Sunanda Pushkar is no more. She was found lifeless in the Leela Palace Hotel in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi on January 17, 2014, by her husband and the hotel staff.
You can almost hear Rahul Gandhi’s furor, lashing out in the All India Congress meeting “Shashi, you just can’t keep it in your pants, can you!” Nope! Shashi didn’t need this. Congress certainly didn’t need another “dirty” feather in it’s cap with the elections right around the corner.
But first, who was Sunanda? She was the wife of Shashi Tharoor. Who is Shashi Tharoor? Well…
Shashi Tharoor is the suave, smooth talking, hyper-educated, 30 decade ex-UN-serving-staff member who was once in line to replace Kofi Annan but was rightly (hindsight 20/20) passed up for Ban Ki-moon. Shashi is currently serving as the Indian Minister of State for Human Resource Development. It was Sunanda’s third marriage and so was Shashi’s.
What came to surface over the past several days is a series of disturbing tweets alleging a rip-roaring extra-marital affair between Mehr Tarar (a Pakistani journalist) and Tharoor. Sunanda, who was battling several debilitating illnesses (lupus and stomach tuberculosis), was said to be distraught and depressed and not in the “right frame of mind” after finding out her husband was – a serial philanderer!
What’s troubling is that a certain section of the media (read Barkha Dutt et al) has implicitly written off her death as a disturbed wife’s attempt to reconcile with her inevitable misery! But what cannot be ignored is Sunanda’s tweet stating that she took the fall for Shashi in 2010, when he tried to cunningly swindle a mere USD 12 million during an Indian Premier League (around INR 70 crore) bid. Back then, Shashi was reprimanded, he had to leave his ministerial post (briefly), and the matter was overlooked just like any other political scandal in India! Fast forward to January, 2014 – the betrayed Sunanda was not going to take his martial-betrayal laying down and openly spoke about this IPL scandal. And suddenly she is no more!
While Shahi can take his sweet time to recover from heart-ache, rest of us cannot stand the “fishiness”! What will be disappointing is if her miserable death is written off as a suicide or a heart-attack and the whole incident will be brushed under the carpet, in this election year melodrama.
And for those who don’t know who Sunanda was, she was a fiercely independent feminist. She was a spirited business-woman who separated from 2 earlier partners, and raised her now 21-year old son practically on her own. She ran a business empire in Dubai and looked great while doing it. And she also set several lose-tongued gentlemen straight; Modi got a piece of her mind when he dared to call her Shashi’s 50 crore girlfriend; she slapped a man at the Thiruvanandpuram airport for misbehaving with her; and threw her drink in our very own Arnab Gosawmi’s face for apparently insulting her. Most importantly she advocated for women’s rights in the war torn Kashmir!
She lived her life like a firefly – fleeting, radiant and uncompromising…#RESPECT!
- The parable of a vamp, Asian Window
- Do not stoop to such low levels: Sunanda Pushkar to Narendra Modi, Financial Express
- Sunanda Pushkar’s bridal side, Masala.com
- Sunanda Pushkhar’s Style Files, High Heel Confidential