Shashi Tharoor, minister atwitter

Should government ministers use Twitter to keep the public tharoor_twitter.jpginformed of their daily activities? That’s a question being debated in India, thanks to new Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor, who reportedly is the first Indian minister to actively use Twitter.

In case you aren’t one of his growing legion of followers, here’s just a sampling of his recent tweets:

First day in Parliament. Still can’t believe I made it to Delhi! Remind me not to fly Kingfisher again.
7:05 AM May 19th from TwitterBerry

Have given 13 interviews in 3 languages and 2 more TV shows pending. A little overwhelmed by the media scum.
3:31 PM May 19th from TwitterBerry

Scrum. I meant, scrum.
3:32 PM May 19th from TwitterBerry

@koshy no, I won’t be tweeting in Malayalam.
6:54 PM May 19th from TwitterBerry

@sreenivasan I’ve made 500 campaign speeches in Malayalam, given 150+ interviews in Malayalam, cursed my ex-wife in Malayalam!
6:59 PM May 19th from TwitterBerry

@verghese yes, I do regret the last part. I should have done it in French.
7:02 PM May 19th from TwitterBerry

Lunch with Vijay Amritraj, tennis ace and old friend. Discussed Wimbledon, Fed vs. Nad.
2:34 PM May 20th from TwitterBerry

@bhupathi yes, I’m more of a “Go Fed” guy than a “Go Nad” guy.
2:43 PM May 20th from TwitterBerry

Office computer still won’t work  … too many bugs. Clerk used a spray and 100 roaches ran out!
10:22 AM May 24th from TwitterBerry

First meeting with MEA Minister SM Krishna, an eminent figure in Indian politics. I will be handling mainly Africa & Arab world (so Dearborn, Mich., too).
11:47 AM Jun 1st from Web

Incessant stream of political visitors this morning, all well-meaning, kind & supportive. But politics isn’t easy for those who value privacy!
4:40 PM Jun 2nd from TwitterBerry

Just used my sparkling new toilet again. Flushes well.
4:45 PM Jun 2nd from TwitterBerry

@cherian no, only for ministers. MPs get the low-flow model.
4:48 PM Jun 2nd from TwitterBerry

The toughest part of political life is to get work done while managing to be accessible to evry voter who wants to meet/spk.
5:30 PM Jun 2nd from TwitterBerry

@nilanjana the lookalikes help, but it’s still tough.
5:31 PM Jun 2nd from TwitterBerry

@chitra the cutouts haven’t arrived yet.
5:32 PM Jun 2nd from TwitterBerry

Delhi political social circuit has come to life – 3 dinner invites a day. Too much eating, not enough tweeting.
3:21 PM Jun 3rd from TwitterBerry

@alok there will be nothing on twitter that I can’t say publicly. Obviously no state secrets. Nor will i conduct diplomacy thru twitter!
3:30 PM Jun 3rd from TwitterBerry

@ahmadinejad yes, it’s a tricky issue. BO won’t be happy. let’s talk more when I come to Tehran.
3:32 PM Jun 3rd from TwitterBerry

@renuka book will be published in 2010. A collection of my tweets. Tentative title: “Meet, Eat and Tweet: Using Twitter to Keep the Public Tharoorly Uninformed.”
9:35 PM Jun 5th from TwitterBerry

57 thoughts on “Shashi Tharoor, minister atwitter

  1. I always thought Sasi as a boy with whimsical fancies. He ought to keep his toiletry issues to himself. And he must know there are Indians who speak good English and who adorn high positions in other governments and in the private sector!!

  2. Is that a popular pastime these days?

    I don’t know. But the lesser-known part of the fort toward Rajghat seems to be spectacular to me. It has some marble chhatris that I’d like to see up close. Especially if you’re into Delhi history, the North Delhi area seems worth exploring. I grew up in South Delhi, with only sporadic visits to purani dilli. I want to make up for that deficit as an adult. And the immediacy of delicious paneer paranthas in Chandni Chowk obliterates the grief of personal life :)

    In the lonely backwaters of St. Stephen’s exist a misunderstood and victimized tribe known as “sciencees” who would be very hurt by some of these comments.

    :)

  3. I am in DU right now; I’m tempted to venture out and see this spectacle for myself.

    If you do go, please, please take some pics and post them here.

  4. In other, related, arguably more important news, doesn’t it suck that the communists lost to Tharoor???

  5. I am sure a lot of womens swoon at Shashi’s accent.

    This conversation reminds me of a person I know who would make you cringe with her fake accent – which she mainly uses around white people or when being introduced to new people. I have heard of her switching between an indian accent and a british accent mid-sentance when white co-workers entered the elevator. She also had a moment during a con-cal where her ‘indian’ accent slipped out and she was overly aghast and apologetic.

    The type of person who holds their head up a bit while talking. She actually used the word ‘peasants’ when referring to those who refer to Bombay as Mumbai. (“Oh please, only the peasants call it that”) I mean seriously – who uses the word peasants non-ironically ? Fortunately the statement told me everything I needed to know about her personality.

  6. As a Brit, I would say that Tharoor’s English isn’t entirely British as spoken by any kind of native – his ‘o’s are too rounded and some words sound more American; but it was his accent which caught my attention when I first saw him on NDTV. I imagine he kept the St. Stephens accent because an American accent at the UN wouldn’t have given him much credibility with developing countries. Not that British is much better, but it may have been the lesser of two evils. Indian English would probably seem more unnatural to him if he’s never spoken it. (My idea of perfect Indian English is Bharka Datt and Sonia Singh – please correct me if I’m wrong. They sound so cool!)

    I love his writing, tweets and smiley interviews – very cathartic at the end of a hard day at work! But many in England today prefer anything Desi to Wodehouse, myself included…