Anna phenomenon shows middle class disenchantment: Tharoor

May 6th, 2011 - 5:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Shashi Tharoor New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) The Anna Hazare phenomenon expresses the widespread disenchantment in middle class India, politician-writer Shashi Tharoor has said.

It reflected the “widespread disenchantment of the educated middle class,” Tharoor, former minister of state for external affairs, Thursday told a packed audience in the capital at a literary session, “Writer’s Etc”.

Tharoor was in conversation with “my former publisher” David Davidar, the former chief executive of Penguin Book’s international division and an author of repute, at the Alliance Francaise in Delhi.

Fielding another query on what went wrong with his politics, Tharoor, Lok Sabha member from Thiruvananthapuram, said: “In politics all that matters is what the audience thinks they have heard.”

“The ears of the hearers were poisoned,” he said.

The writer, who held forth for more than hour, analysed almost all his written work from “The Great Indian Novel”, a retelling of the Mahabharatha in the context of 20th century, to his subsequent books like “Show Business”, “Riot” and “Midnight to Millennium”.

Tharoor explained the making of his first five fictional and the non-fictional works in the perspective of the circumstances that prompted him to write the books and the diverse inspirations from reality that triggered the fictional plots in his head.

“My fictions are anchored in reality… real characters and real issues,” he said.

The books try to tell a larger truth, Tharoor added.

Citing an example, he said his novel “Riot” was inspired by two separate incidents - the Ram Shila Poojan (the consecration of bricks for building the Ram temple in Ayodhya), which led to a riot in a small town in Madhya Pradesh, and the killing of a white girl by blacks who went to fight apartheid in Africa.

He said he put the two incidents together and spun a fiction.

“David was my publisher. He said it (”Riot”) was a necessary book,” Tharoor recalled.

The discussion was part of a new series of literary interfaces, “Writers. Etc”, with noted writers presented by Alliance Francaise.

The series began in February with a session hosting writer Vikram Seth, who was in conversation with journalist-writer Sam Miller.

The forum involves direct interaction between the audience and the writer with the former posing pertinent questions.

According to a spokesperson for the Alliance Francaise, the “aim is to encourage discovery, unencumbered by genre of all written oeuvres, ranging from living legends to emerging talents”.

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