Senior Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor sparked a controversy after he compared Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to eunuchs for ‘wanting power without responsibilities’. Tharoor was speaking to CNNNews18 when he made this remark.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) January 13, 2020
When CNNNews18 journalist Marya Shakil asked Tharoor what could be the reason behind Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s silence over the recent ongoing anti-CAA protests which have gone violent in the national capital. Kejriwal has chosen to remain silent over the protests and has not gone to the venue to stand in solidarity with either the Jamia ‘students’ or the protestors at Shaheen Bagh. This, even after AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan was found being part of a mob in Jamia Nagar in December 2019 which eventually turned violent.
To this, Shashi Tharoor said, “Mr Kejriwal is trying to have it both ways. He has made statements deploring the CAA-NRC saying why is it necessary, government should withdraw it, but he has not taken any tangible action. He has not even shown the human compassion one expects of the chief minister towards the victims of violence in his own state. In any other states if the students were bashed up this way, the chief minister of the state would have visited them at home or shown them some concern, gone to their campuses. Mr Kejriwal really wants power without responsibility, which we all know has been the prerogative of the eunuchs for ages. That kind of completely ineffective chief ministerial approach is apparently going to safeguard his space. You can spent your all political life not trying to make enemies but at the end of the day what do you stand for? What values fo you represent? What principles are you trying to put forward before the electorate?” He further said that Kejriwal has failed the people of Delhi. He mentioned how some of his friends, who were traditionally Congress supporters, had voted for Kejriwal as it appeared idealistic party.
Tharoor’s comment sparked a controversy. Netizens accused Tharoor of insulting the trans community by using eunuch as a derogatory term.
Why insult the trans community?
For that matter, didn’t UPA 1 & 2 have a super Prime Minister, who enjoyed all the benefits of power without the responsibility?
— Mrs Palakkadan 🇮🇳 (@Lotus2021) January 13, 2020
Astounding depravity. @ShashiTharoor reveals how he has typecasted transgender persons in his bigoted brain.
— Preeti Sharma Menon (@PreetiSMenon) January 13, 2020
Kejriwal supporters were also disappointed as Tharoor is apparently the only sane voice in Congress.
Did not expect this from Shashi Tharoor, he seemed the only sane person in congress. Such language shows the desperation of congress.
— Ankit Sri (@Renaissan_) January 13, 2020
Meanwhile, Tharoor has apologised and withdrawn his statement.
Apologies to those who found my quote about “power without responsibility” offensive. It’s an old line from British politics, going back to Kipling & PrimeMinister Stanley Baldwin, &most recently used by Tom Stoppard. I recognize that its use today was inappropriate &withdraw it.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 13, 2020
Tharoor took to Twitter late last night and said how he used a line from British politics said by British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin who had actually used the term ‘harlot’ (prostitute) in place of ‘eunuchs’. Meanwhile, it is not clear if he withdrew his statement as it would have been seen offensive to eunuchs, or whether it might have been deemed offensive to Rahul Gandhi, who too has been accused of enjoying power without responsibility.