Saturday, January 18, 2014

RIP Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor: Civil servants use Twitter to express grief and shock

AS THE news broke out on Friday night that Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Union minister Shashi Tharoor, was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel in Delhi, micro-blogging site Twitter was flooded with messages expressing grief and shock. After all, Tharoors’ romance, marriage and troubles in private life --- all took place under the media spotlight, and Twitter became the platform for this modern romance that ended in a tragedy. Here are a few messages from Twitter-savvy civil servants on Sunanda Pushkar’s death: “We will miss her engaging charm, joie de vivre, and warmth. RIP #SunandaPushkar. Sincere condolences to Minister #Shashi Tharoor,” writes former foreign secretary and ex-Indian envoy to US Nirupama Rao. As Tharoor was a junior minister in India’s external affairs ministry during UPA-I, he is personally known to a large number of IFS officers. Incidentally, Tharoor triggered many a row in the micro-blogging site, one being his calling the economy class in fight as “cattle class”, embarrassing his party that supported the government’s direction to its ministers to fly the economy class rather than expensive business class.
Amitabh Kant, a secretary-ranked IAS officer and CEO of DMIC Development Corporation calls Sunanda Tharoor's demise “a case of death by twitter”. And then he gives a Twitter lesson. “#Sunanda Tharoor's demise is a case of death by twitter. Lesson: never allow d private domain 2 go public. RIP Sunanda. Tragedy at its worst,” writes Kant.
A couple of days before her death, Sunanda Pushkar accused her husband of having an affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar which was followed by allegations and counter-allegations—all in Twitter. Later, the Tharoor couple came out with a joint statement saying they were happily married, and their Twitter accounts were actually hacked.
Dr A Didar Singh, a retired IAS and current secretary general of the industry body Ficci says Twitter as a medium is not the massage itself. “@amitabhk87 all that twitters is not true. The medium is not the massage. RIP,” Singh writes in his message in the micro-blogging site. His message came as a reply to the one posted by Kant.
Another former IAS Jawhar Sircar who is now the chief executive officer of Prasar Bharati, India’s national public service broadcaster, tweets in his reply to former editor and film maker Pritish Nandy : “@PritishNandy: Sunanda Pushkar, Rest in Peace. Shashi Tharoor, stay strong. Its difficult times, my friend. Yes, Shashi. Trying times!”


  1. It is unfortunate that such a tragedy struck this wonder couple. They were very popular and a whole lot of well-wishers would be saddened. Hope Ms. Sunandha’s soul rests in peace and Mr. Shashi Taroor finds the strength to deal with this loss.


    You didn’t belong to this world at first place
    Male driven, male dominated kingdom it is, call it maledom!
    The world is cruel and more than cruel it is crafty
    First they encouraged you “Bravo! Bravo! Here is a lady
    Who has broken the glass ceiling … one who lives on her terms “
    My foot! This is all frustration and display of contempt by men
    For everything you stood for
    Just see even before you were proclaimed dead
    The world was already busy doing your post mortem
    Each one of them wanted to dissect and dissect it all
    What made you tick and why?
    You were a challenge to their male world of arrogance
    Self assured warmth of safety n security
    There is no place for yours or for that matter anyone else‘s co-existence
    Leave alone growth in my world of oversized egos.
    However brilliant you may be, you were never assessed
    Beyond the flesh and blood the world could cast their ogling eyes at.
    Nor were you ever inaccessible to their scrutiny and groping in their usual fantasies.
    They had in fact so many many names not just for you but for him too.
    They at once envied, loved and hated him
    Did you ever believe when they declared in unison ‘Indian woman has arrived’
    What they meant was ‘you have penetrated in our circle, be prepared to face the consequences’
    And there and then daggers were uncovered. Could you see the beast smiling behind their grins?
    Men cannot bear the very thought of any one barging in and challenging
    His so called intellectual superiority.
    How can you be thinking and a woman simultaneously? No way!
    You drink and the world drinks with you. You drink with ‘Alparax’ and you drink alone.
    They lament you were LIFE of party circuit.
    I hope you didn’t believe a word of it.
    They said this many a times before
    They said it to numerous ladies and oh god all those nasty things they said
    In next breath as soon as backs were turned
    You were yet another victim of your image the persona you created,
    Nursed by the male all around you
    You too burned your candle at both ends.
    It did give dazzling illumination but lasted for painfully brief period.
    Rest in peace dear and in next birth (Hindus do believe in next birth but)
    Don’t you believe that men, Indian men will be any different.
    Ravi Pipal