Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader O. Rajagopal, who is likely to contest the Lok Sabha elections, made a frontal attack on Shashi Tharoor, MP, on Friday over the latter’s comments on Swami Vivekananda.
Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Rajagopal recalled that Dr. Tharoor had said in his speech on Wednesday at the unveiling of the statue of Swami Vivekananda that the Swami ate meat and drank liquor. Being a Bengali belonging to the Kayastha caste, Vivekananda may have had fish and even meat, but there was no reference of him ever having taken liquor.
Demanding that Dr. Tharoor should withdraw his remarks and apologise for it, the BJP leader said it was highly regrettable that Mr. Tharoor chose to portray Swami Vivekananda in bad light at a function organised in connection with the Swami’s 150 birth anniversary. His remarks hurt national sentiments and showed that Dr. Tharoor was still rooted in American culture and lifestyle. His remark that Vivekananda took to drinks was especially objectionable when campaigns are being launched to wean away the youth from liquor.