Shashi Tharoor Hits Out at Media: 'A Lot of Debate, Very Little Reason'

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Shashi Tharoor Hits Out at Media: 'A Lot of Debate, Very Little Reason'

There is no politics in this matter, says Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.

Kolkata:  Congress leader Shashi Tharoor today criticised the media, particularly news channels, saying, "(Economist) Amartya Sen had this book with that wonderful title, The Argumentative Indian, where he said our democracy is the product of reasoned debate. But what we have in our country today, particularly on television, is a lot of debate but very little reason."

Dr Tharoor, who is in Kolkata for the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, has been tailed by the media at every venue he went to, including to the launch of his own book, 'India Shastra: Reflections on the Nation in Our Time', today.

Last week, police had filed a case of murder over the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Dr Tharoor. She had been found dead in a five-star hotel in January 2014.

Speaking about the media, Dr Tharoor said at the festival, "I will definitely blame the advent of news television for transforming the nature of the Indian press, including the print. You are seeing a race to the bottom in terms of the most sensationalistic, the most voyeuristic, the most headline grabbing attention that will temporarily get you a TRP or two".

There is a bright side, however, to all the attention his latest book is garnering because of the media spotlight on him. Dr Tharoor told NDTV, "It certainly means there is much more media interest than there normally would be in a literary festival and that can get in the way of writers and add to the amusement for some others. But frankly, as their interest is not literary, I think we will just have to ignore it."

Dr Tharoor also said his party, the Congress, has been supportive of him. "My party has never not been supportive and as far as I am concerned, there is no politics in this matter. There has been a deep, shall we say, tragedy that has shaken me as an individual. I neither expect nor demand that any other considerations need to come into this matter."

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