Why are politicians' private-public behaviour so different, asks Tharoor

The newly appointed Minister of State for Human Resource Development – Shashi Tharoor, felt that he is more ready for Indian politics in his second stint and that Modi’s comments on his wife and his alleged corruption are not endorsed by BJP itself.

“…I was gratified by the enormous number, a very very large number of BJP people including some of the former ministers who reached out to me to say how much they regretted the deplorable conduct of one of their own, which they would not say publicly of course,” he told CNN-IBN.

 Why are politicians private-public behaviour so different, asks Tharoor

Is Shashi Tharoor ready for his resurrection in Indian politics? IBNLive Screengrab.

He said that earlier he would find it difficult to accept people who would have different norms of behaviour for public behaviour of politicians and their private condict. “I have seen officials of both parties who have been slinging mud at each other earlier in the morning, being convivial over lunch or a cup of tea or even a party in the evening,” he added.

Did his new-found knowledge of Indian politics give him that extra edge that is required to wade through the difficult terrain that HRD ministry holds – given the Ambedkar cartoon controversy that rattled the ministry a few months back?

He said that the nature of politics is such that politicians often have the last word on the policies that they influence. This is something that prompted the belief that the cartoons had to go even if Shankar's cartoon had been misunderstood and misperceived.

“If Nehru were alive, if Dr Ambedkar were alive, they may have laughed off the cartoon at that time. But this was a 1949 cartoon,” he said, adding that it could have affected the impressionable young minds.

That is why the cartoon had to be removed because of political considerations rather than academic interests – which mostly determine the way even the HRD ministry functions.

He said, “That's the irony of our politics. Perception often very much matters more than reality.”

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Updated Date: Nov 05, 2012 12:05:07 IST