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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[…]

Tharoor would like to talk to an Indian farmer about to commit suicide.

Question: Whom would you interview, and what would you ask?

Shashi Tharoor: I’m tempted to say President Bush to ask him what was he thinking back in 2003, but I won’t do that. I think in many ways I wouldn’t be content with interviewing just one person. I’d say that I’d love to have the time and . . . and the resources to pick up a . . . a . . . a . . . a farmer in . . . in a droughts infested part of India who is on the verge of committing suicide as 4,000 farmers have done this last year, because they . . . they felt their life was so hopeless that ending it was the only way out. I’d love to interview a Russian potentate to find out how he feels about his billions and . . . and . . . and what difference he can make to his world with that. I’d like to interview and African potentate who is stashing his millions in Swiss banks, and ask him what he feels about the condition of his people. I’d love to interview a Hollywood star and . . . and see what contribution she thinks her . . . her performances and her lifestyle are making to the . . . make to . . . are making to . . . to change the planet into the . . . into the better place that we all wanna leave behind when we leave it. And so on and so forth. I could give you 10 more examples, but that’s the sort of set of interviews I’d like to do. I think there is no one person on this planet who has all the answers that I’d like to find.

Question: What should we be asking ourselves?

Shashi Tharoor: A question that I feel we should all be asking ourselves is in what way is this planet different for us having been on it?  And hopefully different for the better.  But if not, just different.

Recorded on: 9/18/07