Shashi Tharoor marks Vidyarambham; initiates toddlers into the world of education

The 65-year-old has always marked the occasion in the right spirit and he shared glimpses of it on social media this time
Shashi Tharoor| Pic: Ashwin Prasath
Shashi Tharoor| Pic: Ashwin Prasath

Shashi Tharoor celebrated Vijayadashmi/Dussehra (based on where you live) in a way that was both customary to his annual plans as well as befitting, considering his affinity for words. He took part in the tradition of Vidyarambham in his home constituency of Thiruvananthapuram. The occasion marks the day when good triumphs over evil and also the time when little children are introduced to the world of books and letters. 

The ritual consists of making a child, between two and three years of age, write letters on a plate of rice. The auspicious occasion most commonly takes place in temples. The words most often spelt include "Hari Om" and "Om Shri". The children are also formally introduced to learning of music, dance, languages and other folk arts. It is considered a day when Saraswathi, the Goddess of learning, and teachers are respected by offering 'gurudakshina.' 

Tharoor shared some sights from this occasion on Twitter which showed him with several toddlers who were brought to his house to begin their life's learning process. While he said that not all kids were "happy to be force-fed their literacy by a stranger," most were "caught up in the mood 'vidyarambham' and their parents' enthusiasm."

The Congress leader has been a devout follower of the ritual in the past but was unable to take part in it last year due to the pandemic. Needless to say, he looked more than keen to make up for it this year.

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