Sunday, February 15, 2009

Is active politics right for a literary writer?

News: Former United Nations diplomat and writer Shashi Tharoor is set to enter politics. He’s already been approached by the Congress to contest upcoming LokSabha elections.

The question is: why is Shashi joining politics? When does a writer join politics? Is it right for a writer to do a plotician's nasty job?

Or, was writing just a passtime, never a vocation, for Shashi Tharoor? Mind you he was a diplomat for the best part of his life and even contested for UN's general secretary's post. His diplomatic career is now over, and he's kind of unemployed right now.

We've heard of activist writers like Mahasweta Devi, Arundhati Roy and Hasan Azizul Huq. Shashi's is not definitely a case of activism, but plain careerism. Some say he built up his writer's reputation, not so much by his merit or passion or talent as by using his position. May be he now hits the end of his road, and what other option than to join politics in this Indian soil!

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