Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor “tweeted” his apology around midnight on Thursday night to all those hurt by his “cattle class” remark. Tweeting from Liberia, Mr. Tharoor’s apology came a day after the Congress publicly reprimanded him for stating that he would travel “cattle class in solidarity with all our holy cows” in a message posted on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
Having learnt “belatedly of fuss over my tweet” in reply to a journalist’s question whether he would travel “cattle class” to Kerala, Mr. Tharoor said the phrase cattle class was used by the scribe and he had only repeated it.
Further, according to the Minister, “it’s a silly expression but means no disrespect to economy class travellers, only to airlines for herding us in like cattle.”
Of the view that many had misunderstood him, Mr. Tharoor, in another tweet, observed that he had been told it sounds worse in Malayalam; especially when said out of context. “I now realise I shouldn’t assume people will appreciate humour. And, you shouldn’t give those who would wilfully distort your words [given] an opportunity to do so.”
In yet another reply to a query he got from one of his 1, 69,096 followers on Twitter, the Minister said: “Holy cows are not individuals but sacrosanct issues or principles that no one dares challenge. Wish critics would look it up.”