I have become thick-skinned to criticism, Congress president hopeful Dr Shashi Tharoor tells FICCI ladies.
HYDERABAD, Oct 3 (The CONNECT) The corporate titans of our country are lack courage to criticise people in power, said Dr Shashi Tharoor while replying to a question at a FICCI Ladies Interactive (FLO) session here on Monday afternoon.
In conversation with veteran journalist Sriram Karri, the Congress president hopeful said the corporates are worried that they may be subjected to tax raids and twisting of laws against them. The successive governments have a track record of misusing power, resolving to arm-twisting tactics, he said.
The conversation began with Shubhraa Maheshwari, Chairperson of FLO Hyderabad asking him why women's representation was not growing despite the best policies and efforts.
Dr Tharoor said he failed to get support when he raised the issue of lack of women representation in senior PSU posts. There are several reasons for this. The major ones are historic and cultural and not because of the lack of talent.
But the fact remains that Indian women are doing remarkably well in entrepreneurship. Based on some metrics they are said to be better than men. Women have proved their mettle in the Start-up space. Women are efficient in every profession. They are less distractive and more productive, he said.
On asked why he is a woman charmer, and why he has so much of women following, Dr Tharoor said, it is better to ask them rather than me. I treat women with respect, which I probably why I am considered so, he replied.
On Mukesh Ambani announcing succession plan and giving major responsibility to a son, rather than a daughter, Dr Tharoor said age gets better responsibility. That could be the reason. His firstborn is to be succeeding him. Other considerations may be because of cultural reasons. I don’t see any other reasons for the discrimination. Till 1956, Hindu women never had the right to their parents’ property. Every woman has to fight a battle within the family. India has done pioneering work in women’s rights. Most of the Hindu gods are women. We have enough positive reasons, he explained.
Why he is always in the thick of the storm? Why he is criticised so much? And how does he take it? To these questions, Dr Tharoor said “I take it with pinch of salt”. “When I got into politics, I was not properly prepared for it. When I was subjected to a lot of criticism, I was worried, suffered and depressed. I even consulted lawyers to sue the adversaries. But what former diplomat Natwar Singh said once, made a huge difference. I have become thick-skinned. I have grown a thick skin. I follow what former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan once advised, “when the sharks bite you, do not bleed". “The people who criticise you, derive satisfaction if you suffer. That is why I don’t give them that honour, he said.
When asked if he was regretting throwing a highly paid job at the United Nations, he said "I used to earn $ 50,000 for a speech assignment. I was never motivated by the bottom line. I was always interested in what impact I would make on my fellow citizens".
"I have no regrets," he said
About his language and his passion for vocabulary and how he remembers so many rare words, Dr Tharoor said, you will forget if you don’t use them. That is why you see me using them, he quipped.