Amul is that one brand which doesn’t only serve our edible needs but also gives rib-tickling commentary on current issues. If we look back at all the funny, punny, and satirical cartoons Amul is admired for, then we will read the country’s history in a refreshingly interesting way. Just like Amul, Shashi Tharoor is one such personality who is known for his words and quick wit.
For generations, Amul has synced with the heartbeat of all age groups. Similarly, Tharoor is applauded among every age group, especially the younger crowd because of his liberal ideologies. Interestingly, there is a connection between the two. Shashi Tharoor’s two sisters have been the face of Amul’s ad campaigns as babies.
Yes, both his sisters, Shobha and Smita, were the face of Amul’s outdoor campaigns. However, Shashi was never approached for the same. He recalls the journey of his family along with the brand and jokingly says in a blog entry,
While my sisters (and by association, all of us) basked in their Amul-derived glory, I grew up as a skinny, scrawny, asthmatic boy quite unsuitable to serve as an advertisement for any health-enhancing product, Amul or otherwise.
Later, when the “asthmatic” boy grew up to become Shashi Tharoor, a public figure we all look up to, he did feature on Amul’s beloved cartoons. While the brand had to face many legal issues due to their lampooning, Tharoor always rejoiced to be a part of it.
Both my sisters were “Amul babies” in those ad campaigns of the early ’60s… now i have joined them too! pic.twitter.com/4CX6C2Auo9
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 24, 2015
His loyalty and love towards the whole concept (Amul baby) have been quite clear. In 2011, when Congress was raging over Achuthanandan’s remark — “Everyone knows Rahul Gandhi is an Amul baby” — Tharoor suggested everyone take it as compliment and tweeted,
Don’t see why “Amul baby”=insult. Amul babies r fit, strong, focused on the future. Symbolize white revolution which brought milk to the masses.
Tharoor ends his memoir of the association reminiscing,
My late father would have loved to see his son having gentle fun poked at him in a prominent hoarding on his favorite Marine Drive. He would have been happy that I had finally caught up with my sisters.
Even his own party has not been sporty enough to deal with the Achuthanandan comment in a smart way. But then, we are talking about politicians and their shenanigans. However, for a country which has forgotten how to joke or take jokes, this humble relationship is a subtle reminder that we are capable of healthy humor.