“You can’t remove it with your hand nor can you hit it with a chappal,” Tharoor said commenting on the dynamics between Modi and the RSS.
Bengaluru, Oct., 28, 2018: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has stirred up a controversy with a new analogy on Prime Minister Narendra Modi — one that he attributed to an “RSS source” of a journalist. Speaking at an event in Bengaluru, Mr Tharoor, whose book on PM Modi was recently released, said the “personality cult” of the Prime Minister did not sit well with many in the RSS establishment. The ideological mentor of the BJP, he said, also found it “extremely difficult” to “curb” PM Modi.
There’s an “extraordinarily striking metaphor”, he said, in which the RSS expressed their “profound frustration with their inability to curb Mr Modi – and the man says ‘Mr Modi is a like a Scorpion sitting on a Shivling. You cannot move it with your hand and you cannot hit it with a chappal either’.”
#WATCH Shashi Tharoor in Bengaluru, says, "There's an extraordinarily striking metaphor expressed by an unnamed RSS source to a journalist, that, "Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a Shivling, you can't remove him with your hand & you cannot hit it with a chappal either."(27.10) pic.twitter.com/E6At7WrCG5
— ANI (@ANI) October 28, 2018
Tharoor was, in fact, quoting an unnamed RSS leader who spoke to journalist Vinod Jose of The Caravan as part of his extensive profile on Narendra Modi before he became prime minister. The piece, ‘The Emperor Uncrowned’, first published in March 2012, captures the rise of Modi from an RSS functionary to the chief minister of Gujarat.
Condemning his remarks, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad demanded Congress president Rahul Gandhi to apologise for insulting Lord Shiva. “While Rahul Gandhi who claims himself to be a Shiv bhakt, one of his small leaders has almost abused the sanctity of Shiv Linga and Lord Mahadev by referring to chappal attack through named sources. Rahul Gandhi, you claim yourself be to a Shiv Bhakt, please reply to this very horrific denunciation of Lord Mahadev by giving apology to what Tharoor has done,” he said.
Reacting to Tharoor’s comments, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “I just heard the comment, it’s so abusive. He’s denigrated the Hindu religion by bringing Chappal and Shivling together, and then he denigrates the Prime Minister of India. Is this what the Congress party has sunk to? Everyday Shashi Tharoor comes up with an abuse for the Prime Minister and the Hindu religion.”
The BJP spokesperson added, “He knows that he can say anything about the Hindus and against the BJP and Narendra Modi because he knows we’re the most tolerant ones. He’s trying to buy an extra mile out of our tolerance.”
BJP minister Babul Supriyo tweeted:
Extremely disappointed by what @ShashiTharoor said abt Hon’ble PM•Makes me wonder once again if educated people leave their so-called education behind when in Politics•Use of Foul Language is a sure indication that @INCIndia is frustratedunder the bizarre leadership of RaBaBaBa
— Babul Supriyo (@SuPriyoBabul) October 28, 2018
Shashi Tharoor responded to the barrage of criticism with a tweet:
In view of the unseemly demonisation of an out of context remark today involving a scorpion metaphor, my book #TheParadoxicalPrimeMinister cites & footnotes this article — please see the last paragraph of this article. https://t.co/wgrBrjiM7T
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 28, 2018