Shobha De, Romila Thapar and Narcissism

Narcissism consists of certain traits like extreme selfishness, a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration. Two ladies exhibit it quite well- Shobha De and Romila Thapar.

Both have need to remain in limelight, limelight means revenue.

Reveune in terms of sale of their books, getting paid for writing columns in newspaper, getting invitation as speakers etc.

Techniques used by these two ladies to remain in limelight are different.



Shobha’s technique is to make a controversial statement and then like spider wait for victim in get trapped in her web of controversial statement. She knows quite well that there will be a reaction, she prays for reaction, so far she has not been disappointed. Once reactions pour in , she will write articles on how she is being attacked, all attackers are labeled as misogynist. After each controversy publicity, atleast for few days, is guaranteed.

Romila on the other hand uses trap called “Argument from Silence”.

This technique was used by historian Frances Wood. Frances Wood based her controversial book “Did Marco Polo go to China?” on arguments from silence. Woods argued that Marco Polo never went to China and fabricated his accounts because he failed to mention elements from the visual landscape such as tea, did not record the Great Wall and neglected to record practices such as foot-binding. She argued that no outsider could spend 15 years in China and not observe and record these elements.

In other words silence on certain issues meant Marco Polo never went to China.


There are few well documented evidences of history of ancient India. Romila Thapar uses this loop hole  to write on subjects which are bound to create controversy ex. book on Somnath. Once controversy erupts, she then harvests emotions for her benefit. Those who attack her are rightist and those supporting her are leftist. Fact is Romila is neither leftist nor rightist , like Shobha De, she is opportunist.

There is nothing wrong in being opportunist, these are survival tactics, and both have mastered them well.



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