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Updated: November 7, 2012 01:32 IST

Be mindful of public sentiments, RSS tells Gadkari

Special Correspondent
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BJP president Nitin Gadkari. File photo
PTI BJP president Nitin Gadkari. File photo

I didn’t compare Swami Vivekananda with anyone, says BJP chief

Hours after BJP president Nitin Gadkari expressed regret over his statement about the IQ levels of Swami Vivekananda and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, the RSS on Tuesday counselled him to be mindful of ‘public sentiments’ while making such comments.

(Mr. Gadkari had said at an award ceremony in Bhopal on Sunday: “If we can compare the IQ level of Swami Vivekananda and that of Dawood Ibrahim, then it could have been the same. But Vivekananda used it for nation building, brotherhood and spiritualism, while Dawood used that in excelling in crime world.”)

Responding to media queries on the BJP chief’s statement, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said people like Swami Vivekananda were respected across the world. “So when we talk about them ... we have to keep in mind sentiments of millions of people who are attached to them and we should be careful about that.”

Earlier, as more people expressed dismay at the comments, Mr. Gadkari said he was deeply pained to note that his words had been taken out of context to ‘create confusion.’

“I would like to reiterate that I never compared Swami Vivekananda with anyone. I had absolutely no intention of projecting Swami Vivekananda in a bad light. If my words about Swami Vivekananda have hurt the public sentiments in any manner, I express my sincere regrets.”

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