Shashi Tharoor’s candidature for the top UN job is facing opposition from fellow citizens for liaison with the controversial godman Sathya Sai Baba (SSB) and alleged obscurantism.
Members of Rationalist International, an Indian dominated forum for ‘rationalist ideas and positions of world-wide concern’ have asked for the withdrawal Tharoor’s candidature. The reason given behind this is that behind the suave and sophisticated intellectual image Shashi Tharoor sports lies a deviant mind that believes in the paranormal; and a great devotee of SSB, a godman who with sleight of hand and other organ grinder’s tricks managed to fool hundreds of thousands of people into taking him as God Incarnate.
Sanal Edamaruku, President, Rationalist International and President, Indian Rationalist Association has expressed his shock and dismay about India putting forward the name of Shashi Tharoor for the UN General Secretary’s post when Kofi Annan retires this year.
I am shocked to hear that the Government of India has nominated Shashi Tharoor as its candidate for the post of UN Secretary-General. Shashi Tharoor – despite his carefully nurtured image as a suave and balanced intellectual – is a hardcore propagandist of obscurantism, miracle-belief and all kinds of superstitions, who does not miss a single opportunity to raise his voice in the international media in favour of paranormal claims and in praise of godmen and miracle mongers.
To corroborate his claims, Sanal Edamaruku has reproduced what Tharoor has written on his personal website expressing his position on India that reads –
In the 1950s, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru declared dams and factories to be “the new temples of modern India.” What he failed to recognise was that the old temples continued to maintain their hold on the Indian imagination. The software programs of the new information technology companies dotting Bangalore’s “Silicon Plateau” may be the new mantras of India, but they supplement, rather than supplant, the old mantras. …. Saibaba and Infosys are, in fact, emblematic of an India that somehow manages to live in several centuries at once.
Not only this, Edamaruku has published a part of another of Tharoor’s writings about another such quack, this time a female, which reads as follows:
She took to standing in a crucified position, and blood appeared spontaneously on her hands and feet – the stigmata of Christian lore. Like Saint Teresa of Avila centuries earlier, she suffered seizures during which she levitated: neighbors would come to her family home on Fridays to see her suspended high against the wall in a crucified pose.
In the end of the article, Edamaruku writes that should Shashi Tharoor become the Secretary General of the UN, it will cause major embarrassment to the country as “he is an articulate and avowed propagator of blind faith and superstition, and ridicules the scientific outlook of India’s policy, enshrined in the Indian Constitution”. Not only this, Tharoor as Secretary General would damage the reputation of the United Nations himself.
Now, this raises a deep and serious question. Should the man who devoted his youth through middle age to the cause of the United Nations and served it with distinction be subject to such harsh criticism? His own beliefs and practices never came in the way of his performance on the job he was entrusted with all his life.
However, on second thoughts, it does compel people like us to take stock of the man’s mind and his irrational beliefs. Those beliefs might not be a factor when dispensing duties, but then, charlatans like Sathya Sai Baba will get major boost with the patronage of such a high-profile figure such as the Secretary General of the United Nations.
The time is to move towards light from darkness, progress from backwardness and not take the world back to the dark ages of superstitions, blind beliefs and irrational practices.
I firmly believe that no matter whatever the credentials and the qualifications Shashi Tharoor might have, with a deviant mind, all the good work done by him might come to a naught in one stroke.
The Indian government must review its position on Tharoor seriously to save future blushes.
Report: Sai Baba EXPOSED