Why Shashi Tharoor & Salman Khan are the most adored Indian males?
It is said that women are attracted to confident men. And on this front, both Salman Khan and Shashi Tharoor are on the same page
That was the inaugural day at the prestigious Raisina Dialogue, India's premier conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics in capital's Mauraya Hotel couple of years ago and Shashi Tharoor was virtually mobbed by the his admirers, mostly women, after he made an impassioned speech on India's foreign policy and leaving the venue. The requests for selfies with him were unending much to the annoyance of all those who never get such a chance to impress the fair sex.
And while watching Bollywood blockbuster 'No Entry' in both Delhi and Chandigarh, there was a sudden roar inside the pictures halls as audience have started clapping the very moment Salman Khan makes an entry in the film. And in Mumbai's upmarket Bandra, fair number of well- dressed women, young to not so young, can always be spotted outside the all white Galaxy Apartments, abode of Salman Khan to have some glimpses of their ultimate crush.
Well, Salman Khan and Shashi Tharoor are currently the most loved and adored Indian males. There cannot be any debate on this issue. No other Bollywood star or cricketer can match their fast and thick growing fan following. It is mind-boggling. It is not easy to find similarities between them. While mostly kurta-pyjama with Nehru jacket clad, Shashi Tharoor, is a dapper, urbane, and attractive and a much married man, Salman Khan has not married even once though he was involved with so many women. His name is involved with several women over the years. He is a hunk, handsome and his films apart, he will hardly impress you with his speaking abilities. And when St Stephen's college alumni Shashi Tharoor speaks either in Parliament or in some seminar, he makes his presence felt with his phenomenal knowledge and grace. Even if you disagree with the thoughts of this gifted speaker and writer, you respect his bold and clear views. You would never dismiss him with contempt. That is the hallmark of diplomat turned politician Shashi Tharoor.
And Salman Khan is a one man film industry. His fan following transcends class, creed and region. His films like Dabangg, Race, Tiger Zinda Hai, Tubelight, Sultan, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Kick, Bodyguard, Ready, Veer, London Dreams, Partner, Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam have done great business. Yet, he is not regarded as a very accomplished actor by the film critics; still his very presence in any film is almost a guarantee that it will do stunning business. Well, he is a star and there is a difference between Star and an actor. He gives damn to star versus actor debate. He is a happy go lucky South Mumbai guy. As that was not enough, Salman Khan dabbled with television during the last decade by successfully hosting popular shows like '10 Ka Dum' and several hit seasons of reality show 'Bigg Boss' besides a plethora of endorsements.
Salman Khan is a brash and post 2002 hit-and-run case, he slowly and gradually took to charity. And from then onwards, Salman Khan turned to philanthropy by forming 'Being Human', a non-governmental organisation. The NGO, supported by the Salman Khan Foundation, has adopted villages in Maharashtra and outside the State. Should we believe that the human side of Salman Khan makes deep inroads in the tender hearts of women? May be. Soon after the September 28, 2002 incident, in which one person died and four injured, Salman Khan was arrested and put behind bars for a few days. He had shared the space in the lock up with petty criminals. He was also allegedly involved in four cases related to the blackbuck/chinkara poaching in Rajasthan. In this case too, he was arrested and later acquitted by the court.
And acclaimed author of highly rated books like Why Am I a Hindu, An era of darkness, Nehru: The Invention Of India and many others, Shashi Tharoor has too have some issues with the police after his wife, Sunanda Pushkar, found dead in her suite at Delhi's Leela Hotel on January 17, 2014. Sunanda Pushkar's death has often been described as one of the most mysterious and controversial cases in recent times. After her death, Shashi Tharoor had to face series of allegations. Surprisingly enough, even then his rating among women has hardly diminished. He is still their hero. Can you recall any other case when husband of a lady who committed suicide is not considered as villain by one and all? Do you know any other political leader in India who is followed so closely by huge Indian middle class though he is not at all a mass leader? But then Shashi Tharoor belongs to another class. Well, controversy is the middle name of Lok Sabha member from Thiruvananthapuram.
Remember Shashi Tharoor had to resign as Minister of State for External Affairs in the Manmohan Sing's cabinet in year 2010. Thus, he earns the dubious distinction of becoming the first minister in the UPA-II to go under the cloud of corruption charges. What is so interesting is that despite such issues, he was never considered as a bad boy of Indian politics. Spare a thought and think as to why no other politician is so adored in India than him despite the fact his is not a mass leader and generally speaks in English? Still, when Indians are so disillusioned with their political class, Shashi Tharoor still gets lot of attention and respect from educated Indians. Why no other politician is so much liked in India than strikingly good looking Shashi Tharoor despite the fact he has not led a big movement? Is it due to the fact that he instigates conversations intellectually stimulating, and listens to what others say in response. He makes you laugh with his clever sense of humour, and has an uncanny ability to make politics interesting. He is a totally confident guy and sure of himself. He is assertive in public, and gives off an aura of power and control. It is said that women are attracted to confident men. And on this front, both Salman Khan and Shashi Tharoor are on the same page.
(The author is a Delhi-based journalist who closely follows South Asia, business, Delhi and Indian Diaspora)