We waited in great anticipation for more than an hour, with freezing air from the air conditioner blowing our hair and necks until we were rattling to the bones but the wait was all worth it when the man of the show arrived. He looked like a film star – tall, boyish, extremely charming and painfully handsome. And to think I finally met somebody I had long and greatly admired felt like nothing when a friend admitted she cancelled her trip abroad just so she could attend his talk.

Such is the charm and the influence of Dr. Shashi Tharoor, the Minister of the state for HRD and MP from the Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, an author and a columnist. Now it occurs to me – looks can be far more effective than one may bargain for and when it is found in combination with intellect, it can damn as hell mesmerize!

This was at the recent Friday Forum at RIGSS in Phuntsholing and the auditorium was full. The forum was also graced by Their Majesties, the King and Gyaltsuen Jetsuen Pema along with several Ministers and other dignitaries.

Gadgets such as phones were not allowed inside, so all I could do was try to grasp as much as possible. Dr. Shashi talked at great length, and quite breathlessly about Democracy and Development, in a fashion quite in resemblance to the Ted Talk shows.

One thing he mentioned which was particularly interesting was that – voters get the leaders that they deserve. If they do not like the leaders that they don’t like, they have no one to blame but themselves. He also mentioned that there should be options for the public to choose none if they do not like any candidate in the list. That is, if they do not want to vote for any political candidate/party, there should be an option such as “None of the above” for the voter. In doing so, the total number of such an option chosen would reflect on the image of the candidate/party for reference.

When asked a question about border issues and independent foreign policy for Bhutan, he said Democracy is much like Love – for it must be innate or come all the way from within. Others such as India can only enhance that romantic mode by lighting the candles or playing soft background score. He said he admired how Bhutan took lessons from other countries in order that we may not repeat them. With respect to border issues and foreign policies, he said, Bhutan is admirably capable of handling our own such issues and that India would not interfere unless it was asked of them. He pointed out that Bhutan must deal with its own issues and make friends as we please.

On Democracy, he quoted Churchiill that it is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried. He pointed that save for China, the top economically biggest countries in the world are democratic nations and that the top ten happiest countries in the world also have democratic forms of government.

Everything he said seemed to make perfect sense. Unfortunately, there was such an eloquence and unapologetic charisma about him that was rather too distracting. Indeed some men have all the luck!
4 Responses
  1. Neten Sherab Says:

    Well thought put to Dr.Shashi Tharoor. Infact, he was one of my favorite personalities too but I missed his talk. Look forward for RIGSS' support to get his content of his talk.

  2. sonamdema Says:

    Painfully Handsome, charming and intelligent --And everything you wrote about him makes a perfect sense. Keep posting.

  3. Kinga Choden Says:

    @Neten Sherab

    Sorry to hear that you missed the bus!!

    Thanks.. I will !! :)-

  4. Tshering Says:

    I can absolutely feel what you felt, Kinga, although I most unfortunately missed this particular talk. I did, however, view one of his talks on utube (I think it was last year) and I felt exactly the way you have expressed here. That clearly makes me one of his admirers... and being a woman puts me in a position of conflict between his charming looks and his eloquent talk to outsiders, but I know for certain there is no such conflict where he's concerned.

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