SHASHI THAROOR: What is globalisation?

Kofie Annan‘s term as the Secretary-General of the United Nations ends this December. Since it’s Asia turn to have a secretary-general, India has reportedly decided to field Shashi Tharoor, currently the UN under secretary-general for communications and public information, author and columnist (

In his last book Bookless in Baghdad, the London-born, Bombay- and Calcutta-educated Keralite uses Princess Diana‘s death to offer an interesting definition of globalisation at a 2003 lecture in Berlin:

“An English princess with a Welsh title leaves a French hotel with her Egyptian companion, who has supplanted a Pakistani; she is driven in a German car with a Dutch engine by a Belgian chauffeur full of Scottish whisky; they are chased by Italian paparazzi on Japanese motorcycles into a Swiss-built tunnel and crash; a rescue is attempted by an American doctor using Brazilian medicines, and the story is now being told to you now by an Indian visiting Berlin. There’s globalisation.”


Will Tharoor win if there is an election for the UN secretary-general’s post? (The likely competitors are Thailand’s deputy PM and South Korea’s foreign minister.) Will it be good for India? Will it be good for the world?