Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Thursday responded to the backlash over his birthday wish to LK Advani, saying he is "frankly appalled". He quoted the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and said that he intends to wish Advani, and PM Modi on their birthdays, despite a different political stand.
"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&honour the humanity in our political opponents. It seems that now makes me a Sanghi sympathizer!", he wrote on Twitter.
"In fact Gandhiji taught us to fight the sin but love(&embrace)the sinner. Ahimsa is“a positive state of love, of doing good even to the evildoer”, he further wrote.
"So yes, I intend to continue to wish LK Advani & @narendramodi well on their birthdays, while opposing what they stand for politically. My 40 years of writing make clear what I believe in. Only those who haven’t read me would call me a Sanghi. My values won’t be discarded 4them."
A controversy had erupted on Monday after Tharoor tweeted a birthday message for Advani in which he described him as "a fine human being" and "a gentleman in politics".
"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".
Soon after, several questioned Tharoor for wishing a rival credited with the BJP's rise to prominence on the back of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the late 80s.
BJP's longest-serving president L K Advani turned 94 on Monday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many other leaders greeting him and lauding his contributions to the country and the party.
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