There are rebels without a cause, and yes, there are also rebels without a pause. On the other side are the conformists, the rigorously and supremely optimistic, sanguine people. Of the people whose views I respect (and care to read), I often find it a bit disturbing if they tilt too far towards either side of this spectrum. Shashi Tharoor, in particular, has a tendency to lean too far right in my spectrum spanning rebellion to "conformism" - he is the perennial first-bencher, always in shining whites, upright and prompt. No, but that is not my problem. In his eagerness to be the voice of optimism, he glosses over harsh reality. In toiling hard to illustrate a fraction of success he sights over the horizon, he overlooks the tonnes of trouble lying here and now. While that is not in itself bad, I fear that his selling of success will more often than not lead to complacency, instead of becoming the refreshing pit-stop, as probably intended. In his endeavors at taking pride at what is, I fear, we will loose sight of what can be. Yes, accompanied by the occasional garnish of wit, is Shashi's very subtle insinuation to action. But the latter is far too feeble to be recognized. Chances are, that, one blessed with special faculties does sniff at the wit, admire it, but will probably still ignore the message.
(By the way, I've read a couple of works by Shashi (apart from what he pens for the STOI), and must admit that I've enjoyed them thoroughly. I found the Great Indian Novel especially impressive).
With this introductory text, I (hopefully) begin a series of posts on posts by Shashi in the STOI.