Sunanda Pushkar – The Truth About Her Death
The Ghastly Truth About the Death of Shashi Tharoor’s Third Wife
The short answer – hardly anyone knows but everybody has a theory, which they are ready to espouse in a universe of unrestrained gab that has become a hallmark of the ever-ballooning media, consisting of mainly wagging tongues and little thought.
So what do we know?
We know that she died on Friday evening. We know that her Husband, Union Minister of State for Human Resources whom The Global Calcuttan interviewed in January, 2013, complained of chest pains resulting in his admission to the All-India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which occurred around the time his wife was taken to the same hospital for autopsy, and the incident prevented his questioning by police.
We know that the two had been the focus of unbridled media attention because of ‘tweets’ alleged to have been made by Sunanda Pushkar and a woman alleged to be Tharoor’s mistress, a Pakistani journalist, Mehr Tarar.
We know that Tharoor was a brilliant student, earning a Ph.D at an age before many even become graduates. We know him as a talented and accomplished writer and having had a distinguished career as an international public servant, becoming the youngest Undersecretary of the United Nations at 45. We also know that he was a popular politician, winning in the last election in a landslide in his home state of Kerala. We know he knows this, too. And all too often, this has been his undoing.
We know that he has been embroiled in controversy, whether it was the whispers in the half of the UN that he was having an affair with a subordinate, Canadian Christa Giles, while married to Calcuttan, Tilottama (nee Mukherji) whom he left after nearly two decades of marriage to his high school sweetheart, tweeting about flying ‘class’ or a scandal involving the Indian Premier League. We know that he married Ms. Giles, and became friends with his Sunanda Pushkar while he was married to his second wife.
We know that Pushkar, a Kashmiri Pandit, escaped domesticity in Kashmir where she was born, by marrying another Pandit, whom she left for a close friend of his. We know the pair moved to Dubai. We know that her second husband returned to India and committed suicide. We also know that she moved to Toronto with a companion but left soon after getting Canadian Citizenship, returning to Dubai. We know that her change in status to Canadian émigré from that of South Asian, opened doors for her in Dubai, where her event management business took off, and she became wealthy.
We know Shashi and Sunanda seemed the picture of a happy couple, close, affectionate, and mostly in each other’s company.
What don’t we know?
We do not know if the affair between Mehr Tarar and Shashi Tharoor took place both have denied it. We do know through messages released to the public that they expressed mutual admiration.
We do not know the state of her medical health prior to her death as contradictory reports have been issued.
We do not know if she was injured, despite unsubstantiated reports from a doctor conducting the investigation of there being “injury marks” which may or may not have led to her death, the nature of which “cannot be revealed at this time”.
We do not know the state of her psychological health, despite the plethora of uninformed opinions offered. We do know that statements attributed to her about her marriage appear to be contradictory, and her public tweets indicate she had been upset at the time of writing them.
We do not know how she died, whether of natural or unnatural causes as the investigation is incomplete, regardless of the irresponsible public statements of AIIMS physicians and others.
We do not know what this will mean for Shashi Tharoor’s future, despite those already in the process of writing his political obituary along with that of his wife’s actual obit.
We know that presence of Benzodiazapines in a person’s hotel room is in itself not evidence of overdose, suicide, or any other crime. We know that such drugs are readily available with (and often without) prescription in India, and used by a disproportionately large segment of the population compared to other countries.
What we think:
We think that the media has made a royal mess of this story, and it ought to show a little more responsibility and restraint when it comes to such serious matters such as life and death, marriage and family,people’s reputations.
We think Indian doctors – at least the ones dealing with the Tharoor case, ought to show a little more professional discretion.
We think that her death was tragic, and hope for the truth to come out.
What we think about her death and its cause, we will keep to ourselves, awaiting the completion of the investigation, unlike the rest of the media.
We think that Subramaniam Swami, with whom we have agreed on certain matters in the past, is out on a limb again, eroding his credibility further by alleging foul play.
We think the chattering classes should limit public statements to what is known as fact, and shut the hell up about everything else.