NEW DELHI: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor waded into a fresh controversy over his remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi donning “outlandish” headgear on his trips, but refusing to sport a skull cap, dubbing BJP as an anti-Muslim party.
Addressing a seminar on “Standing up to hatred, violence and intolerance in contemporary India” in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday, Tharoor said, “You see him (PM Modi) in hilarious Naga headgears with feathers. You have seen him in various kinds of extraordinary outfits which is a right thing for a PM to do. Indira Gandhi has also been photographed wearing various kinds of costumes. But why he always says no to one. Why does he refuse to wear green?” Tharoor asked.
Junior home minister Kiren Rijiju, who hails from northeast, described the comments as an affront to the people of the northeast and demanded ana apology from Congress. Rijiju said the remarks insulted tribals and people from the north-east.
Rijiju said on twitter, “I demand apology from the Congress Party for insulting the people of India’s North East and Tribals. Shashi Tharoor described North-East people and Naga Tribal headgears as funny looking outlandish and hilarious.”
By Monday evening, Tharoor was at the receiving end of attacks by several Union ministers. I&B minister Rajyavardhan Rathore said, “Shashi Tharoor insults the proud cultural heritage of the people of North-East. This condescension & arrogance towards the people of India have become hallmarks of @INCIndia.” BJP general secretary Ram Madhav tweeted: “For Shashi Tharoor, Naga headgear is outlandish and hilarious. In his over zealous love for skull cap, Tharoor doesnt mind insulting d customs of d Nagas n other NE people.”
Tharoor remained unfazed: “The cynicism of theBJP is as impressive as their tactics. When confronted with an irrefutable criticism, they seize on an irrelevant detail, manufacture a fake controversy w/the help of an obliging media, and change the narrative so it is about the detail and not the original critique!”