Love him or hate him, you have to concede that Dr. Shashi Tharoor, who also happens to be a very vocal member of the Indian National Congress, is great at public speaking.

Dr Shashi Tharoor has never been one to mince words. 

Source: Shashi Tharoor

Tharoor's popularity among the youth can be gauged from the fact that there was an online petition requesting him to become the PM candidate for the Indian National Congress for the Lok Sabha elections to be held in 2019.

He did an AMA today on Reddit India. The entire discussion was a mixed bag of intelligent questions to full-blown trolling. Here are a few of the highlights of the AMA:

Redditor won_tolla asked him the all important question on Kashmir:

Do you believe that the situation in Kashmir is materially different from the colonization of India by the British? Put another way, how is "Kashmir gets more money from the Indian government than other states" different from "the British gave us trains"? If yes, why? If not, do you have a proposed solution in mind?

To this, Shashi Tharoor was rather defensive. He said,

Can't do justice to this question in the time available for over 100 qsns this evening! Yes, I believe it's different. But I also believe any solution will involve listening to the Kashmiris, including the separatists, on what exactly it is they want that they believe Indian democracy can't give them. Indians sought self-rule from the British; Kashmiris already have that (free elections, their own elected officials, police, etc.). There's a dialogue to be had which Pakistan is not permitting to occur by preferring to resort to violence in pursuit of its military's interests.

Redditor zreo15 asked Dr. Shashi Tharoor about his opinion on tackling the important issue of young Indian talent leaving the country:

A large number of Educated Indians specially the young ones are thinking to migrate to West or are being heavily influenced by the NRI's to do it .What are your views on it and how should this problem be solved?

Shashi Tharoor said this about the huge problem of 'brain-drain' that our country is suffering from:

Redditor ThrowAwayGilgamesh asked him about his opinion on the Finance Bill:

With the introduction of 2 amendments to Finance Bill, which eliminate the cap on corporate giving and abolishing the provision that firms must declare their political contributions on their profit and loss statements, BJP has made the system of political funding more opaque rather than making it transparent. And so far, we have seen no significant opposition from any political party on this.

While Shashi Tharoor didn't tackle the question head on, he replied with:

This is one of the issues we are already taking up, but there's real concern that what the "newspaper-reading classes" care about do not resonate with the majority of voters (as we saw with demonetization in the recent state elections). The list of issues we will take up is very lengthy, ranging from farmers' suicides to agricultural price support, on the one hand, to freedom of expression in universities & the misuse of nationalism on the other.

One reddit user asked Shashi Tharoor about his stand on the Adhaar card debacle. The question was:

What are your views on Aadhar being made compulsory against the Supreme Court's order?

Shashi Tharoor was very diplomatic with his answer and replied:

A Reddit user asked him,

How confident are you in decriminalization of Homosexuality in Kerala?

To which Dr. Shashi Tharoor replied,

A reddit user asked him a very important question regarding India's foreign diplomacy:

Sir, with a lot of countries gravitating towards right wing policies (Brexit and resultant instability in the UK, Trump Election, and now the rising popularity of the likes of Le Pen in France), what impact does this have on India from a diplomatic standpoint? Will we see an even more dominating west on a global scale, or is this limited to their internal policies?

Tharoor replied:

Someone asked him about the Right to Education Act with this question:

What is your opinion on the Right to Education ACT .The Right to education has a large number of problems

To this, Tharoor answered

I think RTE was successful in getting a lot of kids into school who were being left out of the educational net. But there is definite room for amendment and the question of whether its provisions should be extended to all schools, including minoriy ones, requires debate and consideration.

One redditor asked Dr. Tharoor about Donald Trump

Would you say that there is a hope for US to be relatively less sneaky and doing that sort of thing (like vetoeing your candidature) under President Trump?

Dr. Shashi Tharoor was very clear about what his expectations from President Trump were:

Then came the most important question:

Kya aapke toothpaste me namak hai?

Dr. Shashi Tharoor took this question with a pinch of salt. He replied:

On being asked what characterizes an effective orator, Dr. Shashi Tharoor said:

An ability to connect to the audience. Know your subject so they find it worthwhile to listen to you. Say it interestingly. Tailor what you have to say to those listening - eg jokes work with some audiences and not with others. Don't speak in a dull monotone. And don't outlast their patience!

Dr. Shashi Tharoor was extremely articulate in this AMA. He was extremely diplomatic in his approach and avoided most of the 'contentious' questions. We hope he does more AMAs and we find more answers.

India needs more leaders like him.

Design Credits: Shruti Mathur