Glass half empty: Shashi Tharoor's reply to Narendra Modi comment at SRCC
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Addressing students there, Tharoor said the question was not whether the glass was half full with water or full with water and air, but "what more can I put into the glass of water?"
At SRCC, on February 6, Modi had picked up a glass of water and said some would see it as half full, others half empty, but for him, it was "half water and half air".
"To me, indeed, it is half empty and we need to put something in it to make it full," Tharoor told students.
Stating that he was not in the college to "make a political speech", Tharoor talked about the diverse nature of the country.
Stressing the need to understand what "we are as a civilisation", Tharoor told students about how Jews and Parsis came to India to flee persecution, calling them "examples of the openness of our culture."
Tharoor said, "Democracy was not an easy choice for the country — remember the horrors of partition. The democracy that we seem to take for granted was hard fought for. It rests on the simple idea that you can choose to be what you want to be."
Urging students to be less cynical, he said, "We are living in an age where the argumentative Indian is being replaced by the cynical Indian. Is this cynicism or claim to cynicism justified? What are we doing about it?"
Even as he talked about India as a young country with 540 million people under the age of 25 years, Tharoor highlighted the urgent need to guide and educate the youth.
"Frustrated and unemployed youth have picked up the gun in the name of Naxalism. We need to embrace and include those who have been left out."