Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor is an author, politician, and former international civil servant. Dr. Tharoor straddles several worlds of experience. Currently a third-term Lok Sabha Member of Parliament (MP for India’s Lower House of Parliament) representing the Thiruvananthapuram constituency, he has previously served as Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs in the Government of India. He currently chairs the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology.

During his nearly three-decade long prior career at the United Nations, he served as a peacekeeper, refugee worker, and administrator at the highest levels, serving as Under-Secretary General during Kofi Annan’s leadership of the organization. He is also an award-winning author of 20 books of both fiction as well as non-fiction, including The Great Indian Novel, The Paradoxical Prime Minister, The Hindu Way and The New World Disorder. He has won numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the prestigious Crossword Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Sahitya Akademi Award in the category of ‘English Non-Fiction’ for his book An Era of Darkness. Dr. Tharoor's 22nd book will be out in November and is titled The Battle of Belonging.

His other awards include the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, India’s highest honor for overseas nationals, the Encomienda de la Real Order Espanola de Carlos III from the King of Spain, ‘New Age Politician of the Year’ from NDTV, the Hakim Khan Sur Award for National Integration, and the Priyadarshini Award for Excellence in Diplomacy.

He was a pioneer in using social media as an instrument of political interaction. Till 2013, he was India’s most-followed politician on Twitter, until being overtaken that year by the current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. He was the first Indian to reach 10,000 and 100,000 followers on the platform, and currently has over 7.7 million followers.