Shashi Tharoor
fmr. U.N. Under Sec. Gen. for Communciations; Author
01:04

How is this war different?

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The 21st century began with 9/11, says Tharoor.

Shashi Tharoor

Author, peace-keeper, refugee worker, human rights activist and now political candidate for the Indian Parliament, Shashi Tharoor straddles several worlds of experience.

Chairman of Dubai-based Afras Ventures and former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Shashi Tharoor was the official candidate of India for the succession to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2006, and came a close second out of seven contenders in the race. His career began in 1978, when he joined the staff of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, and included key responsibilities in peace-keeping after the Cold War and as a senior adviser to the Secretary-General, as well as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.

Dr. Tharoor is also the award-winning author of nine books, as well as hundreds of articles, op-eds and book reviews in a wide range of publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribune, Time, Newsweek and The Times of India. He has served for two years as a Contributing Editor and occasional columnist for Newsweek International. Since April 2001 he has authored a fortnightly column in The Hindu and since January 2007 in The Times of India.

Born in London in 1956, Dr. Tharoor was educated in India and the United States, completing a Ph. D. in 1978 at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he received the Robert B. Stewart Prize for Best Student. At Fletcher, Shashi Tharoor helped found and was the first Editor of the Fletcher Forum of International Affairs, a journal now in its 31st year. A compelling and effective speaker, he is fluent in English and French.

In January 1998, Dr. Tharoor was named a "Global Leader of Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He is the recipient of several awards, including a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and was named to India’s highest honour for Overseas Indians, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, in 2004. He serves on the Board of Overseers of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the board of trustees of the Aspen Institute India, and the Advisory Boards of the World Policy Journal, the Virtue Foundation and the human rights organization Breakthrough. He is also a Fellow of the New York Institute of the Humanities.

Transcript

A New Kind of War

Shashi Tharoor: There’s no question that our . . . Just as Eric __________, the historian, said that the 20th century began with the assassination of the Archduke in Sarajevo that triggered off the First World War, so too one could say that the 21st century began with 9/11. Because it’s . . . It’s transformed the way in which governments have reacted – especially the U.S., but other governments too – to the threats and the dangers in the world in which we live not always for the wisest or for the best; but it’s therefore left a mark and a shape on the kind of world we live in. Everything from the kinds of airport security we have now . . . We live in a world where you can’t carry a bottle of water through the security check. I mean it’s crazy. But it’s also part of the ways in which the war against terror, or the fear of terrorism – whatever you want to call it – daily impacts our lives in ways that can’t be escaped.

Recorded on: 9/18/07

 

 


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