Indians Abroad

Shashi Tharoor

Famous As Writer, Diplomat and Politician
Born On 9 March 1956
Born In London, UK
Nationality Indian

Author, columnist, elocutionist, human right activist, former UN envoy and an existing member of the Indian Parliament, Shashi Tharoor is an impeccable blend of charm, wit, and elegance. Having served the UN for 29 long years and giving his rivals a tough run for the cream post of UN Secretary-General, Dr. Tharoor returned to India to begin his fresh political innings. Apart from his passion for politics, he had been an active columnist writing for many eminent newspapers, both national and international papers including the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Times of India, The Hindu and more. He has also published a whole slew of fiction and non-fictions that have been translated in more than nine languages and have won him appreciation from all corners. A compelling speaker and a polyglot, Dr. Tharoor's contributions have fetched him a string of awards and honors including Commonwealth Writer's Prize, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman and was also conferred with the title of "Global Leader of Tomorrow".

Early Life
Shashi Tharoor was born in London in 1956. His father, Chandran Tharoor was a newspaper executive and mother Lily was a homemaker. His ancestral roots can be traced back to Palakkad in Kerala, India. Tharoor studied at Montfort School in Yercaud and then at Campion School in Mumbai. He completed his honors degree in History from the prestigious St. Stephen's College, Delhi and won a scholarship to Tufts University, Boston. In the mid 1970's, Shashi went to the United States and acquired two master's degrees and a Ph.D. in Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. Having completed his Ph. D. in the age of 22, he went on to add laurels to his name by his contributions in the UN. Apart from studies, he was active in other activities, which helped in overall development of his personality. Interested in acting, Tharoor has acted in various plays in his school and college days. In mid 1970's he founded Quiz Club in St. Stephen's College, which still exists. In his college days, he was elected as the President of the college union and throughout his career he worked hard for human rights. It is remarkable that despite of staying abroad for a long time, Tharoor remains strongly attached to his Indian roots.

Tharoor has had a remarkable innings in the UN. Tharoor began his career in UN in 1978, soon after he gained his Ph.D. He started his career as a member of staff for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees where he fiercely championed the cause of peace and humanitarian values. He became senior officer in United Nations headquarters at Yew York and continued this dignified post from 1989 to 1996. In the following years, from 1997 to 1998 he became the executive assistant to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Considering his key role in UN, Government of India announced Shashi Tharoor as the candidate for UN Secretary General in 2006. Although he couldn't become the Secretary General of UN, his services to the organization is remarkable.

Political Career in India
Shashi Tharoor started his political journey in India by contesting the elections in 2009 as a Congress party candidate from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. During this time, he was criticized as an outsider. However, despite of all the opposition, he won the elections defeating his nearest rival P. Ramachandran Nair. Subsequently, after his success in elections he was selected as the Minister of State for External Affairs. Being the new era politician, he used his political website and social networking sites to interact with the people. Some of his posts on noted networking sites created controversies, which eventually died with time. Charges against him over his share in IPL cricket franchise of Cochin made him to resign from his ministry. However, he stills serves the government as member of Parliamentary Standing Committee for External Affairs.

Personal Life
Shashi Tharoor has married thrice. From his first marriage to Tilottama Mukherji he has two sons named Ishaan and Kanishk. Ishaan works for Time's Magazine's Hongkong edition while Kanishk works as editor at Open Democracy in London. After his divorce to his first wife, he married to Christa Giles, a Canadian national. However, they split in 2010. Currently Tharoor is married to Sunanda Pushkar, an entrepreneur and a philanthropist. Dr. and Mrs. Tharoor reside in Thiruvananthapuram and New Delhi, India.

1956: Shashi Tharoor was born.
1978: Began his journey with UN.
1989: He became senior officer in United Nation's head quarters in New York.
1997: He became executive assistant to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
2006: India Announced Shashi Tharoor as the candidate for UN Secretary General elections.
2009: Entered Indian politics by being the Minister of State for External Affairs.