Oscar Wilde wrote Picture of Dorian Gray

Book Link Correspondent
The prolific writer Sashi Tharoor is these days more in the news for all the ‘wrong reasons’, according to him. His latest book, An Era of Darkness, published in 2016 created less ripple than the death of his beautiful wife.
Tharoor has written about 17 books and what he writes is less discussed than Tharoor himself. The news of his wife’s death came on a rain-swept night in January 2014, when Tharoor was scheduled to address the Jaipur LitFest, the most popular book-related event in the country, then the citadel of the rich, the beautiful and
the famous.Those invited to JLF were supposed to be a club of the country’s ‘elite’, the ‘intellectual’, the gathering of the international and national who-is-who. That year, of course, then a minister in the Congress government, Tharoor could not make it to JLF. But, all the next three years, he has been very much on the JLF stage. And other stages as well. In India, we believe, you are innocent until proven guilty. All the Litfests go out of their way to practice it too, having especially taken note of the Tharoor address at the JLF, singing paeans to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is no secret that the ruling party is holding an umbrella over Tharoor as the next CM of Kerala.
Tharoor loves the media attention and courts it positively, unfailingly. Handsome, suave, unfazed always, Tharoor on stage, any stage, draws moths like the limelight. Rarely on these stages are any intelligent or critical discussions of his books.
Where Tharoor is the same as the rest of us is, if the media pampers him, the media is ‘great’, if the media is questioning or critical, it is ‘farrago’cious. After the news channel Republic released 19 tapes on the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar, Tharoor lambasted the media from a ‘media’ platform, alleging ‘trial by media’. Undaunted he remained however and tweeted, ‘Exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations & outright lies being broadcast by an unprincipled showman masquerading as a journalist’, sending Twitterati scurrying to Google for the meaning of ‘farrago’. Memes and endless jokes were born, and Tharoor himself was pretty amused with the ripples he created.
Thanks, tweeple, for finding humour in my exasperation! Outrage was never so funny: https://t.co/WfwWwBqkwL-Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 9, 2017. We, however, soon learnt from a Facebook post by the Free Press Kashmir, that British political journalist Mehdi Hasan had used the exact phrase all the way back in 2013.
So stressed was Tharoor that he forgot to be original! In the Mumbai media event, he blamed the media like everyone else, ‘In ancient times, India put the falsely accused through agnipariksha, trial by fire. Today, it puts its falsely accused through trial by media’. He added, ‘Sadly, not everyone in the media values truth over TRPs. I’ve had occasions to say in the past couple of days that it is the job of the media to be the witness of our society. It is not the job of the media to be the prosecution, the executioner and the judge rolled into one’. At the same time, he also said, ‘Media is a mirror that exists not to flatter, but to reveal what is lacking in our society, which is flawed and must be corrected’. Perhaps the writer in Tharoor will recognise that Dorian Gray had a picture and the story ends with a beautiful picture and an unknown old man, stabbed in the heart, his face and figure withered and decrepit.


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