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Sunanda Tharoor throws hissy fit in Dubai

Muaz Shabandri (Reporter)
muaz@khaleejtimes.com Filed on January 13, 2014

Indian minister Shashi Tharoor's wife says she hates the media and threatens to throw drink on KT journalist.

Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda at the private party in Dubai. — KT photo by Mohammed Mustafa Khan

It was at a private dinner party late on Thursday night in Dubai, that Sunanda Tharoor, wife of Indian Minister of State for Human Resources Dr Shashi Tharoor, put up a show most unbecoming.

This journalist was having an affable chat with Tharoor — on the dynamics of the impending Indian general elections later this year — when the missus suddenly barged onto the scene and launched into a rant. “You really need to stop this!” she said (referring to the media interaction her husband was having).

The normally unflappable minister seemed lost for words, the outburst from Sunanda — heard by all within earshot — catching him clearly by surprise. The embarrassed minister, his charm rapidly fading, slipped into the shadows. Not only was an apology not forthcoming, the spectacle took a turn for the worse.

Sunanda started heaping more indignity. “This is why I hate the media,” she screamed at this reporter. “I have thrown liquor at Arnab Goswami (a leading Indian television anchor). You think I can’t do that to you?”

Ego, pride and a screaming sense of elitism was evident that night.

Sunanda is not far removed from such boorish behaviour. Last year, she slapped a political worker on a trip to her husband’s home state Kerala.

The public relations firm which had organised the interview was apologetic and admitted Sunanda had stepped out of line, while thanking this reporter for not responding to her insults and verbal assault.

We have dutifully recorded the interview and the angry turn of events.

Earlier that evening, Shashi Tharoor was his usual charming self. He was dressed nattily in a traditional white Kerala mundu and a silk kurta; a silk angavastram (stole) draped across his shoulders completed the sartorially splendid picture. He and Sunanda, who looked glamorous in a beige sari, posed with the assembled glitterati.

After the cameras had done their job and captured the couple who looked so in love, the minister agreed to an interview. By then, the din at the party reached a crescendo with blaring music. Food was in plenty and the conversation was flowing.

Tharoor was patient, smiled and was happy to wade into the thick of questions of national importance.

His party — the Indian National Congress — may be on a sticky wicket in India with the resurgence of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party, but Tharoor chose not to fend off tough questions.

“I think the BJP was allowing itself to become perhaps too confident of the elections, given some of the inevitable anti-incumbency that seeps in the Indian electorate, whether state or national, after 10 years of the same party in power.” It was while he was adding, “I think the Aam Aadmi’s party’s revival ...’’ that Sunanda put in her appearance and put an abrupt end to the interview.

Last heard, the minister was back in India, at a function with the Kerala chief minister. All attempts to reach him through the PR agency had borne no fruit at the time of going to print. — muaz@khaleejtimes.com

author

Muaz Shabandri

Education reporter at Khaleej Times. Dabbles with technology, photography and design in free time. Talk to me food, education and good stories!


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