New Delhi: In a fresh attack against PM Modi, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor compared him to a “scorpion sitting on a Shivling” – while quoting a media article which was based on statement from an unnamed leader in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Speaking at an event in Bengaluru, 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.
Tharoor said: “There is an extraordinarily striking metaphor expressed by an unnamed RSS source to journalist Vinod Joseph of The Caravan, in which they express their frustration with their inability to curb Modi. The man says: ‘Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a Shivling; you can’t remove him with your hand, and you cannot hit it with a chappal either.'”
Tharoor also said the analogy and the frustration of the RSS could be a clue to the complex dynamics shared between the Hindutva movement and the “Moditva” expression of it.
However, he took to Twitter on Sunday to issue a clarification on the reports, which left out his reference to The Caravan article and only quoted him as making the scorpion-Shivling analogy.
“In view of the unseemly demonisation of an out-of-context remark today involving a scorpion metaphor, my book #TheParadoxicalPrimeMinister cites and footnotes this article — please see the last paragraph of this article,” the Congress leader said, sharing Vinod Jose’s profile of Modi from 2012.
“This comment (not by me) has been in the public domain for six years. RS Prasad making an issue of a 6-yr-old quote shows how little the BJP has to offer the nation. As for the media subserving the BJP’s desire for ‘controversy’, when will this ‘profession’ develop any self-respect?”
Within hours, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad demanded an apology from the Congress chief. “Rahul Gandhi, you claim yourself be to a Shiv bhakt (devotee). Please reply to this very horrific denunciation of Lord Mahadev,” the minister was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.