“If today we have a chaiwala as prime minister,” Shashi Tharoor said yesterday, “it is because Nehru ji made it possible to create the institutional struct
BJP supporters scrolling down the party’s Twitter timeline this morning may have set down their coffee cups sharply in alarm. One post read: “Nehru is the sole reason why humanity exists.”
But a moment’s pause (and a glance at the winking smiley) would have sufficed to reassure them that this was little more than a sarcastic barb — one aimed at Shashi Tharoor, the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram.
Yesterday, on the eve of Nehru’s birthday, Tharoor mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi while praising the great Congressman. “If today we have a chaiwala as prime minister,” he said, “it is because Nehru ji made it possible to create the institutional structures through which any Indian can aspire to rise to the highest office in the land.”
It was part of this excerpt that the BJP attached to its tweet. “Minor correction, Dr Tharoor,” it wrote. Then came the jibe about Nehru and humanity, followed by: “Don’t trivialise his role to mundane matters like making prime ministers and all that.”