Tharoor clears air on farrago tweet, says done in rage

Tharoor clears air on farrago tweet, says done in rage

Jaipur: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor speaks during the 2019 Jaipur Literature Festival, at Diggi Palace. PTI Photo

Shashi Tharoor has finally cleared the air on his famous 2017 farrago tweet which catapulted him to meme fame.

Tharoor said he posted the tweet in "flaming rage" without realising that a large part of it could be totally incomprehensible to many of his followers.

He had written, "exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations and outright lies being broadcast by an unprincipled showman masquerading as a journalist".

"I didn't realize in my flaming rage that all the words except lies weren't particularly widely understood. I had been using the word (farrago) since my college days," he said.

The May 2017 tweet, a manifestation of his anger at a journalist reporting on his wife Sunanda Pushkar's death, sent many looking for an Oxford dictionary, while several others couldn't stop cracking jokes at his impeccable vocabulary.

The Congress leader, who was speaking at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival here, said after the buzz his tweet generated on social media, people started taking more interest in the kind of words he was using.

It is then that he realised he could use it to "make a certain larger point".

"I did it while using snollygoster for a politician, and got people talking about my new book 'The Paradoxical Prime Minster' by tweeting the word floccinaucinihilipilification to promote it last year," he said Thursday.

Tharoor said his failure to become the United Nations General Secretary opened the door to politics, a platform that lets him "advance a certain vision of India".

"I am not a traditional politician. Politics provides me a platform to advance a certain vision of India. For few decades, I have tried to write about India. A vision, an image of a pluralist land. And to be part of that story is what politics enables me to do," he said.

While he said that his arrival in politics wasn't welcome by many, he reveals that he persisted because he felt being in politics would enable him to be part of the story of India.

Noting that one should write in order to be heard, he said the purpose of communication is to be understood and there is no point using a word if people don't understand it.

"If I am able to get my ideas across in simpler words, then I feel I have achieved something. Because positions come and go — I'm already a former minister, one day I'll be a former MP, but I hope to never be a former writer," he said.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox