ‘Oh to twitter, now that autumn is here! I twitter, therefore I am….’ Category. But S.M. Krishna doesn’t. This is leading to a bit of a situation.A diplomatic impasse, that needs Pranab Mukherjee’s intervention once again. Poor Pranabda. First he had to boot out our Seven Star ministers from their five star dens. And now, he may have to curb the enthusiastic tweeter addict in Tharoor. These two fancy gentlemen ( Krishna and Tharoor) have added so much panache to boring briefings. When it comes to the beauty stakes, Tharoor ( younger and prettier), has the clear edge over Krishna.But, sartorial stakes? All those of us in Mumbai who interacted with S.M. Krishna, know that at heart, our dapper Foreign Minister is a closet fashion designer who loves his trendy gear enough to seriously consider launching his own line of men’s wear. This is not a dig or a joke. In a way, both these guys represent a new breed in politics. And we should welcome their kind. So what if they chose to stay in plush suites with staggering tariffs? As Tharoor promptly twittered, “ I would be ashamed if I was spending the people’s money. But I am not. I am spending my own savings.” Good boy. Krishna was equally forthcoming when he retaliated, “ I have made private arrangements.I will continue to do so till I get my house fit enough to be occupied.” Right on, buddy.Yeh log aam aadmi nahi, balke raja aadmi hain. Give them credit for being upfront about their creature comforts. Tharoor has two basic requirements – a state- of- the- art gym ( staying pretty is not easy!). And privacy (but of course – public figures are entitled to their personal lives). Fair enough. Why should these two high flying chaps hole up in some shabby bhavan without basics….. like a bidet? Or room service? There’s a huge difference between a valet and a ‘ramu’ who can’t tell between cutting chai and a fine Darjeeling. Really, Pranabda… you are being too mean. Not everyone can be a Rahul Gandhi and spend nights in jhopdis sleeping uncomfortably on chattais, eating frugal farmer fare. Give these guys a break!! They are handling Foreign Affairs – positioning is everything, ya!!
Seriously though, isn’t it monumentally hypocritical to make such a big number out of such a maamuli incident? Even if these two were shelling out a lakh of rupees per day to stay in the style they are accustomed to, so what? So long as they were footing their own bills, nobody has the right to object. In any case, if one digs deeper, what’s the bet those other ‘holier-than-thou’ pseudo-Socialists in government spend an equal amount on their lifestyles, but not as conspicuously. Who knows where that money comes from?Or how kosher the payments are? I recall breakfasting with the ultimate Gandhian, Shri Morarji Desai, many moons ago. I was staggered by the lavish spread of satvik items, including badam-pistas, assorted fruit platters, fresh butter and goat’s milk. For as austere a person as Morarjibhai, this was a repast fit for a king! It is time we stopped wasting our time on such meaningless exposes. Let’s face it, our netas are the new royals. They live far, far better than the people they claim to represent. We, the tax payers, provide the funds that keep them safe and well- fed. We don’t grudge them their perks. So, why harrow just these two shaukeen, high profile men who believe that living well is still the best revenge? For some odd reason, politicians have built up a strange case against what is cutely called the ‘Five Star Culture’. Yet, they are the ones who revel in it the most – and worse – expect us poor suckers to pay for their excesses most times. At least Tharoor and Krishna are being entirely upfront in this regard. They are posh people, and they make no apologies for it. If they refuse to reside in those Bhavans, as suggested by Pranabda, they are entitled to do so. And if the real worry is about the ‘wrong signal’ their five star lives may send to the unwashed masses, give us a break! Does anybody out there really give a damn? What people want is deliverables at any cost. And this is where my case weakens. Krishna and Tharoor have not exactly covered themselves in glory in their sensitive posts. Perhaps the temperature of the water in the hotel jacuzzi was not quite right??
Let’s hope their new temporary digs are comfortable enough . No khatmals in the khatiya. No frogs in the loo. Now if only Tharoor would twitter less and do more, all will be forgiven. Promise!
Is it wits who tweet.... or twits ? You decide!
I have had a long day.....but a productive one. I inaugurated 'ETHICUS' wearing one of the most exquisite sarees produced by master weavers from the Kabini reservoir area and dyed with eco friendly, organic dyes . The weaver, Shri K.Nagaraj took four days to weave this 'ethical' saree, and it is truly a masterpiece. I felt so proud of our rich textile traditions which go back centuries, when I lit the ceremonial lamp and met the talented weaver in person! In case you are interested in learning more about this label ( I call it a movement ), visit www.appachicotton.com
It may interest you to know that the label has been launched by a third generation cotton family from Coimbatore, involved in sustainable agriculture.