Congress Decision Against Shashi Tharoor — Better Late than Never

I do not see anything wrong with the Congress decision to drop Shashi Tharoor as a party spokesperson. In fact, I am surprised that it took so long for them to do so.

If Mr Tharoor wanted to exercise his right to free speech then he should have opted to stay free without being aligned to any party. A spokesman is expected to articulate his party’s position, not his own independent orchestration that can harm the interests of the entity he represents. Dissent, if any, (or praise for a rival) can be expressed in internal fora without opening it up for public consumption.

For instance, if I were to issue public statements often, even in my personal capacity, in support of  my company’s closest competitors I doubt my employer will tolerate that and keep me on its payrolls.

As a layman reading Mr Tharoor’s periodical comments in the media in praise of the BJP and Prime Minister Modi, I had often thought that he was trying to suck up to the ruling party, possibly out of some personal compulsions. After all, there are controversies still dogging him and how is the nation to assume he has no personal agenda in his “hail Modi” overtures?

The BJP will do well to stay clear of what is purely an internal affair of the Congress. Will it take kindly to any BJP spokesman regularly waxing eloquent about Sonia Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi? Will it be lenient if anyone dares to say something against Modi?

G Joslin Vethakumar

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