People should work on Gandhi Jayanthi, tweets Tharoor


On the Gandhi Jayanthi day, he suggested that people should work rather than enjoy a holiday to celebrate the Mahatma’s birthday on October 2.

Tharoor, who created a storm and nearly lost his ministership not long ago for his remarks comparing the airline economy class to “cattle class”, made comments on Gandhi Jayanthi on his Twitter account as well as while speaking at a function in the capital.

“Gandhiji said ‘work is worship’ and we enjoy a holiday on his birthday,” he said in reply to a posting on the social networking site. “One of his (Gandhi’s) principles became a slogan. Work is worship. I always found it somewhat ironic that we celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday with a holiday. I think he would have wanted us to work even harder to honour his memory.”

To support his contention, Tharoor cited the views of visiting Vietnamese Vice-President Nguyen Thi Doan. “In V’nam (Vietnam), Ho Chi Minh’s birthday is a working day and citizens are expected to put in an extra effort at work to honour him,” he said quoting Nguyen whom he met at a dinner hosted by Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Thursday night.

Tharoor also posted that he had attended the inter-faith prayers at Rajghat.  “Gandhiji’s 140th birth anniversary. Unusually sunny and bright: metaphor for light he still shines,” he wrote. Reacting to the remarks, Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said the minister’s comments were his personal views. “It may be his personal view. The holiday is for the nation to rededicate to his ideals and principles,” Ahmed said.
Tharoor’s Twitter comment in September on “cattle class” had evoked strong rebuke from his party colleagues. While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh defended him, Congress president Sonia Gandhi asked him not to hurt the sentiments of the people.

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