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'Appalled' at backlash over my birthday greeting to LK Advani: Shashi Tharoor Sahashi Tharoor backlash
Image credit: Shashi Tharoor Facebook

'Appalled' at backlash over my birthday greeting to LK Advani: Shashi Tharoor

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 11 Nov 2021, 10:43 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said he had been left "appalled by the vicious backlash" that followed his post, tweeting best wishes this week to senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani on his 94th birthday.

He slammed netizens saying civility has "disappeared entirely from our political discourse".

The senior Congress leader said Mahatma Gandhi taught all to respect political opponents.

In a tweet on Thursday, Tharoor wrote: "I am frankly appalled by the vicious backlash against my birthday greetings to LK Advaniji. Has civility disappeared entirely from our political discourse? Gandhiji taught us to respect and honour the humanity in our political opponents. It seems that now makes me a Sanghi sympathiser!"

"In fact, Gandhiji taught us to fight sin but love (and embrace) the sinner. Ahimsa is "a positive state of love... of doing good even to the evildoer". While good and evil are Gandhian terms I can't easily use (most human beings are shades of both), I deplore intolerance on either side," Tharoor said in another tweet.

"So yes, I intend to continue to wish LK Advani and PM Modi well on their birthdays, while opposing what they stand for politically. My 40 years of writing makes clear what I believe in. Only those who haven't read me would call me a Sanghi. My values won't be discarded for them," he concluded.

The controversy erupted after Tharoor on Monday described Advani as "a fine human being" and "a gentleman in politics" in his tweet.

"Warm wishes for a fine human being, a gentleman in politics, a leader of wide reading and great courtesy," the Congress leader wrote, adding the hashtag "#HappyBirthdayLKAdvani".

The tweet drew wide criticisms and flak as several questioned Tharoor for wishing a rival credited with the BJP's rise to prominence on the backdrop of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the late 80s.

Tharoor earlier wished Prime Minister Narendra Modi too on his birthday, in September,  where he took the opportunity for a swipe over his government's performance.