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Sunanda Pushkar's Death - Who's to Blame?

Updated on January 19, 2014

Story in Short

To all those who are still in the dark, Shashi Tharoor is a famous politician in India. He married an entrepreneur around 3 years back - a beautiful Kashmiri pandit from Dubai. It was a third marriage for both of them. Shashi was earlier married to Tilottama Tharoor, then to Christa Giles. Both ended in a divorce. Sunanda's first marriage happened early and it died down early as well because of incompatibility. Her second husband died in a car accident. All's well that ends well when Shashi and Sunanda met eventually. Or so.. we like to think. Their relationship started going downhill around 6 months back when Sunanda started getting hints that her husband is in a relationship with a Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar. She accused Tarar on Twitter of stalking her husband and even sending flirty BBMs to him. Mehr responded by saying it takes two to tango and that Sunanda was out of her mind to come out with such allegations about her being a "stalker" and an "ISI agent". Next up, within 24 hours, we get the shocking news of Sunanda Pushkar lying dead on the bed of her hotel room in Delhi. Injury marks were found on her body and according to hotel staff Mrs. Tharoor was found crying and fighting with her husband earlier during the day. What really happened? No one really knows. Investigations are still on. So hopefully, over the next couple of days, we will get to know what really happened and who is to blame for this.

Third time unlucky

Wedding Photo of Diplomat Turned Politician Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar - Third Marriage for Both of Them
Wedding Photo of Diplomat Turned Politician Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar - Third Marriage for Both of Them

Twitter War

To be frank, I was a bit amused initially when I saw the verbal spats between Sunanda Pushkar and Mehr Tarar on Twitter. Sunanda was very frank in her tweets which unfortunately didn't go too well with people who expect celebrities to be all prim and proper all the time. Her tweets were considered an "embarrassment" by Shashi Tharoor fans. This amusement turned into shock when I heard the news that Sunanda was found dead in her hotel room.

Some of Sunanda Pushkar's Tweets to Mehr Tarar
Some of Sunanda Pushkar's Tweets to Mehr Tarar
Mehr Tarar Tweeting about Sunanda Pushkar
Mehr Tarar Tweeting about Sunanda Pushkar

Judging by the responses she got from her tweets, I can't help but think - was social media to blame too for the sudden demise of this celebrity who was already suffering from depression? It is very easy to say "suicide is for cowards, and she did a cowardly thing" but on the other hand, I can't help but think what made her take such a drastic step. She has obviously faced a lot of downfalls already in her life - her first unsuccessful marriage, her second husband dying in an accident, dealing with a son who had a communication disability, trying to pave her path on her own. She emerged successful finally and then the icing on the cake was her marriage to Shashi Tharoor, a UN diplomat turned politician. For a person who has been through so much, it is surprising to see that she would take such a step (if in case it was a suicide attempt) - that too because of a relationship that's apparently turning sour. Were there more reasons than one that lead her to her death?

During Their Happier Days
During Their Happier Days

Judging by her tweets on Twitter, it is apparent that something was troubling Sunanda for some time now. In an earlier statement, she blurted out that she read the BBMs between Shashi and Mehr where Shashi had mentioned that he would be seeking a divorce from Sunanda after elections were over. Of course, later on, she retracted saying she didn't make any such statements but all it takes is one look at her Twitter account to see that there is something definitely wrong going on. She appears depressed, forging a smile even if she's down in the dumps, probably giving in to pressure to issue this joint statement together. What's given in this statement (shown below) and what's shown in her tweets don't really add up. They seem contradicting. If they are so happily married as mentioned in the statement, why isn't the same emotion being shown in her tweets?

Joint Statement on Shashi Tharoor's Facebook Page
Joint Statement on Shashi Tharoor's Facebook Page
Sarcasm in Sunanda's Tweet? Probably Implying that Shashi Did Reciprocate Mehr's Flirty Messages
Sarcasm in Sunanda's Tweet? Probably Implying that Shashi Did Reciprocate Mehr's Flirty Messages
Tweets on Jan 14th
Tweets on Jan 14th

Last Call

Her journalist friend Nalini Singh was the last person Sunanda contacted before her death. Apparently, she seemed distraught and was asking her friend if there were any possible ways by which deleted messages can be recovered.

She was found dead with injury marks on her body possibly made with a blunt object. Did she have a physical spat with Shashi? Or did he make remarks that hinted that their relationship is over? It is very sad to know that such a vivacious lady like Sunanda would choose death (leaving her only son behind) just because her relationship didn't work out. Or did she find it too much to handle - the social media accuses, taunts from her husband and his alleged lover, her illness (lupus termed incurable)? Maybe everything contributed to her downfall. Will we ever know?

Please take some time out to vote

Who/What do you think contributed to Sunanda Pushkar's death?

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© 2014 Kalpana Iyer

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    • Anita Saran profile image

      Anita Saran 

      4 years ago from Bangalore, India

      Very interesting hub. I have been wondering too.

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