The Elephant, the Tiger, and the Cell Phone: Reflections on India, the Emerging 21st-Century Power

The Elephant the Tiger and the Cell Phone Reflections on India the Emerging st Century Power In his critically acclaimed previous work India From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond Shashi Tharoor one of India s most respected writers and diplomats traced the country s history from late

  • Title: The Elephant, the Tiger, and the Cell Phone: Reflections on India, the Emerging 21st-Century Power
  • Author: Shashi Tharoor
  • ISBN: 9780143418948
  • Page: 105
  • Format: Paperback
  • In his critically acclaimed previous work, India From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond, Shashi Tharoor, one of India s most respected writers and diplomats, traced the country s history from late colonial times through its first fifty years of independence Interest in the subcontinent has never been greater, and this new work offers precious insights into this complIn his critically acclaimed previous work, India From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond, Shashi Tharoor, one of India s most respected writers and diplomats, traced the country s history from late colonial times through its first fifty years of independence Interest in the subcontinent has never been greater, and this new work offers precious insights into this complex, multifaceted land, which despite its dazzling diversity of languages, customs, and cultures remains than sixty years after its founding the world s largest democracy.

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      Shashi Tharoor

    About Author

    1. Shashi Tharoor is a member of the Indian Parliament from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency in Kerala He previously served as the United Nations Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information and as the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs.He is also a prolific author, columnist, journalist and a human rights advocate.He has served on the Board of Overseers of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University He is also an adviser to the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva and a Fellow of the New York Institute of the Humanities at New York University He has also served as a trustee of the Aspen Institute, and the Advisory of the Indo American Arts Council, the American India Foundation, the World Policy Journal, the Virtue Foundation and the human rights organization Breakthrough He is also a Patron of the Dubai Modern High School and the managing trustee of the Chandran Tharoor Foundation which he founded with his family and friends in the name of his late father, Chandran Tharoor.Tharoor has written numerous books in English Most of his literary creations are centred on Indian themes and they are markedly Indo nostalgic Perhaps his most famous work is The Great Indian Novel, published in 1989, in which he uses the narrative and theme of the famous Indian epic Mahabharata to weave a satirical story of Indian life in a non linear mode with the characters drawn from the Indian Independence Movement His novel Show Business 1992 was made into the film Bollywood 1994 The late Ismail Merchant had announced his wish to make a film of Tharoor s novel Riot shortly before Merchant s death in 2005.Tharoor has been a highly regarded columnist in each of India s three best known English language newspapers, most recently for The Hindu newspaper 2001 2008 and in a weekly column, Shashi on Sunday, in the Times of India January 2007 December 2008 Following his resignation as Minister of State for External Affairs, he began a fortnightly column on foreign policy issues in the Deccan Chronicle Previously he was a columnist for the Gentleman magazine and the Indian Express newspaper, as well as a frequent contributor to Newsweek International and the International Herald Tribune His Op Eds and book reviews have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, amongst other papers.Tharoor began writing at the age of 6 and his first published story appeared in the Bharat Jyoti , the Sunday edition of the Free press Journal , in Mumbai at age 10 His World War II adventure novel Operation Bellows, inspired by the Biggles books, was serialized in the Junior Statesman starting a week before his 11th birthday Each of his books has been a best seller in India The Great Indian Novel is currently in its 28th edition in India and his newest volume The Elephant, the Tiger and the Cellphone has undergone seven hardback re printings there.Tharoor has lectured widely on India, and is often quoted for his observations, including, India is not, as people keep calling it, an underdeveloped country, but rather, in the context of its history and cultural heritage, a highly developed one in an advanced state of decay He has also coined a memorable comparison of India s thali to the American melting pot If America is a melting pot, then to me India is a thali a selection of sumptuous dishes in different bowls Each tastes different, and does not necessarily mix with the next, but they belong together on the same plate, and they complement each other in making the meal a satisfying repast.

    One thought on “The Elephant, the Tiger, and the Cell Phone: Reflections on India, the Emerging 21st-Century Power

    1. Last year, I thoroughly enjoyed reading The God of Small Things Arundhati Roy and Midnight s Children Salman Rushdie Although these are technically fictional works, there are always so many historical events and elements intertwined in the pages of Indian literature Wanting to learn about Indian political history and the 1947 partition, I decided to read a non fiction account, and Tharoor s book was perfect.The book has six sections Ideas of Indianness, India at Work and at Play, Indians Who Ma [...]


    2. Variations on a Theme of Three Cheers for India Shashi Tharoor s book reads like a long and often repetitive series of newspaper columns which, in fact, is precisely what it is The copyright page notes that Earlier versions of the essays in this book have appeared, in somewhat different forms, in the author s columns in the Hindu, the India Express, the Times of India, and in the following publications the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribu [...]


    3. Since I recently visited India I wanted a good guide giving a history of Indian culture I know that English is taught in a very old fashioned way in India but I m afraid I couldn t get through the terribly long winded sentences of this book Good content but presented like someone suffering from verbal diarrhoea Nehru was a moody, idealist intellectual who felt an almost mystical empathy with the toiling peasant masses an aristocrat, accustomed to privilege, who had passionate socialist convictio [...]


    4. This book by Shashi Tharoor is not an exposition or analysis of India in the 21st century Nor is it a book detailing India s long and varied history What it is, however, is a collection of his articles and essays about India and what its rising global position means for the world He starts the book by detailing the concept of Indianness and then delves into its culture, history, achievements and problems, all in the context of the 21st century He writes eloquently about a variety of topics rangi [...]


    5. What one of the other reviewers said was spot on the author writes, and his prose reads as though he really likes to hear his own voice Granted, in a series of editorials where opining is what the author is there to do, some talking for talking s sake may be unavoidable as the author ruminates on what being Indian means to him Sometimes he mixes in statistics and endeavors to give his favorite numbers context with a little history lesson which I personally found the best aspect of the book, IMHO [...]


    6. This is very insightful, witty and sensible book I felt the opinions of the author was not clouded by his political party association and all topics were very unbiased It covers varieties of topic and so one never feels dull or bored I immensely enjoyed reading it.


    7. Probably one of the best books on India in 21st century with an overdose of secularism and Mallu chauvinism Tharoor comes out as a textbook idealist and a liberal which I find unreasonable when I look at the ground realities


    8. Practically unreadable dense in some parts and repetitive in others, but has interesting insight into Indian culture, history, people, and politics


    9. The Elephant, the Tiger, and the Cellphone Reflections on India The Emerging 21st Century Power is a collection of 69 essays authored by Shashi Tharoor, which have previously appeared in his own columns in The Hindu, The Indian Express the Times of India, in many other publications which include the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribune, India Today Plus, Time Global Asia.The book consists of 6 sections 1 The Transformation of India2 Ideas o [...]


    10. This book is only worth a read if you know little about India and are fine with a very biased view of the country.More than anything I felt this book was a way for Mr Tharoor to comment on the happenings of India and add his own personal view to absolutely everything It certainly was not very objective You ll also find a very lopsided amount of information on certain Indian States such as Kerala, which is where Mr Tharoor is from Mr Tharoor also repeats the same facts throughout the book to make [...]


    11. This is an excellent collection of essays and columns about the changing Indian sub continent, and what the future holds for the largest democracy in the world I was torn between 4 and 5 stars only because I don t COMPLETELY agree with him on some points But thats my opinion Tharoor s essays talk about India s flags of pride the software hubs, the call centers, the coveted IITs and IIT ians, largest number of millionaires, etc But he also takes a critical look at issues that most have brushed as [...]


    12. Meh At best two and a half stars Tharoor writes well and often amusingly, but this book is just a compilation of several dozen newspaper articles I picked it off the shelf of the library to round out my History Book Club India reading challenge with something a bit contemporary Tharoor s book sort of did the job, since most of the chapters seem to have been written between about 2000 2007 It was fun to dip into now and then and Tharoor s cheery India boosterism and charming little family vignet [...]


    13. A very good insightful read of contemporary India while keeping the glorious and inglorious too past in retrospective The book traverses us through the upcoming challenges to have India win the race with China The book has also been successful in relating thoughts to actions of a common Indian There are also numerous instances of comparisons which makes us think how far we have to tread to reach an envied economic stance However this does not leave us with desperation that we are far but share u [...]


    14. 3.5Quite an eye opening read The parts that stayed with me were reading about the emergency period of the 1970 s under Indira Gandhi and understanding the intricacies of the role Education or the lack thereof plays, in reflecting the parties in power who in the absence of literacy, use sectarian ideologies to divide people instead of uniting and representing the country as a whole.The negative The off putting thing about this book was the repetition of certain phrases The book is basically a col [...]


    15. Amazing Tharoor is viewed as Pro Indian but that doesn t necessarily make this a biased view By acknowledging India s shortcomings especially, in religious tolerance, birth control, the caste system, and women s rights , he is able to present options and solutions for India s growing future Clearly, he was a worthy choice for the UN Secretary General I did find the repeated references annoying at times he continuously references the game of cricket to draw similarities with it and India s growin [...]


    16. The Elephant, the Tiger, and the Cellphone is a good read Mr.Tharoor very colourfully narrates his Indian connection and paints India a very healthy and powerful picture This book must be read keeping in mind it s a collection of Taroor s work previously published, making some parts repetitive, makes the forgiving easy The idea of India is very generously portrayed as a regional power, which the author evidences with a handful of Indians making it big beyond the borders The book artfully makes I [...]


    17. I started reading this book 2 months ago in Chile Now I just finished it, while living in India.This is my 2nd time here and I ve always been puzzled by this huge piece of land.I read this book after reading so many other stories about India and this one stands among the bests Tharoor is clear, funny, serious but most importantly he s a great storyteller.At some point, I just decided to slow down with the book I would read a couple of chapters and go to Google to research a bit I m still far fr [...]


    18. The author has covered almost every aspect of India as we know it from not just a historical perspective But also a current perspectiveThe book presents a holistic perspective and opinion and view on the culture of India, the politics, the people, the poverty, the democratic process, the historical legacies of our colonial past, and many other thoughts which allowed me to think deeper Good book not outstanding Subject matter is mostly known to me So interesting read I browsed some chapters while [...]


    19. Poignant illustrations and suggestions abound as Shashi Tharoor writes about India and his idea of Indianness A collection of his essays, the book shows early signs of being repetitive and ratifies the feeling There are some ideas that do pique the curiosity as one reads and sparks off wonderful debates in one s head about religion, prosperity, the Indian economy, the glorious and pressing past but ultimately its a book of diplomacy and thats about it The portion where he spews praise for Ashuto [...]


    20. Shashi Tharoor is no doubt an excellent writer however most of the content seemed to be straight out of the Congress party manifesto This is particularly true for the sections on secularism and hagiographies of Gandhi and Nehru There is always than one side to the story The book has many witty anecdotes but some of them are repeated multiple times Tighter editing would have helped.


    21. The best parts were the sections about Indianness and the transformation of India In the first section on the idea of Indianness he makes a strong case for a secular India in the face of pressure from the Hindu right Tharorr s position at the UN gives him a great insight on how India is viewed from the outside Overall, a good, quick read from a really good author but not his best.


    22. This book is simply a collection of short op ed pieces which do not delve into any explored topic with serious research or thought Definitely not an important book covering modern India but an entertaining and humorous read at times Reading India After Gandhi and In Spite of the Gods is time better spent.


    23. I love Saashi Tharoor I enjoyed his book about Bollywood, Showbusiness Reading that book made we want to read this one I really got a good sense of India, it s past, it s present and future Mr Tharoor covers everything from Cricket to Mahatma Ghandhi It reads like a series of magazine articles His passion for India is palpable.



    24. A collection of his essays and newspaper pieces Some obviously good insight, but a bit of a self promoter Seemed like of a need to fulfill a book contract obligation But if you are interested in learning about the nuances of India from a person who has lived there but spent much of his adult life viewing it from a neutral standpoint in NYC as a member of the UN, read it.


    25. I started reading the book because of the personality of Shashi tharoor The first essay was good where he compare the elephant, tiger and mentioned dragon It was written in Orwellian style However after reading several chapters, there is recurrent theme in which he prophesied capitalism for every ill in Indian society.


    26. Shashi Tharoor s books are meant to be possessed I was at first reluctant to read it as I thought the political take on view would be Biased But oh Boy True purpose of Indian ness Hinduism has been satisfactorily narrated by the Gentleman


    27. a nice set of insightful brief pieces about modern India from a very good writer also under Sec Gen of the UN should have been the next Sec Gen most are really good pieces nice book to keep for a short read.


    28. Interesting book Would have given it four stars, but some passages are taken verbatim from India From Midnight to the Millennium.


    29. An extremely interesting and informative read Not a linear structure, but it doesn t affect the narrative structure of the articles.


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