digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Sunanda Pushkar
Sunanda Pushkar at Buddh Circuit, Oct 2013.jpg
Born Sunanda Dass
(1964-06-27)27 June 1964
Toronto, Canada
Died 17 January 2014(2014-01-17) (aged 49)
New Delhi, India
Citizenship Canadian[1]
Spouse(s) Sanjay Raina (1988)
Sujith Menon (1991-1997)
Shashi Tharoor (2010-2014)
Children 1

Sunanda Pushkar (27 June 1964 – 17 January 2014) was an Indo-Canadian businessperson and the wife of Indian minister Shashi Tharoor. She was a sales manager in the Dubai-based TECOM Investments, and a co-owner of the India-based Rendezvous Sports World.

Early life[edit]

Sunanda Pushkar was born on 27 June 1964 in a Kashmiri Pandit family of landlords and army officers native to Bomai.[2][3][4] She was the only daughter of Lt Col Pushkar Nath Dass and Jaya Dass. Her father retired from the army in 1983. She had two brothers, one of whom works for a bank; the other is in the Army.[5][6] The family moved from Bomai to Jammu in 1990, after their house was set on fire by militants.[7] She graduated from the Government College for Women in Srinagar, where she studied during 1986-88.[8]

Personal life[edit]

While studying at the Government College, she married a fellow Kashmiri Pandit and a hotel management graduate Sanjay Raina.[9][10] The couple divorced in 1988. Subsequently, Sunanda went to Dubai in 1989 and married Sujith Menon in 1991.[11] Their son was born in November 1992. In October 2009, she met Shashi Tharoor at a party organised by the billionaire Sunny Varkey. Tharoor had arrived in Dubai in 2007, with his Canadian wife Christa Giles.[12] Sunanda married Shashi Tharoor in 2010, after he was elected to the Indian Parliament.[13] The couple had a Malayali wedding ceremony in Tharoor's ancestral home at Elavanchery in Kerala, India. This was the third marriage for both of them.[14]

Business career[edit]

In India, Pushkar had briefly worked as a receptionist at the Centaur Lake View hotel in Srinagar, after doing a course in hotel management.[12] After coming to Dubai, she started an event management business called Expressions, and became well known for her networking with sponsors and artists for fashion shows. Her company organised several model shows for product launches, featuring several Indian fashion designers and models, including Hemant Trivedi, Rhea Pillai, Vikram Phadnis and Aishwarya Rai. Later, she joined Bozell Prime Advertising as an accounts executive. She and her second husband Sujith Menon organised a Mammootty show together, which made a financial loss. According to one report, the couple had collaborated on the show in an attempt to save their failing marriage. According to Sunanda, Sujith had run into financial trouble as a financial consultant. Sujith returned to India, and died in an accident in Delhi in March 1997.[15][16]

After Sujith's death, Sunanda started getting threatening calls from his creditors. For a few months, she left her four-year old son with her sister-in-law, and later with her parents. By the time she brought him back to Dubai, he had developed a communication disorder. She left Bozell Prime to spend time with her son, and later joined Ravissant. Struggling as a small-time event manager in Dubai, she moved in as a paying guest at her friend's apartment in Al Satwa. She spelt her name as "Sue P. Menon" on her business cards, and later, started using "Pushkar" (an alternative spelling of her father's name) as her last name. According to her, she faced financial troubles, as she had to repay Sujith's debts, support her parents and her brother through engineering college.[15][16]

Impressed by the Canadian healthcare system, she emigrated to Canada in the 1990s, as her son needed speech therapy. According to one account, she lived with a banker companion in Toronto.[15] According to Sunanda, she became a partner in an IT firm called "Valley Resources" through sweat equity, after a San Francisco-based friend introduced her to the founders. Subsequently, she became wealthy during the dot-com bubble, managing to buy her own house and a BMW car. The business was impacted by the post-9/11 slowdown and closed in 2001. After four months of unemployment and financial difficulties, Sunanda did a course in emotional intelligence, and joined a company called Noble House International. She organised "Human Potential Reengineering" programmes for several banks in Miami, Amsterdam and Geneva.[16]

Sunanda felt that she was not earning enough at Noble House. In August 2004, she moved to Dubai with a Canadian passport, working as a general manager for Best Homes. Later, she joined TECOM investments to work on the International Media Production Zone. She was financially successful, buying two 3-bedroom apartments at Palm Jumeirah, an apartment in Jumeirah Beach Residence and two more apartments in the Executive Towers.[16]

Return to India[edit]

IPL controversy[edit]

When she was dating Shashi, Sunanda started getting media attention in India, as it became known that she had been given sweat equity worth INR 700 million in Rendezvous Sports World. In 2010, the company bid for the IPL cricket team Kochi Tuskers Kerala, which represented Tharoor's native state Kerala. The company was founded in 2009, while Sunanda Pushkar was made a Director of the company on 25 February 2010, just 18 days before the IPL bid. There were allegations that Shashi Tharoor had misused his ministerial position to ask for a free stake in the company, and that Sunanda was acting as a proxy for him. The controversy ultimately resulted in Shashi Tharoor's resignation as a minister. In her defence, Sunanda argued that she had been invited to join Rendezvous because of her "extensive international experience as a business executive, marketing manager and entrepreneur". She also stated that she had been given a similar offer by Karim Morani of Kolkata Knight Riders in the past.[17][18] In April 2010, Sunanda announced that she had relinquished her stake in the company following the controversy. However, she continued to hold the stake, after was told that there is no provision under the BCCI's IPL rules for surrender of shares at that stage.[19] Later in 2014, after the Twitter controversy (see below) and shortly before her death, Sunanda stated that she had taken upon herself "the crimes of this man [Shashi Tharoor] during IPL".[20]

Twitter incident[edit]

On 15 January 2014, a series of intimate messages, supposedly sent by the Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar to Tharoor, were posted on Tharoor's Twitter account. The messages proclaimed Tarar's love for Tharoor. Tharoor tried to downplay the incident by stating that his account had been hacked. However, Sunanda later stated that the account had not been hacked and that she had posted the messages to expose what she believed to be Mehr's stalking of her husband. She accused Mehr of being an ISI agent.[20] Later, she stated that she did not want to go public about the matter, especially in an election year.[21] The next day, a note titled as "Joint statement by Sunanda and Shashi Tharoor" was published on Shashi Tharoor's Facebook page. The note stated that the couple was happily married, and that some personal comments not intended for publication had been misrepresented after being posted to Twitter. The note also stated that Sunanda had been hospitalised after being ill, and was seeking rest.[22]


On 17 January 2014, a day after the Twitter controversy, Sunanda was found dead in room number 345 of the Leela Palace hotel in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. Shashi Tharoor discovered her body, when she did not wake up from her sleep in the evening. He informed the Delhi Police, who recovered the body from the hotel and sent it for postmortem. According to initial reports, Sunanda was suspected to have committed suicide. Later reports stated that the cause of death was unnatural; the doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences gave a preliminary autopsy report that revealed injury marks on her body. They said that these injuries may or may not be the cause of death.[23] The autopsy indicated that she died of drug overdose, most likely a combination of sedatives, other strong medicines and probably alcohol.[24] An investigation has been ordered by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate to examine the cause of poisoning and to ascertain if it was murder or suicide.[25] Her body was cremated at Lodhi Crematorium in South Delhi.[26]

Doctors at KIMS Hospital Trivandrum, who had examined her a few days earlier said that Sunanda did not have serious health problems.[27] However, Sunanda had hinted about her death, hours before her body was recovered from the hotel.[28]

On 1 July 2014, controversy over her death deepened when AIIMS doctor Sudhir Gupta claimed that he was pressured to give a false report in the case.[29]

On October 10, 2014 The Times of India reported that Sunanda died from poisoning. [30]


  1. ^ Allana, Alia (18 April 2010). "Suddenly SUNANDA". The Indian Express. Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  2. ^ http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-sunanda-pushkar-kashmiri-village-girl-who-made-it-big-in-life-1952832
  3. ^ http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/kashmir-valley-netizens-india-pakistan-role-sunanda-pushkar-death/1/339207.html
  4. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2543478/Friend-says-Sunanda-Pushkar-chain-smoking-stressed-nervous.html
  5. ^ Jammu to Dubai to Delhi: Who is Sunanda Pushkar whose stake is worth Rs 70 crore?New Indian express
  6. ^ "Article 370 right now unfair: Sunanda Pushkar". New Delhi: NDTV. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Sunanda Pushkar's father pleads that his daughter be left alone". Daily News and Analysis. 
  8. ^ "Who is Sunanda Pushkar? Her background and many scandals". FirstPost. 16 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Sunanda's ex-hubby says he has 'moved on' : North, News — India Today". Indiatoday.intoday.in. 16 April 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Sunanda Pushkar — Kashmiri village girl who made it big in life — India — DNA". Dnaindia.com. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Got A Girl, Named Sue | Vrinda Gopinath". Outlookindia.com. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Abhishek Dubey (2011). Indian Premier League Story. Pearson Education India. pp. 34–. ISBN 978-81-317-5800-7. 
  13. ^ ' + val.created_at + ' (18 January 2014). "Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor — a profile". NDTV.com. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Shashi Tharoor weds Sunanda Pushkar". NDTV. 22 August 2010. 
  15. ^ a b c Vrinda Gopinath (26 April 2010). "Got A Girl, Named Sue". Outlook. 
  16. ^ a b c d Shoma Chaudhury (1 May 2010). "The Parable Of The Vamp". Tehelka 7 (17). 
  17. ^ "I am not a proxy for Tharoor: Sunanda Pushkar". NDTV. 14 April 2010. 
  18. ^ "Sunanda Pushkar a last minute inclusion in IPL bidders group". Oneindia.in. 18 April 2010. Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  19. ^ Pradeep Thakur & Josy Joseph (17 July 2010). "Sunanda continues to hold 19% stake in Rendezvous". The Times of India. 
  20. ^ a b Sruthijith KK (16 January 2014). "Border love row: Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda says she posted messages of Pak journo Mehr on his Twitter handle". 
  21. ^ "Pushkar swings from rage to defiance to caution". The Times of India. 17 January 2014. 
  22. ^ "Joint statement by Sunanda and Shashi Tharoor on 16th January, 2014". Facebook. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  23. ^ Sunanda Pushkar died an unnatural sudden death say AIIMS doctors; body cremated
  24. ^ Drug overdose may have killed Sunanda Pushkar: Autopsy
  25. ^ "Sunanda Pushkar died of Poisoning says SDM Report". IANS. Biharprabha News. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  26. ^ Sunanda Pushkar's last rites at Lodhi Crematorium
  27. ^ "Sunanda did not have serious health problems: Doctors". Times of India. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  28. ^ "Sunanda Pushkar predicted Death 12 hours before her Death". Biharprabha News. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  29. ^ "Sunanda Pushkar death case: doctor accuses tharoor and azad of influencing report". Patrika Group (in Hindi). Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  30. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Sunanda-Pushkar-death-due-to-poisoning-Medical-team/articleshow/44764580.cms

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunanda_Pushkar — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
35381 videos foundNext > 

The Newshour Debate: Sunanda Pushkar's Death Mystery - Full Debate (2nd July 2014)

A controversial claim by the head of AIIMS' forensic medicine department that pressure was brought on him to manipulate the post mortem report on Shashi Thar...

Who 'poisoned' Sunanda Pushkar?

A team of AIIMS doctors has submitted a fresh report to police on the mysterious death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of former Union minister Shashi Tharoor, main...

Sunanda Pushkar's family alleges her death was 'pre-planned'

A day after the controversy over the death of Sunanda Pushkar, the wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, took a new twist, her family on Friday claimed that it...

The Newshour Debate: Injury No 10 - Sunanda Pushkar death (10th Oct 2014)

The fresh report submitted to the police by AIIMS doctors on the reasons for the mysterious death of Sunanda Pushkar is "inconclusive", according to Delhi Po...

Article 370 right now unfair: Sunanda Pushkar

The Buck Stops Here: Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor, a Kashmiri Pandit, talks of her own experience on citizenship rights after marrying outside the state. She also...

Sunanda Pushkar's death: Zee Media's exclusive CCTV footage from Leela Hotel

Zee Media has obtained exclusive CCTV footage from Leela Hotel where Sunanda Pushkar was staying with her husband Sashi Tharoor during the time of her death.

The Newshour Versus:Sunanda Pushkar death - Subramanian Swamy vs KTS Tulsi (10th Oct 20140

The fresh report submitted to the police by AIIMS doctors on the reasons for the mysterious death of Sunanda Pushkar is "inconclusive", according to Delhi Po...

Nation at 9: Third big expose by NewsX on Sunanda Pushkar's death mystery

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has sought an action taken report from Delhi police in the case of Sunanda Pushkar's death in the wake of a new medic...

Sunanda Pushkar on styling for her wedding with Shashi Tharoor

Sunanda Pushkar talks to tabliod! about her personal style as she says "I do" to Indian politician and author Shashi Tharoor. See more at: http://gulfnews.co...

ABP News special: What is mystery behind death of Sunanda Pushkar's ?

For latest breaking news, other top stories log on to: http://www.abplive.in & http://www.youtube.com/abpnewsTV.

35381 videos foundNext > 

5457 news items


Tue, 18 Nov 2014 06:03:45 -0800

Meanwhile, a PTI report on 14 November had said that the Delhi Police was also considering sending viscera samples of Sunanda Pushkar to forensic laboratories abroad to determine the type of poison that is suspected to have caused her death. Pushkar ...

Times of India

Times of India
Thu, 09 Oct 2014 12:03:05 -0700

NEW DELHI: The medical team probing the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of former Union minister Shashi Tharoor, has concluded that she died of poisoning. The team comprised three doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and was headed ...

Zee News

Zee News
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 20:14:21 -0800

Swamy's today's tweet came a day after PTI, a news agency, reported that the Delhi Police is considering sending viscera samples of former union minister Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar, who was found dead in a hotel here in January, to forensic ...

Times of India

Times of India
Sun, 09 Nov 2014 08:26:59 -0800

NEW DELHI: The hotel room, where former Union minister Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead under mysterious circumstances on January 17, has been re-examined by police and forensic experts who claimed to have found some fresh ...
Financial Express
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:03:45 -0800

The death of Sunanda Pushkar and the unsolved mystery of Malaysia Airlines 370 also generated a great deal of search curiosity. Rise in smartphone sales in India and a growing demand for internet access on smartphones have seen a huge spike in ...

Times of India

Times of India
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 13:37:36 -0700

Sunanda Pushkar (left) and Shashi Tharoor during their wedding on August 22, 2010. (TOI file photo by V Palanippan) According to AIIMS sources, the governing body of the hospital had recently approved a proposal to promote another doctor from the ...

The Indian Express

The Indian Express
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 06:10:35 -0800

A Google release said the death of Sunanda Pushkar and the unsolved mystery of Malaysia Airlines 370 also generated search curiosity. Rajan Anandan, Managing Director, Google India, said the findings of Google's Year in Search is a clear testimony of ...

Business Today

Wed, 17 Dec 2014 05:18:45 -0800

New Delhi, Dec 17: Who do you think will be most searched person on Google in 2014? PM Narendra Modi? Wait, the Google India top searches list for 2014 is out and this is what it has revealed. Google India has revealed that Sunny Leone topped the list ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight