Indian Scholar calls Shashi’s Nomination a risky gamble

P R Kumaraswamy, a professor at Nehru University in Delhi argues that there are few positive reasons to nominate Shashi for UNSG:

By deciding to field Shashi Tharoor as its official candidate for the post of Secretary-General, India has taken a risky, avoidable and potentially disastrous gamble at the UN. Official spin notwithstanding, the move implies that India has given up its aspiration for a seat in the UN Security Council. At least in the short run.

Tharoor perhaps has better chance of winning the converted post by playing up his UN credentials and underplaying his Indian connections. The central issue is not his personal qualities or qualifications but his Indian tag. Most scholars would be unable to identify the nationality of current chief Annan. Tharoor will not have that anonymity or luxury. There lies the real problem.

Shashi has disagreed with the premise of this on several occasions. He has recently said that if elected he would be "an Indian Secretary General, not a Secretary General for India." On the other hand, as Kumaraswamy points out:

Electing an Indian to the Secretary-General would be seen as an international recognition of India not just of Tharoor, something Beijing would not like to bestow.

We have argued that a fundamental part of this UNSG selection is the rise of China's profile. Kumaraswamy raises the question of whether China can tolerate this selection process to also raise the profile of India.

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