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Updated: September 14, 2013 12:10 IST

Rajagopal flays Tharoor remark on Swami Vivekananda

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BJP leader O. Rajagopal. File Photo
The Hindu
BJP leader O. Rajagopal. File Photo

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.

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Jesus Christ made water into wine and drank with his disciples at a wedding at Cana... even at the Last Supper he shared bread and wine with his disciples... So Swami Vivekanada having meat and wine in his overseas trips or even in India should not be a cause for scandal... and Rajgopalji need not raise his heckles to defend Swamiji nor attack Tharoor on such irrelevant matters of food and drink by which a character of the person is not judged... May peace prevail!

from:  C.M. Paul
Posted on: Sep 15, 2013 at 13:15 IST

Swami Vivekananda had taken meat (including beef) and used to smoking cigarettes. It is well known and is found in all of his biographies. But there was no reference to Swami taking liquor in any of these books. Shashi Tharoor should explain from where he got this piece of information.

from:  Rahulan
Posted on: Sep 15, 2013 at 12:21 IST

Taking to drinks and having a drink is completely different acts. The former is to get drunk and the later is engaging socially. There are many cultures on the planet that they drink a glass as part of the meal with no known consequences,socially or medically. Making it a taboo and then irrationally argue around it is a waste of time. While the South Indian Brahmins don't eat fish the Bengali Brahmins eat fish with no religious taboo. Why don't these people talk about something more important to the people and nation than bickering on matters so unimportant!

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Sep 15, 2013 at 01:59 IST

Swami Vivekananda was liberal but a yogi at core. This was no occasion to speak of his personal life as his achievement in the world are respected by all . It is an irrelevant comment of Tharoor that should have been avoided.

from:  Prof N.K.Singh
Posted on: Sep 14, 2013 at 11:43 IST
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