We spent the weekend doing some research on Shashi. He is, indeed, an excellent writer. However, something struck us. However, a theme has emerged. He believes that the 21st century will be India's. A New York Times review of "Midnight to the Millenium" quoted him saying that India would "make the 21st century her own".
The Toronto Star once used him as a demonstration of the opinion of many Indians that the "21st century will belong to them…"
Now Shashi is not the first person to say this. As is well known, Lee Kwan Yu has made a similar statement. And, of course, many Indians have made this point.
Indeed, IHT characterizes Shashi's candidacy as:
With its economy blossoming and its influence spreading, India has launched a bid for even more clout: It wants to be the first nuclear-weapons state to produce a UN secretary general.
So, perhaps, the interesting question is, how will Shashi sell this perspective to the world and to China, which may have its own plays for the 21st centurty. This week he travels to Gambia to campaign amongst the African Union. At the same time, rumors continue to swirl in the Indian press about other candidates:
There are rumours that the US is scouting for a Muslim-Asian face to head the world body and, in this context, a yet-unrevealed Jordanian is doing the rounds.
This is the last week before discussions really begin at the UNSC on names. It could be quite exciting. Several more candidates may yet emerge.